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Aussie Guide To Campervanning In Europe As An Australian

Filed in: travel

How To Campervan Around Europe The Macadames - 1

If we’re friends on Facebook or you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I am a tad behind on my posts.

I don’t want to miss one minute of my trip blogging, so just get to it when I can.

About a month ago, we left London and started the final leg of our journey. 16 weeks of travelling Europe in a camper van.

We found it surprisingly difficult to find information on how to campervan around europe as an Australian. Without being an official resident of any EU country it was rather difficult. So to help fellow travellers, I thought I’d provide a brief outline of what we did.

Errrrr… ok fine, it’s not that brief, but there’s a lot I wanted to share 🙂 I do hope this helps any Aussies, Kiwis or foreign citizens in planning your trip. It really is such an awesome way to travel.

Please note I am no expert, I am simply aiming to help others who may not know where to start. This is a very basic guide and will not be useful for seasoned campers.

Please stay tuned for the coming parts of this series which will cover budgeting, free/wild camping and lessons learnt.

Why we chose to travel by camper van

We chose this mode of travel for a few reasons, the main one being that we wanted to travel to loads of countries on a budget. Having a camper van is also has it’s added benefits such as:

  • giving you the flexibility to go where you want, when you want.
  • having your hotel room go with you (saving you constant packing & unpacking).
  • being able to save heaps on eating out as you can cook your own food/buy your own drinks.
  • being able to “stealth” camp in cities.
  • being able to “free camp” pretty much wherever you want. Europe is quite accepting of this, so long as you clean up after yourself.

Hire v Buy

We looked into hiring a campervan through companies like Wicked Campers or Origin Campervans, but given the time we needed it for, the cost to hire would have been almost AUD$17k.

That’s not my idea of travelling on a budget.

So we decided to take the buy & sell option. Now I can’t say this doesn’t have risks, but given the cost savings and the fact we literally found the best camper ever, this was the better option for us. Stay tuned for my thoughts once the trip is over. We are yet to have a road-side breakdown. Touch wood.


When it comes to campervans, clearly spending more money will get you a better campervan. But as any traveller knows, most of your money has already been allocated to international flights, beer hall-ing in Germany or lids off in Mykenos.

If you choose well, a slightly more expensive campervan will likely have less engine issues, be more comfortable and will hold it’s value. I would suggest spending the most you can afford to go without during the trip, knowing you’ll get most (or all) of it back if you find the right van and look after it properly.

If it were up to me, I would have the mister sell the beloved motorbike gathering dust in the yard and put it into the campervan. But alas, a free standing bath isn’t a required feature for a camping trip, apparently.

What to look for in a campervan

Now obviously this will come down to personal preference and budget but here are some of the main factors to consider.

There are literally thousands of options for campers ranging from a typical camper van (VW Transporter or similar) through to a converted work van (a.k.a Stealth camper) up to a full motorhome.

You will need to decide what features (see more below) you are looking for and then that will dictate the type of camper you need.


Diesel v Petrol

When it comes to Diesel or Petrol, it’s a personal preference. However through research we found that Diesel engines generally need less maintenance and are more fuel efficient.

Although Diesel fuel costs are slightly higher, you generally get more milage.

Be aware that due to EU restrictions on Diesel emmissions in the EU, certain older cars are not able to be driven in cities such as London, or you will be fined, please see this link for more information.

From my basic girl understanding: Diesel is also preferred due to the torque that is created in the Diesel engine. For anyone that doesn’t understand this, torque = pulling power. So once your van is loaded with food, luggage, bed etc, torque is very important as it will help you get from a to be without burning too much fuel.

Standing height

This will really define the size of camper you go for. As you are going to spend a lot of time in it, it’s preferable to have enough room to stand up straight whilst cooking or moving around the camper.

Otherwise you may end up with sore neck and shoulders from ongoing hunching. A friend of ours made the point of expressing that standing height was one of the most important factors to ensure comfort for living in your campervan. We are very glad he did!

If you are planning to spend more time outside the camper, you could look at having an awning, meaning you could go for a smaller campervan without the head height. If head height is a required feature, then you will be looking at a converted work van or larger.

*NB: When considering a longer/bigger van for extra room, please note that campers longer than 6m and over 3.5t incur higher tolls than standard size campers and are difficult to find parks for in bigger cities.

When factoring in clearance heights, make sure you take into consideration any air vents and/or tv aerials.

Bed layout

Most campers will either have a fold away (rockn’roll) bed, meaning you pack it up daily, as it usually doubles as seating for when you eat, or a fixed bed/bunks.

We went with a fixed bed mostly because who could be bothered to pack up a bed every day, and with most fixed beds there is always storage underneath.


Again you have multiple bathroom configuration options, campers can have both a shower and toilet or one or the other.

If you are considering a camper with a bathroom, please note that from my research I have found that people mostly complain that they tend to smell and can be a hassle to clean. Please also note that waste must be disposed of properly (eg. you can’t let your junk out on the street).

If you need power pretty regularly, you’ll need to pop into campsites anyway so you can use their showers then.

We have been on the road for 6 weeks and not having one hasn’t bothered us at all.

If you choose to go with one, this will have a water tank with pump and also potentially a water heater. All this gear takes more space and adds additional weight to the camper.

All toilet waste can be disposed of at campsites.


Again, your preferred kitchen layout will be based around what type of trip you’re taking. Will you be eating out a lot? Do you want the option of cooking your own food? If you are happy with cereal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, then you may not need a full cooking set up. However if you have specific dietary requirements or like us, enjoy cooking, you may prefer to have a single or double burner cooktop with a basic sink.

The cooktop will typically run on butane gas and come in lots of different sizes. You will need to ensure you buy the right sized canister so that’s it’s changeable in Europe. If you want to save yourself the hassle of changing in Europe, just buy a spare to take on the road.

With any sink, there will be a water tank with pump. This will be fillable at all campsites or when driving past the sneaky farm. Make sure the tank has been well looked after and definitely run it through a bit before drinking/cooking with the water the first time.


It doesn’t matter if you’re a group of 6 surfies looking to catch some waves in Lagos or a couple taking a year long sabbatical, you’re going to need storage. And more than you think!

Make sure all cupboards, drawers etc have a locking device to ensure they don’t open while driving.


Hmmmm… this is a tricky one. If you buy an expensive motorhome, which obviously no one can afford, most of the time, you won’t have any issues.

If you have a bit of cash to spend in the converted work van space, depending on who has done the conversion, you will potentially have a clear and detailed plan on how the electrics have been installed. The further down you go in price, it becomes more likely that it’s been a backyard where you’ll have a bunch of switches that work by the great hand of Zeus.

Your electrics will run:

–       any lighting in the rear

–       pumps for toilet/shower and/or sink

–       any fans, heaters or airconditioning units in the rear

–       fridge

–       12V power outlets

–       any 12V appliances that will run without a 240V power hook up (explained below)

Campervans vary from having none to all of the features listed above. It’s important to note that the more features you have, the greater the drain on the car battery.

If you are considering a campervan with many of the above features, it’s important to ensure it has a back up battery. Preferably a gel battery that has a longer life span and doesn’t leak (like acid batteries do).

This will need to run on split relay charger and therefore will further complicate your electrical system in the rear.

Try to get seller to draw you a basic schematic of the electrical layout which will assist you in you have any electrical issues during your trip and can’t find the damn fuse to replace. Which is our current predicament!

A 240V hook up is a direct line for 240V power into your van. You will find these at all camp sites and at some free camping locations.

Thankfully due to this wonderful invention, I can blog on the road.

This is a separate system to the 12V explained above and runs on it’s own fuses and is only an option when you are hooked up at campsites.

All you will need is a basic 3 phase power lead to connect your van, however please note in some Scandinavian countries, you will need a 2 prong European single phase convertor into your 3 phase in order to connect. If all this information phases you, just go to the local caravan store and get them to


Even the larger long wheel base campers are relatively cosy. so if you can, find a van with a fixable tent/awning structure which encloses an area outside your campervan. This will extend your living space with minimal effort and be especially rad when it’s raining or there are mosquitos or those dread midges.

This unfortunately was a feature not on our van however we bought a tent/awning to use for this purpose from Go Outdoors in the UK. It’s important to note that because it’s not fixed to our camper directly, it only gets used when we are camping for more than a few nights. If we had one as part of the van, we would use it far more often.

Right hand drive v left hand drive

If you’re buying the camper in England then you will most likely only have right hand drive options.

As most of Europe drives on the right side of the road, you will need to be comfortable with driving a RHD on the right side of the road.

