When is the best time to take motorhome or camper van road trip? That is the question that many are challenged with year after year. For many, holiday times are tied to the school holidays. However, with a road trip, the lure of the open road and freedom to go where ever you want is hard to resist. There are many other factors that determine the best times for road trips. In this article, we run through each season, suggest the best road trip destinations and the reasons to visit.
Road adventures for the Spring
The Spring season is filled with numerous opportunities to get away from Easter to the half-term holidays. The weather generally improves over the Spring months and people’s minds turn to holiday planning. Road trips during the Spring will give you that feeling of adventure once again. The daffodils are in bloom and the days are getting longer. Your destinations could include:
Belgium may be small but the country has plenty to offer. Many make the mistake of visiting Brussels and then calling it done. Yes, the city does offer some fantastic architecture and fine beer but you should also consider including other destinations such as Ghent; Antwerp; Bruges and Leige to your itinerary. Campsites throughout the country are renowned for being reasonably priced, spacious and welcoming.
The warm Italian sunshine makes the country’s campsites very attractive. Visiting the vast number of sights and coupled with plenty of walking, Italian road trips blows the winter cobwebs away.
One of the most underrated destinations there is, but at least it remains relatively tourist-free and well-priced. Crossing mountains, and driving along the coast, the country’s changing landscape offers some of the best views in Europe.
One of the best seasons to visit Switzerland is Spring. You can either catch the last of the skiing action out on the slopes or enjoy the warmer weather with a decent hike. The architecture within the cities is to be appreciated and the Swiss people are amongst the friendliest in Europe. Last but not least, don’t forget the chocolate. However, do prepare for the Swiss toll roads.
Fancy planning road trips a little closer to home perhaps? England has plenty to offer. The London to Cornwall route, very few have done it but it allows you to enjoy the south of England and appreciate why the route is the ultimate seaside getaway. Prefer the north? There is always the London to Edinburgh road trip although it is not of those pressed for time. Either way, you don’t have very far to go to simply pitch up at a campsite and enjoy a weekend with family and friends.
As long as you get plenty of time outdoors and replenish your Vitamin D reserves, Spring is a great time for road trips.
Summer Road Trips
The obvious choice, as who does not love a Summer road trip? Spending your holiday on the road, enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures, Summer is the ideal time of the year for those that cannot take time off at other times. If you have kids who are at school, you can plan your road trip around their summer holidays.
Avoiding the hottest countries in the Summer has its advantages, it can get too hot in the motorhome or you can get caught up in the popular tourist traps. Otherwise, travelling to cooler Summer climates that would be far too cold in the winter, your destination list could include:
Can be rather cold in the winter months so make the most of the sunshine. A Scottish road trip is certainly one for the bucket list including the North Coast 500 or the South West Coastal 300. Edinburgh and Inverness are your must-see cities.
Always worth a visit to the Emerald Isle. Motorhome road trips are ideal for exploring this vast country, in particular its countryside. Consider planning at least a week visiting Ireland and ready yourself for plenty of Guinness. This is one of more budget-friendly trips as you can enjoy the advantages of free motorhome camping in Ireland. The best route to take in most of Ireland has to offer, take the ‘Ring of Kerry’ or the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’.
A popular destination in Europe and another place to spend at least a week there. This is a good road trip destination for city lovers as you can drive between each of the cultural melting pots.
This country boasts nature that you will simply not find elsewhere in Europe, it is quite a gorgeous place. Take a road trip through the Fjords whilst enjoying the lovely weather. Try a spot of wild camping too as Norway is one of the few European countries that allow it.
You will be shocked once you travel outside of Amsterdam at how devoid of tourists the country is. The tulips of Keukenhof is a must-visit, walk the canal-lined streets, spend a weekend exploring Friesland and sample plenty of cheese.
These summer destinations will be generally less busy yet offer warm summer temperatures to enable plenty of exploring.
