Travelling is all about being on the road, experiencing life from the front seat, and allowing the world to surprise you, excite you, and challenge you, one mile at a time. Taking the same motivation forward, travellers today are getting campervans, designing them according to their needs, and preparing them for journeys that go beyond fixed itineraries and limited work leaves.
In the last few years, states like Karnataka and Uttarakhand have taken steps towards expanding caravan tourism in the country. Hiring a fully-equipped van from local brands such as Feelhome, Ojes, and Motorcaravans to converting used jeeps and mini-buses to tiny houses, Indian travellers today have more options to kickstart their van life.
However, setting up a campervan is one thing, and making it trip-ready is another. Since it will be your tiny-house-on-wheels, it is important to equip it with essential supplies and prioritise security at all times.
Here are some tips that are a must-follow if you’re planning to take that new van on a long adventurous journey.
Plan well before you start
Your camper van will be your new home. It is advisable to get your van checked, ensure that you have the required license papers, engines, power sources, water supply, and substantial knowledge about the place you’re headed towards. Although sticking to a fixed route on a camper van is unlikely, doing quick research on the locality, culture, food, points of interest, and vehicle regulations is always helpful.
Get serious about meals
Falling sick is the last thing you would want on your van journey. As a traveller who will be spending a major part of their day driving, it is recommended to plan a proper meal schedule and have healthy, self-cooked food. Consider food recipes that are easy to make and can be consumed more than once (get those extra dry snacks with you). Setting up a mini-refrigerator, induction stove and water purifier inside the van is another way to ensure that you have a continuous supply of fresh and hygienic meals.
The secret to a smooth van experience is to know where your stuff is, how frequently you need it and what all you can go without. It is important to keep your little space ventilated and less congested. Get rid of that messy habit of throwing stuff around the place. To manage things well, allot separate baskets to items like electronics (laptops, chargers, and headphones), health (medicines, skincare products, and first-aid kits), and books that can easily be pushed under the bed or the driving seat.
Choose the right campsite
Whether it is taking your van to the beach or parking it in the hills, choose campsites that let you soak in the beauty of a place. Moreover, be on the safer side and learn about places that allow travellers to park their vans inside the premises for a day or more.
Under its Caravan Tourism Project, the Karnataka government has decided to make cities like Hampi, Gokarna, Badami, Kudremukh, and Coorg van-friendly. Currently, travellers can park their vans inside the Karnataka State Tourism Department Corporation (KTDC) hotels. However, in the future, they can expect specific parks to come to their rescue.
Pack those essentials
For an overall comfortable journey on the road, it is necessary to pack in small items that neither takes much space nor costs you a lot of money. However, don’t go overboard and start over-packing. Listed below is a quick list of essential items that you might want to recheck before you leave:
Instead of going around seeking a wet cloth to clean that coffee spill, or save your face from drying out in day’s heat, stock up some wet tissues or baby wipes that can easily be used on the go. You can get the ones made with recycled paper.
From using GPS and the internet to making calls, your phone is your number one company on the road. It is important to have USB chargers that allow you to access your phone anytime, and anywhere, irrespective of how much battery is remaining in it.
If you wish to make a stop, prepare a little bonfire, or just relax under the morning sun, folding chairs should be on your list. Not to mention, it can easily be accommodated in a corner inside the van.
Quite essential in the pandemic era, the sanitizer is a must-have if you’re interacting with people, buying supplies on the way, or just stopping to take a quick bite.
It is light to carry, can be pitched anywhere, and lets you stretch your legs. Consider buying a hammock for your van trip if you wish to take a short nap under a banyan tree or beside a waterfall.
As a traveller and a citizen, you’re responsible for keeping localities and roads clean for others. It is good to get yourself a few dustbin bags (buy biodegradable ones please) and use them to collect garbage until you find recyclable points or garbage containers on the road.
When sleeping in a camper van at night, you might want to save yourself from uninvited guests — mosquitos. Apart from getting mosquito-repellant creams, consider setting up a mosquito net over your mini-bed.
You’re likely to spend a major part of your trip exploring places that do not necessarily have good roads or possibly good public toilets. Pack those dirty flip-flops for situations like these and many more.