Although it’s not a major issue, just have to make sure you have a left hand side window behind the passenger seat where you can head check your blind spot.

International driving permit

Before you leave Australia, make sure you get your International Driving Permit. Please check Smart Traveller for your state specific requirements.  This is basically a copy of the information on your licence in a little cardboard book but without it you can’t legally drive in many Eurpoean countries and then your insurance may be void if you were to have an accident and wanted to make a claim.

You can do this from overseas however it does cost extra to get them to post it internationally.

Finding a campervan

We used several sites to research options and some of the ones I can recommend are:

Auto Trader



We found ours on Auto Trader.

Background check

As you are buying from a stranger, I would suggest doing a background check on the camper van you are looking to purchase.

We used which will check if the vehicle:

  • is stolen
  • has been written off
  • has any outstanding finance

I would never recommend buying off a stranger without undertaking this or a similar background check.

International money transfer

Please note that when you find your camper van there are a few options for payment.

Typically the seller will request either a bank cheque or an international money transfer.

The bank cheque option is much less risky however you will need someone with a UK bank account and trust them with your money.

If an international money transfer is your only option, make sure that you sign some type of agreement with the seller that agrees that the seller is selling you the campervan at the set price. You should both sign & date it and if possible take copies of their licence. You can use this as a contract of such until the money transfer has cleared.

You do have to put some level of trust in the seller so make sure you get all the documents in place before making any payments.

Transfer of ownership

Once the money transfer has cleared or you have provided the bank cheque, the seller should fill out the V5C form which they will send to the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Ensure they give you sections 9 – 12 of this form which will act as your ownership document until the DVLA sends you the full V5C UK Registration Certificate.

When you sell the campervan on, you will provide sections 9 – 12 of this certificate to the buyer (only after you have received the money). It will then be your responsibility to send sections 1 – 8 of the certificate to the DVLA.

MOT Test Certificate

The seller should also provide you with the MOT Test Certificate which shows that the vehicle is roadworthy. If the seller doesn’t provide you with this certificate, you will need to take it to an authorised assessor to “take it over the pits”, similar to as you would do in Australia.


Make sure you check that the tax has been paid for the period you want to travel. If it hasn’t, you will need to pay the tax.


Anyone can buy a campervan, however you need to have a UK address to register the van to.

If you have a friend that is willing to let you register the vehicle at their home address, you’re sorted.

We registered it to a friends house under our name.


We only found one company, Down Under Insurance, that would insure a camper van owned and being driven by a licenced Australian (they also cover Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders and South Africans) without a UK residents card. It’s important to note that they don’t cover every country in Europe, so be sure to check their list of covered countries before planning your trip.

FYI we also contacted Stuart Collins and Andrew Copeland, however both companies only provided services to UK residents wanting to drive their vehicles in other countries.

I’m here to help!

I hope this helps any Aussies looking to take a camper van trip and please feel free to pop your questions in the comments and I will do my best to answer.

So without further adieu, I’d like you to meet Reginald, our home for the next few months.

Reginald The Campervan | The Macadames - 1

This is our kitchen/dining.

Reginald The Campervan | The Macadames - 6

Here is the couch, with storage underneath.

Reginald The Campervan | The Macadames - 7

And here is the master bedroom, with the “wardrobe” beneath. That box on the right is our “fridge”.

Reginald The Campervan | The Macadames - 5

This is us set up the first night we free-camped in Scotland (see my Scotland post for places to go).

Reginald The Campervan | The Macadames - 3

Reginald The Campervan | The Macadames - 2

When the weather is nice, you just roll open the doors, and voila! Alfresco dining!

Reginald The Campervan | The Macadames - 4

I could think of no better way to travel Europe! Stay tuned for more of our adventures!

And please please please feel free to ask any questions you might have about campervanning around Europe.

Don’t forget to hashtag #travelwiththemacadames on your travel pictures – We’d love to see where you’re exploring!

Anisa – The Macadames. xx

comments +

  1. margaret says:

    This is such an interesting and very useful article Anisa. I remember travelling around Europe in 1976-77 in a mini-van and a tent. Not all the luxuries you have there – but a great experience. I agree – camper van is the way to go. You feel more part of the place than when you are in and out of hotels, let a lone all the benefits you have described here.

    • Adele says:

      Brillian site! We have decided to campervan around Europe and could not believe the lack of information available so your blog is most helpful!
      Thank you – and I like your Reginald 🙂

      • Anisa says:

        Thanks so much, that’s why I wrote this post! I found it so hard to get information too. Glad it was helpful. We loved Reginald but sadly he’s not with us anymore. Best of luck and have the BEST holiday!

        • Julie says:

          I am so happy that I found this fabulous site today, as I started my planning for next year’s 4-5 month trip to Europe. It’s consumed my whole afternoon as I’ve pored over all the valuable info and checked out stuff and gained further tips from other commentators. Great work Anisa and being a fellow foodie & committed traveller (now full-time, which is incredibly fun) I look forward to checking out your other posts as well. Just a quick Q – what make/model/year was Reginald? It will give me a starting point as I search for our own camper. Cheers

          • Anisa says:

            Thank you so much. I’m so glad it was helpful. I found it so hard to get good info so thought I’d write this post to help others planning their camper trip around Europe. Reginald was a Mercedes Sprinter. We loved it!

            Have the best trip next year and I hope you stay tuned on The Macadames.

    • Jimmy Lee says:

      Hey great blog, I wish I saw it earlier ha. Do you mind If we post our van for sale here? we are Australian couple and have it for sale in Lisbon Portugal if anyone is interested in saving some van hunting hassles…..

      FOR SALE!

      Our Daisy has done us well, taking us around Europe’s coastline and being our humble abode for this time away. But now it is unfortunately time to part with this babe and be on our way for other adventures ahead! If you or anyone you may know be interested please spread the word. She is a rare beauty.

      Volkswagen Ltd edition 35 Camper Van, LWB High Roof, MOT in England March 2017, Diesel engine
      Awesome original camper design which includes:

      – Gas burner/griller
      – Sink
      – Shower
      – Toilet
      – Hot and cold water
      – Lots of storage space
      – Double bed converts to lounge
      – Leisure battery which charges when driving, 220v power

      Van will be supplied with full kitchen set essentials, full linen set with pillows and binoculars.

      Issues, snapped door handle, burns a bit of oil.

      Mail for pics and details 🙂

  2. Kaja says:

    I love your traveling posts! 🙂

    • Anisa says:

      Thank you so much 🙂 I’m glad you do! It’s been such an experience travelling around the world and I feel so privileged to be able to share it with people! xx

  3. richard says:

    Hi Anisa – we just loved your detailed summary of buying a campervan in Europe. We did the same in 1978 (yes, years ago) – and are now Grey Nomads thinking about returning to the northern hemisphere again in 2015 to travel.

    We were particularly interested re your comment about campervan insurance. Did you manage to get cover ok with DUinsure – and can you give us an idea of (a) what type of cover you got – full comprehensive etc, and (b) roughly how expensive it was – for ‘Reginald’. Many thanks.

    Richard & Elaine (Melbourne)

    • Anisa says:

      Wow – what a way to travel. My mum too went travelling in the 1970’s. We hope to be grey nomads too one day 🙂 From memory DU cover all third party collisions (the other car) and theft but not damage to the car. I will dig up my paper work and find out exactly what the inclusions were. It was around 600 pounds for 5 months which I thought was very reasonable. Best of luck heading back to travelling next year 🙂 let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Ax

    • Anisa says:

      Hi there, I managed to dig up the policy.
      Downunder Insurance
      Excess: 200 pounds
      6 months
      560.25 pounds including taxes and fees
      Camper value: 10300 pounds
      Countries covered: European Union member countries, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Croatia, Cyprus, Liechtenstein and Slovenia.

    • Guy says:

      Hi Richard , Interested to read you question regarding insurance in the UK, age & address were the main problems. Hertfordshire Insurance have a policy for commonwealth people could be worth a try required no UK address their age limit was 75 when i enquired last year. We are travelling in Sept. this year & inview of these problems have decided to rent from an American Co. operating in Germany called Ideamerge/DRM .Very reasonable cost & no associated buying & selling problems everything is taken care of & no age limit i am 77 & doing this with my wife for the 2nd time. We brought our own the 1st. time but spent a lot of costly time buying & selling but this time straight on the plane & home. If you havnt left yet good luck with your trip.

