The moment you have been dreaming about has finally come, and you are getting ready to embark on your long-awaited caravan getaway. If you have bought a caravan precisely with the plan to make it your home for the next few months, you must be eagerly looking forward to the adventure.
While the prospect of a dreamy getaway can be very exciting, you cannot just up and leave on a whim. Long-term caravan travelling is not for the faint-hearted, and a lot of deliberation and planning must go into preparing for a trip, particularly if you plan to travel with family.
There are a few key elements you must consider to plan and prepare for your long-term caravan, and we are here to help. Read on to learn a few tips you may find helpful in planning for your long-term caravan travel.
Choose a Destination
You may already have a destination in mind before you even begin to plan your trip. However, we recommend this as the first step, as other planning aspects must be done in accordance with the destination you have in mind.
Whether the destination is weeks away or hours away, you must have a plan according to your circumstances. If you plan to explore multiple places, you must list them down since you will be on the road for a long time.
Determine Your Route and Itinerary
Once you have the locations planned out that you want to visit, draft a rough itinerary around them with room for alterations or a last-minute change of plans. This will help you plan a route that you can follow to touch all the places you plan to visit or stay at.
There are various apps like Google Maps, RV Trip Wizard, or RV Plan that you can use to navigate and get information about stopovers, campsites, routes, locations, etc. Moreover, your itinerary must also take into account the seasons so you can plan your routes and pack accordingly.
Draft a Budget
Long-term caravan travelling means that you need extensive resources to fund your travel and have a comfortable trip. Hence it is important that you allocate resources after careful consideration and have sufficient funds for fuel, food, parking, and stopovers.
While you can always find free stopovers and sites, you must allocate money for stopovers since free parking is not always available. Also, set aside extra cash for any unforeseen events or emergencies.
If you want to control your expenses, you may want to do a little planning and get yourself educated on self-reliance. From finding free camping spots to preparing your own meals, there are many things you can do to contain your expenses.
Preparing for the Trip
If you do not have much experience travelling in a caravan, consider taking a smaller trip to a nearby location before taking on a bigger adventure. You need time and practice to get used to your rig so you can navigate it, know its ins and outs, and manage it easily on the road.
Also, before you hit the road, ensure your caravan is in good working condition. Make a checklist of all the important elements like the brakes, tyres, and other vital components, and ensure that all are in good working order.
A breakdown in the middle of the journey is sure to mar what can otherwise be the adventure of a lifetime. If possible and your budget allows, take it in for a full service so the mechanic can check everything, including the lights, brakes, tyres, exterior frame, etc.
Also, get your towing vehicle checked and serviced to ensure it is in good working condition to tow the caravan.
If you plan to take your caravan on off-road tracks, you must ensure that your caravan is adequately equipped for the route. You may want to add a few additional elements like car window shades and keep a basic repair kit for any unforeseen events.
Packing for the Trip
You may be going away for a long time, but your caravan’s legal weight limit will remain the same. Therefore you must be mindful of what you pack and what you leave behind. Keep a week’s worth of clothing appropriate for the season for yourself and your family.
Keep a clothing line handy, and where possible, do the laundry for the next use cycle.
You must also remember to bring a few essential grocery items, particularly if you plan to cook your own meals. Also, pack food for your pets if you plan to bring them along. You will also need some lightweight pans, crockery, utensils, toiletries, a first aid kit, bedding, and entertainment material for the trip.
Make sure not to exceed the legal weight limit. It can not only land you in trouble with the authorities but can also be damaging for the caravan and the towing vehicle.
Taking Care of Things Back Home
If you are going away for a long time, you must tie loose ends back home to ensure everything is taken care of. You can rent your house to get additional income and fund your trip. Alternatively, you can hire a house-sitter who can take care of your plants and pets, collect your mail, and tend to your property while you are away.
If you are expecting important mail while you are away, you can arrange to deliver it to where you plan to stay. Also, if you do not plan to take your pets along, you can ask a friend, family member, or neighbour to look after them.