What’s the first thing you should do when you park your van for the night in your new camping location?
Open your pop top roof.
Check out your surroundings.
Crack open a beer.
The correct answer is…go over and introduce yourself to your closest camping neighbours, here’s why:
Check wiki camp for up to date comments? Read guidebooks? Look up camping blogs? You can’t get a more ‘real time’ review on your just-about-to-be camping spot than asking those who’ve been there the night before. Introduce yourself, ask them if they had a quiet night’s sleep, how the spot is…people love to talk (ok maybe it’s just me!) and if there are any noise or security issues you’ll know about them pretty quickly. Even better they’ll likely tell you of any great beaches/walking tracks/short cuts into town that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Worst case scenario you find out the 18 year old’s nearby start a party every night that goes until dawn. Better to know now than at 1am!
Google campervan security or safety and you’ll read one thing over and over again. Make friends with your neighbours. They’ll look out for your van when you are swimming down the beach, drinking wine on the cliff at sunset, doing that 6 hour hike (oh yes you will!). You’ll also feel a whole lot safer at night knowing who your neighbours are and that you can approach them if the need arises.
Although this point doesn’t apply to Achtung Camper owners as they are of course all super organised and have read every single one of our other blogs on what to pack and what not to forget BUT for everyone else out there…when it starts getting cold and you’ve forgotten the fire lighters, when it’s wine o’clock and you don’t have a bottle opener (aren’t they all twist top now anyway?!) you’ll be thankful later if you are already on friendly terms with the campers next door.
And as always, we leave the best to last. Yes travelling is about the journey and about the destination. It’s about freedom and nature. But it’s just as importantly about the people you meet along the way. Lifelong friends were made in front of campfires and hey, you already know you have the most important values and interests in common (you’re both here aren’t you!). After all, a bottle of wine shared is much better than a bottle of wine drunk alone (especially for you the next morning!)