  4. Sam-Georgia Seddon says:

    Hey, this was really helpful! My husband and i, a kiwi couple have been living i london for the past few months and are keen to buy a camper van for the 2015 summer. I was wondering did you have an itinerary that you had for your trip? We want to see and do it all as cheap as possible without backtracking too much.
    Thanks again 🙂
    Sam x

    • Anisa says:

      We did have an itinerary (I am freaky organised). We travelled a bit before (on a river cruise) to Hungary, France, Germany, Austria and Slovakia before this so we’d already been to a few places. So in the campervan this is roughly what we did (in order) starting from London:

      – Scotland – 2 weeks
      – Ferry from Dover to Calais
      – Bruges – 2 nights
      – Drove Bruge to Denmark
      – Denmark – 6 days
      – Sweden – 3 days
      – Norway & the fjords – 8 days
      – Sweden – 3 days
      – Finland – 5 days
      – Estonia, Latvia – 3 days
      – Poland – 5 days
      – Czech Republic (Prague) – 5 days
      – Lake Bled in Slovenia – 5 days
      – Croatia – 10 days
      – Drove to Italy
      – Italy – 1 month

      We loved this itinerary but it really depends on how long you have. For more info, I’ve written posts on best places to visit in quite a few countries and included loads of photos so that may give you an idea of where you want to visit. You can free camp pretty much anywhere if you really try. We needed internet so obviously we had to stay on powered sites but many people don’t have this requirement. Just make sure you factor for fuel (more than you think) and tolls (WAY more than you think) especially in Scandinavia. And many countries have vingettes, these can be bought from petrol stations. We didnt know and got stung in Slovenia at 150 euros – ouch! Have you bought a van yet? How long do you have?

      • Andy says:

        Hey, we are just finishing our European honeymoon. We are trying to sell our van in Italy but have no takers yet. How did you sell yours at the end of your trip? Cheers

  5. Laj says:

    Thanks for the details about buying a campervan in London.
    Unfortunately we do not have anyone we know in London, so can’t use their address for registration.
    I have just been reading a website in Amsterdam which sells the van to you and holds the registration and insurance in their name.
    I wonder if there are any such possibilities in England? Did you meet anyone in your travels who bought a van in Europe? Any information would be appreciated.
    Thanks Laj

    • Anisa says:

      Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. I have heard of similar companies in Amsterdam. Not sure how legitimate though. I have met people that bought in Germany then went to England to insure (drive would not be insured). Maybe call Downunder insurance & see if they’ll unsure a van from Germany/Europe.

    • Brooke says:

      Hi Laj, what was the website in Amsterdam?? I am looking at buying a car in Europe (anywhere that will let me!) and driving it through Russia to Mongolia. If you remember the website that would be great 🙂 THanks, Brooke

  6. Hugh says:

    Great stuff- wondering if this insurance covers Turkey and Morocco like others I’ve seen from Holland…Thanks. They were a buy back place that held the registration and insurance for foreigners. Turner cars and RVs.

    • Anisa says:

      I don’t actually know – they do have a list of excluded countries in the P&Ds of every policy so be sure to check it carefully. From memory Turkey and Morocco were not included on ours but you could always ask to add them and pay a premium variance. I never came across TUrner Cars & RV’s as we privately bought but this might be a great option for people who don’t have friends in the UK they can register the address to. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Anna says:

    This is really helpful – thanks!

  8. Alisha says:

    Hi, we’re hoping to go to Europe n travel via camper van for 6 wks in August, looking at going to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Venice, Rome & Barcelona, just weighing our options between camper van or just staying in hotels and hiring a car, just wanted to know if a camper vans easy to get around and if it’s easy to find places to stay the night without being crazy far from the city centres

    • Anisa says:

      Hi there, to be honest for a 6 week holiday it might be easier to hire a car and stay in hotels. In my opinion I wouldn’t really reccommend the campervanning thing for less than 3 or so months. Some “camp” sites are close to town but most are just outside of the city. Not to say it’s hard to get in, usually just a bus or train ride away but if you want to see alot in 6 weeks, it might not be the most efficient way to travel. Parking is sometimes an issue especially if you have a larger campervan. With your itinerary you could even just train in between cities/countries, the Eurail is awesome (although pretty exxy). Best of luck!

  9. Steve says:


    Great post , now to find the start of your blog and make my way through it, I suspect I can learn a lot. One question, what is a vingettes?, at 150 Euro penalty for not having one it’s a expensive sting.

    • Anisa says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by. *cringe* I don’t ever go back to the start of my blog hehe. Good question my friend. A vingette is a pass to drive on a certain road. Much like a toll but instead of having toll booths, you buy these vingettes from service stations etc and they are your “toll”. Loads of countries use this system. I am working on a “10 things I learn campervanning” post that will include more details on this. Stay tuned!

  10. Bruce says:

    Hi Anisa

    I’m an Australian who just finished eighth months driving around Europe in an old camper. I got mine from Turners Campers in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and just dropped it off today for resale.

    Not the most sophisticated business but it met my needs. I had insurance for pretty much all European countries and Turkey and Morocco (but didn’t get to this place). This insurance was 100 euros per month and diesel road tax of 50 euros per month. I expect to get back 60 to 65 per cent of the purchase price which is ok given I did 39 000 kms. Although I did have a couple of expensive bits to replace (it was an old vehicle).

    Anyway, I just want to confirm that it can be done.

    • Alan says:

      Hi Bruce,

      I hadn’t heard of the diesel road tax, does that apply to all diesel vehicles? My wife and I might get a van from Turners so I’m glad to hear it worked out ok for you. Is your van listed on their website? Maybe we’ll end up buying it. 🙂


      • Bruce says:

        Hi Alan

        Really sorry for the delay in responding. As far as I know it applies to all but you probably know that by now and maybe you bought my van if you are Australian (as it was Aussies who bought it).


    • Justine says:

      Hi Bruce
      I have been trying to get in contact with Turners Campers – have you got any tips and tricks or things you would do differently? Would you use them again? Would love to hear your thoughts.

  11. Bruce says:

    BTW in terms of internet access I have an unlocked iPhone and bought a prepaid data sim card in each country I visited. The ease of setup and cost varied from country to country. Also in Montenegro the first store (tobacco shop) wanted a local citizen id number to sell me the sim – actually it’s on a form they must fill out.. At the next shop they used my birth date which I think they thought was my Id. Anyway the sim worked fine.

    You can get information on various prepaid sim available in each country from

    Comapanies such lebara and lycamobile are in quite a few counties and generally have good deals.

    • Anisa says:

      Hey there. This is exactly what I did – I just bought a new sim in every country. Was difficult at times but it worked. Thanks for stopping by. Let me know how you go with Turners. I might add them into my post if you have had a good experience with them.

      • Bruce says:

        Hi Anisa

        My van was sold a couple of weeks ago to some Aussies. I did have to chase Donna this week to make the transfer to my account. She had not initiated it two weeks after providing my bank account, giving me all sorts of excuses around how busy she was. I experienced this previously during my trip on another matter. I’m sure my money will come through. I think she is honest but slow and disorganised at times. My advice is to get her to commit to a date for anything she needs to follow-up and keep checking with her.

  12. Harry says:

    Hello Anissa

    Loving your blog, it’s really helping me and my partner plan our trip to europe in July 🙂
    We are also planing on camper vaning across Europe for 6 months,
    When you guys where over there did you need a visa and if so how did u go about
    Getting one ?


    • Anisa says:

      Do you have an Australian passport? Because depending on where you go, you won’t need many visas. We didn’t get any on the whole trip from memory. Thanks for stopping by & let me know if I can help.

    • Mat says:

      Hi Harry,

      My partner and I are also planning a 6month camper van trip to Europe in July. We were also wondering about visas. Did you find any further info about what is required? I thought that you could only travel for 3 months without a visa?

      Cheers 🙂

      • Anisa says:

        Yes you can travel 3 months without a visa, although they aren’t super strict, we overstayed slightly and weren’t “caught”. xx

      • harry says:

        Hey mate, still researching! nothing solid yet… thinking of maybe trying for a working visa but still looking into it. Have you guys figured anything out yet? Let us know if you do! On struggle street haha

        • Mat says:

          Hey Harry, we are also leaning towards a visa at this stage. Did you sort anything out? Cheers

          • Harry says:

            Hey mate, yeah we are trying to get a fetch visa ATM. Finding it difficult to get an appointment booked at the embassy before we leave. It seems to be all booked up. Got one now waiting fir another to open up… Have you looked into any other counties? Cheers

        • Mat says:

          Nice one, we are also trying to get an appointment for France embassy in Sydney but it seems to be booked out. Did you book yours online? It seems you can only apply in Sydney (which means a flight up from Melb). Cheers

          • Anisa says:

            I booked online and it books out SO QUICKLY! Read their website really really well, there is a lot of information and they have obscure requirements deep in the content text.
            From memory Sydney is the only place you can go in Australia. Word of advice too – have the whole package of documents ready to go with labels and tabs to make it SUPER easy for them to take it, review and approve! Good luck!

