Travelling alone in a camper van or motorhome

Many people travel alone in a camper van or motorhome. I did so in 2006 through western Europe, and had a great time. It is easy to meet other people when travelling. Whether you are staying in campsites or free camping, there are friendly people everywhere. Other travelers are generally easy to approach, and most will speak English. Some people will be glad for someone else to talk to. If a couple or group of friends are travelling they are often glad for someone else to chat to and share stories and travel information. When free camping in surf locations you will find several people travelling alone, and its easy to find someone to surf, eat and drink with. Solo travelers often travel in convey from place to place, one they have met up someone they get along with.

If you are thinking about travelling alone don’t be put off. It can just as rewarding, and sometimes more so, than travelling in groups.

  1. Hi

    Just found this encouraging site.Contemplating hiring a camper van and taking myself off for a few weeks with the dog.
    I live in East Anglia and thought well lets see Scotland.My knowledge of Scotland is two visits to Edinburgh

    Again like most retired and not wanting age to stop me getting out there

    Any advice about planning welcomed.The internet seems to suggest wild camping is getting more difficult/discouraged.

    Reply

  2. Female solo van travelling
    Hi,

    Great article and informative.

    I am thinking of taking up my little dream and buying a campervan to live and travel in. I am from the UK and want to travel around Europe in winter then head back here to get work for the summer.

    My question is……………what do you do if it breaks down when you are in a foreign country and you are completely alone unable to fix it yourself?? Haha

    And also is it really worth the while in regards to cutting costs?

    I just want freedom really but if it’s too much hassle then I won’t do it. I’ll just catch flights to places and do volunteer work to travel around.

    Thanks a lot!

    Reply

    1. Hi
      Hi

      I would recommend having European breakdown cover. Make sure your policy it covers your vehicle weight.

      Is traveling in a campervan worth the while to cut costs?
      It’s about much more than cutting costs.
      With a campervan, travelling between Paris and Madrid, you could visit 30 towns, 20 beaches, 15 campsites and have hundreds of conversions.
      You would not have the same experience when flying.

      Reply

  3. Hi
    Hi
    I’m 48 and am wanting to pursue my dream of heading off with a van, my dog and my half written book. I’m less concerned about being a woman travelling alone, but am much more worried about how to keep my faithful friend safe. I have two main concerns:
    1) What happens if I suddenly become unwell/have an accident? Who looks after my dog? At the moment I’m stuck on this problem.
    2) Theft of dogs from vehicles is at an all time high. I never leave my dog in my car for this reason. What do solo travellers do if they need to go somewhere dog unfriendly eg supermarket, doctor etc? Do people just risk it?
    All the other details seem minor in comparison….such is the order of life 🙂

    Reply

    1. Go ahead
      Hey, Im traveling in a van around europe with my two dogs.
      I have had no problems until now. Im not afraid of someone stealing the dogs.. if I go to the supermarket I can leave them for a while inside the van. If you have any other questions you can ask me directly on my blog , wish you good trips!

      Reply

    2. Hi, my name is Tamar. Did you pursue your dream? I’m also 48 and I have a Dog and I have the same dream as you. Also, my first concern is the safety of my dog. so I would love to hear from you and your experience.

      Reply

    3. I also am wanting to live this Camper life , just bought a big , beautiful V8 , have a comfortable Camper , am 59 years old, and alone for years by choice,my question is where do I meet another like I , no relationship , only someone who would like to really hit the road , see sights and do the free life , yet responsible enough to understand this will be a journey of lifestyle , to seek out , deserts with Cati , Sea grass to Snorkel, maybe some mountains , painted Deserts, or caves ??? How do I find a great friend only , working as a team to , leave behind a bit of the system , and be with nature. There’s got to be someone like I ??

      Reply

      1. Hi Sami,

        I am a total novice at this; blogging and backpacking,but just thought I should get in touch. I have been thinking I would like to do a bit of travelling. I am almost the same age as yourself but usually dont feel it.I do have one or two friends who want me to join them on exclusive hols and although this sounds good I like camper vans and seeing little things and places off the beaten track.It goes without saying i am not going to experience these things with an exclusive package deal. I am an artist so would like to sketch and paint a little on route.I have had a couple of campers in the past so have experienced this life although I did not get further than Ireland and this was with a partner. I would like to know more about what interests you.

        Reply

  4. I lived in my camper for 3
    I lived in my camper for 3 years with my dog and we travelled all around France. My partner and I now have another camper and spend every moment that we can travelling around. We are in North Yorkshire and love finding spots on our coastline. We’re hoping to travel to the Black Forest in Germany next year and are looking forward to a tour around Scotland this September.

    We’re always pleased to meet other fellow campervan travellers, so please get in touch.

