If you are thinking about hiring a campervan during retirement then you are in the right place. Retirement signals the start of a brand-new chapter in life. A chapter that’s wide open for you to write however you want. With a campervan, it’s not just a vehicle,  it’s a  whole lifestyle.

Consider a campervan your ticket to the wide, wonderful world of adventurous retirement. No more worrying about travel timetables, or rushing to catch flights. You’re the captain now!

Feel like detouring to visit that cute little seaside town you just read about? No problem! Your travel plans are etched in sand rather than stone, leaving room for the spontaneous detours that often make the best memories. 

What better way to bond with your significant other than spending time together on the open road? Sharing moments, making memories, and writing your own unique travel anthology.

It’s not just about the destination but more about the journey that leads there. A campervan gives you the chance to create moments that are worth more than anything material money can buy. 

“Retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of the open highway.”


Try the campervan retirement lifestyle, before you buy

So you’ve doing a bit of research and it all sounds good but maybe you are on the fence about whether this campervanning stuff is for you?  Investing in your own campervan is a serious financial commitment, you definitely want to be sure it’s the right choice for you.  And this is where we come in.  

Here at Southampton Campers, we pride ourselves on offering nothing but the crème de la crème of camping vehicles, straight from the esteemed VW California collection.

These magnificent machines are the only campervans crafted directly on VW’s own assembly lines. We wouldn’t dream of stocking our fleet with anything less, let alone converted builders’ vans.

We firmly believe that your retirement years ought to be graced with only the finest campervan experiences. Frankly speaking, the VW California range of campervans are the best on the market.

 Financial Benefits of hiring a campervan in retirement

Riding into this chapter of life, it’s important to make careful decisions that keep your bank balances healthy yet don’t stint on new adventures. So, why not consider a look at the economical and pragmatic aspects of campervan rentals? Spoiler alert: You’ll find it’s more than just saving a few quid.

Here’s our Top 5 Benefits of hiring a campervan in retirement.

  1. Cost-effective travel: Hiring a campervan in retirement can be a financially savvy choice. Instead of spending money on hotel accommodation, dining out, and transportation, retirees can save a significant amount by combining all these expenses into one. Obviously the cost of hiring a campervan depends on various factors such as the model, duration and season but just to give you an idea, here is an indicative pricing table for the two campervan models that we offer.

Indicative hire prices for our campervan models

  1. Flexibility in budgeting: Retirees often have a fixed income, and budgeting becomes crucial. Hiring a campervan offers financial flexibility as it allows retirees to plan their trips according to their budget. They can choose the duration of their trip, the destinations they want to visit, and even the type of campervan that suits their budget. This flexibility helps retirees to have better control over their expenses and ensures that they don’t overspend.
  2. Reduced accommodation costs: Accommodation expenses can be a significant portion of the travel budget. By hiring a campervan, retirees can eliminate or greatly reduce these costs. Instead of paying for hotel rooms or vacation rentals, retirees can stay in their campervan, which provides all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. This not only saves money but also allows retirees to have the freedom to stay in different locations without worrying about finding affordable accommodation.
  3. Savings on dining out: Another financial benefit of hiring a campervan in retirement is the savings on dining out. Retirees can prepare their meals in the campervan’s kitchenette, which is equipped with cooking facilities. This eliminates the need to eat out for every meal, saving money on restaurant bills. Additionally, retirees can enjoy the flexibility of choosing their own meals and eating healthier by cooking their own food.
  4. Reduced transportation costs: With your own home on wheels, you can go anywhere your heart desires and their portable nature means you can take them anywhere, including on a ferry to visit other countries if you wish.  That’ll hopfully saving you some cash on air-fares and public transport transfers.  Being the latest models directly from the VW factory, all our vehicles are Euro 6 compliant and are pretty frugal on fuel.  You can expect 42 mpg with the VW California Ocean and 38 mpg with the Grand California. 

Campervan hire allows retirees to save up to 60% on accommodation costs.

Are there any additional expenses to consider when hiring a campervan for retirement? 

