Soaking up New Zealand’s alpine mountain tops, hiking isolated bush trails, watching the sunset on wild black sand beaches. What could be better? Enjoying all these experiences with your family and friends!
Travelling by motorhome or campervan is even more memorable with your extended family or group of friends in tow. Bonding together amongst nature and sharing adventures can make a large group journey magical.
Read on for information about how to make group bookings, which itineraries suit groups, and how the pick-up process works.
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Why motorhome and campervan group bookings are popular
Enjoying time together with friends and loved ones is one of the greatest pleasures in life. If you can combine that with the great outdoors, you’ll be on to a winner.
Bonding together with friends or family in the wilderness while having your own, fully self-contained space at hand give a few benefits, including:
- Sharing a barbeque or (motor)home cooked meal after a fun day of adventuring
- Retiring to your own space — your own four walls on wheels
- Entertaining the kids — if you have children travelling with you, they’ll likely get more out of a motorhome adventure with other kids in your group.
You’re sure to find an RV to suit everyone in your group — from small campervans through to large luxurious motorhomes.
See the range of Wilderness motorhomes available for group bookings.
Utilising that extra space
When travelling in a group with several motorhomes, it’s easy to make full use of the extra space. Kids can watch movies on rainy nights in one motorhome. Adults are able to enjoy drinks and nibbles while playing cards in another.
When parking up your motorhome for the night, utilise the space between them as a communal outdoor area.
One of the true joys of travelling in a large group is sharing. Pool all your resources together so that everyone in your party can enjoy them.
Group travelling can benefit everyone when:
- Preparing dinner and washing up
- Sharing outdoor gear or sporting equipment
- Researching and planning the next day’s adventures
- Splitting the cost of onboard WiFi.
WiFi helps your travel group easily stay in touch with loved ones back home. It also comes in handy when looking for camping spots and activities on route.
An excellent onboard WiFi service in New Zealand will be able to connect up to twenty devices within twenty metres of the router. Find out more about using WiFi or mobile data for your motorhome holiday.
The best motorhomes to hire as a group
When choosing a rental operator to book your motorhome trip through, pick one that has several different options. For instance, if you’re a family of four, you may go for a four-berth twin king motorhome.
On the other hand, if you’re less mobile, you might prefer a motorhome with a fixed island bed which is super easy to access from both sides.
You may even have a couple of friends that insist on travelling in luxury. Booking a larger motorhome with extra lounge seating like The Suite could well be for them.
Learn about all the different layouts and bedding options in our motorhomes.
Cost of renting several motorhomes
Prices for motorhome rentals can vary greatly, depending on the type and style of motorhome — as well as the length of the booking and the time of year.
The high season in New Zealand is roughly from December through to March. If you’re looking for lower rates, try to book in the off-season months.
Also, keep an eye out for any deals and special offers that may be offered as part of seasonal promotions.
Learn more about the best time of year to book a motorhome.
Check both standard and premium motorhome prices
Premium motorhomes tend to be more expensive to hire than standard ones, but in some cases the difference can be minimal — especially in the low season. It’s worth checking in with different rental providers to compare prices for your intended travel period.
Discounts on group bookings
If you’re planning to travel in a group, you may receive a discount. Getting one will heavily depend on:
- The time of year
- Whether the rental operator can manage group bookings.
You’re best to approach the motorhome or campervan hire company inquiring about any discounts for group travel. You certainly won’t be guaranteed a discount, but if it’s possible, ask if you can book each motorhome separately and still have the discount.
The pick-up process for a group booking
When you’re picking up several motorhomes at the same time, plan for the process to require a little extra time. It can generally take up to an hour to review your rental agreement, talk through the paperwork, and complete the motorhome orientation.
Premium operators will spend more time helping you get confident with your new home on wheels.
Arriving together or rendezvousing en route?
It’s not a problem if parts of your group arrive at different times. You can arrange to pick up your motorhomes separately or decide to all start your journey together from the rental operator’s base.
If your groups have flights arriving at different times, you may choose to pick up each motorhome independently with a plan to:
- Agree on a rendezvous point
- Meet at your first overnight location.
Getting to know your motorhome
The pick-up process is fairly similar to hiring a single motorhome. What’s different is that motorhome rental companies like Wilderness tend to only take each booking’s main driver through the paperwork and the motorhome orientation — rather than everyone in your group.
This helps to speed up the process so that you can hit the road as quickly as possible. While the main drivers get the run-through of the motorhome’s features, the rest of your group can already begin loading their luggage onboard.
If your group’s going to be travelling in different models, rental operators will often show the drivers one model — then point out any differences with other motorhome models.
It’s important to understand the operation of your motorhome before you leave the rental base. If you’re unsure, ask for a full orientation.
💡Essential Preparation Tips
Best itineraries for travelling in a group
When a large number of people are involved, it really helps to be flexible — even if you have a clear idea of where you want to travel.
If you’re celebrating an occasion like a birthday surprise or a family catch-up, you might task one person with organising your trip and its itinerary.
Alternatively, you could plan to overlap at a certain location and travel part of the journey together, or start out together and see where the road takes you.
For some ideas and inspiration, check out our trip itineraries.
Starting out on the road together
If you want to begin your adventure together, get organised and stock up your motorhomes with clothes, groceries and sports gear collectively. Then settle into your first few nights of motorhoming.
New Zealand has many superb camping grounds and freedom camping spots to choose from. Campgrounds give you the option of booking powered sites where you can plug in your motorhomes and charge up their house batteries — along with all your electrical gadgets.
Book ahead for any holiday parks you intend to stay at, especially if you’re travelling in high season.
Check out our guide to motorhome camping in New Zealand.
Shorter distances and longer stays
It’s tempting to drive as far as you can and see as much as possible on what could be your once-in-a-lifetime New Zealand motorhome adventure.
But there are huge benefits from spending more time exploring and less time driving to them, such as:
- The time to explore an area — and the fun that comes with getting to know a special location more intimately
- Options for different activities — although you’re all travelling together, you may want to have diverse experiences by day before meeting up in the evenings
- Breaks from sitting in your motorhome — especially for younger travellers.
Top tips for group bookings
Keen to explore New Zealand’s wild beauty? Want to spend quality time with your favourite people? Then renting several motorhomes as a travel group is the way to go.
You’ll get to make awesome memories and spend many relaxing evenings together. Keep the following tips in mind to help make your group motorhome experience run smoothly.
- If there’s an online check-in, save time by completing it prior to picking up your motorhome.
- Watch the instructional video before arrival to familiarise yourself with your motorhome.
- Book campground sites well in advance — especially for summer and other busy school holiday periods.
- Plan for plenty of downtime — plus options for members of your group to explore independently.
- On airport pick up, let all your drivers go to the depot first to begin the paperwork straight away.
- Be organised at pick up — getting all drivers to have a briefing together if possible.
- Add onboard WiFi to your motorhome if this is an option — so your group can easily keep in contact while on the road.
- Arrive early at smaller freedom camping sites with limited space — so you can park next to each other.
Find out which motorhomes will be ideal for your group using our motorhome selector.