Caravana en carretera de montaña
Image courtesy of ASEICAR

“The most beautiful thing is to discover something, some place, that you didn’t know existed,” says José Manuel Jurado, president of the Spanish Association of Caravanning Industry and Commerce (ASEICAR) and a motorhome owner for more than 40 years. “I think the best thing about this type of travel is the mindset of getting to know new places and being able to spend more time than originally planned on a beach, a river or a mountain.” A hymn to freedom, in short.

After the rise of the sector, which became very popular as a result of the pandemic, more and more people are turning to this kind of house on wheels to enjoy their holidays and look for inspiring places. “Although the trend was on the rise before Covid, the pandemic led to us appearing on twenty-something news programs, and many people then tried the family experience, for greater safety, and it left a mark,” says José Manuel Jurado.

A caravanning expert and an “inveterate traveler above all,” he says there are several considerations to think about before hitting the road. Without a doubt, his advice comes with a lot of baggage – there are thousands of kilometers and hundreds of idyllic landscapes on his resume – for the adventure to be optimal. Ready, steady, go!

Caravana en la playa
Image courtesy of ASEICAR

Tips for a good motorhome trip

First we must check that the motorhome is in perfect condition, meeting all the requirements to travel without problems. Then, the first suggestion for the summer is to avoid the most crowded destinations. “For me it is key; especially the first time,” points out the president of ASEICAR. Because, he explains, “it is not the same to go to Tuscany when it’s 40 degrees if you have a cool hotel, as it is to get behind the wheel and the parking lot is full, with children who get tired, and everything is swarming with tourists.” Precisely, that is what a motorhome offers: being able to choose locations without the need for a reservation, where otherwise it would not be possible… And, to summarize, “there are beautiful places which are not at all busy.”

Any other advice? Yes, it may seem like a truism, but it will prevent many setbacks: use the parking area applications. “It is important to know them because sometimes you arrive very late at certain places, at night, without knowing the location or having any idea of the restrictions and permitted areas. Regardless of whether it is feasible to park like a car, play it safe,” says José Manuel Jurado. And, in line with this recommendation, the specialist warns: “Let’s be realistic with the roadmap! There are those who rent a motorhome and want to visit the North Cape in ten days. “Find out about the distance, or you’re going to be overwhelmed and spend half the time in the vehicle.” Conclusion: it is time to consider more achievable trips. And why not let yourself be surprised, savoring every moment without longing for a perhaps impossible Ithaca.The good thing about the motorhome – which reminds us of Cavafy – according to the Spanish Association of Caravanning Industry and Commerce (ASEICAR) , is the feeling of the road. Perhaps, along the way, you stop at an unknown enclave and are amazed by its beauty… And then, without having planned it, you spend the night there. Why run more and more and not give in to this improvised fable?

Image courtesy of ASEICAR

Caravanning, says the expert, always provides different options… “You realize that with such an autonomous means of transport you can travel, live and find things that would not be possible in any other way.” Again, freedom.

And pay attention to the warning: “When you are only 48 hours into your first trip, you will see the freedom that the motorhome offers. A fun, modern, contemporary way of traveling. You change the plan however you want,” says Jurado. You will have experiences that you will surely share later at work or among friends, emulating the writer Jack Kerouac and his immortal novel: “We were enchanted, we left confusion and nonsense behind and performed our one and noble function of the moment: move.”

Image courtesy of ASEICAR

5 continents in a motorhome?

Image courtesy of ASEICAR

Let’s move, then. And, as an incentive to scrutinize the absolutely unfathomable world map, let’s share a destination for each continent…

In Europe, how about visiting the Norwegian fjords? “Highly recommended, a beauty; and without needing to get to Cape North if we don’t have time,” recalls the president of ASEICAR. “And closer: the coast of Brittany, Normandy in France. Of course, not during the  high season,” he insists. In this area everything is very well suited to motorhomes, as it is in Germany and Holland. Countries that are far ahead of others like Spain, where José Manuel Jurado suggests, to start, going north: “Asturias and Galicia, it doesn’t matter where. And remember motorhomes can go to campsites. The north is always worth it, because of the landscape, the temperature in summer, the food… But there are a thousand places. Around Plasencia, Extremadura, you find wonders.” And so, jumping from region to region, an endless list of plans.

But let’s keep rolling. Heading to America? “The West Coast and the national parks of the Rocky Mountains, in Canada. The nature there is amazing and they also have it very well set up for motorhomes; in fact, sometimes these parks don’t even have a hotel,” says our experienced guide. “And the East Coast of the United States, where they have been traveling like this all their lives. “A very cool experience,” he says. And very cinematic, yes. Regarding South America, ASEICAR highlights the love of caravanning in Argentina and Chile, for example.

Image courtesy of ASEICAR

And in Asia? Faced with another major challenge, due to the cultural differences, one of the most talked-about sites is the Karakoram highway between China and Pakistan. As they emphasize in Esquire, it is 1,200 kilometers long, and follows “the old silk route” that crosses the mountain range that gives its name to the road, “which means that at some point you will reach an altitude of over 4,600 meters.” Yes, here is perhaps the highest paved road on the planet, a watchtower that offers the chance to see – according to Esquire – “spectacular natural elements such as glaciers, mountains such as K2 and the Hunza Valley.” But, be careful and cautious with the snowfall and monsoon season, which are not trivial factors.

In Africa, a continent as colossal as it is impressive, how about enjoying Morocco? “A blast in a motorhome! There are no limitations, there is a coast where you can be on the beach itself. And, if you’re coming from Spain, it’s only a few hours’ drive away. I think almost all motorhomers have gone there. It is very safe, cheap, and with sensational landscapes,” concludes the president of ASEICAR.

caravana carretrea y faro
Image courtesy of ASEICAR

And, on the horizon, there is also Oceania, “the favorite destination for Spaniards to travel by motorhome and campervan during the winter,” they say on the  AutoC community website, specialists in this type of itinerant tourism. Australia receives more than 10 million international visitors throughout the year and a large percentage, they point out, choose to travel by motorhome. Along with popular Sydney, the almost always sunny Perth shines, as well as Cairns, in Queensland. A way to access the Great Barrier Reef, where fans of diving and snorkeling must make a stop. Another country prepared for this genuine way of traveling, a trend that’s on the rise because who doesn’t like to feel free?

And all these issues and countless others – such as rising prices, pros, cons, the best way to promote this kind of traveling – will surely be talked about in the International Caravanning Show in 2025, at Fira Barcelona. Meanwhile, the road waits impatiently to continue inspiring us aboard the motorhome. The adventure has just begun…

Artículos relacionados