How to turn your car into a camper*
There’s a reason why so many films are about road trips. They just scream adventure and the excitement of the unknown. On road trips, scenery looks better, songs sound greater and kisses are sweeter. Of course, that goes hand in hand with the fact that fights can be a lot angrier, too…and awkward silences deafening!
If you’re going on a long trip with anyone, it’s bound to test your relationship. Even more so when the place you’ll be sleeping is where you’ve been driving all day – the confined space alone can be enough to strain even the strongest of bonds.
So for me, having a few luxuries to hand in my car makes every road trip and camping adventure the thrill it should be. That way you feel more comfortable and less inclined to lash out at your travel buddy when he gets you hopelessly lost.
In fact, I often prefer these kind of holidays to the more traditional package holiday; as it means you can bring your home wherever you go.
If you’re looking to turn your car into a camper, whether you’ll be cruising in the sunshine down Australia’s East Coast or braving the damp in Scotland’s gorgeous highlands, this post is for you.
1. Start with some padding
Sure, a sleeping bag is a pretty essential item if you’re going on a camping trip, and it can also be pretty handy if you plan on sleeping in your car.
But I’d go one step further to turn your car into a cosy camper. Because sleep is a pretty crucial activity; especially when on the road, you should take whatever measures are necessary to get a decent night’s kip.
Track down a soft, colourful blanket and some funky throw pillows to pimp out your backseat. It’ll serve as a comfy couch during the daytime and a homely bed at night. You could even add a groundsheet to the collection, meaning your nice blanket and pillows could double up as a picnic table for some dining in the great outdoors.
2. Keep beauty essentials in the glovebox
Toothpaste, deodorant, hairspray, lippie, perfume, whatever – make sure you have a mini beauty kit to hand because sometimes you won’t get a chance to shower and freshen up for a night on the town and by bringing some items from your bathroom cabinet at home, you can be prepared for whatever’s in store. I always bring baby wipes on a camping trip as they’re easy to use to freshen up.
That’s a huge benefit of having your own car on holiday…you needn’t be lugging all your possessions around on your back, so you have the space to do these things.
Oh, and always, always have a bikini to hand. Because you never know when there’ll be a waterfall to cool off in – it’s probably better to save the skinny-dipping for when you have more privacy.
3. Don’t forget the music
Never underestimate the power of a good playlist to set the mood.
So even if you’ve had a nightmare of a journey; you’ve gotten lost a hundred times, then you got a flat tyre and you’re now huddled inside your car for the night in the lashing rain…all can seem less horrible by sticking on some of your favourite music.
I make at least 5 different playlists before going on an extended car trip. Something that makes me want to dance, something that helps me sleep, something I can sing along to, something to make me cry…and some instrumental or classical music that makes gorgeous vistas seem even more spectacular. I loved the Beach Boys in Australia – the perfect soundtrack for our road trip!
Your mood is likely to change throughout your journey, so you don’t want to be stuck with ABBA’s Greatest Hits as your only outlet (not that I’d ever diss them, of course!) – variety should definitely be the spice of your music’s life when you embark on your journey.
4. Always bring snacks
99% of road-trip bickering comes from a lack of snacks. Ok, so maybe I made that up. But it’s true in my case. If I find myself feeling irritable or snappy at my travelling companion, it’s usually because I’m hangry – that dangerous mixture of hunger and anger.
Sometimes you’re out on the open road for hours, without any supplies in sight. And of course, don’t forget to stock up on sensible things too, like plenty of water.
I always bring a couple of apples, some crackers and nuts as an emergency breakfast if I can’t find a place to eat after my night in the car. If you want to go a step further, a mini gas stove, a pan and some oats or baked beans will more than do the trick.
Plus, if you’re the kind of person who’s always cold, like me, invest in a good flask. Fill it with hot water before you set off and even if you don’t have a stove with you, you should be able to make a nice hot cuppa in the morning.
Now that you know how to turn your car into a camper, enjoy every moment of your journey…wherever the road may take you. Happy travels!