Fuel Expenses 

When considering hiring a campervan for retirement, it is important to take into account the additional expenses that may arise. One of the main expenses to consider is the cost of fuel. Our campervans are all really modern, typically no more than two years old.  They all have the very latest Euro 6 engines which means they can go into clean air zones but critically they are very fuel efficient.  It is essential to factor in the cost of fuel when planning your budget for campervan hire.

For the California Ocean you can expect to get 32 mpg around town and 42 mpg on a run.  The Grand California consumption is around 28 mpg around town and 32 on a run, not bad when you consider it’s size.   Additionally, the price of fuel can vary depending on the location and current market conditions, so it is advisable to research and estimate the fuel costs for your intended travel routes.

Nine ways to cut petrol costs and save on fuel

Campsite Fees 

Another expense to consider is campsite fees. While campervans offer the flexibility to park and sleep in various locations, many retirees prefer to stay at designated campsites that provide amenities such as electricity, water, and waste disposal facilities.

These campsites often charge a fee for their services, and the cost can vary depending on the location and the level of amenities provided. It is important to research and budget for campsite fees to ensure a comfortable and convenient retirement campervan experience. 

During peak season, it is advisable to plan ahead a little and book in advance. Especially if it’s one of those idllyc locations near the river, those can be harder to snag.  Remember though, as an alternative, you can always rely on your trusty complimentary BritStops book.  In here you will find a list of all the venues that allow you to stay overnight, free of charge.

Southampton Campers are proud members of the Camping and Caravanning Club.  If you book a campsite through them you will recieve a 30% discount.  Just mention that we are a part of the Motorhome Hire Scheme when you book to obtain the discount.

Travel Insurance 

Travel insurance is essential for anyone planning to hire a campervan and embark on a retirement adventure. It provides financial protection against unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost personal effects.

While retirees may be in good health, unforeseen circumstances can arise at any time, and having travel insurance ensures that they are covered for any medical expenses that may occur during their trip.

Additionally, travel insurance can provide coverage for emergency medical evacuation, which can be crucial in countries with limited healthcare facilities.

By having travel insurance, retirees can have peace of mind knowing that they are protected financially and can enjoy their campervan journey without worrying about potential risks.

Lifestyle Benefits of renting a campervan for retirement

There are also lifestyle benefits of retiring with a campervan. With the freedom and flexibility to travel at one’s own pace, exploring new destinations, and experiencing different cultures, it’ll certainly keep you busy!  Along the journey, you’ll meet interesting and like-minded individuals in campervan communities and experience the exciting sense of adventure that comes with living on the road. 

  1. Freedom: One of the lifestyle benefits of renting a campervan for retirement is the freedom it provides. With a campervan, retirees have the flexibility to travel wherever they want, whenever they want. They can explore new destinations, visit family and friends, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature. Unlike traditional retirement options that may require staying in one place, a campervan allows retirees to have a constantly changing scenery and experience different cultures and environments.
  2. Keeping Active: Renting a campervan for retirement also offers the opportunity for a more active and adventurous lifestyle. Our campervans are equipped with various amenities, such as kitchens, bathrooms (Grand California only), and comfortable beds, which allow retirees to engage in outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, or biking. They can easily park their campervan in scenic locations and wake up to breathtaking views. This active lifestyle can contribute to better physical and mental well-being, as retirees stay active and connected with nature.
  3. Social: Another lifestyle benefit of renting a campervan for retirement is the sense of community it can provide. Campervan parks and campsites often attract like-minded individuals who share a love for travel and adventure. Retirees can socialize with fellow campervan enthusiasts, exchange stories and tips, and even form lasting friendships. This sense of community can help combat feelings of loneliness or isolation that some retirees may experience. It provides an opportunity to connect with others who are also enjoying their retirement on the road.
  4. Fulfilling: Lastly, renting a campervan for retirement provides a sense of simplicity and minimalism. Living in a campervan encourages retirees to downsize their belongings and focus on what truly matters. It allows them to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle, free from the burdens of excessive possessions. This simplicity can lead to a greater sense of freedom, reduced stress, and a more fulfilling retirement experience.