    Reply

  5. Hey Lynne, wondering what
    Hey Lynne, wondering what happened. I am of the same vintage, and in the same headspace. So I’d love to know.

    Hope it’s working out.

    Reply

  6. You´ll only regret the things you haven´t done
    Lynne, go ahead and do it.
    But perhaps you can have your cake and eat it. Have you thought about letting your home?. And you don´t need to spend a fortune in a motorhome to enjoy your travels. My husband, 65 and I 62 are the proud owners of a 19 year old motorhome that takes us everywhere without any hassles. it cost us a fraction of the price of a new one, when we sell this one we won´t buy a new one either.

    We are spanish and live in Spain, have had our motorhome 4 years and have travelled on short and longer trips in Spain and Portugal with our 2 dogs, a German shepher and another…..don´t know what breed, he was adopted. I am still working so at the moment the longest we can be away is 18 days. But when I retire we hope to take longer trips around Europe.

    It´s easy, buy something cheap, rent your home, put some possesions you ca n´t get rid of in the garaje and just go and enjoy it!!

    Best of luck

    Reply

  7. Hi..
    Hi..
    Im about to get a motorhome and travel europe. I work offshore 2 weeks and are off 4 weeks so i need to park the car around europe when i og to work.. Is this safe? Is there a list over good and safe Places to park 🙂

    Reply

  8. Lynne – go for it!
    Lynne – go for it!

    At the same age, I to am privately planning just such an adventure. I would love to follow your progress.

    Don’t let the doubters put you off 🙂

    Reply

  9. Lone Travelling Plan
    Its almost March 2014, I’m almost 60 years old, and I now live alone. I have a 3 bed house which feels to large for me and my terrier/beagle cross (who incidentally doesn’t like strangers).
    So I’m planning. Planning to sell the contents of my house, sell the house, pay off my creditors and buy a motorhome. My first motorhome. Yes, I’m completely new to MH living. I wanted to hire one in my 40s when I had a husband and young children, but my husband vetoed it, just the same as he vetoed anything that was fun.
    So I’m a novice, and 59, and female. And mostly skint. I was made redundant 3 years ago and have been under-employed ever since. I have a couple of small pensions but my state pension won’t be here until I’m 66. Shame on this country.
    Sometimes I tell people about My Plan. Mostly the reaction is that its a great idea but its just a dream. Give up bricks and mortar? How? His does anyone live a 21st century life without bricks and mortar? Good question.
    But the Plan is like an obsession now. I’m clearing the loft, so it must be serious. A single person does not need this much stuff. No one needs this much stuff. So its all going. Giving it away, selling it, burning some, taking the rest to the tip.
    I’m not hugely adventurous. I plan to site-camp, but I’d love to wild-camp too. I’ll learn as I go, but I’m scouring the Net for advice, really simple, basic advice about basic services, how to visit places without leaving the unfriendly dog in a hot ‘van but not leaving her outside anywhere, where an unsuspecting public may allow a child to pet her. Bad idea. I love the idea of freeloading on relatives, in the guise of welcome visitor. “Would you mind if I pop a few things in your washer whilst I’m here?” (Brings out 2 weeks of washing including towels and bed linen)
    I’m only starting out in the UK for now, but since my younger daughter lives near Montpellier now, so who knows? Maybe elder daughter and her fiancé might accompany me there.
    I should start a blog, but maybe I’ll contact a magazine and ask if they would like to hire a column writer. Or maybe write to Channel 4. ‘Dropping out at 59’ might be the title.
    All advice welcome. Just as long as its not a message from my ex-husband telling me not to be stupid. :o)

    Reply

    1. Traveling alone in a campervan or motorhome
      Hi Lynne. It is a while since your post but as I am in a similar position and age as you am wondering how you are getting on with your plans.

      Reply

    2. motorhoming alone
      I have hired a motorhome for the first two weeks in July to visit norway with my two staffys. Wife no longer with us so would welcome company for 62 year old male.

      Reply

    3. Single and travelling alone
      Hi Lynne
      Well just come across you post on the website.
      I hope you have pursued your dream and bought a motorhome.
      I’ve just got my first motorhome at the age of 65, being single is rather daunting and travelling alone, so much to learn.
      I’d hate to get another 5 years down the line and wish I’d done it, so now I have that’s it.
      Good luck.

      Reply

    4. Travelling solo
      Lynne

      Just go for it, life is not a dress rehearsal.

      My wife and I were going to retire in 2017 (now 09/2016) and travel Europe for months at a time. We have a 3 month old brand new van and we find she has got terminal cancer. Perhaps we waited too long who knows. I am therefore planning to do most of the stuff we had planned with n angel looking one.

