Hurray, traveling in Europe is possible again! Also, we are particularly lucky. We recently bought a multi-purpose car for a very fair price to realize a long-held dream: we built ourselves a micro camper. I won’t lie: we spent way too much time searching for items in hardware stores, and our living room looked like a bloody mess. But after frustrating our neighbors with construction noises for a good week, we are now able to sleep, eat, sit, cook, and wash in the car. Plus, it can take us to our next travel destination.
Before planning any trip, you should have a clear picture of how much money you can and want to spend. This is not only important when you go on a camping trip but for all travel styles. It is crucial for your decision where, when, and how long you want to travel. Once you know how much you will be spending, it is easy to track your travel budget. Just download the TravelSpend app, create a new trip, and enter your budget and travel dates. Now you are ready to track your expenses.
First of all, in most countries, you are only allowed to camp on campsites or specific parking spaces. Usually, at least using showers and toilets cost some daily fee.
You should also consider how far you need to drive to reach your actual destination and how long the distance is you want to cover on your vacation. Fuel prices can play a role when choosing the country, too.
Keep in mind prices for food and drinks and the travel style you prefer. For example, in Italy, you can get a tasty fresh pizza with a glass of good wine for a few bucks. But in Norway, the same meal can cost you three times as much. In costly places like that, you might want to consider having a barbecue and bringing your own booze instead.
This is one of our key learnings so far. Camping is cheap if you do not need much space or luxury. The highest cost you will have is the vehicle itself – whether it is rented or you bought it. We made several trips with a rental car and a tent through Spain and Italy as students. These were great affordable vacations totally possible with a student’s budget. Last year we rented a fully equipped camper-van for a long weekend at the Northern Sea just to try it out. To be honest, it would have cost just as much to book a train and stay in a hotel.
Our converted multi-purpose van is a perfect combination of a relatively cheap car and a bit of luxury to sleep on a real mattress. Of course, it is also a massive upgrade that we do not need to set up a tent in every new place we are going. Additionally, it allows us to bring at least some bottles of wine. Of course, one big reason is that we were never in Sweden together, and we loved to read Astrid Lindgren’s books when we were kids. But let me give you some ideas about why Sweden also makes sense budget-wise:
The allemansrätten gives a person the right to access, walk, cycle, ride, ski, and camp on any land. This means you can sleep in your vehicle for free in many places. And if that place is close to a lake, the shower problem is also solved. And that’s already the next one:
Someone recently told me that some lakes in Sweden don’t have names just because there are too many of them. This means I have high hopes that it will be reasonably easy to find those spots you dream of when you think of wild camping.
This may sound unintuitive at first, but it brings me back to considering my budget and travel style. When traveling, I usually like to go at a slow pace, and I want to see various places. But hotels, transportation, and restaurants are relatively expensive in Sweden. In the camper, you have your means of transportation, bed, and kitchen with you. This makes camping an excellent way to travel cost-effectively through Sweden.
Another reason we chose Sweden is that it is very close to Northern Germany, so it is speedy to get there for us. One downside is definitely that we will only be able to travel through the south since we don’t have the time to make a full Sweden trip right now.
Let us know your thoughts! What are your favorite camping destinations? And why? Or can you give us some tips for Sweden?