At a first glance, camping seems like a budget-friendly and enjoyable holiday. But as soon as you mention a motorhome, people can get nervous. They see the cost of hire, and think it's a luxurious holiday, not for them. But this does not have to be the case at all! Budget camping in a motorhome is a fun, wallet-friendly holiday. Check out these tips for following a budget on a campervan holiday, and you're set to go.
Choosing a Motorhome
The initial cost, one that can be quickly swept away so that the rest of your trip can be carefully budgeted. Through us, you have a multitude of options for affordable campervan hire, a motorhome to fit your every desire and however tight or loose your purse strings may be! Take your time, and choose the one that your heart (and pocket) most desires. Once this is sorted, you have everything you need to enjoy cheap camping. You may not be able to get a state of the art 6 berth motorhome at £50 a day in August, but a budget often demands comprimise.
If you choose wisely, the utilities offered by a motorhome can allow you to save money later during your trip. This could be through having adequete cooking facilities, so youcan save some money on food throughout your trip. No longer restrained to take aways or overpriced camping foods, you can cook to your heart's desires. More on this later!
Creating a Budget for a Motorhome Holiday
How can you stick to a budget that is unknown? You've got to truly plan for success, and know your self-set financial limits in order to not cross them. Consider how much you'd like to spend on this holiday, and then divide it over the following categories, for each category we've included how to reduce costs for it on a motorhome holiday. This is an estimate for how to budget for a motorhome holiday, and is subjective to each person's holiday style/location!
1. Motorhome Hire (40%)
How to reduce costs: Rent a private motorhome instead of from a company, this reduces your cost up to 40%. Go for a vehicle in off-season instead of peak, this can reduce the cost by up to 50%! Try get a long term booking discount if you're going for at least a week. Aim for a smaller vehicle, you'll spend most of your time outside!
2. Campsites (25%)
How to reduce costs: Wild camp somewhere, this is free! If this is not permitted by laws, overnight camping may still be an option, staying in parking lots or designated areas. Are neither of these a viable option, or do you prefer the comfort of a campsite? That's okay, simply choose your campsites well, through staying outside of cities and planning ahead.
3. Food (20%)
How to reduce costs: This is a simple one, cook instead of eating out! Even when cooking in a van, you can reduce your costs through tips outlined later in this blog.
4. Activities (15%)
How to reduce costs: enjoy the great outdoors! Hiking doesn't cost a thing, and neither does swimming. Bike hire can add a bit of cost but minimal compared to other activities. You can reduce this by hiring a motorhome with a bike rack and bringing your own bikes. You can also reduce costs by bringing your own entertainment, cards and board games, books or a film, to chill in the evenings and not feel any need to go out. Spend time with your fellow travellers, enjoy a bottle of wine from the supermarket and chat about life!
Campgrounds near me?
Once you’ve decided camping is for you, it’s quite likely you will wonder “Are there campgrounds near me?” Finding a free campsite near you is typically a short google search away! There are numerous sites across the U.K. for you to park your lovely motorhome and enjoy the open air, and even if they aren’t free, they are usually at a fairly reasonable price.
For the really adventurous, there are areas in the U.K. that allow wild camping as well. While these are rare, the locations range from Pembrokeshire to Dartmoor in Devon and of course the Scottish Highlands! So consider parking the motorhome somewhere safe, and living it wild for one night. Wild camping in Scotland or overnight parking in Wales will save you a bulk of your costs. Just be sure to check the guidelines, or ask the local owner.
If that isn’t quite your cup of tea, find your ideal campsite, where you may even have the luxury of running warm water! And if you don’t, the social nesting of a campsite is enough to entice even the most reluctant individual, think of the chance to play cards or chat over a campfire with fellow camping enthusiasts.
Sticking to your Budget
Write your budget down, day by day if you need, so that you can really stick to it. It's okay to go over budget sometimes! Enjoy yourself, but keep an eye on it so you don't have a nasty surprise when you arrive home and check your bank statement. It can also be helpful to use cash and seperate it into each day. Cash makes you more aware that you're spending, and then you can notice an empty envelope when you've over-spent!
Cooking on a Budget in a Motorhome
Plan your meals ahead, with the same ingredients being used in numerous meals. This will also save space in your cupboards and allow you to think creatively! Choose three spices (not including salt and pepper) that work in a lot of your meals and bring those. Try incorporate tinned beans or lentils into dishes, as these are cheap, nutritious and easy to pack. Cooking in a motorhome is a satisfying challenge.
Rely on fresh fruits and vegetables from the area, to ensure both healthy and budget friendly meals. Keep an eye out for any stalls or markets you pass on your journey.
But always remember, you can always treat yourself to a meal out if you decide! Just don't feel reliant on this.
Avoiding unnecessary costs
One of the main unnecessary costs you’ve avoided at this point will be ridiculous prices for restaurants or take out, and in return you’ve got platefuls of delicious meals testing your inner Jamie Oliver!
Another great cost of the motorhome travels is fuel. It is an unavoidable cost, unless you plan to stay stationary. But always plan ahead on the road! Keep an eye out for petrol station prices, so that when you see a low one you can fill the whole tank up! Apps like Waze also show you the cheapest prices for filling up, and when in doubt avoid city petrol stations.
But also keep that other eye watching the traffic, a car accident is not in the budget! And drive at a normal speed - as we’re sure you already plan to- in order to avoid wasting petrol. Another way to save up juice is through minimizing your use of any heating or air conditioning, instead relying on those wonderful windows and another layer of clothing.
If you plan to hike or engage in outdoor sports - avoid those insane prices from buying the necessities in the store! While we strongly recommend getting the right gear, first check with family, friends or fellow campers. Perhaps you can borrow it, or at least buy it second hand. If all else fails, some stores allow you to rent equipment, so you can think about whether you’ll be using these items enough to be worth purchasing them or if renting is a better option.
For all your shopping needs - be it food, flashlights or batteries- plan a big shop at your closest outlet or factory store, where you can buy gear and supplies at a discount and save some pennies. Shopping at gas stations when in need is a sure way to blow your money.
Keeping it fun!
The wonderful perk of camping is that you barely notice you’re on a budget, compared to so many other types of holidays. Spend your days without spending pounds, and see how easy it is!
Beautiful weather? Go for a lovely hike, try your hand at fishing, or swim in a nearby river. Spend your time collecting wood for a lovely campfire for the evening, on which you can roast delicious marshmallows (we checked, and they're affordable on any budget!).
Bad weather? Curl up in your motorhome covered in a cosy quilt. Beat your loved ones at board games - here at Goboony, we are big fans of board and card games when it comes to social evening entertainment in a campervan! Try some new card games, a simple google search will teach you games you’ve never even heard of - but be sure to do this prior to your trip for a lack of wifi later.
And then in the calm night-time, participate in one of the most spectacular, and free, activities camping has to offer: watching the starry sky with someone you care about. It is easy to forget in are largely urbanised lives, that you don’t need to be spending money to have a good time, and hiring a campervan and getting out on a trip is a great way to remind you to be creative, have good wholesome and also important, free fun!
Any budget camping tips you feel we've missed? Any hacks for staying on a budget during your motorhome holiday? Let us know and we'll include them. Organise your motorhome hire and let your journey begin!