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Going on a road-trip in a van is a good excuse to explore the mountains and indulge in your favourite sport!It is often said that a van is freedom, being free to stay where you want, free to go at your own pace and enjoy the surrounding nature and this is almost entirely true.But not without some basic rules, common sense and good manners.
If you want to stay connected, there are a few that could be useful to you such as “Park4night”, a collaborative app that identifies points of interest to find water, a campsite, a wild spot, etc ... Very practical to provide a minimum of information about the area where you're staying the night.« iOverlander » is also in the same register, its database has more or less information for certain countries.
Our advice: Read the most recent comments carefully to make sure the location you are targeting is still accessible and get an idea of the photos if there are any. You can sometimes have unpleasant surprises.
If you want an all-purpose GPS on your smartphone, we recommend MapsMe. The app works offline, so all you have to do is download the area of the map that interests you before you set off, to benefit from GPS guidance as well as view the topography in the mountains and even the hiking trails! Very practical, and multifunctional!
You need to use your common sense. The first thing and this is a rule for us, if one of the group doesn't feel good in a chosen spot, you just move, even if it means driving a few more kilometers.
- Do not leave anything visible on the dashboard or the seats.
- Keep the driver's seat clear and accessible so you are ready to leave at any minute no matter what the circumstances.
- Don't leave anything hanging around outside.
- Avoid motorway rest areas (this is where the vast majority of problems occur).
- Close your doors and windows and equip yourself with a CO2 detector to sleep soundly. Some of these rules also apply during the day of course.
If you are cautious about sleeping in the great outdoors, don't hesitate to go to a campsite or Homestay according to your budget.Going on a road-trip should remain a pleasant and rewarding experience that will leave you with fond memories.
- A cooking set adapted to the number of people and which can do double duty during treks
- An outdoor stove if the van is equipped with a fixed kitchen (ideal when it is hot and double use for treks)
- An insulated water bottle per person , practical for both the road and for hiking
- A pressure solar shower for daily hygiene, even for the dishes
- A 2second shower cabin for privacy and / or protection from the wind (a must for us!)
- A camping blanket to put on the ground for insulation
- Folding and compact camping chairs + a camping table
- Travel storage bags for clothes
- A first aid kit
- A paper road map
- The keys of the van :)
- Leave the places you visit without any trace of your passage (or even cleaner still!), This includes your toilet paper.
- Do not light a campfire where it is not allowed
- Ask yourself if you are not on private property (and if so ask the owner for permission, you will be surprised to see the kindness and warm welcome that you can sometimes receive).
- Respect the tranquillity of other van or tent travellers and don't park next to them or find another overnight parking spot if the one you are targeting is taken.
With these few tips you are now ready to hit the road and devour as many kilometers as you desire.Remember that plans don't always need to be followed, so allow yourself the freedom to explore new horizons.After all, the unexpected is part of the adventure…
Have a good trip and we're looking forward to bumping into you one of these days!