How to Plan a Post-lockdown Road Trip On A Budget

Lockdown has been tough on us all, and many people are planning UK staycations to remedy being trapped in their own homes for so long. However, finances haven’t exactly been easy this past year, so here’s our top tips on planning your UK road trip of dreams on a budget.

1.   Pick your ride wisely

Road trips, especially in the UK, will often take you down windy country roads, or in interesting terrains can be tricky. If you’re not used to driving big campervans or having a caravan to tow, it’s best to start off with something a bit smaller such as a VW camper, or tenting.

If you haven’t got a campervan, you can rent one fairly easily. It is worth noting you will need to check your insurance and license covers you to drive a campervan. If not, you can get specialist campervan insurance fairly easily. Choose the oldest member of the group to drive and have the safest member as an additional driver. This can all help to drive your cost down as well as choosing an insurance product that covers your needs.

2.   Be fuel economical

This may seem like a ridiculous point, but especially in rural areas, you can come across some eye watering prices, compared to the rest of the UK.

If you’re using the motorway network, this again can lead to some preposterous prices. As well as planning your trip, plan your fuel stops. Apps like PetrolPrices or MyAutomate can give you a good idea of the cheapest prices around your destination, and both are free.

Road trips, such as the North Coast 500, will have few and far between fuel stops, so it’s worth checking before you travel.

3.   Food plan and food prep

While holidays can seem a time to splurge on meals, it’s worth making the ones you do go out for that bit special. Say you go away for 10 days, you’ll need nine breakfasts, 10 lunches, and nine dinners. By buying small and often, but to a plan, you can feed two people for around £40 a week at maximum.

Cooking in a camper or on an open stove takes a lot longer, so simple meals are going to be a winner. Pasta or rice-based meals, the occasional BBQ and of course, hearty breakfasts, are key to keeping you fuelled for whatever you decide to do that day.

Packing essentials such as olive oil, spices, tins such as beans, pasta, sauces and similar will help to keep costs down, as buying new items of these when you have them at home is pointless.

Bring snacks as well, you never know when you’ll need a cereal bar, popcorn or some chocolate. Careful not to eat it all on the first day!

If you’re wanting something a bit different, apps like Too Good To Go and Olio offer free or greatly reduced food from local supermarkets and shops. It can help to spice up your food plan, and is a cheap way to change your dinner plans. Shopping the reduced section can also prove a challenge to cook as it requires a bit of creativity!

4.   Budget for every day

If you can set a budget for the overall time away, set one for each day. You can have ‘low budget’ days where you simply just cover the costs of basic eating, parking and travel where you perhaps just go for a walk or spend the day in your van.

By having a daily budget, it sets you up for success as it’s easier to manage smaller figures daily rather than big numbers for 10 days, and stops a day one splurge. This budget doesn’t need to include things you’ve already bought or paid for, such as pitching fees, but instead should cover the costs of the day itself. Some days you may not spend any money, but that can just reduce the overall cost of the holiday itself!

5.   Keeping it all clean

With the current situation, and driving around to different places, keeping yourself and your party safe and healthy is even more important at the minute. If you’re going away with people you don’t normally live with, consider isolating for 10 days before you go away to ensure no localised transmission.

While you’re on the road, it’s harder to wash and dry items like cloth masks properly, so consider using disposable masks while you’re away. These can be bought cheaply from pretty much anywhere.

Downloading the Track and Trace app relevant to the area you are going to, as this varies between the devolved administrations. This will alert you if you need to isolate, and some places will not let you in if you don’t have the app to scan the check in barcode.

Cleaning down your camper every day, and disposing of rubbish sooner rather than later will help to keep you safe.

The article was written by Jason Sims, Marketing Executive at Just Kampers and Just Kampers Insurance. Jason is a fully fledged VW enthusiast, with over 20 years’ experience in keeping Volkswagens old and new on the road. Currently owns a 69 Cal Look Beetle, and enjoys attending VW shows and Camping with friends and family.