Planning Your Ultimate Ireland Campervan Trip
The difference between a good campervan trip and an amazing campervan trip all comes down to planning. Where will you sleep? What will you eat? What will you do if it rains?
A campervan trip is very different from a regular hotel stay. If you are less familiar with this style of holiday, then read on! This guide will help you build a solid foundation for your upcoming Irish campervan adventure – turning a good trip into a great one!
What To Bring On a Campervan Trip to Ireland
Space can be limited in a campervan when compared to staying in a hotel room, so it is important to just bring what’s essential.
As the saying goes, “hope for the best, plan for the worst.”
The weather in Ireland can change quickly, with strong coastal winds. It’s important to pack lots of warm layers and full waterproofs, just in case!
Follow this checklist to help with you’re packing:
|✔ Warm hat or sun hat depending on season||✔ Sunglasses||✔ T-Shirts|
|✔ Fleece/warm layers||✔ Thermal top & bottoms (depending on season)||✔ Raincoat|
|✔ Trousers||✔ Comfy trousers/ joggers in the van|
✔ Waterproof trousers
|✔ Hiking boots or wellies||✔ Comfortable trainers||✔ Flip flops|
|✔ Toiletries||✔ Slippers for the van||✔ Socks and undies|
|✔ Shower towel||✔ Smaller towel for wiping sand or dirt off feet||✔ Dry bags or bin bags for wet clothes|
|✔ Documents (Passport, Driving license, insurance, camp site bookings…)||✔ Money||✔Electronics (camera, chargers)|
|✔ Camping essentials (Add bedding kit and camping furniture hire to your hire)||✔Kitchen essentials (all included with a Bunk Campers rental)||✔ Campsite entertainment (books, games, cards)|
Where to Sleep During Your Campervan Trip in Ireland
When campervanning in Ireland, you have two main options for where to sleep. There are official camping sites that will have facilities such as toilets, showers, cooking areas and sometimes fire pits, wifi and more.
Or you have the option of wild camping (see rules for wild camping in Ireland). This is where you find a place out in nature and enjoy the wilderness. There are pros and cons of both, so let’s see which would work for you!
Campsites will have different levels of luxury and facilities. The most basic will likely just have a toilet and shower block. The higher end ones may have cooking areas, utensils for you to use, laundry, drying rooms, large private pitches with fire pits, wifi and maybe even on site entertainment.
Booking a campsite will give you the peace of mind of always having somewhere to stay. You can book weeks or months in advance (which is probably a good idea!) and if you plan to stay for more than one night, you can leave some things behind as you go out for the day.
Campsites are often located in beautiful areas, designed to highlight the natural environment around them. This could be within walking distance of a beach, in the woods or with hiking trails around it. Some locations are so good that you can comfortably stay there for the entire week or two and not feel like you need to go any further.
Safe Nights Ireland
Safe Nights Ireland is an initiative designed to help campervan enthusiasts find cheap parking sites at a low cost. These spaces do have basic facilities – but don’t expect the luxury of a campsite.
What you do get is a safe place to park up for a night in often quite interesting locations. Farms, country houses, national parks or a pub car park. The best part is that all Bunk Campers rentals in Ireland come with free membership to Safe Nights Ireland! More details are given upon the collection of your van.
Top Campsite Recommendations
Morriscastle Strand Holiday Park
Morricastle Strand Holiday Park is a camp spread alongside the sand dunes of Morriscastle. Head over the dunes and enjoy the sand and a safe area to swim with children.
Fort Apache Luxury Caravan and Glamping Tents
Fort Apache Luxury Caravan and Glamping Tents is a spacious coastal site with sea views and a private beach. Just off the Wild Atlantic Way, a wonderful place to breathe in some fresh air.
The Apple Farm, Tipperary
With Bulmars and Magners just down the road, this really is the home of cider. The Apple Farm produce their own high quality apple products, and that quality extends to the campsite too.
Wave Crest Caravan & Camping Park, County Kerry
Wave Crest Caravan & Camping Park is a family friendly coastal camping site with well kept facilities and electrical hookups. Perfect for those looking to rest their head by the sea.
Planning Meals in Your Campervan
All Bunk Campers come equipped with a full kitchen set up and a refrigerator. This makes the eating experience as comfortable as possible.
Quick, easy to make meals without needing too many ingredients will make the process as smooth as possible. Then you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your holiday.
A regular days menu could consist of:
- Porridge with blueberries and honey
- Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup
- Tuna and red peppers with spinach and cheese wraps
- Ham and cheese sandwiches
- Mushroom pesto pasta with sausages
- Spaghetti meatballs
- Burger and hotdogs
And don’t forget to bring some marshmallows for the campfire!
Classic Irish Food & Drink to Try During Your Road Trip
I can almost guarantee that anytime you’ve ever drank Guinness anywhere in the world, someone would have said, “You know, it tastes really different if you drink it in Ireland.”
It’s just one of those things that has to be said. Well I’m here to confirm that it is true! Guinness really does taste all the more special when drunk in Ireland. Even the folks who usually avoid beer, let alone dark stout, will be sure to love it.
Many campsites are located within walking distance from a pub – so you should have plenty of opportunities to have a taste.
A classic Irish meal, with recipes handed down amongst families for generations. Soda bread can be served with honey, sugar and fruit; or seeds, oats and treacle.
Ireland’s west coast native oysters are a shellfish delight not to be missed. The season begins in September, with an oyster festival hosted in Galway every year near the end of the month. Clams, cockles, mussels and prawns also make up a large part of Irish seafood cuisine.
A slow simmering one-pot stew with roots as a working class Dublin dish. Coddle is a sausage, bacon, potato, onion and leftover mix, cooked in the oven for hours. Use a slice of soda bread to mop up at the end.
Top Spots Not to be Missed During Your Irish Adventure
Ireland has beauty around every corner, so it can be difficult to choose where to go!
Here are our top suggestions to help narrow down your search.
- The Wild Atlantic Way
- Ireland’s Ancient East
- The Causeway Coastal Route
- St Patrick’s Heritage Trail
- Game of Thrones Driving Route around Northern Ireland
- The famous Ring of Kerry
How To Be a Responsible Camper During Your Stay in Ireland
Following the principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) is one of the most important parts of a campervan trip.
‘Leave only footprints and take only photos’
LNT is a code of ethics designed to help steer you in the path of least disturbance when amongst nature. The principles of LNT are as follows:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
You’re reading this article, so you are already doing well! Preparation includes where to hike, where to drive and where to camp.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Campsites help minimise our impact. If you do wildcamp, be sure not to damage plants and flowers.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
This includes toilets and food waste. Read about waste disposal with your campervan.
4. Leave What You Find
Be sure to leave the pretty flowers there for the next person to enjoy.
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
Keep campfires to official firepits. Fire can damage the soil and in the summer, could lead to a wildfire.
6. Respect Wildlife
Wild animals are best enjoyed from a distance, so we can watch them go about their day undisturbed.
7. Be Considerate of Others
Being quiet at campsites from 10pm – 9am is a good rule of thumb.
For more information to help plan your Irish campervan adventure, head over to our Travel Advice page.
Why Bunk Campers?
We have Ireland motorhome hire depots in Dublin & Belfast, so you can start your journey and tackle Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast or nip across the country to explore the amazing Wild Atlantic Way. Plus, whether you’re touring the sights, searching for adventure, or relaxing with home from home comfort, we have a camper for that.
Choose from our range of 2-6 berth campervans and motorhomes available for your own Ireland campervan trip today! To book, use the quote and book button on our website, email [email protected] or call our team on +44(0)2890813057.