traveling Europe in a camper van
Does anyone have any thoughts/advice about the money saving benefits, and logistical issue (border crossing problems etc.)about this?
Our trip will encompass Western and Eastern EU, Asia, and Australia/NZ.
Lodging the obvious answer is yes, granted it might be cramped for 3 of you, I guess you will really get to love one another if you don't already :-)
In terms of logistics crossing borders obviously this won't be a problem in the EU states as there really aren't borders..if you blink or fall asleep you will miss when you have entered germany and left switzerland! I think your problems will arise in eastern europe with having to have visas.
Also insurance on the westy might be an issue. Not sure what sort of international insurance you can get on the Westy and if you need that, maybe there is a policy that covers you in the EU states, but not sure about the others and that would be an issue i think.
Meals - I'm assuming you can cook in the westy and have some sort of a gas stove...Again I think this should definitely cut your costs of meals considering they aren't so cheap in europe. A big family night out wouldn't hurt every once and a while though...
There are countries that will not let you in without a Carnet de passage, which is like a passport for your vehicle. Having one can make travel easier for you, especially in Asia, but of course it means that you can not sell the car in any country that requires it without losing your deposit.
I was with a group that took a private bus to India, which requires the carnet. In Pakistan on the way back our dear leader discovered that to get a visa back into Iran would take a minimum of 3 weeks (he had gotten us single-entry visas), so to speed up our journey we ended up selling the bus and using the money to fly home, but we had to take it to Afghanistan to sell it, because had we done it in Pakistan (which also requires the carnet), we would have lost our deposit.
You wont have any trouble with border crossings in Western Europe. I am not so sure about Eastern Europe - that would merrit some more research, and maybe a call to their respective embassies.
Gas is hellishly expensive in Europe. I know in Denmark they right now pay $10 - 12 per gallon. But the train is expensive too. Some countries you will be able to find places where you can shower for a fee - but not other places. That would be something to consider. Maybe a hotel once a week?
Make sure to know where you can park and camp and where you cant. Each country will have different rules. Also, make certain that you know which areas / countries it is safe to park and camp and which arent.
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