          • Harry says:

            Yeah mat we booked online! Was checking a few times a day and eventually some popped up! Any luck yet?

          • Kylie says:

            Hey All,

            As far as we are aware, no Visa’s required as long as you are moving in and out of countries as you would be on an European adventure. We’ve been going 5 months with no problems and no Visa … Except Turkey, they need a Visa regardless of Nationality.


  13. Meg says:

    Hi Anisa,
    Love this blog! Thank you for sharing.
    My husband and I are thinking about heading to Europe for 6 weeks with our 20 month old (who will be nearly 2 by the time we travel). We were thinking camper van but after reading comments above I’m wondering if we might be better to public transport and stay in accom etc.
    I dont suppose you now of anyone who has campervanned with a young one? Many thanks 🙂

    • Harry says:


    • Harry says:

      Hey Anisa, do you remember the form you filled out at all? It’s asks on there for an address of where you are staying and if a workplace invited you over… Did you have these things planned already or did you just leave that part out? So difficult to know what they want from you! Finally got the appointments but now finding it difficult to do all the forms! Haha any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much for all your help so far! You have really helped us out.

    • Sharyn says:

      Meg, My brother and sister-in-law just finished travelling Europe in Campervan with a 2 year old for 12 months. I myself have travelled in a campervan in Europe before with young children and about to do it again in July. We can not recommend campervanning enough when you have children. You have your bedding & food with you at all times. You can stop and start whenever you want. You only unpack once. The list goes on and on. Enjoy your trip, I’m really looking forward to ours again.

  14. Anisa says:

    Thanks for stopping by. I did meet a few people with littlies so it’s definately possible. There are pros & cons of both. Camper van would mean a your things are there and less “travelling” – eg. Packing, unpacking, time on trains, buses etc. However I’m not sure what the Euro legislation is related to baby /child seats. I think for 6 weeks you might want to be closer to the action as it is time consuming driving yourself, setting up, getting into town etc. Best of luck!

  15. Donna says:


    I was wondering if you had any issues with the weight of your van going over allowable limits in Europe. We are planning on traveling with a 4×4 truck with camper-top which just barely goes over the weight limit for the truck when we include us and our gear inside it. I’ve heard we shouldn’t even attempt going into Europe as we won’t be allowed. Did you run into border crossings where this was discussed? Did you know if they weigh every van or truck that crosses a border.



  16. Mat says:

    Hi Anisa, Great blog! We are also looking at buying a LWB sprinter for a 6month trip. Did you have any issues with driving and parking etc given the size of the van? Particularly as we are planning on travelling through some smaller rural towns etc.


    • Anisa says:

      We didn’t have trouble at all, parking is a bit difficult, but mostly we parked on site and bussed/trained in. Parking inside the city can be tricky but not impossible. Note: don’t try to take in the backstreets of Naples. We almost got stuck there forever 😉 Travelling through will be no trouble at all, just be aware of the size of your van and you should be fine.

  17. Bern says:

    So good of you to post this. We are heading off for 12 months and looking to buy a camper…….love yours! Have a great trip!

  18. Gordon says:

    Great information! We are heading off for a 12 month trip to Europe. We plan to buy a camper van in UK, in October and head to the south of Spain and then end up back in UK in September.
    Your information has been a great help and motivator for us.

  19. Harry says:

    Hi again, so did you not spend more than 90 days in the Schengen countries? we would love to spend more than 90 days in Europe but really struggling to find out how to do this…

    • Anisa says:

      We had a work holiday visa for France so used this for part of our trip which is why we could stay as long as we did. I think the current legislation says 90 days within a 180 day period. Unfortunately unless you “overstay” there isn’t a way around this, unless you can apply for a work holiday visa?

      • harry says:

        We were having a look into that… how did you go about getting one? was it difficult?

      • kirsty jenal says:

        Hi Anisa, did you apply for a working holiday visa while still in australia or upon arrival as we are looking at the same for netherlands- where we will be buying the van. ive seen you need a residential address to do so but wondering how this was done when living in a van? any suggestions/help about visa would be amazing. thanks

        • Anisa says:

          No we did it all before we left as this was what was required by the French embassy. We registered the van to a friends address in the UK (I’m pretty sure it has to be a resident), we couldn’t have done this without our friend allowing us to do this. DO you know anyone you could ask?

  20. Livia says:

    Hi Anisa!
    Thank you so much for this post – it has been the most helpful we have found so far.
    My boyfriend and I are Brazilians (a little bit harder w/o the Australian passport, but manageable) and looking to camper van around Europe for a few months.
    Finding out how to register and insure the vehicle has been the hardest part, and your information was most clarifying. From what we have seen, cars in the UK seem to be a bit more expensive, so we will keep on looking for ways to buy and register in other countries. Two questions though:
    1) I saw on the comments above you read of someone who purchase the car in Germany and insured it in the UK. How is it possible to insure a car registered in another country in the UK? and also
    2) What do you plan to do with your van when you are done with travels? We are heading up to Europe in one or two months… and perhaps, if the time is right, we could make a deal. Wouldn’t that be perfect? I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    Thank you, all the best and wonderful travels,
    Livia and Edu.

    • Anisa says:

      Hi guys! Thanks for stopping by. So glad the information was helpful, I too found the information hard to find. In answer to your questions:
      1) I am not sure any companies do this, however I think if you buy in Germany you could register/insure there maybe?
      2) We sold the van after our trip ended in September (sorry!!). We were very lucky that we sold it to the person we bought it from – what luck!

      One more thing, bear in mind in terms of cost, if you spend a bit more now, you will get it back later. Buying a solid van that has been well looked after and doesn’t have mechanical issues is much better for your overall budget. We spent more than we wanted but we had no issues on the road and sold it for almost what we paid for it. Given I have done this in the UK I can say it’s possible and straightforward, whereas trying this in Germany to save a few dollars on the van itself might not be worth the risk, hassle and additional travel costs.

      Good luck!

      • Livia says:

        Hi Anisa!
        Just dropping by to thank you again for all the information you provided us with. We are on our way to pick up our Camper – and were able to make it happen due to all the info we found over here. So our most sincere thanks – and cheers!

  21. Tessa says:

    Hi Anisa,

    Your blog was just what I needed! My partner and I are going to be rving around Europe in October. Would the roads be okay to drive on then? And also, did you have to pay at toll gates or anything similar.


    • Anisa says:

      Yes there are many tolls – they are not hugely expensive but you definately need to be aware of the costs. Roads will be fine by October – what kind of van are you driving?

  22. Daniel says:

    Hi Anisa
    This is really helpful as myself and a few others plan on buying a van and travelling around europe for 4 months. We also plan on purchasing a van before we arrive so i was wandering what you did once you purchased your van whether or not the seller was happy to leave it at his premises until you picked it up ?

    • Anisa says:

      Hi Daniel,
      We paid for it with a bank cheque and drove away on the same day. I wouldn’t recommend paying for something that you don’t take with you straight away. It’s a lot of money to outlay and you wouldn’t want to risk it getting damaged/stolen as essentially it’s your liability after you purchase. We did however make a down payment of around 1,000 pounds and paid the rest when we took it away. Good luck!

  23. Michelle says:

    Hello Anisa,
    Great info….thanks a bunch.
    Not much out there to demistify the ins and outside about campervanning EU. So you provide a great service.
    My huisbrand and I are retireer and have been traveling the globe for 6 years, yup sold everything and are homeless by choice We too are planning on buying a compact van.: is a great site. We’ll be looking for something a bit smaller than you had( with eye on fuel savings) did you figure the MPG you got? We have done a bit of driving in EU and usually enter “avoid tollroads” in our TomTom and try to Stay on country roads if possible.. More scenic and easier to stop to smell the roses.. Your tip to. Make sure the cabines have locks is a good one. We also buy SIM cards in every country we visit. My iPad can be tethered if need be. Super convenient. We are looking into getting permanent residency status in Portugal ( I have dual Netherlands and U.S. Passports but my husband only US). That way we won’t be time restricted.

  24. Jean-Mari says:

    With the registration, as you mentioned, to buy a campervan in the UK it also needs to be registered. What other options does one have with registration if you don’t have any friends living in the UK under which you could register the van?

