The How-To: Camping, Vanlife and prepared Spontaneity

All those camping-rookies driven by Covid-19-isolation: amateurs! The crew = Hector & me, we have experienced years and years of recalcitrant bugs, overcrowded high season places, anonymous “get away!”-notes – but more than anything, we experienced the big freedom despite all.

Freedom, after all

The planning necessity is season-driven: Camping during school holidays = no big planning required, just hold on to the one and only reservation you have got. Once there, try not to move, you will only stumble over other tourists’ feet wherever you turn to. Using off-season months is different and rewards you with joyful preparation long before departure.

Preparation Pile

Best practice is a prepared tour-map: pre-collected options, filed in a cardboard folder, including GPS coordinates, hints and phone numbers. It minimizes the time spent starring on my cell-phone display and enables more hours on top of a surfboard, at the beach or with a glass of wine in my hand. The trick is to remain flexible enough to skip some/many/all plans and follow the sun or other campers’ recommendations.

The Tour-Map

My general preparation guidance is:

  • Get a book about the target region. Computer research is a good add-on, yet a book on the couch feels less like work and more like a holiday hobby. Deciding upon the region may be accompanied by some books like “Let’s Camp” (fort & glücklich, available for Germany and for Europe), presenting wonderful spots, accompanied by campsite information. Another favourite choice – especially across Southern Europe – is any travel book published by Michael Müller (culture, places, food and even camping, all covered). Start reading = start yearning.
  • Get a rough road map (often included in travel guides), collect probable destinations, sketch possible routes. I intend to move rather than stay in one place, yet I want to do sporty action, see interesting things and taste delicacies along my way. Throughout the years, Hector and me have developed a fine travel rhythm with stages of 200 – 400 km per day.
  • Spread ideas and expected highlights among friends. Most of Hector’s dream destinations allure others to come along, and thanks to my 2-bedroom-interior, they are very welcome.
  • Adjust timing, participants and action: check for festivals along the way and find the perfect match of expected weather, low season and friends to meet during the tour.

Once done, allow yourself to look forward to it. Find a remedy for this f**ing Covid-19 stuff and do not wait too long before you fulfill your travel dreams.

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