Buying a caravan usually is a life-changer. With my family we have not only enhanced our traveling, but significantly changed our life attitude. We are throwing away things we don’t like and are focusing on things we do like.
Notes from our first caravan trip
Foreplay to our first bigger journey was a trip to Zlín, where we stayed at Pahrbek campsite and have tested how a longer journey in a caravan can go, and what is more, what we will be missing on a longer journey. It was not bad, all we needed to buy was two meters of hose, a hammer and pliers. We already had all the rest.
The first real trip was a breakthrough. For safety reasons we went only to Croatia, so in case of an unexpected situation we would not be far away from home. Nothing really happened so the trip became a real life-changer.
Camping Split and Camping Panorama
On our first real journey we truly explored pros and cons of leaving home country for a longer time. Let’s have a look at what questions we have answered.
1. Our goals
- Travel differently – have time for family and work
- Afford longer stay and more intense experience
- Do what I like and receive impulses from unknown environment
- Do things differently than mainstream and explore new colours of life
- By the way, a nice example is Home-science: How I created happy home (sorry, in Czech language only)
- Share the experience and knowledge, for example in an article for Bel Mondo
2. Working over Internet abroad
Data were no problem. Just in case I equipped myself with an appropriate roaming plan (Vodafone Data Passport), where one month with 4.6 GB costs around 50 EUR regardless of country within Europe*. But Mifi Solution as well as T-Mobile SIM card in Croatia provided 1 GB for 8 EUR. Later, my colleague Michal let me know, that even better deal can be had at VIP carrier, where you can have 1 GB a day for 1.3 EUR, so 30 GB cost 40 EUR monthly. Any of these variants is cheaper than paid WiFi at campsite.
*) Countries where Vodafone Passport is valid (in November 2012): Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guyana, Croatia, Gibraltar,. Guadeloupe, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Cypress, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Isle of Man, Martinique, Monaco, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Romania, Greece. San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech, City of Vatican, United Kingdom, Czech Republic.
3. Clean water
Another thing we had to solve abroad was clean water. For children we did not want to risk, so we bought all the water for them. After our return we discovered cleaning kettles, which can remove most of the dirt from the water. You need to replace filters, thus one liter costs between 0.01 and 0.02 EUR which sounds fair.
Another interesting knowledge was realization how much water we were using. A shower is a real water-eater! I was filling 40l every day and when bathing I was filling even more. You have no rest at the campsite, there is always something to fill or empty.
- Without B+E driving license – we went through Hungary – just in case.
- 220V sockets in the caravan work only when caravan is connected to electricity at the campsite
- I managed 1 yoga session and one beach run session
5. Map of visited camps
Many people perceive changes as a risk or threat. But the truth is, that changes are tools for innovations (improvements) so we should not be scared of them at all. Life will be more colorful.
I have an ideal case here. Until recently I would not exchange my BMW for anything, but small changes in priorities helped to lessen this fixation. So my sixth BMW became a Toyota Hilux. Not a coincidence. I came to conclusion that German car manufacturers have earned on me more than enough. Their business strategy to sell every PCB for thousands of EUR slightly helped my decision. So I’d rather help repair Fukushima.
Why I have chosen Hilux
- Toyota has reputation of high reliability
- Car has a very simple construction
- Trailer maximum weight up to 2.5 tons
- Minimum amount of electronics – expensive to maintain
- At times most sold car in most countries
- No hiding — form follows function
- Potential perfect car for Africa
Anyway, Hilux is indestructible
Advertising videos are great as well
- Wild Boar Commercial 2011 (Australia)
- Unbreakable 2012 (Australia)
- The new Hilux 2012 – Fearless
- The Hilux – Get In Or Get Out Of The Way (Australia)
- Coconuts Commercial 2009
- Crumpy and Scotty Commercial 80’s
When two people do same things, it is not the same thing. After doing market survey for Toyota resellers I found out that there are huge differences both in price offered as well as in customer communication. Therefore I can recommend these three: Dajbych Plzeň, Oldřich Rypar a Euroauto Protech. All of them negotiate the price. It was on honor to negotiate with them.