Motorhome holidays are one of the best ways to explore a new country, with the freedom to come and go as you please. We’ve been running tours for over 100 years and in that time we’ve learnt plenty of useful things to share for anyone about to embark on a motorhome trip. View our motorhome tips for beginners below and get in touch if you have any questions about going on your own motorhoming holiday.
1. Travel light
Space in a motorhome can be tight so maximise what you do have by only packing items that you know you’ll use. Make a packing list and ask yourself honestly if you’ll use all of the items on it. Taking only essentials not only saves you space but also makes it easy to get ready in the mornings.
2. Mess leads to stress
Be organised from the start of your journey, a little set up time will pay off in the time you’ll save searching for items throughout your holiday. Once you pick up your motorhome, unpack and find a space for everything. When each item has a place, make sure you keep it there and you should find that essential items are always easy to find.
3. Take advantage of the flexibility
The great thing about motorhoming, even if you have an itinerary booked, is that there’s always flexibility to stray from the chosen path. If you see something on your journey that you’d like to investigate further you can stop and do so, you’re not restrained. Never miss the chance to experience new cultures and discover new places because that could turn out to be the highlight of your holiday. If you’re on one of our Escorted Tours and see something interesting on your route, ask your Tour Escorts about the best way to stop off and explore. It may be that they can help you plan a route to extend your rental to visit a city or place that you didn’t take full advantage of.
4. Make lists and compare
Motorhome rental companies will provide a list of what’s included in your hire vehicle, this helps you to figure out what you’ll need to bring with you. Make a list of what you need on your holiday and compare it with the list provided from the rental company. It’s an easy way to make sure you’ll have anything you need and don’t over pack. If when you pick up your motorhome, you feel something from the provided list is missing, ask the rental company before leaving the depot.
5. Do some meal planning to save time. Lunch on the go- in stunning locations
We’re not saying you need to plan your breakfast, lunch and dinner for the duration of your trip. It does make sense to have a shopping list with items that make up quick and easy meals though. This will save you having to revisit supermarkets and will give you extra time to explore.
Nut mixes, cereal bars and other healthy snacks are good to keep a stock of to take with you if you’re away from your motorhome for an extended period of time.
6. Pick your motorhome size carefully
Space in a motorhome is tight, especially when it comes to storage. The size of rental vehicles varies depending on the country you’re going to. They can range from van conversions without toilet or shower facilities to full A-class RVs for cruising across America. We advise to book the largest vehicle you can afford, especially if you’re spending a long time in the motorhome. Many couples will rent a 4 berth rather than a 2-berth so that the bed can be left made up to save having to make it up each night.
Before any trip to another country you’ll need to sort out your personal and medical insurance. You must also take out insurance to cover the rental vehicle. This must be taken out with the company you’re hiring your vehicle from. We recommend that for peace of mind, you take out the fully inclusive package offered by the rental companies. This reduces the accident excess to a minimum. In the USA most companies don’t supply a zero-liability insurance and you are usually responsible for the first $1,000 per incident of any damage.
8. When to book- renting
Many rental companies work on a similar pricing strategy to airlines with fluid pricing. Usually the earlier you book the more likely you are to get a better price. Flight companies release their flight prices 11 months before the flight, so it’s not possible to book your flights until 11 months before the return flight. As a rule of thumb, we recommend reserving your motorhome before booking your flights.
9. Licences required
Anyone over the age of 21 with an ordinary UK full driving licence can rent any of the vehicles offered through our Escorted Tours, including the large American ‘A’ Class RVs.
10. Campsite booking
For our Escorted Tours, all campsites are booked for you as part of the tour. For individual bookings you won’t always need to book your campsites in advance out of the main season which gives you freedom to explore. We do however recommend booking high demand areas such as the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls in advance.
11. Best times to travel
Travelling outside of the peak summer period will always result in cheaper rates. Travelling out of season usually helps you to avoid the crowds and there will be more space on campsites. Please note that in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa the peak season is during our winter with Christmas and New Year being particularly high in demand.
12. Driving? Do your research
We’ve put together our motorhome driving tips to help both new and seasoned motorhome drivers. Driving a large vehicle is relatively easy once you’re used to it, there are just a few things to be aware of and consider.
13. Take a copy of important documents
For your passports, driving licences and any other travel documents such as visas it’s a good idea to have a copy with you.
14. Crossing country boundaries
As long as you return your rental vehicle to the country you originally hired the vehicle from, most rental companies will allow you to travel into different countries. One of the exceptions to this rule is the USA where most rental companies won’t allow their vehicles to cross into Mexico.
15. Take soft luggage
Soft bags or suitcases are favourable to ridged ones as storage space in motorhomes can be limited.
16. Check your visa requirements
Well in advance of your holiday, it’s a good idea to check if any of the countries you’re visiting will require you to apply for a visa. Most can be applied for online and will require a valid passport with 3 months remaining after your proposed return date.
17. Pack an adaptor
You’ll need to take an adaptor to use your UK electrical appliances in your rental vehicle as well as on campsites.
18. Fuel consumption
Most of the destinations our tours go to will have cheaper fuel prices in comparison to the UK so you may find your bill to be surprisingly low. Remember though that the larger the motorhome, the higher the fuel consumption.
19. Take some entertainment
Whether reading, card games or board games are your thing, it’s always handy to have something to do if you have a free half an hour. Kick back and enjoy some you time.
20. Be prepared for all weathers
Whilst traveling to warmer climates makes you inclined to pack shorts and t-shirts, you may want to consider taking a warm set of clothes, just in case the temperature drops.
If you have a question about booking your Fly Drive Holiday, or Escorted Tour, send us an enquiry and one of our Travel Specialists will get in touch.