In Norway: Renting a Car with Nordic Campers

I am so excited to share this review with you not only because I think this information is very valuable to my fellow camper van travellers but because this is what I wanted my first rental to be like!

In summary: I loved this van, I love this company, I will be back to use it again but now lets get into the details.

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What I Loved

I love that their vans are new, they are 2014 models and haven’t racked up that many kilometers. I choose a plain outside because we all know how last time worked out for me, if you didn’t see it check it out here. I loved this van by the end of my trip. It was fantastic and had everything you could possibly need!

Unlimited Kilometers! Now if you read my previous post on rental thats what really bummed me out because I can drive a lot at once. I am so so grateful that Nordic doesn’t charge for extra kms and I hope it wont change. In the three days I drove over 1200km and it was incredible that I didn’t have to worry like I did last time!

Free wifi! Once again I am just going to say that I love this rental. Each camper has a wifi dongle and as long at it is charged you will have wifi, this was perfect for me as I used google maps for the entire trip and i got to Facetime my family.

Each van has a toll tag which makes life a lot easier, there are a lot of toll roads on the Oslo to Bergen route. If you plan on using a different vehicle to Nordic Campers than check out Auto Passes website for further information on how to pay 

Most importantly, everything worked! I cannot express how easy this trip was with this camper. It really had everything you could want from the correct cables and adaptors to kitchen supplies this van seriously had it all and I 100% recommend!

What I Didn’t Like

The front part of the car and the back sleeping section are completely separate which means if you have the heating on in the front it wont warm up the back at all really. This only becomes an issue if you are wilderness camping because each van is equipped with a heater that you can plug in at a camp site. I didn’t opt to sleep in campsites and I have to say I was freezing and didn’t sleep well at all. At one point during the night I actually got into the front bit of the van and slept in the front seat with the heater on. Basically, my advice is to find a campsite and stay there, be warm and snuggly with your heater because you will get a much better sleep!

The only other thing I didn’t really enjoy was how much it cost but Norway is deemed one of the most expensive countries in the world so you have to take that and the fact that it is your car and accommodation in one, into consideration. For three days I paid about €400 and this isn’t peak season but also not completely out of season so this price will vary. Also note that Norway charges you for going through the tunnels, which there are so so many of, going over bridges and then they also have tolled roads so there may be extra charges you aren’t aware of at the time. There are cheaper ways to travel but I have to say I don’t regret this decision. I had an amazing time!

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Top Tips

  1. Pick up wasn’t stated on the booking so if you have a pick up in Asker go to the corner cafe called Lancelot (turn left when you leave the train station) and a van will be parked there at your agreed time.
  2. Sleep in a campsite! I know it’s extra money and isn’t as flexible but I was so cold. So if you run cold normally you have been warned!
  3. Petrol Stations are everywhere. You will be fine for petrol or a snack.
  4. Watch out for speed cameras! They are plentiful and can sneak up on you.
  5. All you need is a valid drivers licence. So once again under 25 friendly!
  6. Try not get distracted by the utter beauty of this amazing country!

Would I use Nordic Campers again? Definitely yes! I think you should give the website a look , save up your pennies and have a great trip!

If you have any questions I will be happy to help if I can, just leave them down below! Thanks so much for reading!

Happy Travels!

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In Iceland: Driving in September.

I have previously written about self driving in January but now I want to talk about what it’s like in September. September is that lovely time where the Summer heat is cooling off and it’s really pleasant light layer weather.

I think driving in September is perfect. It’s not likely to snow, although it is Iceland, where anything can happen but generally it’s party cloudy to overcast to raining. It’s pretty much like Ireland so it is definitely weather I can drive in. I thankfully got glorious weather! It was mostly sunny all five days except the last day that was raining all day with high winds.PhoebeGill1509181143

When it is dry and sunny, driving in Iceland is a dream. It’s open roads and gorgeous scenery. The only things I have to say is don’t get so distracted you don’t look out for oncoming traffic. Don’t stop in a small hard shoulder, where your car is jutting out on the road, to pet horses or take a picture. I know Iceland is breathtaking and yes, I wish there was one giant hard shoulder so you could pull off at any given second, but there isn’t, so you can’t just do what you want.

Driving in wind is kind of horrible, Iceland is known for gale force winds and passing through a pocket of strong wind feels like you will be swept off the road. My tip is slow down to where you don’t feel like the car is as unstable and watch when opening up car doors because people will not thank you if your car door smashes into theirs. And some insurance wont cover the damage if you hit a door or a door hits you. PhoebeGill150916702I found that people will go very close to you before they over take you on the roads. Even if it a completely empty road they will go really close. I never understood that. What I always do when someone is over taking me is when they have pulled out, I slow down. I don’t jam on my breaks but I slow a little so they don’t have to floor it or just incase a car suddenly appears. It’s just a nice gesture. Also don’t go really close behind someone, what if they want to pull off at a rest stop and take pictures. Don’t be mean!

I have written an entire post about petrol stations/gas stations so go check that out if you want to know more.

Driving is wonderful in Iceland and I definitely recommend you rent a car and go explore this amazing country for yourself! No schedules and no time limits. Just go.

Happy Travels!

In Iceland: Self Driving in January

Let me preface this post by saying, I have never been in a Nordic/Scandinavian country during winter and I don’t have much experience with snow at all really.

Now I thought driving in Iceland would be a lot different to how it was. This first picture is what I thought the One road would be like, wet but clear roads but oh how I was wrong! I went on the 1 road and the 49 and the 36 roads. If you are not used to driving in snow, please be careful. You concentration levels go up and journeys take longer so factor that into your plans.

PhoebeGill150112068 The three days I was there, the weather was changeable and had strong winds. The roads for the first two days were like this photos below. All the roads where snowy and icy, all rental cars have studded winter tires which help dramatically.

I also went on a Grey Line tour, the busses are great on the snow and ice and it can take a lot of pressure and stress off your trip. A lot of people opt for Super Jeep tours (they look like a lot of fun) or bus tours. I think my Grey Line Golden Circle tour was around €65 per person. It was a full day from 10:30am – 7pm

PhoebeGill150111086 Tips for Self Driving:

  1. Weather changes very quickly. Pull over if you are nervous (In a safe place) and wait for it to pass.
  2. Go slow, Icelandic people can drive fast but you don’t have to, go slow, they will over take you.
  3. Watch the roundabouts, you can drift very easily.
  4. Remember, a journey that takes 2 hours might take you 4 or 5. It takes two and a half hours from Reykjavik to Vik but it took us over 5 hours, with breaks and the crazy weather changes and the fact you have to concentrate more.
  5. If you are driving around the country I recommend you have enough petrol, stop off and fill up the tank even if you don’t think you’ll need it. Just in case.
  6. If there are high winds, loose snow can cause really bad visibility, keep calm and find the yellow post at the side of the road. It is usually because you are in between a mountain, it will pass.

Some websites I recommend:

  1. How to drive in Iceland
  2. Road conditions for the whole of Iceland
  3. Safe Travel Iceland 
  4. 112 Iceland App

PhoebeGill150111590This photo above is what happens when loose snow is pushed by the wind. It is terrifying in the dark! Generally if you want to travel great distances you go first thing in the morning when its dark, make smart choices, you can always turn back.

Driving in Iceland was an experience! It is scary and difficult but it is kind of fun and you do get used to it. Just remember, never go into dangerous situations, keep calm and drive carefully.

Happy (Safe) Travels!
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