Europe in a campervan – our pre trip costs

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When we decided that we’d travel around Europe in a campervan for our big trip, we felt it would be quite a budget way of doing it.

Of course, travel budgets are bandied about quite a lot and I’ve said before that we intend this trip to be at the very budget end of the scale.  We’ll try to detail our costs as the trip progresses so anyone else wanting to try to do this kind of trip has some idea of how we did it (edit – we weren’t very good at this, sorry!).  It must be said though that how we do it will probably not be ideal for everyone!

Europe in a campervan

So this post will detail our pre trip costs as when you are in a campervan that is a big part of the budget!  Some costs have been guesstimates as to be honest I’ve been a bit rubbish at keeping track of it all.

Again, what we’re travelling in won’t suit everyone, so if you’d like a spanking new campervan take our figures with a pinch of salt!  But if you’re happy with an older van and are looking to buy in the UK read on…

Campervan £4000

europe in a campervan - our pre trip costsCampervans can be expensive depending on what you want and you can spend way more than what we did.  We really wanted at least a 5 berth camper so both kids could have their own space and we found a 25 year old van that looks kind of tired inside, but which James assures me isn’t too bad mechanically.

Gloria is the name of our van and she was amazing!  She was an old Fiat Dethleffs Globetrotter.

Campervan Insurance – £450

we went with Adrian Flux and it includes breakdown assistance.  Not great cover for longer trips as only covers 2 months at a time in europe (although I guess I could increase it for a further premium) but was fine for our needs as we want to explore the UK more too.  Having the breakdown cover was great for peace of mind!

Campervan repairs, MOT, Tax, additions, extras – £640

Solar panels, fabric for curtains, bits and bobs that you *need* for a camper trip all comes here.

MOT was £120 (phew!), car tax for the year was £220.  We probably spent another £300 on extras for the van.

Travel Insurance – £100

I bought multi trip cover for the periods we’re out of the UK (make sure the policy covers your trip length, ours covers up to 90 days out of the country.  You might find that as EU citizens you don’t need it (make sure you have the EHIC though), but we felt like it was important for us.

World Nomads has often been quoted as a good travel insurance for longer term trips so if you’re not an EU citizen it might be worth getting a quote from them.

Clothes and shoes –  £200

I guess we’d buy this stuff anyway, but we spent more on shoes than we would normally I think, so I’ll add that which is about £200

Campervan Guide Books and planning materials, site subscriptions. – £170

We have invested in some books with sites we can park up in while we’re in Europe.  There are many Aires and motorhome parking areas, but knowing where they are is another thing and these books will hopefully save some diesel while we drive round looking for them!  They include the grid references of the stops so really useful   We got a couple, we have the French Aire book and the european CamperStop book.  We also recently have bought the France Passion book which for £25 gives us access to farms in France where we can stay overnight for free – another idea that we’re excited to try out.

There is also a good site we signed up to called WildCamping which has a database of UK sites that are possible to wild camp in.  The UK is not like the rest of mainland europe where campervans and motorhomes are encouraged, so I think this will be a good resource for us.  There’s also a good forum with lots of helpful members too 🙂  £10

Guidebooks (I picked up second hand Lonely Planet guides for a couple of quid each) and maps too – £15

Memberships to housesitting and workaway sites – £60

Overall spent – £170

Tech – £90

We bought a new sat nav for £90 but other than that, the tech is stuff we have already and we’ve not bought anything else specifically for this trip.

Days out memberships – £170

We renewed our English Heritage and National Trust memberships which cost £170.   I think we’ll get our moneys worth here though.

TOTAL – £5820

Not as bad as I was expecting!!  But certainly interesting when you think that you could spend that money on flights to a cheap part of the world to live for a bit.  That may be another adventure for another time though 😉

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Kirsty Bartholomew

Kirsty has been getting lost around the world for over 30 years and writing about it for 10 of those. She loves to explore the UK and Europe and has a particular penchant for historical sites.

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