Which type of accommodation suits you?

Camping can be a cheap, but also a very expensive affair, especially the purchase and maintenance of the holiday home. The camping fees for tent, caravan or motorhome usually differ only slightly. However, you should not only consider the costs of the type of accommodation.

Another important fact is how you want to spend your holiday. Depending on how luxurious the trip is, how demanding the setup and how comfortable, homely, or close to nature the atmosphere should be, different accommodations presented here are more or less suited.

Last but not least, you have to consider that your accommodation has to be stored somewhere. Depending on the size and handiness you need a dry place in the cellar, a parking space or a garage.  

You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much money do you have at your disposal?
  • How much comfort is essential for you?
  • Which atmosphere do you strive for?
  • How important is privacy to you?
  • Where do you want to store it?
Tent with campfire

In the following, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of the tent, the caravan, the motorhome, and the campervan to help you with your decision.

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The tent

The option with the best price-performance-ratio is the tent. You often get high quality and generous models relatively cheap. There is a variety of sizes and shapes to choose from, which makes it easy to find a tent that suits your needs.

Nevertheless, the comfort in a tent is rather modest. Sanitary facilities are not included, and the advantages of a bed outweigh a sleeping mat and sleeping bag. Depending on the weather conditions, it can be uncomfortable. At high temperatures, the nights will be stifling and warm, during rain and thunderstorms, it can get wet and dangerous. So make sure that you choose a tent of high quality and do not skimp on your future accommodation.

The setup of this accommodation is usually done quickly and easily. However, dragging your luggage from the car to the tent can spoil the arrival at your destination. But the breathtaking atmosphere of camping compensates for these disadvantages. Fans of tent camping appreciate being close to nature, the adventurous appeal, as well as the overwhelming feeling of freedom. However, in the interest of your neighbors, you should keep the volume down, especially at night, as tent walls are permeable to light and noise.

Storage of your camping gear is another advantage because your tent can easily be stored in the cellar or garage until your next adventure.

Conclusion: The tent offers many advantages, especially for nature-loving, active and adventurous campers. If you want to travel spontaneously and inexpensively and don't want to be dependent on a pitch or camping site, camping is a great alternative.

The caravan

In many ways, this form of accommodation is the middle ground between a tent and a motorhome. The caravan is more expensive to buy and maintain than the tent, but at the same time much cheaper than a motor home.

In terms of comfort, you get a cozy accommodation, which reliably protects against rain, wind, extreme temperatures, and noise. Usually, inside, there is enough space for a small kitchen, a dining area, a sleeping corner, and a sanitary area. Another advantage over the tent is that you don't have to carry your camping gear once you arrive at your destination, because it is stored inside.

Compared to a motorhome, however, you don't get that much technology, which promises reliable and easy handling but does not allow for as much luxury.

The mobility is far superior to a motorhome. You can use the car on its own, while the caravan remains on the campsite. However, coupling and uncoupling the caravan can be annoying, and driving with it is not that easy - especially on unpaved or narrow roads.

Before you buy a caravan, you should consider whether you prefer to spend your holiday on a campsite or whether you prefer wild camping, as the latter is rather unusual and more complicated with a caravan. You feel very comfortable at a campsite surrounded by neighbors? In this case, a trip with a caravan is the right thing for you. If you don't have a garage or a place to store a caravan, renting one is a better and cheaper choice.

Conclusion: Especially when staying for a longer time in one place, a caravan can be very practical, as one remains very mobile and does not have to set up everything when arriving.

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The motorhome

High costs are associated with a motor home. The purchase alone is expensive; also, there are ongoing expenses for taxes, insurance, MOT, and vehicle inspections. On top of this, however, comfort is also increased, as most motorhomes are very well equipped and have more in common with a hotel room than a rickety old caravan. Here too, the advantage of not having to carry suitcases is eliminated. You have everything in one place - even the towing vehicle itself.

When it comes to mobility, the motor home has advantages and disadvantages. It is easier to drive than a car with a caravan attached. Besides, there is no need for tiresome coupling and uncoupling, as the vehicle and living area are combined. In turn, this means that you always carry your complete possessions and furniture with you. Especially in cities with narrow streets, the maneuvering of this colossus is not very easy. Furthermore, the search for a parking place is more difficult than with a car.

Depending on the size and weight, an extension of the driving license is required. But this inconvenience is rewarded with a more comfortable and luxurious atmosphere. The equipment often exceeds the needs of the simple camper and offers you the possibility to be completely independent. You can use the advantages of a campsite but also spend nights in nature - so to speak "luxurious" wild camping due to the integrated camping toilet and shower or the fully equipped kitchen.

Last but not least, a motorhome can be difficult to store until the next adventure, so a large garage or a suitable pitch is required. Again, renting is an option, but more expensive than with a caravan.

Conclusion: If you can afford a motorhome, you will be rewarded with plenty of comfort and freedom. The size of the motorhome and the lack of separation between accommodation and vehicle can be restrictive, but this does not necessarily have to be negative. If you prefer to travel in the country rather than in the city anyway, or if you have experience of driving large vehicles, traveling in a motorhome should not be a problem for you.

The campervan

With some craftsmanship, customizing a van can be an inexpensive alternative to a motorhome directly tailored to your needs. You can start with basic equipment and expand it gradually. This way, the costs can be spread over a longer period.

However, you should be aware that this conversion is very time-consuming. If you want to save time, or are not skilled enough, you can have professional companies do the work based on your ideas. Either way, it is possible to start your Vanlife with relatively little start-up capital. (Very important: before you start dismantling the car, you should inform yourself about the given guidelines).

The biggest advantage is that a van can be customized to fit your needs. Although you have less space than in a motorhome and lack sanitary facilities, the possibility to customize every square inch makes up for it. A converted van has a very special atmosphere. Many people are enthusiastic about putting their creative ideas into practice and join the van life.

As with a motorhome, you benefit from combining your accommodation and towing vehicle. However, due to the smaller size of a van, it is much easier to drive on narrow roads or find a parking space.

You should not have a problem with limited privacy. Most of the time, these vans are built in such a way that the kitchen or other equipment stowed under the berth can only be used with the tailgate open.

Conclusion: With the van, you can save a lot of money and bring in your ideas and wishes. However, you should bring enough time with you and also be able to cope with the fact that not everything works smoothly right from the start. But that also promises new experiences and adventures.

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