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4 Tips for Camping on a Budget

man sitting on a white van looking at his dog on the ground, mountains in the background

Rising prices don’t need to put a stop to your dream campervan holiday! Here are our top tips to help you plan a budget-friendly holiday without breaking the bank.

Author: Johanna Jank

Photo: igna.ferriol

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Save fuel (and money)

Don’t let the current gas and diesel prices stop you! There are a few tricks that can help you save money on gas and save even more on your camping trip.

  • You can easily save money when refuelling with the right planning. For example, it is worthwhile not to refuel directly at the highway, since the prices there are especially higher than average. The time of day is also crucial, as the cheapest time to fill up is usually between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., while fuel costs rise again at night and early in the morning. It also helps to use one of the numerous online comparison apps or websites that will find the cheapest gas station near you.
  • We also think the fuel-saving route planning function on Google Maps is particularly cool! Depending on your engine type, the Maps app not only suggests the fastest route, but also the route with the greatest fuel savings. You can easily activate this function in your Google Maps app under “Route options” and always choose the cheapest route possible.
  • While you can drive on the autobahn in Germany at no additional cost, it’s a completely different story in other countries. For mountain passes, tunnels and highways, you often have to reckon with additional fees abroad – and that adds up. If you are trying to camp at a particularly low cost, we recommend that you use country roads instead or plan a road trip through Germany that avoids the toll. A positive side effect of this decision, is that there is plenty to discover off the beaten path, making the journey itself a destination.
  • Find more tips on how to save fuel here.

Smart booking

Continue saving money by choosing the right campervan or motorhome that best fits your plans and booking in advance. The earlier you book, the better chance of vehicle availability and lower prices. Are you just a couple looking to get away for a long weekend or do you have kids and all the luggage in tow and need a lot of space for an extended holiday? Depending on what you and your travel partners have in mind, you will find the right vehicle that is tailored to your needs.

Pssst: It gets even cheaper if you use one of our discount codes. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive exclusive promotions that help your save on your booking.

Find the right model for you

roadsurfer surfer suite side view
  • 4
  • 4

Surfer Suite VW T6.1 California Ocean (Right-hand drive in UK)

  • 150 hp diesel
  • Integrated kitchenette
  • Outdoor shower (cold)
  • Automatic pop-up roof
  • Park-assist and rear camera
  • Cruise and distance control ACC, GPS
roadsurfer beach hostel deluxe side view
  • 5
  • 4+1

Beach Hostel VW T6.1 California Beach

  • 150 hp diesel
  • Big bed (whole vehicle width)
  • pull-out kitchen unit
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Park-assist and rear camera
  • Cruise and distance control ACC, GPS
roadsurfer travel home side view
  • 4
  • 4

Travel Home Mercedes Marco Polo

  • 163 hp diesel
  • Integrated kitchenette
  • Outdoor shower (cold)
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Hitch
  • Park-assist and rear camera
Family Finca Side View
  • 4
  • 2+2

Family Finca Van with a fixed high roof (600)

  • 177 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • Indoor shower/wet room (warm)
  • WC
  • Fixed high roof
  • Parking assistance, rear camera, Tempomat, etc.
Exclusive in Los Angeles
  • 4
  • 2

Couple Condo Van without a pop-up roof (642)

  • 280 PS Petrol
  • Spacious kitchenette
  • Extra large wet room (hot water)
  • WC
  • Stand-alone air conditioner, solar panel and much more
  • 4
  • 2

Couple Cottage Van without a pop-up roof (600)

  • 140 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • Indoor shower/wet room (warm)
  • WC
  • without pop-up roof
  • Parking assistance, rear camera, Tempomat, etc.
New at roadsurfer roadsurfer couple cottage offroad
  • 3
  • 2

Couple Cottage Offroad Offroad Wohnmobil (600)

  • 190 PS Diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • large bathroom
  • Wet room + extra camping toilet
  • Be self-sufficient for up to 1 week
  • Four-wheel drive, inverter, large water tank, etc.
New at roadsurfer roadsurfer Cozy Cottage
  • 3
  • 2+1

Cozy Cottage Semi-integrated caravan (700)

  • 177 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • large bathroom
  • WC
  • without pop-up roof
  • Rear view camera, cruise control, spacious rear garage, etc.
roadsurfer Road House with pop up roof
  • 4
  • 4

Road House Van with pop-up roof (540)

  • 140 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • Indoor shower/wet room (warm)
  • WC
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Parking assistance, rear camera, Tempomat, etc.
roadsurfer camper cabin side view
  • 5
  • 4+1

Camper Cabin Ford Nugget with pop-up roof

  • 170 PS Diesel
  • Integrated kitchenette (2-room concept)
  • Outdoor shower (cold)
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Hitch
  • Park assist
roadsurfer camper cabin side view
  • 5
  • 4+1

Camper Cabin Deluxe Ford Nugget Plus with pop-up roof

  • 150 hp diesel
  • Integrated kitchenette (2-room concept)
  • Outdoor shower (cold)
  • WC
  • Manual pop-up roof
  • Hitch, Parking aid
New at roadsurfer roadsurfer Van Villa Prototype Image
  • 4
  • 4

Van Villa Semi-integrated caravan (600)

  • 150 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • Bathroom with an extendable shower cubicle (hot water)
  • WC
  • without pop-up roof
  • Rear view camera, cruise control, spacious rear garage, etc.
  • 4
  • 4

Camper Castle Semi-integrated caravan (700)

  • 140 hp diesel
  • spacious kitchen area
  • large bathroom
  • WC
  • without pop-up roof
  • Rear camera, Tempomat, air conditioning, etc.

More Budget-Friendly tips

The great thing about #vanlife is that you can make your experience as expensive or as inexpensive as you like without sacrificing a great trip. Instead of booking a last-minute overpriced campsite, book one of our roadsurfer spots and use the filter function to select the features you need. You can still book spontaneously with our app, and find cheaper options on your route.

Travel to alternative holiday destinations where you can see more for less! These more budget-friendly travel destinations are no way inferior in their beauty to the more famous destinations, plus you will avoid the crowds and discover untouched nature.

Cooking at home is always the cheaper alternative to going to a restaurant, just like in real life. When travelling with a campervan or motorhome, your kitchen is always on board and includes all the necessary utensils. Stock up on all the essentials at the supermarket, stash them in your cooler and cook when and what you feel like. It’s also a good idea to bring things like olive oil and spices with you from home. That way it tastes extra good and you save your money on things you already own.

Great campsites for low prices

You can easily find cheap pitches and campsite with the roadsurfer spots app with accommodating hosts and all the amenities. The best thing about it: These pitches and campsites cheaper than typical campsites and are less crowded because they are typically located in private land. Not only are you saving money, but you get to “wild camp” while being completely legal.

The roadsurfer spots app is here!

Find the best campsites in Europe and book directly online.

  • Discover exceptional campsites all over Europe.
  • Stay close to nature with a tent, camper, or caravan.
  • Support local hosts and discover the diversity of our spots.
  • Book in advance or spontaneously while on the road.

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