With the costs of everything rising, including travel, it can feel like a holiday is a far larger expense than it should be. But you deserve a trip away to explore somewhere new and give your mind a break. And it’s still possible to take an affordable motorhome holiday, especially with these 12 travel tips!
Making your trip budget-friendly is just about planning ahead and being frank with yourself about what you really need, or even want, during your trip. So check out our top tips for making your trip cheaper and even more fun!
1. Opt for a smaller campervan
When hiring a motorhome, people often assume they need more than they actually do. They’ll go for a motorhome with toilets or showers, even though they’re staying at a campsite where they can use the facilities. They’ll get a large vehicle which is not only more expensive, but uses more fuel and is more difficult to park.
Really consider what you need in your motorhome hire, and it’s likely you could opt for a smaller van. This will save you a lot in rental fee and fuel usage. Before choosing one with extra amenities like toilets, showers or TVs, think about whether you’ll even use these.
Most people don’t need a toilet in their van, as they can use facilities on-site and rest stations along the way. Plus, it’s quite a hassle to clean a motorhome toilet, so it isn’t always worth the effort.
If you can, opt for a smaller and simpler van to save money on your campervan trip.
2. Choose your campsite carefully
Just like people choose campervans that have more than they need, the same goes for campsites. People flock to elaborate holiday parks with swimming pools, saunas and tennis courts. If you plan to make use of these facilities, then that’s fab! But if you have a busy schedule of exploring, biking, visiting museums and more, then you’re paying a lot of money for facilities you won’t even make much use of.
Consider what you’re looking for in your trip and adapt your campsite plans accordingly. If there’s a beach nearby, you might not need or want a swimming pool at your campsite. If you’re not travelling with kids, then you don’t need a holiday park that caters to families.
Another way to find cheaper campsites is to stay further from cities. Campsites closest to a big city will be far more expensive. If you’re looking to mainly enjoy the great outdoors and maybe only visit the city once or twice, stay further away and save up to £15 a night!
If you have decided to travel in a more luxurious motorhome, then you definitely don’t need a motorhome site with many facilities, as you’ve got them all in your home on wheels.
3. Book in advance
You can save a lot of money simply by booking far in advance! Places want to sort their bookings far in advance, so they offer discounts if you arrange it months before. It can be difficult to plan far in advance, but it’s a great way to save money. This also allows you to do adequate research and compares businesses, as you’re not restricted by their availability as you would be later.
4. Travel in the off-season
Often we travel in summer just because it’s what we know. But if you’re not restricted to the summer holidays by kids in school or your job, then travelling outside of peak season can save you a lot.
Not only is motorhome hire cheaper in the off-season, but campsites and attractions are as well. Your whole trip will essentially cost less just by moving it forward to May or later to October.
You’ll also avoid crowds and traffic jams - the latter of which will reduce your fuel usage and thus costs as well! It’ll be far calmer and allow you to do more things with your time. Plus then you can enjoy summer in your own city!
5. Compare fuel prices
You’d be surprised how much fuel costs can vary between stations. Especially now with costs higher than ever, it’s worth seeing where the best offer is. Use apps like Waze to compare fuel prices and then plan accordingly. By planning ahead and not leaving it until the last litres, you can choose the best option and save up to £15 on a full tank!
6. Travel slow and light
Another way to save money on fuel is to use less of it. Sounds obvious enough, but how? We’ve got plenty of tips on using less fuel while driving, but the main one is travelling light. Ensure that you always drive your motorhome with an empty or near-empty water tank. Just carry a few bottles of water for on the road. Empty the waste water tank before leaving as well. This can make such a difference in the weight of your motorhome.
Check your tires before departing, as worn tires will use more fuel. Also aim to drive defensively, as constantly braking will use up your fuel. Drive in a higher gear and keep the same speed.
Don’t forget that you don’t need to go so far from home for a motorhome trip. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly holiday, then stay closer to home and appreciate the local area. Instead of doing a road trip with a dozen stops, make it a smaller journey and enjoy each destination properly. Slow travel is the budget-friendly way to travel nowadays.
7. Make a packing list
Preparation is the key to keeping things affordable! Make a packing list before your trip, or use our complete campervan checklist. This will ensure you don’t have to buy things on the road, where there’ll be more expensive and things you didn’t really need.
Preparing also allows you to spend less in other areas. For example, buy food in your local supermarket to avoid overpriced gas stations or higher prices in tourist areas. Make a meal plan so you don’t buy more than you need and can reuse ingredients.
By bringing things to do in your van, you’re less likely to get bored and spend more money later. It’s easy to spend a whole day of a motorhome trip without spending, just by having things to do outside, card games for the evening and food from an affordable shop.
8. Eat in!
Speaking of food, your campervan comes with kitchen facilities, so use them! Buy a bunch of groceries at the start of your trip and enjoy cooking in your campervan. There are plenty of delicious camping meals you can make, and it’s a great part of the experience.
Pack snacks for driving so you’re not tempted to buy a stale sandwich from a petrol station for £5. You could make popcorn and put it into bags, cut some vegetables to dip in hummus, or even make your own delicious sandwiches!
You can still enjoy a meal or two in a restaurant during your trip, but make those a planned treat rather than a necessity. And carefully choose where you’ll do this. Aim for a local restaurant where you can enjoy fresh produce, rather than a chain restaurant in a city.
9. Go outside
The best way to avoid spending extra money is just to go outside! Nature is free and waiting for you. You can spend a day strolling a National Park or Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty. You could bring your bike and follow the many trails available. If you pack a picnic, you won’t even have to spend on lunch either.
To keep things interesting, you could try geocaching to make your walk even more entertaining. You could download an app about bird watching and see how many you can spot.
Alternatively, you could go swimming in a lake or visit a beach for a free activity. If you want something different for one afternoon and you’re happy to pay a little bit, you could hire a kayak or go on a boat tour.
10. Visit free museums
Museums can be more expensive than you’d think. And while we’re all for getting a bite of culture during your trip, there’s a way to do it in a budget-friendly fashion. There are countless free museums and art galleries across the UK, so visit those instead. You can easily fill a rainy day with free cultural pursuits.
You can also visit a lot of historic landmarks for free, so instead of paying over £20 per person to visit Stonehenge, head to a free landmark instead.
11. Avoid tourist hubs
Places that get a lot of tourists will always charge more, whether that’s for admission to museums and attractions, food and drink in restaurants, or campsites. Not to mention that these places will be crowded, so you’ll end up waiting in queues and enjoying them less.
There are so many incredible places to explore in the UK. Don’t go to the most obvious choices, and instead take the path less travelled. Instead of doing the North Coast 500, why not try the Fife Coastal Route? Instead of visiting the Lake District, why not go to High Weald AONB? Instead of going to Cornwall, why not visit the Pembrokeshire Coast? If you want to visit an island, don’t go to the popular choice of the Isle of Wight or Skye, but instead head to Anglesey or the Isle of Arran.
You’ll discover the most beautiful, and budget-friendly, places simply by finding somewhere less well-known.
12. Refer a friend
A great way to reduce the cost of your trip is to refer others. Many businesses operate with a referral scheme. At Goboony, we offer £30 off a future trip if someone books using your code. So recommend Goboony to friends and family, and get a good chunk off of your next motorhome hire!
It’s easier than ever to have a cheap campervan trip this summer. With a little planning and flexibility, you can make your motorhome trip more affordable and still a lot of fun! We’ve got plenty of budget camping tips to make your holiday wallet-friendly. The first step is to hire a cheap campervan for your trip and then the planning can begin.