    • Anisa says:

      Hi there, apologies I am actually not sure how you would go about this. Maybe you could ask some insurance companies and see if they do registration to their address/insurance?

      • Jean-Mari says:

        Thank you! I asked my partner and actually found out that his aunt recently moved to London along with his 3 cousins so if we were to register under their address, would we be able to travel around Europe?

        • Anisa says:

          You would be able to register the van at their address providing they allow it. Whether you can travel around Europe will depend on your visa. Hope this helps!

  25. Nadine says:

    Hi, We are planning on travelling around europe and buying a motorhome from the uk. We would like to sell it once we have finished in europe possibly germany or spain.
    Do you know anything about this?
    Is it possible.

    • Anisa says:

      I would try to buy and sell in the same place as it will typically be much easier in terms of registration and also be on the “right” side of the road. Is it too difficult for you to go back to the UK to sell it?

  26. Kimberley says:

    Thank you SO much. as a fellow Aussie I thought car hire and hotels would be the best option but this sounds more like us.

  27. Phil says:

    Thanks so much for this post, Anisa. I understand that you guys bought sold the van in the UK, but could you have sold it in another country? Have you guys thought about it when you guys were about to sell it? Just curious. Thanks.

    • Anisa says:

      Hi there,
      We sold the van back last year in September. I am sure it’s possible to sell in another country but am unsure how it works with registration/insurance. Best of luck! Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  28. Karli says:

    Hi! love your blog! you mention you would be writing other blogs in regards to this trip, how do I find them? Was interesting in finding out more about the tolls and how much the trip cost you and how long you travelled for? Tanks

    • Anisa says:

      I have loads of content in the “foodie abroad” section of my blog. They are mostly related to food though. Hopefully they help. I traveled for 5 months in the van 🙂 it was amazing!

  29. Sharyn says:

    Thanks so much for your blog. We have campervanned before in Europe, and planning to go again in 4 weeks. Are you aware of any discount camping cards we can buy?? All the ones I’ve seen online require you to be a UK or EU citizen.

  30. Daisy says:


    You have an amazing blog! We leave for Europe in 2 and 1/2 weeks from New Zealand, getting pretty excited now. We are looking at buying a Sprinter or a Crafter and doing a small do-up project.

    We booked one way tickets, with valid UK work visas in case we run out of money, but I saw on the France embassy website that you need to have a valid return ticket in order to bypass having a Schengen visa. Did you guys run into any trouble with visa rules? I was gutted when I saw that we are only allowed in Europe as a whole for 3 months, although I’ve heard mixed reviews about how strict this is… any advice?

    • Anisa says:

      We didn’t actually run into any issues but we had a one year work holiday visa to enable us to stay longer. If you have valid UK work visas, then you should be able to travel the Schengen states with no issues at all as UK is part of the EU. I don’t think they are very strict though, we never had any issues but that’s not to say you won’t get caught. I guess you just need to be careful and have a good back up plan.

  31. Jo says:

    Excellent info. Thanks

  32. Jean-Mari says:

    In terms of location in every country, are there particular grounds that does not allow campervans to set up and how would we know if they don’t?

    • Anisa says:

      You have to just see as you go. Do you mean official campsites or places that don’t let you free camp? Unless there are signs to say “NO CAMPING” you should be ok to pull up and camp. Of course making sure you take your rubbish, don’t leave water everywhere etc. We were only asked to move on once so it was rather good.

  33. Andy says:

    Hey. We are two honeymooners that are just finishing our trip around Europe. Looks like we did a very similar trip. We need to sell our van asap. In Italy…., how did you sell yours?

    • Anisa says:

      We sold ours in the UK where we bought it. We were very lucky because the guy we bought it off bought it back. Best of luck!

    • Shaunelle e says:

      Hi Andy, we are looking at buying a campervan but are in London, so far we haven’t had much luck with finding any apart from a few scammers. Depending on size of campervan myself and my partner could be keen.
      Anita, love your blog! How long did it take you to find a campervan? We have only been looking for 3-4 days but so far nothing is around apart from scammers! We have 4 weeks to get one so are hoping things pick up!

      • Anisa says:

        We looked for a few months to be honest. Mostly online and in London for 2 weeks before we found ours. When we found it – we knew it was the best we’d seen. You are buying at a difficult time because it’s summer. Keep at it and look at all the online traders daily! When you say scammers? What do you mean? Best of luck!

  34. Helle says:

    First of all – thank you for this awesome and very helpful post! I’m looking into doing pretty much exactly the same thing. However, I was wondering if you met a lot of other fellow travellers when you toured Europe? In aus you meet so many, but I can’t figure out how many you would meet campervanning Europe and camping for free a lot of the time.

    • Anisa says:

      Hi Helle, thanks for stopping by. we did meet quite a few people at campsites but free camping you’re often alone. Not always though, but most of the time we found we were. If you wanted to meet more people, just head to camp site bars and you’ll be sure to run into fellow travelers. Happy travelling!

  35. Brooke says:

    Hello! Great advise about purchasing a camper van – I’m hoping you might be able to provide some more insight on the purchasing and travelling with a car in Europe. My partner and I are Australian citizens (located in Perth!) and are EXTREMELY keen to drive from Europe to Mongolia next year (August 2016).I’ve heard mixed reviews about cars and export plates and registration etc. What plates do are needed n a car if you are taking it from Europe(Netherlands,Germany etc. into Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia) Have you had any issues crossing boarders? Any info / advise you can pass on for a newbie would be greatly appreciated!Any information you can provide on the rules / regulations around bringing a car into Mongolia (and what to do with it once we arrive and have finished exploring the amazing country) would be greatly appreciated.Looking forward to your response 🙂 Brooke

    • Anisa says:

      Thanks for stopping by Brooke. Unfortunately I can’t help you regarding travelling outside of Europe to Mongolia. We traveled only within Europe. We have UK plates and had absolutely no issue at any border with these plates. I don’t know about Russia, Kazakhstan or Mongolia specifically as we didn’t travel to these countries. I am sure there are sites that advise on the regulations but I would imagine, you can take a car anywhere so long as you had the correct visas and such. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful. Best of luck!

  36. RV says:

    Wow! it’ll be a pretty exciting and expensive trip ahead. Goodluck to your journey :), I really miss things like this.

  37. Nelle says:

    Thankyou so much! My bf and I just arrived a little over a week again into the UK. We have purchased our new van and she is a dream (we called her Wombat). I was so happy to see you recommended Down Under as that is who we found as well. I came across your blog searching for gas availability across Europe as we have heard that it is quite difficult to find replacement gas for our cooker especially if we head (as we plan) towards the eastern European countries. Do you have any further advice around Gas?

    • Anisa says:

      We got a few spare canisters of gas in the UK to ensure we had access to the right size. As our van was from the UK, we didn’t want to run the risk of the same size canisters not being available elsewhere in Europe. Enjoy your trip! Tag me with photos on insta with #travelwiththemacadames. xx

  38. Nilla says:

    We bought a 1997 motorhome in Wales and as Australian citizens, no one in Britain would insure us so we used your site and went with Down Under Insurance. Thank you for all the info, it was a great help!

    We are about to head off from the UK and into Europe but waiting on our International Driver’s Permits to arrive from Australia. As we left home 17 months ago (, we couldn’t apply for these beforehand, otherwise they would have expired by now (valid only 12 months).
    Our new problem is that we want to stay for longer than the 90 days in a 180-day period for Schengen-agreed countries (may be 12 months), which are not many and especially during winter months! So, very interested to know how Bruce stayed for 8 months as an Australian? I think we’re able to spend 3 months in Croatia or Montenegro then drive back into Schengen countries for another 3 months, etc.

    • Anisa says:

      We had a work holiday visa which is why we were able to stay for over 12 months. Could you do the same thing? Also – they aren’t overly strict so you could wing it and see what happens? Glad this info helped!

  39. Nilla says:

    Thanks for info but sadly, we’re not 30 anymore , so a working visa isn’t possible 🙁 Preferably, we’d like to extend our visa in Italy and researching that at the moment but if this isn’t possible then it will be Croatia and Montenegro – sounds great anyway! 🙂

  40. Harro says:

    Hey! just here to let you know i love your travel posts very useful to all people.
    was it not annoying to drive a rhd on mainland? why didn’t you guys find something in mainland europe?

    • Anisa says:

      We weren’t sure we could insure it in the rest of Europe. And also location wise – UK was the best as we were going to Scotland first. I can’t say I did any driving (my benevolent hubby did) and he said after a few days he got used to it. So glad this was helpful!

