We’d all love to be in the situation where we can drive off in our motorhome or book a one-way ticket and just see where the road takes us. The reality for most is a limited amount of time off work to enjoy a trip exploring in our vans! Never fear, this article lays out how to squeeze every inch out of your trip whilst keeping an eye on costs so that you can lay back and enjoy!
A perfect planning tool is a spreadsheet (or a google sheet) where you can have various tabs for each element of your trip under one document.
A good guide to the various tabs is shown below:
- Tab for each stop (as many as needed)
We will now dive into each tab and explore the best way to structure and plan your trip!
In order to start planning your route its good to have an end destination in mind, for example Switzerland, this way you can start to visualise the route there and back and all the stops you may wish to explore along the way!
Within your route tab, add a table to track your planned route – there are some suggested table heading below;
- Start Location
- End Location
- Overnight Address
- Overnight Type (i.e. Campsite / Aire / Cr Park)
- Distance (Miles)
- Time (Hours)
- Arrival Date
- Leave Date
- No. of Nights
- Total Cost of nights (if A/P)
- Aire Choice 1, 2 & 3
This may seem like a long list but this is your ultimate route reference tab and each aspect will feed into other areas of the document.
Seeing the ‘Overnight Type’ in a list like this also helps when assessing how much water you might need between sites if you enjoy wild camping.
The next step is to start building your google map, this is best completed in sections so that you know how long each drive is and whether you are happy with the length or not. Also, bare in mind timing of dusk during your trip if you are not confident at driving in the dark, especially abroad.
TIP – Look at the dates and plan food shops around these, don’t forget that mainland Europe supermarkets close completely on a Sunday so don’t get caught out!
In order to assess how long you plan to stay at any given stop, it’s a good idea to do some research around the area and the things to do there.
We recommend having a tab for each spot within your spreadsheet, with a summary of where and how long you are staying there followed by a table outlining the activities in that area as well as checking out the restaurants for a special meal.
This section is optional, depending on how much you like to plan your trip, with FOMO (fear of missing out) embedded in an itinerary can really help you clarify your trip in your mind and ensure you have time to do all the fantastic activities you have on your ‘Stops’ tabs!
We have laid the itinerary out in a table and split days into morning and afternoon to ensure we fit all activities in, see example below.
Finally, and not the most fun element of planning your trip but an important aspect to keep track off, is your budget. Once you have finished planning all the interesting aspects, a budget will pull all of your planning together nicely and give you comfort over the cost of your trip.
This method allows you to include all aspects of the trip, from mileage through campsites to excursions so that you know exactly how much you’ll need to save for your dream trip!
We have given our budget table the following headers:
This enables you to have a quick reference point as well as easily access web pages if you haven’t booked any aspect yet.
To pull in the mileage costs, you can use the total from your ‘Miles’ column in your route planning table and then work out a cost per mile. We have divided the total miles by 4.4 and then multiplied by £1.30, with 4.4 being a prudent ‘miles to the litre’ for your van and £1.30 being a cost per litre ( e.g. =([miles]/4.4)*1.3 ) – you can tweak these numbers to suit your vehicle. This may seem over the top, and each to their own, but it might surprise you how much this element costs depending on the length of your trip!
We hope this post has been helpful, everyone has their own ways of planning but when you want to do a trip with multiple stops and limited time then it’s best to get a Rapi-Plan in place!
If you’d like any more information on the Rapi-Plan, excel help or have any questions then please let us know – we’d love to hear from you, please visit our contact us page here.