Having trouble deciding whether a motorhome holiday is for you? Want someone to put things simply? What follows is a list of pros and a list of cons, compiled from personal experience. I hope it helps!
- Your travel is already sorted and you can drive anywhere you want, in your own time, stopping whenever you want.
- Your accommodation is also already sorted, as it’s conveniently combined with your means of travel.
- Most motorhomes have kitchenettes, so keeping the food costs down is easy if you’re sensible. You don’t have to eat out, and there are many cheap meals you can prepare quickly and easily in a small space. Plus, many campsites throughout New Zealand have barbecues that are free for the public to use.
- Freedom – you don’t have to stick to a set itinerary. If you see a sign pointing to something down a side road that looks interesting, you can go there. If you park up next to a beach, your motorhome becomes your own personal beach hut, somewhere to get changed and have a shower. You can stay the night wherever you want.
- You get to spend quality time with your family (or whoever it is you’re motorhoming with.) Spending your evenings in a small space, eating, sleeping and dressing in close proximity to one another, unable to escape to individual rooms, promotes a sense of closeness. You can reconnect with each other and have real conversations without distractions.
- You get to experience the great outdoors in relative comfort.
- You have to drive everywhere yourself, which can be tiring and stressful, especially if you don’t know New Zealand roads. A huge motorhome on a small, windy road is a hazard.
- Your accommodation is cramped, with little storage space and very basic facilities, and if your transport gets stolen, all your things get stolen with it.
- Even though New Zealand motorhome holidays are good for keeping costs down in certain areas, in the summer, which is when most people want to be holidaying in New Zealand, motorhomes can be quite expensive to hire, and it can be difficult finding campgrounds you don’t have to pay to stay at.
- Well technically you can’t stay the night wherever you want. In accordance with the Freedom Camping Act, if you’re caught staying the night in your motorhome in the wrong place, (such as private property or places with signs that say ‘No Camping’) or harming the environment by incorrectly disposing of waste, you can be slapped with a big fine. You must have a certified self-contained motorhome to freedom camp, but even then different regional councils have different rules. You still need to do a certain amount of journey planning. (This map can help with that.)
- Being that close to your family will drive you crazy. Especially if you’re a light sleeper. You can hear every snore – every breath, even – and every time someone shifts in their sleep, the whole motorhome rocks and creaks. Sometimes, you just need your own space.
- You have to empty the septic tank.
Article by Abigail Simpson, author of Poms Away: A British Immigrant’s View of New Zealand