How To Enjoy A Planet-Friendly Campervan Holiday
Eco-conscious travel has been at the forefront of many people’s holiday planning for years now, but it can seem daunting to figure out what’s best when it comes to looking after the planet while we travel. We all want to explore and visit new places, but we also want to minimise our impact. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and there are loads of little things that we can all do to play our part in travelling responsibly. To help with this, our friends over at Goboony have put together an expert guide on how you can enjoy a planet-friendly campervan holiday.
Stay or shop local
One of the easiest ways to minimise your footprint when travelling is by exploring closer to home. It’s quite the cliché that holidays only count if you can get as far away from your own country as possible, but you’ll be surprised how many amazing locations you can find only a couple of hours away. The UK is bursting with destinations that make you feel like you’re abroad. Cornwall, The Isle of Harris or The Lake District anyone?
A campervan holiday is a great way to explore them, and even keep you a little further from the crowds! Research and find inspiration in your local national parks, walking trails or beaches. They’ll provide a great base for a campervan holiday and minimise your footprint at the same time.
Also, you don’t have to visit dozens of destinations on your road trip. Instead choose two or three really great places to stop and explore each one properly rather than passing through quickly. Holidays shouldn’t be about ticking destinations off your list.They’re about taking time to experience a place in its entirety.
If you are planning on going further, you can still do your bit by shopping locally in your chosen destination. Do some research on any local food markets in the area, check out independent cafes and look to support specialised activities in the area, for example a guided walking tour where you’ll learn about the history and culture from a local expert.
Take a digital detox
Did you know that your device is still using energy when it’s not plugged in? Yep, everything you do in your smartphone that requires a network uses some kind of infrastructure in the wireless world, which runs 24/7 to support users across the globe. Why not do your bit, however small, by switching off your device and embracing a digital detox on your holiday? There’s no denying we all need our phones for maps, apps and taking our holiday photos - but set aside a couple of days to pop it in the glovebox and read a book instead, go for a walk or simply relax under your awning. Good for the mind, good for the planet.
Meal planning is key
The beauty of travelling in a campervan is that you’ll have a kitchen. Even if it’s a small space, prepping most of your meals on the road will help reduce the need for stopping at service stations where a lot of the food uses unnecessary packaging. It’s also easier on the purse strings! When buying ingredients, plan to make a couple of meals with them so you don’t end up wasting what you have, and if you have a small fridge, consider items that don’t need to be refrigerated, such as oats for breakfast, root vegetables and pasta. Everyone knows there are certain foods that spoil quite quickly (avocados anyone?) so save them for another time.
Opt for local ingredients that are in season too and look up one-pot recipes that you can make on a single stove. Reducing your waste will go a long way in making your trip greener and save you money too.
Another trick is to pack your own snacks. Everyone gets peckish on a long road trip, so taking along some tupperware full of snacks will eliminate the need to stop off at shops along the way and avoid potentially wasteful purchases.
And for those nights when you do want to head out for dinner? Choose a local establishment and avoid large chain restaurants, especially any with a buffet. According to research, all-you-can-eat buffets are one of the most wasteful aspects of a holiday; they encourage people to take more than they consume and for health and safety reasons, what's not eaten is usually tossed.
Enjoy zero emission activities
Heading into the outdoors on a campervan trip is the perfect setup for enjoying planet-friendly activities. Choose a base that will allow you to spend your days exploring the local area by plenty of zero-footprint means, such as walking, climbing, cycling or kayaking.
Take the Lake District as an example for your base. Windermere has some of the best cycling routes in the area, where you’ll find challenging inclines and sweeping views. It’s also the location of Brockhole where you can hire kayaks for a different perspective. A short while away you’ll find the Tarn Hows circular walk, which is perfect for when you need something a little slower paced. Research your destination and check out what activities they have to offer - chances are there will be quite a few that are planet-friendly.
We’ve all been there; you’re leaving in three days and realise you need a new pair of walking shoes. It can be tempting to make purchases “just for the holidays” but try to be conscious about what items you can use back home too. It’s always a good idea to pay that little bit extra for good quality items that will last well beyond your weekend away, so you can use them for future trips. Or look into hiring any essential kit you’re missing to reduce your impact that way too.
Set your campervan up for success
Mindful travel starts before you even set foot out the door, and this is especially true for campervans. If you want to set yourself up for a greener holiday, it’s important to prepare your campervan before you hit the road. One of the ways you can do this is by keeping your water tank low. There’s no need to travel for hours with a full water tank which will add unnecessary weight to your vehicle and therefore use more fuel.You won’t be showering or doing wishes while cruising along the motorway! Plan ahead and fill up your water when you reach the destination instead. Other things to check are seals around doors and windows to ensure everything is in working order and your campervan won’t be losing heat unnecessarily.
We recommend making a packing list before your trip to ensure you have everything you need. This will reduce the chance that you need to buy extra things on the road, which you already have at home. Instead of using wet wipes, bring reusable cloths and ensure you dispose of your rubbish correctly, leaving nothing behind.
Enjoy a campervan trip with Goboony
Campervan holidays are a fantastic way to explore your own, or neighbouring, countries. You're provided with the freedom to change plans and avoid over-crowded destinations. With small changes and the right mindset, there are many things you can do to enjoy a greener holiday.
By hiring directly from a private owner, you get to participate in the sharing economy. Goboony is a platform that helps these private owners hire out their campervan when they’re not using it, so someone else can enjoy a great holiday in nature!
Produced in partnership with Goboony
Goboony is a motorhome sharing platform that was born from the belief that everyone should have the chance to experience the freedom of motorhome travel. Goboony have over 5.000 campervans and motorhomes available for hire. Sustainability is a priority, with the platform aiming to reduce the number of new motorhomes being produced and left unused for months on end and helping ensure older motorhomes get used to their full potential.
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