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I just wanted to let you know that our trip was definitely a huge adventure and we’re so glad I chose Escape Camper Vans to house us!

1. Brief background on who you are and where you’re from.

So, my name is Tatiana, I’m 23 years young, I have a lot of weird hobbies, and I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I went to university for digital media and studied photography in London. While studying abroad in London, I met my girlfriend, Lex. That was June-July 2016. We got together around November 2016 and have been together ever since. 

I’ve always traveled with my family and always loved going on road trips, or any trip rather. I love seeing new places and experiencing new things! After I graduated from university in 2017, Lex and I then planned and excited a two-month backpacking trip around Europe. We took planes, cars, buses, stayed in hostels, and we even traveled in a van for a week through England and Wales.

Woman standing behind a camper van

2. Tatiana, how did you initially decide to surprise Lex with a camper van trip?

Lex went to Colorado State University for college and most of her friends still live in Colorado. She lived in Florida and then moved to New York last August to live closer to me. Since our backpacking trip, we’ve been more intrigued with the van life community and adventures in a van. We’ve been wanting to go on another adventure like that and I know Lex has been really missing her friends from school. 

The way I decided to surprise Lex was that I would give it to her as a Christmas gift. Honestly, I didn’t even plan it all out in my head before I bought us flights. It was a random morning, and she was in the kitchen. I even asked her to bring me my debit card so I could purchase the tickets – she had no idea!! After I bought the flights though, that’s when I started to research accommodations. Traveling in a camper van wasn’t honestly my initial thought but eventually, I’m so glad I decided to go that route.

Rear view of an Escape Campervan

3. What led you to book your trip with Escape Camper Vans?

I looked into many different vans based in Colorado or around it and Escape Camper Vans ended up being my first choice. Out of all the vans, the ones at Escape looked more up-to-date, cleaner, and also had the fridge running off solar! Which I LOVED! It was SO handy instead of having a cooler that you had to keep buying ice for and having your food soaked in melted ice. 

Woman in a campervan

4. Tatiana, how did you keep the campervan trip a secret from Lex? Any tips you can give to someone hoping to surprise someone with a trip?

I’m actually really good at keeping secrets. I almost let it slip a few times, but I had to be really careful with what I say. But honestly, it was SO hard. Like imagine having to keep a huge, EXCITING, secret from the only person you want to tell it to. But I just didn’t tell her until after she had opened all her Christmas presents. There is actually a video we posted on our Gfs Who Travel YouTube channel of me surprising her with the trip!

5. Lex, did you have any clue this was coming? What were your initial thoughts when Tatiana surprised you with a trip?

I had no idea this was coming. Well first I didn’t think it was real, like at all. And I honestly thought it was a joke for a second because I feel like she would do something like that. But, I was genuinely so surprised and so excited. So excited to the fact that I even said things wrong, I couldn’t think straight nor process it in the moment. 

Driving a campervan

6. What was your campervan trip route? How did you decide where you wanted to go?

Our route started in Denver. We landed, picked up the van at the Denver rental location, went food shopping but we planned on staying in Denver the evening because Lex had planned a little meetup with all of her friends from college. We all met at The Front Porch, a really cool bar in Denver, and that night ended up being SO much fun! Lex got to see and catch up with all of her old/close friends that she hasn’t seen in years, and I was able to meet most of her friends for the first time! 

After that, we drove towards Fort Collins to one of Lex’s friends’ house. She thankfully allowed us to stay on her property (basically a farm which was also 64 acres) with the van and the next morning she let us play with the cows they have. Then we went into Fort Collins to visit CSU, her sorority house, and eat at this amazing burger place, Stuft Burger Bar! 

Around the afternoon, we headed towards Colorado Springs. We were going to go visit Pikes Peak that night but ended up not because we had to find somewhere to sleep. Plus, once we got there, the highway was closed. So we ended up circling the area for a bit because we needed to find a spot to sleep. This night it wasn’t TOO hard to find a spot to sleep, we just parked in a public parking lot across the street from a park and a fire house. 

Once the sun started rising, we headed to this large pullover on the side of a highway we saw the day before to hangout, cook breakfast and enjoy the morning. Right after breakfast we headed towards Pikes Peak highway again and that was just beautiful! We had so much fun doing that! 

We then drove towards Dillon and honestly, it’s really hard finding a place to sleep at in the winter. But we found a place to sleep on the side of the road in Breckenridge and it was such a good spot for the night. In the morning we went to another spot with a great view to cook breakfast and hangout. 

The last full day before we left, we were going to head to Ice Castles in Dillon but we decided against it because there was a big snowstorm that was scheduled to hit mid-day. And since we were in the van, we had to think of a place to sleep that night because it was going to snow through the night and get really cold, plus ice castles were all outdoors. 

We decided to drive to another one of Lex’s friend’s house that let us sleep in their spare bedroom to escape the cold and snowstorm ahead. Thanks to them, our toes were nice and warm that night, but we really wished the weather was different so we could enjoy the van all 4 nights we were there. 

We decided where we wanted to go by doing a little research beforehand. Also, Lex has been to Colorado before so she knew of a few things. Other than that, we winged some of the trip.

Women getting camping supplies

7. Any advice for traveling in the winter? Top advice for traveling by camper van in general?

  • One big thing is definitely LAYERS. Layers are key to traveling in a van in the winter, or just traveling in general. Lex is always cold, so she bought a thermal set and she swears by them now. She believes she would have froze if she didn’t purchase it before! 
  • Do not bring hard shell luggage, make sure you bring bags that are collapsible because luggage take up WAY too much space. 
  • Bring double the amount of socks you’re going to wear. We wore two thick socks at a time, even while sleeping. 
  • Use lotion and definitely stay hydrated
  • ORGANIZATION IS KEY while living in the van!
  • Be conscious about where you need to sleep at night and be safe at all times. During the winter, especially if there is a ton of snow, campgrounds are usually closed so an alternative area to park in is something to keep in mind. Plus, the sun sets early so you have less daylight to find parking.

Side view of a campervan

Ready to Surprise Your Friends or Loved Ones with a Campervan Trip?

If you’re ready to surprise your special someone or a friend with a campervan trip, book your campervan today. With campervan rental locations across the country, you can travel to the beach, the mountains, or anywhere in between.

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