An insight into what it's like to travel Europe in a campervan. Here you'll find information about renting a campervan in Slovenia and exploring Europe in a cheap and memorable way. Everything you need to know about booking, travelling, eating, sleeping and living in a rented Nest campervan.
About the author:
Gemma i.e. The Travelling Tedaldi, is an avid travel blogger with a love for new landscapes, cities and cultures. Along with her other half Matt, she plans to explore, document and inspire others to get out and experience new destinations as they have done with the Nest Cuckoo Camper. The pair have just had the European trip of a lifetime, covering over 2900km, through 9 countries and multiple cities all from the comfort of a campervan! Check out The Travelling Tedaldi for inspiration on your own adventure with Nest Campers.
‘Can you really travel, eat, sleep and live in a camper for 3 weeks?!’
Recently Matt and I spent 3 weeks exploring and driving around Europe in a campervan and yes, it was as amazing as it sounds! We managed to squeeze in visiting 9 countries, 13 cities and countless incredible views all thanks to the wonderful Nest Campers and their Cuckoo campervan!
After countless questions about our trip, here is what it is really like to book, travel, eat, sleep and live in a small Nest campervan for 3 weeks.
Gemma and Matt discovering wine regions of northern Slovenia.
The process of hiring a Nest campervan is nice and simple. Simply fill in a booking form online and before you know it you'll be at your pickup point ready to start your travels! Whilst we were eagerly awaiting our upcoming trip, Nina was extremely helpful in giving us suggestions for places to camp, things to see and do, even ideas for our onward journey.
At your chosen pick up point you'll be met by one of the team who will give you a welcome pack which includes drinks, snacks and toiletries to tie you over for a night or two. You will also be given some vouchers that give you discounts with Nest Campers partners in Slovenia and neighbouring countries. These include various campsites and activities. Alongside all of that, you will also be given brochures on travel and camping in and around Slovenia with lots of information about the best tourist attractions, places you can't miss and of course campsites.
Before you set off you'll be given a full rundown of how everything in the van works, from setting up the bed, to operating the windscreen wipers. After a bit of paperwork you are then free to go about your adventures! You are given the van with a full tank of fuel so make sure upon returning you've filled it up.
Upon time for your drop off, (which is a very sad day!), you will be met at your chosen location by one of the Nest Campers team where you will hand back the keys following a quick chat of how amazing your adventure was.
And that's it! Nice and simple.
Tiny house on wheels.
Driving around Europe in a Nest campervan is something that neither Matt or I wanted to stop doing. We drove a total of 2914km and we seriously didn't want to give the van back!
The Cuckoo campervan is a Citroen Berlingo, manual drive, with parking sensors front and rear, cruise control and air-con / heating (not that we needed heating it being mid summer!). These are the things that we feel will matter on your trip! There are many typical features that could be mentioned such as power steering, etc, but lets leave that to car reviewers!
The seats are comfortable to sit in for some distant drives, the most driving we had done in one day was roughly 6 hours. The ride seemed smooth, and the stereo has Bluetooth/USB connectivity which will make you feel right at home with your own music while whizzing past some amazing countryside!
The camper comes ready with a Slovenian vignette, so you'll have no worries getting started on your adventure. If you want to cross borders into any nearby countries, simply buy the vignette at the border of said country. (We bought Austrian & Swiss vignettes). You may have to pay a toll through other countries as you go, as we did in Croatia and Italy, but it's all really simple to do!
Eating is a big part of travel for me, getting the local delicacies and trying everything!
We would typically dine out and try the local delicacies during the day, and cook our own food most nights - going through 6 small gas canisters in 3 weeks! (We used it twice a day at most, for tea and coffee in the morning and our evening meals). You can of course use the campsite cooking facilities, if they have any - We unfortunately ended up in very few that did!
The camper is fitted with a mini kitchen accessed by the rear door, with a gas cooker, sink and fridge, as well as tonnes of storage for all that local wine and grub you may end up with... cough cough Slovenian wine I'm looking at you! We would highly recommend plugging the fridge into an electric point when possible to keep your grub nice and cold. In the sweltering heat of the summer we also suggest you take some ice packs and freeze them at every opportunity you get, (we found out the hard way and struggled to keep the fridge cold).
The van also comes with plenty of cutlery and crockery, some of which I am ashamed to admit we didn't even use!
We found it easiest most nights to get everything out of the van and cook on the table provided, there is a small worktop as such in the van but we preferred to sit out and enjoy the views, the only problem with this is when it rains. With the rear door open it does shield you from the worst of the rain but it can make your gas cooking life more difficult!
Sleeping in the campervan had its highs and its lows, getting to camp in some incredible places and meet some lovely fellow campers. The only problem we really had was the heat!
Putting the bed up required moving the front seats forwards and pushing 4 bars up for the bed frame. Then a simple rejig of the cushions and you have the comfortable 200*140cm bed! It was plenty of space for the pair of us, the only downside was a small gap between the bed cushions, but you get used to it and learn to put the bed up in a set way!
The camper came with all the bed linen you could need including pillows and duvets. It even had an extra pillow just for some extra squish! You are provided with some side curtains for privacy but you might need to find a way to cover the front and rear windows (if you want to) - we used our towels, some string to hang them on, and the sun protection screen included to hide ourselves away!
The camping experience as a whole is one I love in a tent, and one I loved in a campervan!
The camper comes with 2 camping chairs, 1 camping table, an electric plug for plugging in at campsites, a camping light, a Frisbee and a washing up bowl. We also had a solar shower but ended up using the campsite facilities as the majority of them were all great. There is even a doormat provided so you don't have to get in and out with muddy or grassy feet!
The Cuckoo camper is small enough to be classed as a minivan in some campsites, making it cheaper and easier to find a camping spot, something that was really helpful around the busier campsites.
We even had numerous other campers come and admire our little Cuckoo purely due to the sheer amount of storage there is in the back, as the drawers do go back for miles! There is also plenty of storage under the bed, where we easily fit our two backpacks, two day bags and the chairs & table (with a little extra room for more).
There's bound to be something that you have forgotten but Matt and I make sure we always travel with these items.
- String - From a washing line to a place to hang your fairy lights, string is a must take when away camping.
- Duct tape/insulation tape - From sticking your parking ticket to the dash so it doesn't fall down the front gap, to keeping the van sun shade in place - it helped with various sticky situations!
- A good book - To wind down in the evening, or when you've been caught in some unexpected bad weather.
- Journal - write down those little things you might forget, stories of the day you've just had and anecdotes of your travels so one day you can look back and laugh at your escapades.
So if you are ever in need of a campervan in Europe I would highly recommend hiring one from the lovely Nina and Vid at Nest Campers! We will be back again for more adventures with them I am sure!