When is the Best Time to Take a Road Trip?

April 14, 2020 in Tips for Travellers

A tricky question many of us are faced with; what is the best time to take a road trip? For a road trip is a holiday like no other, faced with the gorgeous open road and the freedom to go anywhere you want! The best time of year for a road trip depends on many factors, so we’ll look at each season and suggest the best destinations and reasons to go then. 

So when is the best time to take a road trip?

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Spring

Spring is filled with opportunities to get away, from Easter camping to half-term, make the most of improving weather and plan a holiday. Everyone needs a break after the relentless winter, and a Spring road trip will allow you to feel the rush of an adventure once more. 

When the flowers are busting, sunshine is starting to pour through the clouds, your Spring road trip destinations should be:

1. Belgium

For a small country, Belgium has got plenty to offer! Many make the mistake of only visiting Brussels, but that would be like thinking London is all the UK has to offer. Whilst Brussels has great architecture and delicious beers, you’ve got to add Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges and Liège to your road trip itinerary. Campsites in Belgium are known for being well-priced, spacious and welcoming.

2. Italy

Nothing says Spring like visiting some of the best campsites in Italy! Enjoy the warm spring sunshine by visiting the numerous Italian sights and heading out for plenty of hikes.

3. Bulgaria

Bulgaria has got to be one of the most underrated destinations of our time, but at least this means it remains tourist free and well-priced! A road trip in Bulgaria is ideal due to the changing landscapes, crossing mountains and driving along the coast. The views are unbeatable.

4. Switzerland

Spring is a great time to visit Switzerland, as you can either catch the last of the slope action or enjoy warmer times with a good hike! I love visiting cities in Switzerland, as I’ve met some of the friendliest people there and love the architecture - also, the chocolate! Be sure to prepare for your road trip in Switzerland by considering the Swiss toll roads and how to handle them.

5. England

A road trip in England is a great way to explore a little closer to home! Too few people have embarked on the London to Cornwall road trip, which allows you to enjoy the south of England and understand why it is the ultimate seaside getaway. Prefer to head north? Enjoy a challenge? Then buckle your seatbelt and cherish everything England has to offer with the London to Edinburgh road trip, not for tight schedules! But you don’t even have to go far, find one of the best campsites in England, pitch up, and simply enjoy a weekend away with friends or family.

Spring is a great time for a road trip, no matter where you go, as long as you spend plenty of time outdoors catching up on that lost vitamin D!

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Summer

This is the most obvious choice, as everybody loves a summer road trip! You get to spend your summer vacation on the road, enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures. This is the ideal time for a road trip for people who cannot take time off during other parts of the year. Especially if you have kids, you can base your road trip around their summer holidays. 

Some people might prefer avoiding the warmest countries for a summer road trip, as it can get too hot in the car, or be plagued with hordes of tourists! So you might want to consider slightly cooler countries in Europe that you couldn’t visit in winter.

My top picks for a summer road trip would be:

1. Scotland 

Scotland can be rather cold other times of year, so it’s best to enjoy the sunshine while it is there! A Scotland road trip is definitely one for the bucket list, with plenty of choices like the North Coast 500 and South West Coastal 300. Be sure to visit the cities whilst there, especially Edinburgh and Inverness.

2. Ireland

The Emerald Isle is always worth a visit! Motorhome holidays in Ireland are ideal for exploring this vast country, particularly the stunning countryside. Be sure to plan in at least a week for visiting this incredible country, and also prepare for a ton of guinness! You can organize your motorhome hire in Ireland for a decent price, and enjoy the perks of free motorhome camping in Ireland, making this a budget-friendly trip. I’d especially recommend the Ring of Kerry road trip, the best way to see as much as possible whilst visiting Ireland.

3. Denmark

Quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations in Europe, you can’t go wrong with a week in Denmark. This is a particularly great road trip destination for city lovers, as you can hop between the numerous cultural hubs.

4. Norway

Norway is simply gorgeous, with nature you won’t find elsewhere in Europe. Enjoy the lovely weather while you take a road trip through the Norwegian fjords - a must-see! Be sure to try wild camping in Norway, as it is one of the few European countries that allow it.

5. The Netherlands

Once you get out of Amsterdam, you’ll be shocked at how few tourists you encounter during your time in the Netherlands. Visit the charming tulips of the Keukenhof, walk the canal lined streets, spend a weekend exploring Friesland and eat plenty of delicious cheese!

These less ‘traditional’ summer holiday destinations will be less busy, and a delightful summer temperature for plenty of exploring. Don’t worry, you can still get a tan in any of these destinations! 

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Another idea for summer motorhome hire is to visit a festival! A campervan is a great addition to your festival experience, providing comfort, safety and plenty of other reasons to hire a motorhome for a festival. Head into summer in style by organising your own festival motorhome hire.

For a summer road trip, be sure to consider your motorhome packing list. Don’t be fooled by summer weather, it can still cool off in the evenings, so be sure to bring a jumper and extra blanket! Also bring plenty of sunscreen and after sun, to avoid extreme prices at a petrol station or smaller stores. 

