Back when we were building the campervan, I did wonder how we’d get on with the whole camping thing. Staying in caravan parks. Having to remember a key (or, even worse, a code) when you’re hopping from one foot to the other, desperate for the loo. Reliving memories from guide camp of wearing clothes still damp from the previous day’s downpour. Making awkward conversation with other bleary-eyed campers on the early morning walk to the shower block. Sand everywhere. Ants in the cornflakes.
I wasn’t sure such proximity to either nature or neighbours would improve a minibreak.
But, I have been converted! Granted, we are not proper camping. We’ve been lucky with the weather (better than the Peak District) and having our own bathroom – however tiny – makes a huge difference. As does having a husband whose new hobby is evacuating every grain of sand from the wooden floors.
I’m not quite ready to relinquish my subscription to the Best Hotel Guide, but campervan minibreaks are definitely growing on me.
Here are our five best things about spending a weekend in a campervan:
- It feels like a proper break. As soon as you leave the house – and with it the endless domestic chores that would otherwise consume your weekend – even an express 24-hour trip away feels like a mini-holiday. And arriving home on Sunday afternoon still leaves you enough time to do the important stuff before work on Monday.
- You are completely self sufficient. You can drive to the middle of nowhere and everything you could possibly need is in easy reach, in the little space behind you.
- You don’t have that sense of foreboding on going-home day. While the proper campers on the next pitch are up at 6am trying to dismantle their canvas empires and cram everything into a trailer before the storm clouds roll in (in the knowledge that they have reverse the entire process when they get home), we fold up the chairs, unplug the power and drive off. The downside to this that while we can make a quick exit, our pitch never looks quite as homely as our neighbours’. Perhaps I should add a few pot plants to my list of campervan essentials.
- Eating breakfast al fresco. We’re lucky in Brisbane that it’s warm enough to eat breakfast outside for nine months of the year. But somehow when you’re at home, walking five extra steps to unlock the back door while juggling your porridge always seems too strenuous first thing in a morning.
- It’s cheap! Okay, the initial outlay to buy or build a campervan / caravan is not cheap, but once you’re on the road, you hardly have to pay for anything. Luckily after nine months, it’s still a novelty to rustle up a meal in our little kitchen, so we rarely eat out and our only costs are petrol and camping fees.
So last weekend we went to Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast. It was a beautiful weekend; the lifeguards were getting ready for the first patrol of the summer, so we spent most of our time on the beach watching the rescue boats zooming up and down.
We stayed at Cottontree Holiday Park which has the most perfect location backing onto the beach. Campsite review coming soon!
So, fellow campervanners and caravanners – what are your favourite aspects of camping?