  41. Ben says:


    Very helpful blog. I think we would need to work in between to make the trip viable after buying a camper. What is it like trying to find work while travelling? From what I have read us kiwis can get a holiday working visa so no issues in that department.

    • Anisa says:

      Hi Ben, if you are a under 30 you can get a work holiday visa for the UK very easily meaning you can work in the UK for up to 12 or 24 months. We had French work holiday visas so we worked in Chamonix – we found jobs pretty easily – I think it would be the same in the UK. Just keep your eye out on gumtree and job forums and just go to pubs/bars and ask around. Hope you have the best trip!

  42. Erin says:

    hi my Husband and I from Australia are wanting to buy a camper van in UK and register it in our name. We have a family friend who is willing to let us use their address however the registration form requests proof of residency, something with your name and address like an electricity bill. How have others provided proof of residency?


    • Anisa says:

      We never got asked for that. We filled out the form with our names and our friends address, then the paperwork was sent to their place and after we responded and signed – it was registered. What form are you using?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Erin
      Checkout my comment might be of interest to you and your husband.

  43. Jan says:

    Hi. All
    What a great blog – just came across this by accident, I was looking to see the best way to sell our motorhome as we are heading back to Queensland in November’ish.
    My husband and I arrived in the UK in April 2015, bought the motorhome in May 2015 and came across a lot of the things I have just read everyone else is finding out – scammers, insurance, residency etc! And I thought that things would be easier as I still have my UK passport. But we found ways to overcome all of these things which we can share with you if needed.
    We are in France (looking out at the Pyrenees) at the moment house sitting (which is another good way to supplement your travels – free accommodation). We initially thought to mainly house sit and bought the motorhome as transport and accommodation for In between sits but found that having your home from home with you was the best thing we could have done., it’s been brilliant. We’ve also learnt so much about things you do need and don’t need! (Bikes good idea). The Aires in EU are fantastic and there is a map and book you can buy in the UK with them in.
    So if anyone coming over in the next few months would like to check out our motorhome – everything will be left in it, fully equipped ready for travel.
    We purchased bedding, microwave, kitchen equipment, outdoor chairs etc all new in May this year which will all be left in, including any other help we can give. Buy your food, off you go!
    I’ve put our email address in case any of you are interested contact anytime.
    Great times happy memories

    • Jan says:

      Hi to all you prospective happy campers. Now back in the UK (October 2015) and will be leaving to go back home to Australia in early December so if anyone’s interested our camper is polished and stocked ready for the next adventurers from down under. Email is We’re staying around London /Essex area. Any help or tips we can give/pass on we’ll be more than willing to share with you.

  44. steve pascall says:

    Thanks for the great blog details Anisa – my wife and I are planning to travel through Europe next year with the kids and we’re finalising details now.
    We are planning to buy a caravan to tow around Eurpoe but are hitting walls on how to insure it – did you come across other Aussies who were in a car / caravan combo?

    • Anisa says:

      We used Down Under insurance and they didn’t have an issue insuring us 🙂 best of luck with your trip!

    • Kylie says:

      Hi Steve,

      When are you looking at travelling? We are currently travelling Europe and have a great caravan that sleeps 5 and Land Rover that we will be looking to sell next year. Could sell as entire package, we have everything you could possibly need as we are travelling for a year.

      Insurance is difficult if you don’t have a UK licence,


      • Julie says:

        Hey Kylie – when are you returning home? We will be looking for a camper or vehicle/van from May 31 next year so if’ you’d like to email me we could chat about your set-up. Cheers

  45. Dana Clark says:

    Hi all,

    We have been travelling through Europe for 6 months in our van. Has a double bed and lots of standing and storage room. Really loved it but heading back to New Zealand on the 24th of Nov. We will be in London on the 17th to sell the van or could possibly sell it earlier to someone in Spain. Please email at if interested.

    • Julie says:

      Hey Dana – I know it’s a long way away but we’ll be in Barcelona May 31 to get a camper for a 4 -5 month trip so if you haven’t sold yours before you return maybe we could arrange something. Cheers

  46. Sharan Miller says:

    Hi Travellers does anyone know if you have UK partiality which we do ( English born grandparents) does that mean we can stay in Europe as long as our Patriality visa allows us to stay in the UK?

  47. Mark Cairns says:

    Hi readers, we are Australian travelers who have had several trips around Europe by campervan for 6 months at a time. We have always gone with a company which buys back your van either at a depreciated price depending upon how long you use it or on commission. They will also source a van to your specifications. We have found the others knowledgeable and helpful and the vans we requested spot on. We also have used both Downunder Insurance and HIC which is another company that insures Aussie campervaners. If you are interested in more info feel free to contact me, we are once again in the early stages of planning another extended trip and am to help.


    • Jacqui says:

      Hi Mark, which companies would you recommend? we are looking at our options for next year 🙂 thanks!

      • Robyn says:

        Hi Mark, Jeff and Rob here looking into travelling this year in Europe by campervan. Could you also recommend the companies you have used in the past.

        Thanks !!!!!

    • Alex says:

      Hi Mark
      Like many of the readers of this blog we too are heading to Europe and looking to travel by campervan for a number of months. Would be interested in contacting the company that sells/buys back a van.
      Many thanks,

    • Jane says:

      Hi Mark

      Also interested in which companies you have found reliable for buy-backs on campervans. Could you please provide.

    • Chris Gillett says:

      Hi Mark
      I saw lots of people asked you for the name of the company which buys back campervans, but I can’t see any replies from you on this site. I’m also interested in the answer. Look forward to your reply.

  48. Alice says:

    Hey Anisa,
    This is so helpful and awesome!!
    I was wondering if you ever wrote the other parts to the blog (about budgeting and lessons learnt etc?)
    Thanks for doing this blog!

    • Anisa says:

      Hey Alice, thanks for stopping by. I mostly do food now as I am a developing food photographer so all my travel stuff was from when I was travelling. I have thought about doing lessons learned and budgeting so will let you know if I get around to it. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to shoot them to me on I will do my best to answer them. xx

  49. Gill says:

    Hi Anisa

    Probably a dull question, but how easy is it to get clothes washed?
    Love your blog

  50. Marshal says:

    Hi Anisa, my gf and i are about to do a very similar trip we are starting in London (fromAustralia) and travelling 6 weeks throughout UK and Ireland then over to Europe for 4 months. We are in the process of looking for a van to do this trip in and i was just wondering how much it cost you in fuel to trek around in a van. I was thinking if it was diesel and it cost $200 AUD to fill it would last anywhere between a week to two weeks on a full tank. How have you budgeted for the fuel?
    Also how did you travel around Scandinavia? Our original plan was to travel up through Denmark and into Norway and travel throughout Norway then over to Finland and finally through Sweden, but once we looked at the destinations we wanted to travel to the routes and time between each place was very challenging and long, like 14 hours or more and having to catch ferries. How did you guys do it? Looking forward to hearing more about it


  51. kirsty says:

    Hi there, this has probably already been answered but I was thinking of a year long EU travel and am going to apply for the long stay holiday work visa for France. Does this mean you can stay in schengen countries for longer than 3 months as the embassy told me only in France for so long. Just wondering what your experiences were and how your travel route went 🙂 thanks

    • Anisa says:

      As far as we were aware the French working visa enabled us to stay longer than the 3 months. I think because you’re entitled to live in France for that period, this extends to the Schengen Countries too. We didn’t have any issues every time our visa was checked (not often). Best of luck!

  52. Nilla says:

    We’ve just finished 3 months driving from the UK, ferry across to St Malo, drove through France, Spain, and Italy but ran out of time. If you enter the EU on a 3-month Schengen visa, it is impossible to extend. You have to enter on a different visa (work, study, or many more) to be allowed to stay longer. I was 6 days late by the time we drove back from Italy to St Malo but I wasn’t hassled by the French Immigration.

    The reason for being late was we went to an Immigration Office in Italy to try and extend the Schengen visa. The Immigration Officer was extremely helpful and suggested I apply for EU Citizenship because of my Italian heritage (my partner has UK and Oz citizenship, so he didn’t have any problems). Unfortunately, this was over the Christmas period and although I managed to get all my paperwork together from Australia, I had to submit the application at another office and hit a wall with the Italian public servant – he would not start the process as “he didn’t have enough time”. Starting the process would have stopped the Schengen clock.
    Extremely disappointed, we returned to the UK. A ferry to Montenegro and drive to Croatia was the 3-month out of Schengen option. However, DUInsure don’t insure for Montenegro. Also, as it was during winter, we didn’t fancy driving through snow. There may be a way around the Montenegro insurance as all Eu or UK-registered vehicles (check) fall under the Blue Card insurance, basically I think this is automatic 3rd Party Insurance.

