A mobile ‘bubble’? It’s just vantastic! Few holidays lend themselves to social distancing as well as campervan or motorhome adventures – and you can stay in some truly beautiful locations
- Rental firms say campervan bookings for summer are already up 40 per cent
- Choose a modern and roomy motorhome that comes with a hot shower
- Alternatively, pick a classic VW campervan for the full retro experience
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at an important holiday idea, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Why it makes sense to book early to secure the best campervans this summer.
Few holidays lend themselves to social distancing as well as campervan or motorhome adventures. Eat, sleep and see the sights from the safety of your own private bubble while staying at some of the country’s most beautiful locations.
Choose between a modern and surprisingly roomy motorhome that comes complete with a hot shower and plenty of space to cook and serve family meals. Or pick a classic VW campervan for the full retro experience.
In demand: The classic VW campervan remains a favourite for those seeking to head off on a retro road trip
Both types of van were snapped up fast when the UK’s first lockdown ended last year, and rental firms say bookings for summer 2021 are already 40 per cent ahead of expectations.
If a big, American-style motorhome appeals, then it’s best to start looking at fleet owners and managers including justgo.uk.com, bunkcampers.com and camperrentuk.co.uk. These vans may not be stylish (most have the company’s logo painted on the side) but can be surprisingly easy to manoeuvre, and can be rented with an ordinary driving licence.
For something smaller and more characterful, a handful of agents specialise in classic, converted or quirky vans. These firms tend to work like Airbnb, acting as intermediaries between owners and renters. They arrange bookings, handle the money and step in if problems arise.
Scroll through listings at coolcamping.com, yescapa.co.uk and quirkycampers.com to see dozens of individually owned vans across the country, then click to book.
Be aware that there are no set standards for contents or condition, but reviews suggest most owners are enthusiasts and often include extras such as fresh milk and flowers at pick-up.
As the outlook for travel remains uncertain, the likes of Yescapa are introducing flexible terms to allow rentals to be postponed if coronavirus disrupts plans again.
With Cool Camping, many owners offer early-bird discounts to encourage business. Prices depend on the type of van, its location and the season. If you fancy heading off around England’s South Coast in a 2011 ‘pop top’ campervan (where the roof lifts like a tent to give extra space), then one owner in Crawley, Sussex, offers a van perfect for two. A seven-night rental in July starts at £678 through Yescapa.
Rental firms say campervan bookings for summer 2021 are already 40 per cent ahead of expectations
Or pick Peggy, a classic VW campervan in yellow with a bright red spare wheel attached like a ‘nose’ below the windscreen. It can sleep two adults and two small children, with extra space in an awning. Collect it from near Kidderminster, well positioned for the Shropshire Hills, and a week-long rental in July starts at £980 through Cool Camping. The company also has electric and dog-friendly vans.
In Scotland, you can collect a modern, American-style motorhome in Edinburgh for a week- long, ‘sleeps-four’ adventure from £1,197 in July with Just Go. The van has a shower and toilet, TV and air conditioning.
All prices normally include insurance and unlimited mileage as well as bedding, cooking kit and extras like deckchairs. It’s illegal to overnight in lay-bys and campsite fees start at about £20 a night. Lists at caravanclub.co.uk and campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk are full of inspiration for stunning rural and coastal sites.
The best sites sold out last year and are expected to be just as sought-after this summer. Fortunately, many have flexible terms so guests can book early and change later if required.