Health and Well-being of a campervan trip during retirement

A campervan trip during retirement can offer a range of health and well-being benefits.  From the mental health advantages of being in nature and experiencing reduced stress and increased relaxation, to the physical benefits of being more active and engaging in outdoor activities, retirees can enhance their overall well-being through this unique form of travel.

By embracing the freedom and tranquility of a campervan trip, retirees can create lasting memories, improve their mental and physical health, and enjoy a fulfilling retirement journey

Retirees who travel are 40% less likely to develop chronic health conditions.

  1. Mental Health Benefits: One of the key advantages of a campervan trip during retirement is the positive impact it can have on mental health. Being in nature has been proven to reduce stress levels and increase relaxation. The peacefulness and tranquility of natural surroundings can provide a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Spending time in nature has also been linked to improved mood and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. A campervan trip can be a great way for retirees to rejuvenate their mental well-being and find inner peace.
  2. Physical Benefits: Another significant advantage of a campervan trip is the opportunity for retirees to be more physically active. Unlike traditional vacations where people often spend a lot of time sitting or lying down, a campervan trip encourages movement and exploration. Retirees can engage in various physical activities such as hiking, biking, swimming, or simply taking long walks in nature. Regular physical activity has numerous benefits for overall health, including improved cardiovascular fitness, increased strength and flexibility, and better weight management. By incorporating more movement into their retirement lifestyle, campervan travellers can enhance their physical well-being and enjoy the benefits of an active retirement.
  3.  Holistic Well-being: The combination of mental and physical health benefits makes a campervan trip an excellent choice for retirees looking to improve their overall well-being. Being in nature not only provides a sense of calm and relaxation but also offers opportunities for personal growth and self-reflection. It allows retirees to disconnect from technology and reconnect with themselves and their surroundings. The freedom and flexibility of a campervan trip enable retirees to create their own schedule and explore at their own pace, promoting a sense of autonomy and independence. This holistic approach to well-being can contribute to a more fulfilling and satisfying retirement experience.

Are there any age restrictions for retirees looking to hire a campervan? 

Yes, there are age restrictions for retirees looking to hire a campervan. The normal age restrictions are between 25 – 75 years old.  Don’t lose heart if you are over 75 though. 

Depending on your particular individual circumstances it may be possible to extend the upper age limit.  We’ve certainly helped our more mature adventurers in the past!  Generally the insurance company ask us to increase the security deposit to cover the additional perceived risk. 

But don’t worry, as long as you return the campervan in one piece after your adventure then this is fully refunded.  If you are over 75 and thinking about embarking on a campervan trip then please do give us a call to discuss it.

Practical Considerations when hiring a Campervan

There are a few practical considerations when deciding to embark on your campervan adventure. Such as:

  1. Choosing the Right Campervan: When considering a campervan trip during retirement, it is crucial to choose the right campervan that suits your needs. Consider factors such as the size of the campervan, the number of beds, the kitchen facilities, and the overall comfort.  Of course you should also consider if you want a vehicle with an on-board shower and toilet.  It’s important to find a campervan that provides enough space for you to move around comfortably and sleep well during your travels.
  2. Maintenance and Repairs: Before embarking on a campervan trip, it’s essential to ensure that the vehicle is in good condition. Regular maintenance checks should have been carried out to prevent any unexpected breakdowns during your journey. It’s also advisable to have a basic understanding of the campervan’s features and know how to top up the various fluids and respond to any warning lights.  You should also check that the vehicle has a comprehensive breakdown cover that’ll cover you for any foreign countries you plan on visitiing.   Of course all of these points dissapear when you hire a campervan from Southampton Campers.  All of our vehicles are less than two years old, are fully seviced and maintained by VW and are fully covered by VW Assist breakdown insurance that covers you for any UK and European destinations. 
  3. Insurance: Adequate insurance coverage is vital when planning a campervan trip. When you hire from Southampton Campers, we take care of the insurance for the vehicle with our fully comprehensive policy,  You might like to consider an additional policy that covers your personal affects as these are not covered by our insurance.  Roadside breakdown assistance is included with all of our vehicles as part of your hire cost, which covers the UK and Europe.
  4. Safety Precautions: Safety should be a top priority during your campervan trip. Familiarise yourself with the campervan’s safety features and ensure they are in good working condition. Follow all road rules and regulations, and be cautious while driving in unfamiliar areas. In the vehicle you will find a first aid kit should you need it.  In our comprehensive smartphone App you will find emergency contact numbers readily available in case of any unforeseen situations.

