Motorhome Adventure Planning Guide

campervan road trip

How To: Plan the ultimate motorhome adventure

In this guide we aim to help you understand how to plan a campervan road trip.

Not just any campervan adventure – but how to plan your ultimate campervan road trip every time you set off. Be that for a single overnighter or for a three month expedition. 

But no matter what you have in mind or what your experience level is we’re hoping that our planning series will be able to help in some shape or form, whether it’s a specific tool recommendation or helping you get in the right head space to plan your ultimate trip. 

If you are new to campervans and motorhomes then check out our handy beginners guide, our motorhome driving tips or the top motorhome accessories as well to make sure you get your first few trips started off right!

Anyway – we want you to enjoy the planning process of your adventures as much as we do. 

Getting excited about the places you might visit, the sights you plan to see and the food you’ll get to experience is all part of the adventure in our minds.

Check out our full campervan road trip planning guide series

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    Motorhome trip planning:

    Step one - what sort of explorer are you?​

    black forest drive

    So it’s kinda obvious but the first thing you need to decide is what exactly you’re hoping to get out of the trip.

    You also need to understand what sort of an adventurer you are:

    • Do you need a rigid plan that must be stuck to? 
    • Do you like a loose plan with wiggle room but have a general idea of what will be happening? 
    • Or perhaps you like to play it fast and loose and see where the road takes you?

    All of the above are perfectly valid and each has their own merits, the important thing is fully understanding which category you fall into and trying to plan accordingly. 

    Despite what it appears like even the third type of explorer needs some sort of plan in place, even if it’s just to find somewhere to sleep.

    campervan road trip planning:

    Step two - what sort of trip will you be taking?

    sunrise camper

    Struggling for space inside your campervan or motorhome?

    The Ultimate Campervan Packing Hacks

    Every trip you take requires a slightly different planning process – there is no one size fits all approach to planning. Are you planning a simple overnighter? A weekend? A long weekend? A week? Multiple months?

    However in general planning a road trip comes essentially boils down to:

    • Deciding how long you have
    • Deciding how much time you want to spend on the road
    • Once both of the above have been decided you can begin to think about where you want to go.

    For example, if you know that you have a week, and want to average no more than 2 hours on the road each day then you’ll be able to begin looking at areas close to home to research, but if you have longer or are happy with longer days on the road then you can look further afield. 

    On the flip side of this, if you have an area you know that you want to visit, figure out how long it will take to get there based on how long you’re willing to spend on the road each day.

    Then you can figure out how much time you’ll need to get there and back, and add in time for exploring whilst you’re there. 

    Everyone’s different, and there is no right answer. 

    For example we’re quite happy to spend 10 hours on the road, two days running to get somewhere super fast. Then we can relax and explore at a slower pace once we have arrived. We enjoy long days on the road but this is definitely not for everyone.

    For some inspiration check out our Destination Guides.

    campervan road trip planning:

    Step three - Planning specifics, building redundancy options & dealing with the weather

    Essential Gear

    Now that you have sorted your rough plan it’s time to begin delving into some more details, there are a ton of tools out there to help with this, we have created a handy guide for each category:

    The Best Motorhome Websites

    The Best Motorhome Apps

    The Best Motorhome Maps & Books (old school)

    Motorhome Road Trip Philosophy/Head space

    We have broken each of the categories above into the following sections (where applicable) to make it super easy to find the right tool for the planning stage that you’re currently in.
    • Destination Inspiration & Guides including sights, culture, activities and food & drink.
    • Finding the best campsites, parkups and day time parking for larger vans
    • Finding waste facilities and toilets

    You’ll also need to consider the climate you’ll be going to and what the weather is likely to be doing. If you’re thinking of somewhere chilly check out how to keep warm in a campervan and our packing list for a successful winter road trip or if a summer belter is on your list then make sure you know how to keep cool in your campervan

    If you also have your best pal in tow then check out our top tips for road tripping with your dog

    campervan road trip planning:

    Step four- Taking your trip, Staying Safe & Recording your trip


    Always remember to record your trip. Take photos, keep a travel journal, like ours here on Polar Steps, save places you liked to lists on Google Maps.


    That’s it – you’re now fully equipped to Go Explore! 

    Don’t forget to keep safe on the road with our top security tips and remember to take all of your campervan kitchen essentials, have an absolute blast on every motorhome trip you take and let us know what amazing trips you all get up to in the comments below!

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