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Autumn

I love travelling in autumn as it’s so much quieter! You get the remains of summer good weather if you take a motorhome trip in September, but without the hordes of people. Enjoying beaches with enough space to stretch out. Being out of peak season also means that your motorhome hire will be cheaper. This allows you to keep to a better budget for your motorhome holiday!

If you have kids, why not plan your autumn road trip to be during their half-term holiday? You can use summer break to explore your hometown, have your own staycation, and then go all out in half-term break. You’ll get plenty more value for your money and a wonderful break to minimize the time till Christmas!

Choosing destinations for an autumn road trip isn’t too difficult, but I’d definitely recommend going to the ones that are usually stereotyped as summer places to go!

1. Italy

The Amalfi Coast is plagued with people during the summer, but if you head there in September, you’ll get to enjoy the crystal clear waters and have beaches all to yourself. Take a road trip in Sicily or visit Sardinia in a motorhome, in Italy the choices are endless.

2. France

There are numerous great motorhome destinations in France to enjoy on your autumn road trip! Your only issue will be which destinations to include, so that you don’t end up spending five months away. I’d recommend following an itinerary, like the Napoleon road trip, to ensure you get the best this bonne country can offer!

3. Spain

I love visiting Spain in autumn, as I find the heat of summer to be a bit too much. It’s crazy, we complain all year about the rain, and as soon as it’s warm we keep complaining! But still, autumn in Spain allows you to enjoy the sunshine but not feel compelled to constantly seek shelter from it. Given the size of this vibrant country, be sure to consider the best holiday destinations in Spain to add to your road trip.

4. Portugal

If you’re lucky, you can still catch a surf camp in Portugal! As a country covered in coastlines, this is definitely one of the main attractions of a Portugal road trip. But certainly not the only one. Enjoy the laid back atmosphere of a campsite in Portugal, and visit some of the top destinations in Portugal. I’d especially recommend Porto in Autumn! 

5. Hungary

Another underrated road trip destination. A road trip in Hungary combines all my favourite things; wine tours, motorhome travel, city trips, hiking and bathing! Autumn in Budapest is a sight to behold, and the weather should still permit this time of year.

The end of summer can come with a certain sadness, as you go back to ‘real’ life. But your year shouldn’t be about waiting for summer, so make those magical moments in between, such as with an autumn getaway!

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Winter

Make your next Christmas holiday a truly special one, and enjoy the perks of a winter road trip! These perks include no tourists, incredibly cheap campervan hire, and not having to wait all year for summer vacation. Nothing feels as wholesome as Christmas camping in a motorhome with your family, reminding yourselves what this cherished holiday is really about. 

The top motorhome destinations for winter are either ones that don’t get hit too hard by cold weather, such as:

1. France

Given that some campsites in France will be closed during winter, you can take this as an opportunity to try wild camping in France! You’ll probably aim for the south of France for this road trip, enjoying delights such as Marseille, Nice and Monaco. Be sure to consider the toll roads in France, to avoid a nasty surprise when you get home.

2. Portugal

Portugal is a lot warmer than the rest of Europe during winter! Be sure to still bring a few sweaters, especially for the evenings, but enjoy being able to stroll outside without fifty layers. Visiting beaches is amazing, any time of year, even if you can’t swim. Stroll along the sandy stretches, and enjoy the salty breeze. But before embarking on your road trip, be sure to consider toll roads in Portugal and prepare as necessary.

But you might also want a frosty getaway, a chance to experience the treasures of winter camping. Certain destinations are even more beautiful during winter, and with a warm coat and fluffy scarf, nothing is impossible! These are the destinations that come alive during winter, just in time for a winter road trip:

3. Germany 

A haven for travellers throughout the year, enjoy the calmer streets of Berlin, Munich and Dusseldorf. Make a road trip to Germany, even if it is only for the German Christmas markets!

4. Wales 

Close to home, and always a delight. Wales can get pretty cold, but it’s still stunning to walk through the incredible nature and not see anyone else for miles! There are also a selection of great Christmas markets in Wales.

5. England

Winter is the ideal time for a staycation in the UK! If you rent a motorhome in England, you get the flexibility to adapt your holiday to the weather, as it can be so unpredictable. Even if you spend the majority of your time in the motorhome, that can be an adventure of its own! Cooking in your campervan, playing games, reading or writing, there is plenty to do wrapped up, close to the electric heater.

For your winter motorhome holiday, you can also consider an obvious, but not so obvious, choice. Going on a ski holiday with your motorhome! Many never consider taking a campervan for their ski trip, but it is actually one of the best ways to enjoy your time off the slopes. Find out why you should take a motorhome on a ski trip. You can even save flight money by enjoying a ski holiday in the UK, with some fantastic slopes only a short distance away.

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So when will you take your motorhome road trip? In spring, summer, autumn or winter? Now you know, the options are truly endless. For you shouldn’t focus too much on when you go, but merely where to go and who you bring along for the ride! With a good road trip planner, private campervan hire and your favourite people next to you, you’re assured a fantastic road trip.

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