Can retirees hire a campervan for long-term travel?

Yes, you can definitely hire a campervan for long-term travel. In fact, we highly recommend it.  Having a longer period to enjoy your trip simply means more time to enjoy yourself.  A long leisurely pace also means less stress.  Something doesn’t quite go according to plan one day, or the weather isn’t compatible with that outdoor poney trek?  No problem, do it tomorrow!  

We can easily accommodate any long term hires that are 90 days or less. If you need a little longer then please get in touch so that we can help you further.

Where to go on your retirement campervan adventure in the UK

When it comes to planning your retirement campervan adventure in the UK, there are countless destinations to choose from. One popular option is the Lake District, known for its stunning landscapes and picturesque lakes.

You can explore the charming towns of Keswick and Ambleside, take scenic drives through the countryside, and even hike up the famous Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.

The Lake District offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and tranquillity, making it an ideal choice for retirees looking to unwind and connect with nature.  There is so much choice, check out our destination guides for more inspiration.

Where to go on your retirement campervan adventure in Europe

If you are thinking of going further afield and visiting Europe then you are absolutely sploilt for choice.  One popular option is to explore the stunning coastlines of Portugal and Spain.

From the picturesque beaches of the Algarve to the vibrant cities of Lisbon and Barcelona, this region offers a perfect blend of relaxation and cultural experiences. Travelling in a campervan gives you the freedom to enjoy moving at their own pace and discovering hidden gems along the way.

For those seeking a mix of history, culture, and stunning architecture, a campervan adventure through Italy is a perfect choice. From the ancient ruins of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice, Italy offers a wealth of attractions for retirees to explore.

Visit the beautiful Tuscan countryside, indulge in delicious Italian cuisine, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of cities like Florence and Naples. Travelling in a campervan allows you to easily navigate the country’s diverse regions and create your own unique itinerary.  

Case Studies 

The Outjoyment Report was commissioned by The Camping and Caravanning Club, the oldest organization of its kind for all types of camping. The report was conducted by Liverpool John Moores University and Sheffield Hallam University.

It consisted of two main components: a literature review that examined studies conducted in the outdoor recreation field since 2011, and a quantitative survey involving nearly 11,000 campers and non-campers. The findings and data were then analysed by a team of experts. 

The headline findings from the study are:

“Campers, especially those who camp frequently, are more likely to experience a higher level of well-being compared to non-campers.”

Outjoyment Report – Liverpool John Moores University and Sheffield Hallam University
  • Happy: 97% of campers say happiness is their top motivator for going camping while 48% of campers reported feeling happy almost every day, compared with 35% of non-campers
  • More connected to nature: 93% go camping to enjoy being in nature – the second highest motivator after happiness, and they score highly on measures of nature connection
  • Enjoying better well-being: 93% of campers value camping for the benefits it gives to their health and well-being – an increase on the 85% of our Real Richness Report in 2011
  • Flourishing: 44% are flourishing (have optimal mental health) compared with 31% of non-campers. This increases for those who camp more often
  • Less stressed: 88% of campers are motivated to go camping to take time out of everyday life and have higher levels of psychological well-being than non-campers
  • Active outdoors: 98% of campers take part in outdoor activities. 91% go walking, 39% cycle and 26% enjoy bird-watching.