Another summertime idea for your motorhome hire is to visit a festival. Add to your festival experience by hiring a campervan which will offer all the comfort and safety. Be sure to pack warm clothes, although it is the summer, evening temperatures can cool rapidly and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Road escapades during the Autumn
It is far quieter in the Autumn months and yet you may get the tail end of any ‘Indian’ summer sun in September. There will be plenty of space to stretch out on the beaches and being out of season, your motorhome hire will be cheaper. This allows you to budget far better.
If you have children, the half-term break perhaps offers the only opportunity for road trips but you will get far better value for money and shorten the time to the Christmas break. Your destination list could include:
Usually in the Summer, you will be amongst the crowds along the Amalfi Coast. In September, you will have crystal clear waters and beaches pretty much to yourself. You could take a road trip to Sicily or Sardinia, in Italy the choices are pretty much endless.
Figuring out which destinations not to visit in France can be an issue if you are limited on time as there are many great places to visit. You could always try ‘Napoleon road trip’ to get the best France can offer.
The summer heat in Spain can touch the mid-forties, by September the heat is much more manageable. Be sure to consider such destinations like Nerja, Santander, Seville and Menorca to name a few to get the last of the summer sun.
As the country has a substantial coastline, you may be lucky enough to catch a surf camp. This is one of the main draws of Portugal. A top recommendation for the Autumn would be Porto and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of a campsite.
Another underrated destination for road trips. Wine tours, motorhome travel, city trips, hiking and bathing are some of the main attractions the country has to offer. Budapest is a must-see and the weather should just about hold off at this time of year.
The end of Summer can come with certain disappointment as the hum-dum of ‘real’ life beckons. But your year should not just be about waiting for the arrival of next Summer, it is the moments in between and the opportunities to make more memories with an Autumn road trip.
Touring Winter Wonderlands
Enjoy the perks of a winter road trip and perhaps make you next Christmas a very special one. No tourists is the most obvious perk along with cheap motorhome hire and not having to wait til the summer months to take another break. Very few things will beat a Christmas motorhome holiday with the family. The popular motorhome destinations are those places that do not get too cold during the winter season:
This is a good opportunity to try wild camping in France as most campsites will be closed for the winter. The south of France is your best option coupled with visits to Marseille, Nice and Monaco. To avoid any unnecessary expense, be mindful of the toll routes in France.
Portugal is one of the warmer European countries during the winter although the evenings can be chilly. At any time of the year, visiting the beaches is great even if you cannot swim in the open sea. The long beaches offer themselves up for a good stroll. Be mindful of the toll roads in Portugal and plan accordingly.
Maybe even consider a frosty getaway and experience winter camping. Some places appeal even more during the winter, perfectly timed for a winter road trip:
The large cities of Berlin, Munich and Düsseldorf are all calmer during the winter. Do make a road trip into Germany even if it is just for the Christmas Markets.
Road trips much closer to home through the Welsh countryside is always a joy. Wales can get pretty cold, but it is gorgeous to walk through its stunning nature and not come across another soul for miles. Do not miss the Welsh Christmas Markets either.
Winter is the ideal time for a holiday in the UK. The unpredictable nature of the British weather during winter makes renting a motorhome that much more appealing as it gives you flexibility. Even if you do spend the majority of your time inside the van, that come be an adventure in itself. Reading, writing, playing games and cooking can all be done to relax with the electric heater close by.
A winter motorhome holiday offers an opportunity to go on a ski holiday. Many take their campervan for a ski trip and it is actually one of the best ways to enjoy your time on the slopes. Even the UK boasts some ski slopes which are only a short distance away.
So Spring, Autumn, Winter or Summer? When will you consider taking a motorhome out on road trips? As you have just read, the options are endless. Do not focus too much on the when to go but more on the where to go and enjoy the ride. With a good road map and motorhome rental plus you favourite people alongside you, you will be guaranteed a fantastic road trip.