While it is tempting to book a motel room and go on a guided tour on your upcoming vacation – thanks to convenient online booking services and easy “staycation” packages, you’d have to ask yourself: “Am I really getting the ultimate vacation experience this way?”
If you have been following our blog since day one (and we know you do, our beloved readers), you know that we are wanderers at heart. Oh yes, we choose self-drive road trips over mini bars and free cable TV every time and here are some of the reasons you should do the same:
Travelling At Your Own Pace
The biggest drawback of guided tours and motel/hotel rooms is following a strict schedule. You have to check in and check out at a certain time; you need to follow the tour guide’s schedule; make sure that you minimize delays, and more. In fact, you’d be lucky to spend more than an hour in a specific tourist spot. Often, you’d have enough time to take photos and that’s it.
Self-drive holidays give you more control over your schedule. For example, you can drive to Lake Tekapo in New Zealand and stay for as long as you like. Park your campervan by the like, pull up a couple of chairs and watch as the water’s surface is bathed by the colours of the sunset. Why rush? You have all the time in the world. You do not have to think about messing up the schedule of dozens of other tourists and just sit there with the stunning views of the Southern Alps to keep you company.
Isn’t that what holidays are for? To get away from stressful schedules and noisy crowds?
Exploring Places You’ve Never Seen Before
Let’s be honest, guided tours can be a little generic sometimes. Sure, it is exciting to see iconic locations that tourists flock to every year. However, you are actually just limited within the tour guide’s set itinerary (or the tour package you’ve paid for).
Self-drive holidays allow you to go places that are off the beaten track. As cliché as that may sound, the only way you to make your holiday more memorable is by exploring places not many tourists go to.
Australia, for example, has terrific tourist spots you usually would not find in a guided tour itinerary such as Protesters Falls in New South Wales and the Mickey Creek Gorge at Carnarvon Gorge National Park in Queensland. How do you get there? By driving a campervan.
Experiencing Local Culture First Hand
It’s difficult to mingle with locals and immerse yourself in their culture when you’re trying to keep up with a tour group or being herded from one place to another by a tour guide.
When you drive your own motorhome you can stop in various towns along your route and meet people. You can participate in local activities like art shows; visit local museums; take part in community festivals; buy souvenirs from local stores; enjoy local cuisines.
Immersion is an important part of learning traditions and cultures different from your own. You can’t do that with a guided tour, where sticking to the schedule is rule of thumb.
Creating Your Own Itinerary Is More Fun
When you’re on a self-drive holiday, you get to decide where to go and how you would get there. You decide on your routes and create an itinerary that suits you comfortably. Planning with your friends and family is also a very exciting part of the trip. Best of all, you avoid admin charges or fees from travel agents by doing the itinerary yourself.
Campervans Provide More Comfort And Privacy
A campervan is specifically designed to fit two to six adults comfortably. These vehicles are outfitted with beds, sinks, cooking equipment and ventilation systems. Bigger motor homes even have bathrooms, making them ideal for long road trips or cross country driving.
When you’re on a self-drive holiday, you do not have to worry about leaving your belongings in a tour bus. Since you’re not travelling with strangers, there is zero chance of your cell phones or laptops getting stolen. The campervan is your home away from home for the entire length of your trip and you’d be very comfortable in it.
Renting Motorhomes/Campervans Is Easy
Renting motorhomes or campervans is not much different from renting a car. All you need to do is indicate how many people will travel with you, as well as your travel dates. Reservation agents will find a vehicle best suited to your budget and needs, then provide information where you can pick up and drop off the campervan. It’s that simple.
Whether you are travelling with your friends or family through Australia, New Zealand, Canada or USA, self-drive holidays enable you to enjoy your well deserved time off to the fullest.