      Best of luck all out there and to anyone thinking of doing it don’t delay too long as you never know what is around the corner.

      Reply

    5. Hi just read your mail,I’m 68 and widowed so hoping you’ll let me know that you’re living your dream? I do hope so. I’m testing the water and thinking what have l to lose.

      Reply

    6. Yes you must start a blog or contact a paper I think there are probably more of us around than you think. I too am same age and at the initial stages of thinking about travelling and should it be in a camper. I have had one briefly before but never had a partner who enthused about it and one even said when invited to join me ‘itll be all shuffling about’ Grzzz

      Ooh just had an idea perhaps we could meet up, share anecdotes and Ill do the illustrations for your book!

      Reply

  10. Mature Male Companion available
    Hello everybody

    Not sure if anybody is interested in my offer however if you have a campervan and you want an additional driver and companion. Chess player , good cook, some basic continental language skills

    well the way I look at it traveling by campervan is a fixed cost so it would not cost you any extra. I would buy my own food at least

    I cant pay for any fuel etc but I could offer company, extra security, driving and some basic language skills. I used to own a VW bus and have very extensive European travel experience by campervan/motorcycle , hitch hiking and bicycle. I am now 52 but I am still as poor as ever. Non smoker but enjoy a drink . straight ( hope thats not a disappointment)

    long haul trips to Greece , Germany would be great. I have connections to those countries . I love all of Europe really and I like UK too

    based in London

    52 year old male

    [email protected]

    email me if you have any ideas. Please note the route you take and when and where to stop would always be your decision .It would always be fuly understood that its your vehicle and that you are the decision maker. all I would ask is that I was treated in a reasonable manner in te spirit of free camping I would offer advice if asked ( or if it was obvious that it made no sense to park up in the elephant enclosure at the Zoo)

    Reply

  11. single travellers
    I have travelled alone for a few years now and you are correct in what you say. It is a state of mind and just needs good common sense in many cases to stay safe. I am now looking to find a campervan as I have not done that. It seems as if it would be a good idea to have a site to discuss ideas, or is this the place? It would be fun to arrange a meetup in the UK to meet everyone!! I am thinking of joining the caravan and camping club as they have small basic sites for club members only.
    By the way thanks for the tips and ideas.

    Reply

  12. parking the van
    Hi there,
    I am planning a route through Europe this summer and would like to do some cycling and walking at different points, perhaps for 4 or 5 days at a time. How safe is it to leave a campervan for some days and where would be good places to leave it so it will be safe?

    thanks
    lisa

    Reply

    1. It’s certainly safe to leave
      It’s certainly safe to leave a vehicle in the right places.
      If you find a cheap campsite you can leave a vehicle there and it will be quite safe.
      Alternatively if you find a good wild camping spot, and make friends with some people there, you can ask them to keep an eye on your vehicle.
      I have done both before and had no trouble.

      Reply

  13. SOLO MOTORHOME OWNER/TRAVELLER
    Hi there
    My late husband and myself purchased our Chausson Welcome 75 brand new September 09, but sadly he passed away suddenly Aug 10, but I have continued to take her “Winnie” out and about in this country and was wondering if anyone could recommend a site that is within walking distance of a village/town. I have visited Moreton in Marsh Cotswolds and Wool in Dorset – these are prime examples of the type of sites I am seeking after.
    Look forward to hearing from fellow travellers.
    Kind regards.
    Mary

    Reply

  14. Travelling alone needs a mix of experiences to be fun
    I am 74′ male married to a wonderful woman who will not travel more than about a month In one go, so I travel alone. She, either flys to where I am and flys back again or stays at home. And keeps the Base station Running!
    I’ve been from Uk to Turkey, a lot around western Europe, Morocco and Nordcap as well as many of the eastern European countries. Languages help of course but a big smile and lots of none threatening gesture gets most of the communication. If in a mess go to an expensive hotel and ask a receptionist, most have a working understanding of English and a miniature Malt whisky is better than Dollars or Pounds as a thank you.
    Mix up your overnight stays. Wildcamping is a more tense, therefore tiring, overnight stop than a good quality camp site, but of course it is cheaper.
    I do not travel with an animal, but I cannot see problems if that is your choice, assuming you are a careful owner!
    Always have a spare key hidden on the vehicle, in case you loose the one in your pocket or around your neck. Slow down! The race around to see six countries and seven of the biggest and best sites in each is exhausting and a waste of effort. You will remember nothing and experience so little that you might have watched a TV travelogue.
    A sole male is viewed with apprehension by middle aged sucked in faced holidaymakers so expect them to speak to you when they see your packing up to leave. The friendliest people are always the ones you meet by accident like the old woman on the bus who has too many shopping bags, it could be a young man on one of those screaming fizz bang motorcycles but it’s more likely to be a Baker or the Honey-seller who is just interested in your interest in their lives.
    Travelling alone is not a fearful thing if you are not afraid of yourself.
    I hope we meet

    Reply

    1. Lone travel
      Hello
      Interesting post,I am 71 and have the same difficulties,two five week trips a year (one France one Spain) is enough for my wife so I go quite a bit on my own but UK only up to now,I must get my finger out and try a lone trip further a field.

