Eleven Nights in our Campervan, how much did we spend?

Ten Nights in a Campervan Ireland

Hi, and welcome back to my travel journal. This week I will do a cost breakdown of a twelve-day / eleven nights trip we took around Ireland in our campervan at the end of April.

Previously on short trips or holidays, I never tracked finances. But, our plan for the future is to go on a much longer journey, and I wanted an idea of the basic costs – park-ups, food, diesel, tolls and day parking.

Before leaving on the trip, we decided on a few guidelines we wanted –

  • Explore different park-up styles, from free to campsites and everything in-between.
  • Eat out or food shop and cook in the van with no restrictions (depending on how we felt).
  • We would not limit the kilometres we drove in a day because we wanted to visit several tourist spots.
  • Visit the South coast of Ireland, working our way from outside Limerick down as far as Wexford.

We arrived in Wexford by night eight, so we amended our plan to include a park-up in the North of Ireland so that Alan could visit his family.

The twelve days cost €1,109.61, which was all-inclusive for Alan, myself and our puppy Millie.

I was surprised the cost was so high. Having watched other campervan expense videos, by comparison, some only spend half of our expenses in an entire month. Overall it was a good exercise and set the foundation for restructuring where we spend money.

So the breakdown of the total cost is as follows:

  • We drove 2,120 km over twelve days. Our diesel cost came to €316.51 (This is approx. 15 cents a km or 26.37 per day)
  • Eleven nights camping – Campsite, park-ups and Aire costs were €176.83 (This breaks down to €16.07 per night)
  • Twelve days of food costs for two people and a pup was €569.07 (This breaks down to €47.42 per day)
  • Parking and tolls were €26.70.
  • Finally, we did laundry at one of the service stations costing €20.50 (this was for a tiny load, and the main charge was for drying)

That gives us a total cost of €89.86 per day, excluding laundry, tolls and day parking.

I’d love to hear your thoughts; do you think this is a lot? Or do you think it is reasonable?

I have listed all the places we stayed on Google. Click on the link – Map – park-ups & campsites.

I have also added an overview of each park-up below.

We used the Park 4 Night app for each of the locations.

Night one – Cost €10

On the Farm is located in Ballinagarde, Ballyneety, Co Limerick. I liked this Aire. It is still a work in progress and is rough around the edges. The cost included toilets and disposal services. It did have a self-service laundry area and electric hook-up, but we did not use either.

Night two – Cost €35

Woodlands Caravan and Camping in Tralee, Co Kerry. This campsite was quiet as it was early in the season. It has all the facilities and the added bonus of being within walking distance of the city centre. It was the most expensive park-up of the ten days. They didn’t charge us extra to pitch a small 3-man tent because it was quiet. The reason for using this campsite was to get our pup used to sleeping in a tent.

Night three – Cost €10

This park-up is located at the car park for Bray Head, on Valentia Island, Co Kerry. It is €2 an hour to park during the day and €10 overnight. A man comes and collects the money after 9 pm at night and gives you a small ticket for your van. There are no facilities, and it is a gravel car park. I do like it, though, because of the views of the Skelligs and the hike.

Night four – Cost €20

O’Sheas Caravan and Camping, this campsite is close to Glengarriff town, Co Cork. Again I liked this park-up. It had all the facilities in a mature, landscaped area. The facilities are dated, but that didn’t bother us. It is next door to a much bigger and newer facilitated campsite.

Night five – €0

The council in Castletown Bearhaven, Co Cork have designated a free Motorhome park-up right in the centre of the town. This one was lovely and central. You could stay free for up to forty-eight hours. There are no facilities in the parking space, but there is a public toilet about a five min walk away. This park-up is very handy for visiting the Bearna peninsula.

Night six – €20

Mountain Forge Escape, Ardfield Co Cork. Again because we were early in the season, it was quiet. It would generally cost more than twenty euros. This campsite had the best kitchen set-up, good showers and laundry facilities.

Night Seven – Cost €10

This one is an Aire based in Cobh, Co Cork. The Five Foot Way Campervan Facility is a car park designated for campervans with a toilet and waste disposal. It is within walking distance of the centre of Cobh. I watched the Britany Ferries ship pass on its way to Ringaskiddy. I liked this park-up. It was good value and right next to the train station if you wanted to pop into Cork City for a day trip.

Night 8 – Cost €28

The Ferrybank Camping & Caravan Park is within walking distance of Wexford town, Co Wexford. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty bad when we stayed here. Again we were early in the season, so some of the facilities were closed. We also woke up early because a waste disposal truck drove through the campsite at 8.17am.

Night 9 – Cost €15

Carlingford Marina Motorhome Aire, Co Louth. This one has toilets, showers, waste disposal and laundry. The stands are basic. We have stayed here before, and it is always busy. The main Marina building has a bar/restaurant/coffee shop. And it is close to the centre of Carlingford. I definitely recommend visiting this beautiful small town with its medieval buildings.

Night 10 – Cost €28.23

Tollymore Forest Park Campsite. This campsite is in Northern Ireland near Newcastle, Co Down. It was the busiest campsite. We had to book online and were lucky to get one of the last spots for Friday night. Unfortunately, we have no pictures of this campsite because it was absolutely pouring out of the heavens when we arrived. This is the only campsite I am unlikely to return to, not because there was anything wrong with it. I love the walks there and often visit the forest. The campsite was just packed with young families. If we had kids, it would be brilliant.

Night 11 – Cost €0

The last night we parked outside Alan’s brother’s house in Gilford, Co Down.


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