But don’t just take our word for it…

Personal Stories

One heart-warming campervan experience is from Mark and Susan, a retired couple who used campervan hire to reconnect with their grandchildren. They planned a road trip, visiting various family members across the country. Hiring a campervan allowed them to have their own space while still being close to their loved ones. They shared how the campervan became a hub for family gatherings, with everyone coming together to cook, play games, and share stories. Mark and Susan cherished the quality time spent with their grandchildren, creating lasting memories that they will treasure forever. Their campervan experience brought their family closer and provided a unique way to bond and create new traditions.

Another campervan experience is from Sarah, a single retiree who wanted to embark on a solo adventure after years of working. She decided to hire a campervan to travel around the country and visit national parks. Sarah found that the campervan provided her with a sense of security and independence, as she could easily move from one location to another without worrying about accommodation. She enjoyed the flexibility of being able to stay longer in places she loved and move on from those that didn’t resonate with her. Sarah’s campervan experience allowed her to reconnect with nature and herself, making it a truly transformative journey.

Finally  Siobhan Daniels, a former BBC journalist who sold her home and possessions to travel across the UK in a motorhome for retirement. She shares her experiences, challenges, and lessons learned from her unconventional lifestyle.  Siobhan provides some tips for travelling and pursuing hobbies in later life, such as facing ageing with a positive attitude, living in the moment, living with less, asking for help, and having adventures.

How to get started planning your retirement campervan adventure

Hopefully this article has whetted your appetite, but where do you start?  Hopefully it’s not over feeling overwhelming for you.  Here’s a quick list and recap.

Start Simple: Research and Planning 

Your first step is the big leap in: research. If you are a complete campervan beginner then start here.  Next, read up on campervan models, rental companies, and various travel blogs and forums of retirees who’ve been there and done that.

Familiarise yourself with the specifics of campervan life—things like the power hookups, toilets, cooking facilities, and sleeping arrangements. Remember, a little bit of homework now saves a lot on the road later! 

Make a List: Prioritise Your Requirements 

Now’s the time to jot down your needs and wants. Do you need an easily manoeuvrable campervan for narrow mountain roads, or would you prefer more space and comfort? How important are cooking facilities to you? It’s your adventure after all, make sure it fits your style! 

Try It Out: Short-term Rental 

Before you go all-in with a long-term rental, it’s good to try before you buy with a short-term rental. Get a feel for the campervan life. Figure out the quirks and perks and make sure it’s right for you. There’s no rush — remember this is about enjoying retirement, not sprinting through it! 

Be Budget Savvy: Consider the Financials 

Don’t forget about the financial side of things, we’ve already given you some pointers earlier in this article.  Be clear about the terms and conditions of your rental, consider the fuel economy of your selected model, and keep in mind those occasional campsite fees which could add up. But don’t worry, we’ve all been there. You’ll quickly become a seasoned veteran, navigating your retirement with ease and economy, armed only with a map, campervan, and your sense of adventure. 

Get Ready for the Adventure of a Lifetime 

And finally, remember, this is your time. Pack up, head out, and make the most of your retirement. You’ve earned this. Go see the world and start creating those unforgettable campervan memories.


In conclusion, the advantages of hiring a campervan for retirement are manyfold. From kissing goodbye to the routine, to grabbing the reins of life and enjoying flexibility and freedom like never before, the campervan lifestyle is one that beckons all who yearn for a unique retirement experience. With all the comfort of home accompanying you on your travels,  it truly is a chance to taste great freedom. 

The benefits aren’t just financial and logistical either. Studies have shown that campervan life can have a positive impact on your happiness and well-being, with campers experiencing higher levels of contentment and less stress. There’s an irresistible charm to the van life, connecting with nature and the great outdoors whilst on the open road enjoying new destinations with every sunrise. 

Hiring a campervan could be the retirement adventure you never knew you needed. Embrace the freedom of the open road, the breath-taking beauty of nature and the uncharted joy of discovering new places. So, go on, take the plunge and let the road next travelled be your own!

Start planning your hire dates, now! 


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