Summary of trip and tips learned

5 October – 15 November – 41 days.
Trip distance: 2209 miles (excluding Home to/from Dover)
Average: 34mpg
Trip cost: €2098 (c. £1690) – €51.17 or £41.22 per day

Travel Ferry €80
  Tolls €6
  Fuel €391
  Parking €12
  Train/bus/tram €15
Subsistence Food €257
  Gas €5
  Entertainment  (beer, pubs, meals out, museums) €805
  Essentials (laundry, household) €55
Camping Wild 3  
  Aires (or equiv) 12 €106
  ACSI Site 15 €232
  Camping Cheque Site 2 €30
  Other sites 9 €104
TOTAL Total cost €2098
  Days away 41  


This trip was a test as much as for the van as it was for us – to see whether we could survive in a small van for a long time.  Starting in Holland which we know well, and then into Germany which we didn’t, it would give us many challenges!  We knew this trip would mainly be a sightseeing tour which would mean moving frequently and lots of exploring taking in new sights with little time to rest.  Future trips will have more rests and chill time in!

Holland was as lovely as ever – and we will go back again in the warmer months.  Germany was a bit of a surprise – we were constantly astounded by some of the stunning sites we saw – though most has been rebuilt since it was destroyed in WWII.  The old East Germany is currently getting substantial investment and reconstruction and as such many places are improving much beyond their neglected original states.  That said, some of the places in the northern and eastern parts are not attractive enough to make a visit.  Central and Central-West Germany seemed to offer us more fun without having to go to the cities.  We will return to Germany to cover the southern areas possibly on a trip to Eastern Europe…

Overall the van survived; we got on fine and we enjoyed the compressed space!  And we saw far more and enjoyed the experience more than we expected.  More rest and chill days will be planned in future trips – but it’s a challenge to justify doing nothing when there is so many new things to do!  We didn’t get bored; didn’t have time to read as much as expected; the 4 magazines still are not fully read; and we didn’t go mad!

Key tips

  • ACSI Camping card, and campsite DVD are essential and a good investment
  • CCI card can be used as ID at campsites – we’ve never had to leave our passport.
  • TomTom is our new best mate!  Superb piece of kit.  Faultless throughout.
  • Never leave the van without some form of GPS device!
  • Microfiber towels (Blacks/Millets) are superb!
  • “Technical” clothing (e.g. activewear) is superb – stays clean longer and dries quicker!

Essential Items

  • TomTom!
  • Toolbox, oil, WD40
  • Laptop with good translation software, Autoroute (with GPS databases of all campsites)
  • Good map (or GPS) of campsites.  ASCI DVD is great as it has so much information on the sites, such as open dates (essential in October!), prices (who accepts discounts) and pictures.
  • Camperstop overnight camping guide.

Items thought essential, but not

  • Satellite TV (left at home deliberately – and not missed)
  • Outdoor table.  May as well just use the floor!  The chairs don’t fit it anyway
  • The amount of clothes… We could have easily survived on half!

Changes to plan/views

  • Lack of wild camping – Holland do not permit this, and Germany has loads of Stelplatz which are always convenient.  Also whilst the gas heating is okay, it doesn’t beat electric and we like it snug.  Hopefully more wild camping in the summer
  • Balancing “touring” with “seeing and absorbing” is difficult.  You can’t see everything, and it is tough getting the balance right – more challenging than it appears!

What we need to take more of as we could not buy abroad

  • “Options” Belgium Chocolate hot chocolate
  • Squash

Bottom Line

A really good start to our adventures! May there be many more to come!

Goto week 1 details

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