Woman travels the UK after transforming Fiat Punto into a mini campervan for just £120

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Car camping simply means travellers load all their gear for a trip into their car as well as sleeping in it. It offers people a more affordable way to travel as well as being more flexible in terms of destinations. 

With summer holidays just around the corner, many Britons will be embarking on camping trips this year.

Due to the pandemic, the uncertainty of international travel has meant many are opting for staycations in the UK.

However, holidaying in the UK can be extremely expensive, due to the cost of travel, accommodation and food. 

Car camping has become a recent social media trend, which sees holidaymakers sleeping in their cars, making the trip more affordable. 

TikTok influencer and history teacher Laurie Alyce, has travelled up and down the UK after transforming her Fiat Punto into a staycation on wheels.

The 26-year-old took to the roads to explore historical landmarks around the UK.

Documenting her travels on popular social media site TikTok, Laurie gained nearly 118,000 followers while travelling around the country.

She is now currently writing her first route and car camping guide.

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Laurie is also planning to embark on more road trips this year, using her school holidays to camp more in her car, which has now been upgraded from a Fiat Punto to a Fiat 500.

Car experts Peter Vardy spoke with the history teacher to find out more about car camping. 

“When choosing between a hotel, a tent and a car, it’s easy to see why many people would consider the latter the least desirable option. 

“But as a solo traveller, car camping has provided me with flexible, affordable and secure accommodation!”

“Car camping allows me to travel for only the cost of petrol, food and access to attractions meaning I can afford to see and do more for longer.

“Car camping also offers me more flexibility in itinerary for road trip holidays – ahead of schedule or running late? No worries; find somewhere new to park up!”

To sleep, Laurie folds down her car’s back seats and creates a makeshift wooden bed frame, made up of four timber beams, plywood beam and a camping mattress.”

The bed frame set the TikTok influencer just £35, while the mattress was a further £35.

Laurie explained: “My number one essential has got to be my blow-up car mattress.

“It was the most expensive item when preparing my car camper….but I used my own bedding and pillows from home.”

When sleeping in a car, it can be hard to get comfortable and so investing in a good quality car mattress is important.

To save further money, Laurie cooked her own foods by purchasing a camp stove and portable kettle.

She said: “I bring a camp stove and kettle; it’s amazing how many different foods you can make just by adding boiling water. Using just a kettle saves lots of space and washing up. Having the option to make food rather than always eating out keeps car camping affordable to any budget.”

A butane stove can be purchased for £10 to £15 while a kettle can be picked up for as cheap as £5.

For privacy, the TikTok influencer uses window covers made from floor insulation while she is sleeping.

Laurie explained how it cost her £18 from B&Q.

Lastly, without a bathroom onboard, making use of the showers at service stations means Laurie brings small travel towels with her.

She added: “All UK services have showers. I have two travel towels which were a brilliant investment as they fold down super small and dry very quickly, meaning stopping for a shower can be as quick or as long as you like!”

Travel towels can be purchased from various retailers, costing around £15.

Emma Stack, Digital Marketing Manager at Peter Vardy said: “Utilising your car as a camping utensil is a truly remarkable solution for seeing more of Britain this summer.

“In the current climate, we expect to see many more motorists take road trips as international travel remains so turbulent.

“Car camping is a versatile, cost effective solution for rising staycation prices – and you get to see more of our beautiful country too.”

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