Road Trip: Should You Travel By Car Or Campervan?


While tourists make do of seeing local attractions, true adventurers rather go off the beaten path on a quest for the most hidden gems.

If you are the type of traveler who loves to cover as much ground as possible and map uncharted territories, then you probably love road trips. After all, they are the best ways to visit vast lands such as Australia, New Zealand, or the United States.

Road trippers know just how much the choice of transportation matters. Cars have many advantages which makes them go-to road trip vehicles. However, there are alternatives such as bikes, campervans and motorhomes.

Here, we invite you to weigh the pros and cons of cars versus campervans so you can make better decisions for your upcoming — and hopefully epic — road trips this summer.

Car Vs. Campervan: what is better for road trips?

Traveling by car

Go-to automobile choice: For a lot of us, it is car versus other means of transportation because it is really the go-to option in terms of automobile. We covered the pros and cons of traveling by car before. Add the following to the pros when compared to campervans.

Speed and convenience: Even if you are road tripping in a SUV or a truck, you will find it to be faster and more convenient, especially in urban areas. Parking spaces or some streets in cities are not exactly suitable for larger motorhomes either.

Meeting people: If you are traveling by car, you will have to choose a lodging accommodation. Hotels, hostels, or b&bs are places where you meet and mingle with people from all horizons.

However, on camping sites, you will mostly stay among the people you are traveling with or meet other travelers. That kinda ruins the local-experience part of traveling.

Cheaper to rent: A fair-sized campervan during the summertime can cost as much as $150 per day without including mileage or other rental fees. At the same time, a car rental would be somewhere around $50-70. Unless you decide to stay in a $100 hotel or spend just as much on food, traveling by car feels like a bargain.

Road Trip by car

Traveling by campervan

A home on the road: A campervan will make you feel like a turtle. You carry your home with you wherever you go, which makes you want to take your time to enjoy every bit of the journey. Motorhomes come equipped with kitchen, beds, seating spaces, and — for most — toilets. The bigger, the roomier and the more comfortable. You just can’t say the same about a road trip by car, can you?

More autonomy: Campervans and motorhomes are fantastic for exploring countrysides where roadside amenities are harder to find. You can park them — in most countries — anywhere, on laybys or camping sites. Plus, imagine sleeping in the most breathtaking sites you visit without having to head by to town or find a hotel.

Better budget control: Traveling with a home means no more worries to find food or shelter, you bring your own wherever you go. That is particularly convenient when traveling in a large group. When you stack up on food and cook your own meal, you are more likely to spare your precious travel budget for other things like entertainment and leisure.

Takes more people: A car at best takes 5 people and, on longer journeys, can quickly be oppressing. Campervans can take much more people, and give them enough space so that they do not feel the negative effects of being confined for a long period of time in a vehicle. Younger travelers will be particularly fond of the extra space and not having to remain seated for a long time.

The iconic VW campervan

The verdict

Road tripping by car is incredibly popular in North America because of the plethora of roadside services available. Plus, journeys along the main roads cross towns regularly. However, when there are lots of countryside driving like it is the case when road tripping the Kiwi or Aussie lands, campervans tend to be much more practical.

Another thing to keep in mind is the pricing. Yes, campervan rental costs might exceed that of a car rental even when you factor in lodging expenses, but maybe not when you include the cost of eating out every night.

Ultimately, campervans and motorhomes offer more autonomy and privacy while allowing you to have better control over daily expenses. They are best suited for families and large groups going on a road trip. However, more adventurous or out-going travelers would like the freedom and meetup opportunities offered by a road trip by car.

Which is better for a road trip according to you: car or campervan? Tell us all about in the comments or social media. We love to hear from you.