avatar Jonathan November 15, 2021

How a campervan can help save your mental health – not to mention your holiday plans

Don’t overlook the freedom and flexibility a campervan offers your family

What images spring to mind when you hear the name, “Mauritius”?

Sunny beaches? Stunning waterfalls? Vibrant, colorful reefs?

These and more, for sure. But would you have ever imagined thinking that a holiday break to a destination vastly closer to your home could be far preferable to all that?

Well, perhaps at least more feasible? Practical? Or more affordable?

I’m sure no one has to remind you, but we’re living in the post-COVID era – where your plane tickets may only be as good as your entire family’s ability to steer 100% clear of any positive diagnosis. And, when you have a child attending school, that becomes even more difficult.

While vaccines have certainly made things better, you can’t book a flight these days and be 100% confident that it will go ahead. And sadly, being fully vaccinated doesn’t guarantee that you will definitely avoid the virus.

It’s all very well to have insurance covering any unexpected COVID-related cancellations or expenses. But that doesn’t ease the disappointment of binning a longer-range trip at the last minute. Or possibly worse, needing to self-isolate, or risk not being able to travel home when you expect to.

Revel in your independence

Just about any campervan owner will tell you that it’s one of the great joys of the #vanlife.

Having more control over your travel plans actually gives you more freedom and flexibility. Not only can you live more spontaneously, you should feel far safer in your own living space where you have control over who comes and goes.

When you consider the prospect of being stuck in an aeroplane with strangers for hours (even if everyone wears masks properly at all times), the idea of being in your own secluded ‘campervan bubble’ starts to seem quite appealing.

That’s why the strong interest in campervans and staycations isn’t that surprising. They make so much sense and provide a safer, more predictable way to travel – particularly for those who are considered vulnerable.

Despite COVID lurking everywhere, people still want to get out and about. And, probably more than ever in light of the recent lockdowns we’ve faced in the UK.

Less worry, more control

We all know that a change of scenery is really good for you and your mental health – just remember that you don’t have to jump on an aeroplane to achieve this. Even one night away, or a day trip to the countryside or beach may be enough to raise anyone’s spirits.

Just relaxing in your campervan, away from the daily chores at home may be all you need. Most campsites have COVID measures in place for extra hygiene in toilet and showerblocks. The check-in process has been streamlined at many sites as well, so you can minimise contact with others.

Think that traveling by campervan outside the summer season isn’t optimal? I wouldn’t hesitate, to be honest. Instead of constantly applying sun cream under the blistering heat of Mauritius, you’ll have a nice, cozy campervan and a favourite hoodie or jumper for warmth. That’s not even to mention the lure of a safely tended campfire! Just swap “sunbathing” for “scenic walks” or “a pub lunch by a roaring fire.”

By the way, campervan holidays don’t have to be staycations in the UK any longer. You’re allowed to venture across the channel in your own vehicle again. You can make good progress with a campervan, so getting to anywhere on mainland Europe is within easy reach.

If you are really searching for some sunshine to replace a destination like Mauritius, you could drive down to the South of France with a stopover in Paris – or head over to Italy or Croatia. Did you know you can get a ferry direct from the UK to Spain?

Tips for taking to the road

If you do take your campervan abroad, there is still the possibility of travel regulations changing while you’re out of the country. Don’t worry, with the independence of your own vehicle, you can just pack up and head home. That may turn out to be far easier than trying to beat the rush for available flights.

Does that remind you of the scene when the pandemic first hit Europe? There were plenty of people away on campsites in popular winter sun locations like Spain and Portugal. But, the situation changed quickly. When France and Spain announced they were going into lockdown, there was a steady stream of campervans and motorhomes heading north out of the country and back to their homes in other parts of Europe. I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather have the ability to make progress in that situation rather than potentially being marooned in an airport.

It’s worth pointing out that thanks to COVID and Brexit, taking a motoring road trip across the channel involves some new rules and requirements, such as proof that you’re double vaccinated. To enter some countries, you may also have to pay for a test to prove you don’t have COVID, and there are restrictions on bringing along certain foods.

Your pets can still travel abroad in your campervan with you. But, again, check what paperwork you need as it has recently changed. Note that the ‘GB’ sticker we used to put on our vehicles when going abroad has been replaced with a UK one.

Travelling abroad isn’t as simple as it used to be, so keep an eye on the government website for all the latest updates and note that regulations can vary from country to country.

Takeaways

Wherever your campervan takes you, whether UK or abroad, there will be plenty of memories to make. If you get somewhere and don’t like it, you’ve got the option of adjusting your plans and heading off to somewhere new.

With a campervan, there’s always an open road connecting you to new places and new sights. Don’t overlook this advantage!

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