    I’ve just started writing a post on buying our motorhome and should have this up in the next few days. I’ve also documented the whole 3 months (fuel, tolls, sites, etc.) but just not uploaded to WP. We’re currently in Thailand volunteering for 3 months so very busy working; and then we’ll try Italy again…keep fingers crossed! 😉

  53. Nilla says:

    I’ve just posted our experience as Australians buying a motorhome in the UK and have included a link to your blog as We found this very helpful.
    If you have time, please visit and leave me a comment 🙂

  54. Jizelle says:

    This information was sooooooooo helpful!! Thank you for taking the time to write it.

  55. Hi Anisa
    Your information is spot on. We are a retired Australian couple and have spent the past 2 years living summer! We spend 6 months in Australia/Europe. In Australia we have a car/caravan and in Europe we own a left hand drive 6.9m motorhome “Normie” which is stored in the UK over the winter.

    We had a 3 year plan and this year will be our last.

    For those who are interested this is what we have done so far……
    My husband & I have done a blog – the posts are in backwards order so the the links below are the first post from the trip, click previous post to get the next post in date order

    we travelled through western Europe – France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands & Belgium

    we travelled through middle Europe – France, Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland

    2016 we are planning Eastern Europe – France, The Netherlands (missed the tulips last time), Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia

    Anyone wanting more info re motorhoming in Europe please don’t hesitate to contact me
    Our plan is to sell the motorhome to an Aussie at the end of 2016 for the 2017 summer – as we can give plenty of tips (as Anisa has)

  56. Robert Laing says:

    Great info, I wish I had known all of this before our trip! We have just returned to Tasmania after our 18 month adventure around Europe with the kids (11, 10 and 7). We bought our motorhome in the UK and planned to sell it there when we returned in December, but we haven’t yet and are trying to decide whether to sell it, rent it out or keep it for the next trip (it is difficult returning to the real world!). We are toying with the idea of taking a year to drive the motorhome back home.
    Anyone looking for tips please feel free to contact us on our blog: or email:
    We met so many awesome people on our travels and were so grateful for the tips and tricks of motorhome living that we picked up from other travelers in the early days of our trip.
    Keep living the dream.
    Robert, Shelley, Evan, Alec and Scott

  57. Ferris Felder says:

    Hi there. Planning to do similar later this year. Does anyone know about car seats for children? We have a 7/8 month old. Thanks 🙂

  58. Brad says:


    I have an Australian passport, my wife has a Swedish passport. But only I have a drivers licence. We want to buy a motorhome this November somewhere in Europe. Can you recommend some good cities to fly into to begin the search for a motorhome to buy?



  59. David says:

    We have a motorhome that we bought and keep in Germany, but to do so, you need to have friends resident there. I researched for about a year before proceeding and found that Germany and the Netherlands were the cheapest places to buy, but if you are not an EU resident you must have a local EU address somehow.
    We are fortunate that we have friends in Germany and we bought and insure in their name, and have a formal letter (available from their local Transport dept) authorising us to use it.
    We have used it for 3 months each year, and have done so for the last 4 years, and about to head of for another stint, and although my wife holds a Norwegian passport, since I am an Aussie, the 3 month limit is a pain.
    We generally stay at proper camps for security, electricity, (we like our conveniences) and try to use the camp ablutions where possible. Wifi, much to my eternal frustration is both expensive, slow and unreliable, so I am trying a new tack this year with a Vodaphone pre-paid sim with $5 daily roaming which I have bought to take with us.
    We bought a Fiat Ducato based Dethleffs 7m van which we love, and given the opportunity, I wouldn’t do it any differently.
    We do about 10,000km each trip and have “done” most western Europe with no serious hassles, although did have a small insurance issue – clashed mirrors with a local van in France and they tried to blame us, but fortunately I’d taken a heap of phone photos that showed that it was almost impossible to pass at that point without hitting, so no blame.
    We thoroughly endorse the concept and will continue to use it whilst we can, since we are now 70.

  60. Laura B says:

    Hello all
    Cruising this blog, and picking up hints and tips from one and all, thanks.
    One company I came across while wanting to insure my UK registered van I’d bought off a Kiwi couple in Spain was Adrian Flux – specialists in motorhomes/camper insurance. Just google it.
    Spanish mechanics BTW are scrupulously honest and wonderful. They will offer you the minimum work required to keep you on the road – so ask them about alternative (and thus more expensive) options as sometimes it might be better if they would go up a level! They’re just trying to keep your costs down. And they do it quickly.

    Also, it might be worthwhile joining The Caravan Club (about £40) for travel in the UK and Europe – they offer all kinds of helpful ferry booking/insurance/campsite discounts and services. I haven’t looked into this in detail myself as yet – still looking for the camper – but was told to do so by a fellow traveller.

    Also, I don’t find switching between LH – RH driving is in any way problematic regardless of which side your car is on – I’ve been on the wrong side in both situations – you just need to exercise a bit more care pulling out , but if you intend to be based in UK, go for a RHD and viceversa if you are spending more time in Europe.

    And why take a toll road unless you’re in a hurry? Save the money and enjoy the ride – the exception being along the Med coastal roads in Spain/France/Italy which are painfully slow with so many twists and turns around the hills and traffic lights.

    Finding parking in old European cities is the very devil in most countries

  61. Millie says:

    Hey everyone !
    Another couple of Aussies here – My boyfriend and I are coming to Europe in June and plan on doing a 3 month campervanning trip. If anyone is selling their van in the UK please let us know – my email is 🙂

  62. Nicola Macrow says:

    Hi guys, we are an Aussie couple living in Berlin and are wanting to buy a campervan to travel around Europe from August until October! Send us an email if you have anything available- We would also be happy to rent it out 🙂 Anisa, thanks for the informative blog post!

  63. Shirena says:

    Dear Anisa

    We are planning a year long trip around Europe, hopefully starting next year. We have a brand new VW T5 Transporter, fully converted. We don’t have an oven, toilet, hot water or shower. Would you recommend having some of these things by further converting our VW, or do you think the trip would be manageable without them. Do most Aires have toilets and showers as well as hook-ups?
    with regards

    • Anisa says:

      We didn’t have any of those things except the oven (which we used a handful of times). Personally I think its easiest to not have those things as it’s more cleaning/more things to go wrong. All campsites have facilities. The only thing that I found remotely annoying was washing dishes in cold water (first world problem!). It’s totally manageable without them. You are in for a lovely trip – have the best time!

  64. Ben says:

    Great post, Anisa. My partner and I are looking at having a similar adventure next year. Just wondering what you roughly paid for your camper?

    Many thanks

  65. Christine says:

    Have really loved reading your blog Anisa, and thank you for your honesty and the information that you share. Also, to others who have shared their experiences and information, thank you.
    My husband and I will arrive in Amsterdam from Western Australia in November this year on our way to Sicily for Christmas. During 2017 we plan to mainly base in northern Italy but travel Europe in a campervan returning to Italy for ‘settle’ periods (of maybe a month or two, likely renting small apartment) between the nomadic camping lifestyle trips. I am looking forward to your future stories and experiences, and to the invaluable information that you impart. Many thanks, Christine

  66. Christine says:

    Good morning Anisa, have you any advice for us regarding the most economical manner in which to transfer funds from Australia to Italy over an extended period of say one or two years? Thanx, Christine

    • Anisa says:

      Hello there Christine!

      Do you mean regular transfers? Or just one big transfer?

      We actually just bought everything on a low balance credit card which we kept topped up with our own money (a debit card would also work). That way we just got charged a pretty small % fee for each transaction and then got the exchange rate of the day. No lump sum fees, no trying to assess where exchange rates would go.

      That being said, after getting home, we also thought a good way to actually hedge the exchange rate would be to transfer half your budget for the said period the day you left (eg. one big lump sum onto a travel money card (THAT REQUIRES A PIN!!!!) and the rest as you go (on a low balance credit card). That way if the exchange rate went up, you would get the savings on the remaining half of your travel budget (which you are paying as you go), but if it went down, you would have saved some transferring your first half of the budget (the big lump sum).

      There are lots of options, but using a credit card was an effortless way to manage travel funds and although we did take a hit on exchange rates as our trip progressed, we weren’t really educated enough in economics of international currency to do it any other way.

