For some, the draw of an independent motorhome holiday is the freedom of the open road, the ability to choose when and where to go, how fast and how far to travel, and having the option of changing plans at the drop of a hat. But for others, a guided trip offers all the advantages; so what are the benefits of an escorted motorhome holiday?
Trip planning – planning the trip can be a huge job and for some it's a chore they can do without, on an escorted tour the planning is done for you, just pick your trip, pack the van and you're off.
Booking – an escorted trip operator will generally book things like ferry tickets, campground pitches, even events and attractions en-route.
Support – if your van breaks down, in a group you've got support (and even if you're not on the road as a group, you'll be in contact), and on some of the more challenging trips dedicated support vehicles will be provided.
Information packs – with trip itinerary, relevant road maps, campsite directions etc. will generally be provided.
Concierge – travelling with a tour escort is like having your own concierge on tap; someone who knows the area, what to visit, where to hike, the best beaches or what local festivals are on.
Language – often they'll speak the local language too, saves you struggling with your schoolboy/girl French.
Social – many escorted tour operators arrange social activities for the group, it could be cycle rides or walks, visits to local vineyards, local meals out or BBQs in ...
Special places to stay – and they'll know the best places to park up for the night, could be a really scenic campsite or might be a local vineyard, or a special gastro pub.
Themed tours – could be flowers and gardens, might be a special festival, perhaps its a safari or wildlife trip, or even the European Christmas markets.
Inclusions will vary between operators, but motorhome newbies should remember that the trips generally do not include the cost of the campervan, RV or motorhome. For that you'll need to provide your own, be it one you already own and run, or one you've rented for the holiday. Some operators can provide motorhome rental as an additional expense, for other rental options try our list here, or search on-line. Remember too that fuel, food and personal expenses need to be budgeted for.
Worried about travelling with a group?
Escorted tours might suggest nose-to-tail convoys, but that's not generally the way it's done. On most escorted RV, motorhome or campervan holidays, particularly those in Europe and other well developed areas, you'll have the option of following the route at your own pace; joining the group at the day's destinations or campgrounds. This gives motorhomers the advantages of independence and autonomy for the journey part of the trip and the organisational and social advantages of a group once they've arrived. The exception to this are trips in more remote parts of the world where a convoy might be a better idea ...
Guided motorhome tours in challenging and remote areas
Escorted motorhome and camper-van tours in challenging and remote destinations, such as Morocco, Mexico, Central America, Alaska or the Australian outback, are more often run as convoys or caravans. This makes sense in areas where a vehicle breakdown could cause difficulties, indeed in some cases dedicated support vehicles are provided, some even offering mobile workshops and mechanics, UHF radios are also often supplied to keep everyone in touch.