      Reply

  15. alone camper traveller
    Hi all,

    I am travelling the UK then Europe this March 2012, 8 weeks worth in a camper. I am 47 yrs and always wished to do this. I’m very excited and somewhat apprehensive…

    My main concern currently is driving Europe, left hand road. I am a New Zealander, Right hand side. As I am hiring camper from UK it will right hand drive…so…any ideas or advice will be greatly appreciated,

    Regards,

    Ross

    Reply

    1. Hi Ross
      Sounds like an

      Hi Ross

      Sounds like an exciting trip 🙂
      Driving on the “other side” is really not much of a problem. After the first couple of hours you’ll be used to it. After a few days you’ll be completely comfortable.
      I have 2 tips
      1. Watch others at junctions. At first this helps give you a better idea of where the traffic is moving.
      2. When starting off each morning, if there is no other traffic around, check which side of the road you should be on. It’s easy to drive for a few minutes before seeing another car, and realising you’re on the wrong side.

      As you’re hiring from the UK you will be comfortable with the vehicle setup, and this helps loads.

      Enjoy your trip, you will have a great time.

      Regards

      Darren

      Reply

  16. Nice to hear from you James.
    Nice to hear from you James. I hope the spring comes early.

    Reply

  17. I always travel alone these days.
    I travel most places on my own and have met some of the nicest people yet !! Usually students traveling around on a gap year or similar. Having a very social Labrador helps as he tends to run up to others first and introduces the both of us !
    Winter2009/10 has been particularly ‘long’ and cannot wait for the Spring/Summer.

    Reply

    1. traveling alone
      James, just a quick question or three for you!

      Im seriously considering traveling around europe in a campervan for 6-8 months next spring and Im not sure if I should take my (very friendly) Doberman or to try and leave him with family. Were there any restricting issues or problems that you found having a dog with you on your travels?

      best
      Pete

      Reply

      1. I’ve met lots of people
        I’ve met lots of people traveling with their dogs and it worked very well for them.
        The dog adds a level of security to your vehicle.

        Reply

        1. My husband and I bought a
          My husband and I bought a motorhome last July and are enjoying travelling every spare moment we have. That is mainly Summer, 3 day long trips July to September and 2 week holiday. We travel with 2 dogs a german shepher and another…hmmm, mixed breed I suppose. They love travelling, as soon as they see preparations to go on the road they get into the van and won´t get out in case they are left behind. There are some things to consider while taking the dog, you can not visit some of the sites or monuments with dogs . We have lunch at outdoor cafes if they allow the dogs to sit next to us when we don´t want to eat in the van.We actually bought the motorhome to travel with dogs and love doing it.

          Reply

    2. travelling alone
      Hello,
      I would be interested in talking further with you about campervanning on my own. I have done this in the past but with my ex husband. I still want to go vanning and wonder if it is realistic on my own?

      Reply

      1. Hi A.
        I am a 56 year old male who travells alone (well, with my lab X collie) On my travels I have met several ladies who worry about travelling alone, which is perfectly understandable.
        I think that so long as you’re sensible and park in the company of other vehicles then you’ll have no problems at all.
        Most people I’ve met on my travells, if not…all the people I’ve met have been extremely friendly and helpfull.

        Reply

      2. solo campervanning
        Hi
        I have just found this site, I now have an ex as well (plus a campervan I have just bought) I would love to take it to France and would like to hear your experiences.
        Regards
        Lynda

        Reply

        1. Hi Lynda
          I have traveled

          Hi Lynda

          I have traveled through France on my own. It’s a great place to meet other people on campsites and aires.
          Lots of amazing places to visit. Great food 🙂

          Reply

        2. Hi Lynda,
          Hi Lynda,

          Just wondering if you ever did go to France..

          Reply

      3. Lonesome pine
        Hi, I’m 62, and disables, and I travel around wildcamping all the time; however, I do take my 2 German Shepherds with me. I’ve never had a problem with other people or local authorities, in fact the biggest problem is catching a shower and getting the laundry done, when you don’t want to stay on sites. There are lots of women doing it for themselves, just plan ahead and have a good emergency kit set up. Otherwise, the open road is yours, and it’s great.

        Reply

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