  67. Christine says:

    Thanks Anisa, like you we are not (yet!?!) educated in the economics of it all. Also, I am yet to gain knowledge of the effect of the British ‘Brexit’ on my travels, as i had intended to travel Europe on my British passport. Thanks again for your informative comments. Ciao, Christine

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  69. Varsha says:

    Hi Anisa, me and my partner are in the UK at the momment and getting ready to go on our road trip around Europe for 6 months, we bought a mini van from London which we are converting into a camper, i am from new zealand and my partner in british, the problem we are having is insurance for Europe, companies only cover 90 days around europe and also dont cover a van, did u have any issues getting insurance? Are u able to help us with this?

    • Anisa says:

      Hi there, what an exciting trip you have coming up. We used Down Under Insurance, did you try them? They were the only ones we could fine that had insurance for Aussies. We had do this in the UK though.

      • Varsha Gounder says:

        Thanks Anisa, I will check them out!

        Also, if you don’t mind me asking what kind of rough budget did you stick to say weekly or monthly? My partner and I will be doing the trip pretty frugally so any help on budgeting would be a massive help

        Thanks again

        • Anisa says:

          We spent about 30-40 euros per night in campsites, 100 euros a week on groceries and 80-100 euros a day spending. Plus around 3000 euros for fuel and tolls for 5 month trip. This was a pretty cruise budget and people do it much, much cheaper than that. Hope this helped. Ax

  70. Vivienne says:

    Hi Anisa,
    Recently we are thinking to travel around Europe with our baby boy for few months.
    Do you still remember how much you have spent for your whole trip? And how much have you budgeted it for?

    • Anisa says:

      We budgeted and spent around $45k AUD for the whole 6 months including the van etc. But this is a fairly generous budget so you could definitely do it cheaper.

  71. Penelope says:

    me and my best friend are from perth and we have just bought a second hand camper from holland, shes a beauty, but we are struggling trying to find a place were we can register the camper. We are planning to do the season in Andorra but they don’t seem to have any companies that are able to register it. would you be able to give us any information??? Your trip looked sick also!!

    • Anisa says:

      Hi Penelope, I’m so glad you’ve bought a camper – how exciting. We insured it through Down Under Insurance and the registration was done in the UK (full list of what we had to do included in the post). I hope you manage to get it done, looking forward to hearing from you. Regards,

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  73. Hey Anisa! Grrrreat post and thank you so so much for taking the time to write it. We campervanned New Zealand for five months, and it changed our life…forreal. We now live in a travel trailer in America, because we enjoy the lifestyle so much. We’re gearing up for a Euro adventure in 2017, and your post is just what we needed to start our mountain of research. There’s a lot of us out there wanting to do this style of travel but not a ton of information. So, thank you for taking the time! If you do the same sort of adventure in New Zealand, Lindsey wrote a detailed book to help guide you in the process.

  74. Natasha says:

    Hi Anisa love the blog! My partner and I are planning to do a 6 month van trip in May 2017!!

    Just wondering if any one will be selling a van around May – would help a lot having it pre organised!

    Thanks , Natasha

  75. Kristen Welch says:

    Hi Anisa and all contributors
    Just spent a couple of hours reading these blog posts and enjoying your website. Great information and passion for travel evident with everyone. Off to Central America for 3 months then Europe for about 4 months before returning to Oz over the remaining 5 months (lots if ideas, Iran, Ethiopia, Nepal, but nothing booked yet). Reading everyone’s blogs is getting my wife and I more pumped for the trip.
    We are also looking for a van in Europe (arrive London end of April, 2017), budget approximately AUS$8-10,000.
    Anyone selling, let me know at
    Happy travels everyone.

    • Anisa says:

      Oh i’m so happy to hear you’re planning a trip! It sounds incredible. I’d love to go to Iran – is it safe to travel? And Nepal is on my hit list too! Best of luck with the planning and finding the right camper. Tag me on insta so I can see your travel photos 🙂 #travelwiththemacadames. xx

  76. James says:

    Hey my partner and I are looking at buying a van next year, we are getting into the UK late April 2017, please email if anyone is offloading one around then!

  77. Alex says:


    Awesome article and really informative. If you don’t mind me asking, just wondering how much you spent to purchase the van? And what the price ranges are for them?


    • Anisa says:

      We bought it for about 11,000 pounds. We couldn’t get what we wanted for much cheaper than this. But bear in mind we sold it for 500 pounds less than what we paid so overall it was virtually free.

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  79. Sarah says:

    Such a helpful article. I kept coming back to it 🙂

  80. Ross says:

    Hi Anisa! We are a young couple from South Africa, and you inspired us to do a roadtrip in a camper. We are currently in Italy and we are enjoying every minute. Thank you so much for all the info!
    We will be selling our camper at the end of June. If anyone is interested

    We’ll gladly share our knowledge and contacts!

  81. Jessica says:

    Hi! Great blog! You’ve just inspired me to do this ? I hope you don’t mind me asking but what is the make, model and year of the campervan you ended up buying and roughly how much did it set you back? I’m just trying to research my options now and I’m trying to estimate what I’ll need to spend and what I should be able to get for my money. Thanks in advance!

    • Anisa says:

      Hi Jessica, thanks so much for stopping by. I can’t remember the year, but it was a Mercedes Sprinter Long Wheel Base. It cost us approx 12,000 pounds and we got 11,500 back for it (including everything in it which we had bought). I would spend the most you can absolutely afford, knowing that you will likely get it mostly back, especially if you take good care of it and aren’t in a rush to sell.

  82. Rhianne says:

    Hi Anisa,

    This is a wonderful blog!! My partner and i are doing 5 months driving around europe next year and super excited!! We are trying to budget for fuel costs though and wondered your weekly/months driving spends on fuel over distances. Could you share some of this info?



    • Anisa says:

      Hi Rhi, thanks for popping past. So excited for you guys, best trip ever ever ever. The fuel economy very much depends on the camper you are driving. Google the brand of your car and it will tell you how many kms you get per tank and you could largely work out a rough budget for your trip. Best of luck xx

  83. Billie says:

    Hi Anisa, this post was so helpful! My partner and I are looking at doing a similar trip in a van from May to December this year. However we are having trouble with what to do about the rules about the Schengen area and the 90 day limit. Did you apply for a particular visa to be able to stay for more than the 90 days? Any info would be useful!
    Thank you 🙂

    • Anisa says:

      Hey Billie,
      Thanks for stopping by. To get around the 90 day limit, we actually applied for a work holiday visa in France and only worked for 7 months, so used the rest of it to travel + then when that ran out, we switched over to a tourist visa which allowed us the extra 90 days. There isn’t much to get around the 90 day limit, but in saying that, they dont really check and not all countries stamp. I am not suggesting overstaying but just so you can make an informed decision.

  84. Eunice says:

    Hi Anisa,

    Do you have a general itinerary of where you went in your van through the different countries? Any general direction of which order etc you did countries would be great! My fiancé and I going to do this hopefully for a full year after our wedding this year. We are only thinking of planning the first 6 weeks (as our honeymoon) of the trip and then finding a van, doing it up then just winging it.
    It would be great to have a list of must do places/must stay places.
    Did you find it hard to do this in the colder months as well? Id imagine it would be too cold to stay in the camper van during winter.

  85. Merin says:

    Great Blog!
    As an Australian planning a very similar journey (on a fraction of your budget), it still is really difficult to find simple information outlining the processes and requirements when you buy/register/transfer/mot/vat/insure…and even to find anyone that will offer insurance. I had only found exorbitant rates on temporary insurance, DU seem to be the best option still.
    Wish I had found this at the start of my research!!

  86. Roger says:

    Hello. This is a great blog. I’m planning on a tour also: all over EU-turkey-Iran-Pakistan-india and further east with my 2 kids. I’ve researched and today I read about the LEZ around the EU. This will now effect my decision on type of motorhome to buy. I’m looking for something compact, with shower/toilet, air conditioning, diesel/petrol?, Honda generator?wifi antenna, water purifier, lpg adapters, buddy heater, co2 detectors, any recommendations on model/type of vehicle? Thx Roger

  87. Julie Tarasi says:

    My partner and I will be backpacking for 3 months, 2 of those in a van. I think its cheaper for us to rent one. It seems impossible to find one that is not $7000 for 7 weeks. I appreciate your blog post to help with what you found.

    Did you have any trouble with the size of the larger vans with the roads? Some have said its stressful to have the larger campervans rather than a VW size. What do you think?

    • Anisa says:

      I know hiring is crazy expensive. Hence why we bought too. We didn’t have any trouble, you obviously have to be mindful of the size when parking but almost all roads (except back alley streets were totally fine. Best of luck!

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