If you have read more posts on this blog, you probably know how much I love road trips. It’s one of my favorite ways to travel and I actively seek out road trip opportunities during my trips.
During our 5 month trip around the world my husband and I made a 6 week road trip around New Zealand. This year I explored Hokkaido (Japan) on a 10 day road trip and joined my parents on their road trip around Andalusia (Spain) for 3 days.
And when the opportunity presented itself to explore Ireland with Bunk Campers I didn’t waste a second in putting together an overly ambitious wish list of places to see (see the map below). Check out this post to see a map of our actual Ireland road trip itinerary.
I love the freedom of having my own wheels, because it allows me to explore a country at my own pace. Also, I can visit more remote places, drive to hiking trail heads (another of my favorite travel activities) and wake up to stunning views on deserted beaches.
Also, having my own transportation enables me pull over every kilometer to take a picture of all the stunning scenery (driving my husband mad sometimes;-).
Bottom line: road trips are awesome!
Particularly when they involve a campervan, because a campervan gives you even more freedom and flexibility. No need to book a hotel and plan where you’ll be by the end of the day. You’ve got your house on wheels and only need to find a place where you can park for the night!
I find traveling by camper van an economical way to travel as well, because it combines the costs of accommodation and transport, which both usually make up a large chunk of my travel budget.
Ireland camper van road trip: important things to know
Drive on the left
First and foremost: drive on the left! I’ve gotten pretty used to driving on the left side of the road, having explored New Zealand and Japan by car as well, however, this was my first time driving a manual car on the left side… Luckily practice makes perfect and after driving the camper van for a couple of hours it almost felt natural?.
In Japan I was frequently frustrated by the excruciatingly slow speed limits on the perfect and empty roads that begged me to drive faster. In Ireland on the other hand, the speed limit was 100 km an hour on most roads. However, I think our van would have toppled over had we driven at this speed. There are just too many curves, bends and twists in the roads. And don’t get me started on those little stone walls or high hedges that line them…
So just be careful, drive slowly and enjoy the ride!
Because I refused to drive the maximum speed simply because I didn’t feel it would have been safe to do so, we often created a tiny traffic jams behind our van (2/3 cars, that’s how busy it was?). It was very much appreciated by our fellow road users if we pulled over (when possible) to let them pass.
Asking nicely goes a long way
Irish people are great, the people we met were so kind and welcoming! We spent the first night in our campervan at the parking lot of Galway Bay Golf Resort where the managers Barry and Peter went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We were shown around the premises and invited to use the bathroom facilities of the golf club if we wanted to, so very kind!
During our trip we were never refused when we asked if we could overnight at the park place of a golf resort/restaurant/supermarket and all these nights were free of charge. Now, I obviously can’t guarantee this will happen every time and everywhere in Ireland, but I do think asking nicely goes a long way.
Empty your toilet as often as you can…
I slept in several camper van, but this was the first one with a toilet on board! Very luxurious but remember to empty the toilet on a regular basis. We learned this lesson the hard way?…
Enjoy the stunning scenery
Hire your camper van from Bunk Campers
Bunk Campers provided me with a free Vista camper van for our 5 day trip around Ireland. However, I do not recommend products or services on my blog I don’t have a positive personal experience with or genuinely believe in. In any case, my experience with Bunk Campers was excellent! Why you might wonder?
• Well, for starters their customer service is kick-ass, I always received a reply to my email within an hour.
• Furthermore, the camper vans from Bunk are modern. That means you can charge your phone via the USB port and your tablet via the cigarette lighter;-). It also means you have a rear-view camera, very helpful when reversing your van on a narrow road…
• Also, their fleet is in outstanding condition and our Vista camper van was very comfortable to drive. It was my first camper van with cruise control, great for long stretches on the highway! The built-in GPS-system came in quite handy too, though I always make sure to have a map as well.
• Bunk’s Dublin office is really close to the airport (5 minutes by bus) and the bus stop is about 200 meters from the office.
• Finally, Bunk offers very competitive prices on their vans, you can rent the smallest one (the Roadie) for only €40 a night!
Costs of renting a camper van in Ireland
As I mentioned, I didn’t have to pay a rental fee for the Vista camper provided to us by Bunk Campers. But there were several other expenses we did pay, so I’ve made an infographic (including rental fee) to show you the total costs of renting a campervan in Ireland for 5 days.
As you can see in the infographic, expenses are split into 5 categories:
1. Rental fee ⇒ a Vista campervan costs €73 per day, for 5 days the total amount would have been €365.
2. Additional insurance ⇒ optional, but I had a tiny parking accident in New Zealand and was so happy this was covered by our collision waiver damage. Having extra insurance just gives me peace of mind?.
3. Petrol ⇒ between €1,17 and €1,22 per liter. We drove 1400 kilometers in total and paid €138 in total for diesel.
4. Toll ⇒ on the M roads (highways) of Ireland you have to pay toll. It costs €1,90 for a car (also for the Vista van) every time you pass a toll booth. For our 5 day road trip around the country total costs were €15,50.
5. Parking ⇒ a minor expense, we paid a couple of euros for parking in Dingle town and at the Rock of Cashel.
The total cost of renting a campervan for 5 days is €719, which comes down to €144 per day. And like I said, that’s the combined costs for accommodation and transport. Not very expensive for a country in West-Europe. You can read more about the total costs of our Ireland trip here. Or check out my packing list to see which items you need to take with you on a campervan road trip.
You can download the infographic about the costs of renting campervan below and if you have any questions about making a road trip in Ireland, please send me a message?.