If you’re not a fan of public transport, overnight train and bus journeys or even long-haul flights, taking your own vehicle travelling can be an intriguing option to explore. It could be a smaller vehicle such as a car or bike, or a larger vehicle such as a motorhome or campervan.
Whichever option you are looking to find out more about, there are a few pros and cons you should consider before you start making any arrangements. Read more below to help you come to the right decision for you!
More freedom on the road
Perhaps the greatest benefit of taking your own vehicle when travelling is the freedom it gives you to explore and see sites that you probably wouldn’t get to see if you were backpacking.
If you’re reliant on public transport and taxi services when travelling in foreign countries then you’re either stuck to certain destinations and routes, or you’ll have to pay extortionate amounts to get to specific sites or attractions.
With your vehicle, you avoid all that and just pay the fuel price to get to where you want to go, when you want to go.
Control your travel schedule
Another plus, if you’re taking your vehicle, is the control it gives you over your time and schedule. Again, if you’re reliant on public transport and set transport services then your schedule is limited to those times.
With your own mode of transport, you can set off and arrive when you want, without worrying about delays and disruptions that so often come with public transport.
Furthermore, you can tailor your travelling experience to your preferences. For example, if you’d prefer staying away from packed coaches and trains then your vehicle would give you a little slice of luxury and peace on the road.
Potential cost saving
If you’re taking a campervan or any kind of motorhome, there is a potential cost-saving benefit there to be had if you can save on accommodation costs. You could save on transport costs too depending on what routes you’re taking and how cheaply you can attain fuel.
It’s important to remember that there is also the greater risk of extra repairs and maintenance costs which will be covered in the cons below.
While you can have almost complete freedom to go where you want on land, travelling with your vehicle does come with its limitations as to your geographical freedom across the globe.
For example, if you’re planning on travelling around Europe then you should be fine because you don’t need to cross any oceans. But if you wanted to travel to Australia, New Zealand or maybe the Americas then you’re unlikely to be able to take your vehicle with you – unless you’re willing to pay a ridiculous sum each way.
One of the main drawbacks of taking a vehicle travelling is the responsibility and risk you bring with you. Vehicles aren’t always reliable and breaking down in a foreign country is far from ideal, not to mention it could cost you a fortune to get back up and running if you aren’t confident with repairs yourself.
You may also have to contend with the risk of theft or road traffic accidents which could taint your experience – certainly something to think about.
The amount of driving
Any travelling is going to incur long spells of driving, which may seem fun at first. However, if you choose to do that for weeks or months on end, you could find it a struggle along the way.
Consider the length of your trip and how much you’re really going to want to drive. Of course, if you are travelling as a pair or a group then the driving may be more manageable when shared.
What to consider before you set off
So there are some of the main pros and cons of taking your vehicle travelling – some points may resonate more with you and some maybe less. If you are going to take on the opportunity then there are a few recommended steps to ensure that you reduce your risk as far as possible.
First of all, it’s always a good idea to get your vehicle serviced before you set off to ensure it’s in the best possible condition. A full car service is best for cars and dedicated motorhome servicing is recommended for larger vehicles.
Then, you must ensure you get all the appropriate insurance, both vehicle and travel related, as well as any breakdown cover you may be able to get in the region you’re visiting. This will help to get you assistance where you might need it most and reduce your travel costs along the way – although not every risk and expense can be protected!