You dream of going on a road trip but you haven't tried the experience yet, then this article is made for you! We imagine that you have lots of questions before you start and if it can reassure you, we have also been there!
With Aurel, we rented several vans before deciding to buy ours: our first van was in California in 2014, then in Tenerife, Croatia, Sardinia, etc. In short, different countries, different vans (new, vintage, vans, vans) and different seasons (spring/summer and autumn/winter).
What / Which van to rent?
The key to going on a road trip is finding the right vehicle! So which vehicle to choose? The 2 criteria which seem to us the most important are the format / the size of the vehicle and its condition / age.
The format: there are different formats for all needs!
- The van for the minimalists: Less than 5m long and 2m high, it accommodates between 2 and 4 people (with a pop-up roof). It has a “go anywhere” format and is very easy to drive. However, the lack of space can be felt on cold and rainy days.
- The van fitted out for “more” space and to be more comfortable: Less than 6.5m long, and approximately 2.5m high. It accommodates between 2 and 5 people depending on the layout. It's a good compromise to have more space without having a vehicle that is too long. The shower and toilet are often included and the bed is fixed which avoids doing it and undoing it every day.
- The motorhome for even more comfort: with a length of more than 6m, it can accommodate up to 6 people depending on the layout. Very well equipped, it feels (almost) like home. The size can be a bit large, making it difficult to navigate on small streets and to park in town.
There are also other options such as rooftop tents, caravans, etc.
The condition of the vehicle, a point not to be overlooked:
- Very recent vehicle, all beautiful, brand new, with the latest features and options.
- Used vehicle, already traveling for a few years, it has its charm and has already lived.
- Vintage vehicle, very stylish and a way to slow travel (maximum speed of 80km/h). It's always good to have some basic mechanics.
Go with who?
That's a good question!
We can go as a couple, with friends, lovers, in family (children usually love going on a road trip!) or even on your own (meetings are part of the trip!)
For all those wishing to go on a family trip, don't hesitate to get the book "Vanlife en Famille" by Magali Selvi from @Lesvoyagesdetao. She shares her advice and tips for traveling with mini-vanlifers.And for those who want to learn more about van travel, we recommend the book "Voyager en van" by Tifenn and Kevin of @ThreeVanlifers
Where to rent?
Today, it is possible to rent a van, converted van or motorhome in many countries, and in all regions of France. It will then be very easy for you to find a renter wherever you are via rental agencies, professionals or private individuals.
We tell you a little more:
Rental through agencies:
- Through national agencies such as We Van, Roadsurfers, Black Sheep, Indie Campers and Vintage Camper for vintage combis etc. (non-exhaustive list)
- Via professional rental companies.The agency is often managed locally by a team that takes great care of their travellers. We find for example Bloom Campers in Nantes, Vanille Experience in Caen, Nomadism in Paris and Bordeaux and many others (the list is long... ).
Rental from person to person:
It is also possible to rent your van to other nomadic travellers, private to private (exactly the same concept as Airbnb, but for converted vehicles).
You will be able to find different types of vans, converted vans and motorhomes and meet passionate travelers who will share with you good addresses to discover their region and who will be able to answer all your questions about vanlife.
So there are specialized platforms that oversee rental and allow you to rent safely (insurance, etc.)
- Yescapa, established 10 years ago and #1 in Europe. Also very practical if you want to rent abroad and discover a new country.
- Wikicampers, specializes in the rental and resale of vans and motorhomes between individuals.
GoBoony, just arrived in France, it is number 1 in the Netherlands and Belgium.
And a little surprise, in collaboration with Yescapa:
Enjoy €30 reduction on your rental with the code CASAMBU30.
Valid until 31.12.2022.
When to go?
You can leave whenever you want, this is one of the big advantages of road trips in a van, camper van or motorhome! For the first time, we recommend the summer period (May to October) to make the most of the long days and pleasant temperatures!
(We traveled through Croatia in a small van in November and to be honest we were still often very cold!)
Our little tips from friends:
- avoid regions that are too touristy in high season, it is not always easy to find a spot and everyone ends up in the same place.
- Do not go to a region where the temperatures rise (+30°C), you risk being (very) hot in your small rolling oven:D
- Try to leave for at least 3-4 days, the time to find your little habits and fully enjoy.
How to rent?
Today, everything is done online You can make a pre-booking on the website of the agency, the professional rental company or via a connection platform for private rental in order to benefit from of their insurance in the event of glitches and facilitate the transaction.
How much does it cost?
The price of renting a van can vary depending on the season, the type of van, camper van or motorhome and the agency.
In general, it is necessary to count between 90€ and 150€ per night for vans, vans or motorhomes. Renting from private to private is often a little cheaper than from an agency.
Why go on a road trip?
If you've read the article so far, you already have very good reasons to go on a road trip:
- Discover Vanlife
- Test different types of vehicles before buying yours
- Disconnect and go on an adventure
- Travel without planning
- Change horizons
- Watch a different sunset every night
- And certainly plenty of other good reasons to take the first step and try the adventure!
So we have more than one thing to tell you:
Let's hit the road and ... ENJOY !!!!