New Zealand with campervan: How many ways can you fail?

Travel planning is probably one of my favourite pastime activities next to travelling itself. But after a couple of weeks already spent working on our New Zealand itinerary starting with a 2-week camping journey of the South Island it slowly started to dawn on me. I might miserably fail with this one despite my obsessive-compulsive planning mode running in full swing. There are just too many unknowns for two inexperienced campers like us.

Booking a wrong vehicle

Motorhome or campervan? It’s not just a question of price. Being the fussy one when it comes to sleep I tend to lean more towards comfort. Having my hubbs tossing and turning next to me in a tiny bed for two straight weeks is far from my imagination of a relaxing holiday. That we would suddenly take up spooning is also highly unlikely, I’d much prefer my own bed, thank you. At the same time I’m fully aware that we’re running the risk of ending up with a big monster of a vehicle that will be impossible to manoeuvre on the narrow roads even without the hassle of driving on the left-hand side.

So right now the task of trying to find the perfect campervan seems like mission impossible of juggling between price, comfort, driving performance and our mental and physical well-being. To put it in other words: a camper that could drive and park like a minivan and accommodate six people has probably not been invented yet.

Learning how to camp as we go

The fact that we’re not experienced campers doesn’t help the whole process. If our campervanning experience consisted of anything more than a single weekend last year, a whole set of dilemmas, like the one about the size, would never even come up. Not to mention our complete lack of knowledge of basic camping etiquette. And this might not even be our biggest problem since we’re planning to spend most of the time freedom camping away from campsites. But I remain determined. The only acceptable way to see the South Island for me is by camping.

Having wrong expectations

I’m afraid that my determination stems from my slightly romanticized image of camping in New Zealand. It’s a result of numerous Instagram photos posted by happy campers having a time of their life camping on a shore of some azure blue lake without a single person around. I guess nobody would post a photo of themselves emptying their septic tank or being attacked by a swarm of sand flies while trying to eat their cold dinner from plastic plates.

Putting too much on our plate

New Zealand is not exactly around the corner and it’s not likely that we will be returning soon if ever at all. So we could easily drop in the trap of wanting to see everything. With our huge motorhome and lack of experience that could well ruin our whole holiday.

So, there you have it. And these are just the things that could go wrong in the planning phase. The list of possible failures on the road could go on and on for two camping rookies like us. So, anyone out there who’s done this before – tell me what were your biggest mistakes. We will probably repeat them but at least we won’t feel like complete losers  🙂

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