In France, Brittany is preferred by vanlifers. You have to believe that the area between its shores whose faces change according to the tides, its streams, its ports, its rivers, its paths, coastal or non-coastal, and its network of small towns and its interior is neither flat nor mountainous. Well for a truck vacation. A little practical guide before leaving.
Brittany has been named the French destination of choice for “vanlifers”. There was also a dedicated festival there on the weekend of June 18-19, the Breizh vanlife festival.
No hotel or accommodation costs, at most a campground. When it comes to housing, you are a huge winner. Same for catering: You have a kitchen so you can shop at the grocery store and cook your meals without paying more than you would at home. In those two aspects, you’ll start amortizing your truck rent or purchase, which is often a significant cost.
But there’s one item you won’t save on: fuel. Firstly because the truck, whatever it is, consumes a lot of energy. Then, because the ethos of a truck’s life is to drive, see the country, and not stay in the same place all the time.
- Take care of group life
In the truck, privacy is not the same as at home, far from it. Most of the time, we go with the family or with our boyfriend or girlfriend. More than ever, we will have to listen to each other and make concessions
- Water conservation: cooking, dishes, toilets.
Liters of water accumulate in our lifestyle. Remember to bring and fill a large bowl of water before you leave, and think of this container when you wash your plate or teeth.
- Maintain a bit of spontaneity, and don’t stick to a prepared travel plan down to the smallest detail.
While it may be important to know a little about your destination, take advantage of being there to improve your vacation itinerary. For once, you have a way to follow your desires, to adapt to the weather. Unleash yourself!
- Don’t wait for the evening or until the end of the afternoon To decide where to stay for the night. Arriving before sunset, you see clearly, you expect unpleasant surprises, and this gives you time to research a little, before finding the place that suits you. If you have children, they will appreciate being able to play a little before dinner. And you, too!
- Avoid places on the side of the road, or village squares
These places can be crowded the next morning when everyone comes to shop and wakes you up relentlessly (especially if it’s market day and you haven’t seen it!). Also expect the sound of church bells or the garbage truck.
- Don’t stand on the slope
Guarantee of a bad night in a curved truck. The best is to have wedges to straighten the truck if necessary.
- If you are far from shops and don’t have a bike on board, plan to own one what do you eat for breakfast before closing the truck.
Switching the truck from night mode to day mode is still quite a long way to go, and if you have to do that to use the truck to get croissants and coffee, it’s less fun.
- Avoid gatherings
Of course, living in a community can be very pleasant, but the effect is disastrous on the image of vans, like mobile homes. It can encourage local elected officials to act accordingly
- Don’t bet everything in apps
They are called Park4night, Camper Connection, etc. It is very practical because it tells you all the good plans for sleeping in the area you are in, with the opinions of users. The other side of the coin is that, as with bison futé or Waze for example, everyone follows the app’s recommendations and suddenly there are crowds.
The highway code allows us to park like a car and does not prevent us from sleeping on board. Wild camping, on the other hand, is prohibited. So, stop unpacking: take out the folding table and chairs only when possible. Also, be sure to drain the gray water supply in the appropriate places.
In some municipalities there are also local regulations that prevent us from spending the night in a certain car park. Do not play smart, otherwise you risk a fine.
To make the most of your days, evenings, and nights in a truck, don’t forget the blackout curtains but also a top mattress, as an unfolded seat is particularly uncomfortable.
Small accessories should not be neglected either: a kit, a flashlight, an anti-mosquito candle, paper towels, a bluetooth headset and of course … the key!
Rent a car? About 1000 Euro per week
When buying, the minimum prices are about 40 thousand euros for vans and 45 thousand euros for vans. But beware, the bill goes up with equipment.
But probably the best thing is to rent a truck first to see if you like it.
In Brittany, companies like van-it or even keltic van offer converted vans for hire, in different styles depending on your needs.
You may be able to get better deals on the peer-to-peer rental platforms, Yescapa.
Prices for a week in high season are about 800 and 1100 euros.