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We see a quite a few road trip proposals, elopements, honeymoons, anniversaries at Escape. And the best part is, each story is totally unique! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we’re excited to spread the love and share some mini interviews about your experiences with Escape.

Thanks to everyone who contributed!

Spring Break Surprise Proposal

Tanner and Hanna, March 2018

Jo Johnson Photography Yosemite Tunnel View Engagement

Jo Johnson Photography

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip?

From the beginning of our relationship, Hanna & I have been avid hikers together in our home state of Arkansas and both have had experience car-camping in National Forests. We started talking about the idea of going west to see some national park areas and it wasn’t long before I found Escape Campervans online when trying to decide the best way for us to travel & stay throughout the trip!

What led you to choose Escape?

Escape actually popped up on my Instagram Explore tab and looked like the perfect way to be comfortable AND mobile throughout a week-long trip.

What was your route? How did you decide where you wanted to go?

I’m a full-time teacher and part-time photographer, so with Spring Break off work I knew Yosemite would be a great destination while the crowds were scarce. I’d previously taken a road trip down the west coast and fell in love with Point Reyes National Seashore as well, so it made perfect sense for us to fly into San Francisco, pick up the van, and hit Point Reyes + Yosemite in one trip. We also ended up adding Lake Tahoe to the itinerary after Hanna mentioned vacationing there as a kid. I basically designed our itinerary based on maximizing sunrise/sunset times for photography, but I also knew it would be important to be in Yosemite mid-week because of my big plans to propose!

Tell us about the proposal! How did it happen?

I began planning the trip for us months before I got the idea to take advantage of the timing and scenery to propose. We had already booked flights and the van by Christmas when I had a conversation with my mom about how Hanna was “the one.” After that conversation, I really started taking steps toward asking her to marry me, including acquiring my great-grandmother’s ring that was used to custom-make the one I gave to Hanna.

Once I had the ring, I just needed to find a time and place. I expected, hoped, and wanted Yosemite to be the place. Yosemite National Park is the pinnacle of awe-inspiring landscapes in the United States and I knew only such a significant place would suit such a significant proposal! Being a photographer, we brought a few nice outfits to use for self-portraits, so as soon as we pulled into the park I suggested changing so we could set up the tripod and take a few photos at Tunnel View before a storm really set in. Hanna had no idea of my intentions. She even told her friends before we left for the trip that she didn’t think the timing of the trip fit what we had “discussed” about our future. She also had no idea that our friend and fellow photographer from Arkansas, Jo Johnson, flew all the way out to hide in plain sight and capture the moment!

I don’t remember anything I said in the moment. Hanna insures me that it was a jumbled, mumbled mess, but the pictures bring back every bit of nerves, jitters, and emotions of the event. I love how significant a place Yosemite is in our hearts now. Tunnel View was foggy, frosty, and totally deserted when we were there. It was the perfect scenario to compliment my proposal and pure intentions to become Hanna’s forever.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple? Top advice for traveling by campervan in general?

I’ve suggested Escape Campervans to so many people now, and since getting married we actually just returned from our second trip with Escape! Some of our top advice to stay comfortable and accessible are to purchase a Power Inverter to keep things charged (phones/camera batteries/Hanna even used it to curl her hair!). We also mapped out truck stops along our route where we could purchase a hot shower and freshen up! Both of our trips with Escape have been during the winter, so getting extra bedding at the depot was always a very welcome addition as well.

For traveling in general by campervan I think it is especially important to know where you will park and sleep every night. I wanted to be ultra-conscious of Leave No Trace ethics, as well as the rules and laws in the area, so planning that into our itinerary before we even left for the trip was of big importance. We have used a few paid campgrounds, but have also enjoyed finding public land to park for free all over the country!

Engagement photos by Jo Johnson Photography. Others by Tanner Burge Photo.


Engagement

Em and Mitch, November 2017

Campervan Trip Engagement

Photo courtesy of Em Hart

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip?

We travel to the states from Australia and love it so much! We have both been a few times before so had done all of the big ticket tourist items and really wanted to get out and see some different parts. I don’t like to fly so campervan was an obvious choice, and we knew we wanted to see as many national parks as possible!

What led you to choose Escape?

We found escape on Instagram which is really why we booked it – we were able to see a lot about the vans, and it built trust in us that there were so many success stories from escape. We also loved the look of the vans and value for money/inclusions compared to so many others.

What was your route?

We picked up our van in Denver and headed straight for Utah (with an overnight stop in a Walmart carpark). We went to Arches NP, Capitol Reef NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Zion NP, quick stop off at a hotel in Vegas (buffet dinner yes please), then Joshua Tree NP, Big Sur and onto San Fran to drop our van off.

We were absolutely blown away by the beauty of Utah – it was not what we were expecting and we fell in love with it! The nights were freezing cold especially in Utah, but we were surprised at how comfortable we were in the van – we didn’t need heaters etc, and stayed warm with layers, an extra blanket, and fluffy socks! Can’t say I found it easy getting out in the morning but it’s all part of the experience 🙂 we got into the habit of eating dinner early before it got too dark and cold.

I would HIGHLY recommend travelling at this time of year – it is so special having certain places all to yourselves. You get the pick of the best camping spots, can always find a parking spot at any hikes or viewpoints, the bathrooms are never busy and you find yourselves all alone in the most spectacular of locations.

Tell us about the proposal! How did it happen?

It was the morning after our second night in Zion. We had gotten up early to drive to a particular slot canyon that had been busy the afternoon before. It was freezing and we wandered down the trail as the sun was coming up. We were the only people there!!! About halfway, he stopped me, dropped to one knee and proposed! We finished the trail walk and drove the van to a little pull out by the stream. He cooked me pancakes for breakfast and we ate with all the doors open watching the running water, just us 2.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple?

Travelling as a couple – be patient with each other. Especially for us, driving in a foreign country in unfamiliar locations and unfamiliar whether can be stressful – we are always careful to be calm even when things go wrong (taking the wrong exit for the 3rd time…). Make sure you’re doing things both people enjoy OR compromising and sharing the love evenly. Take lots of snacks so you don’t get hangry and don’t wait too long to tell him you have to pee so he has time to find a bathroom haha.

Top advice for traveling by campervan in general?

Travelling in a campervan – we bought a 10 dollar mattress topper thing from Walmart and it was a godsend. So worth every dollar for longer trips, you’ll appreciate the comfort on the 10th night! Make the most of your on the go kitchen – we really loved eating fresh meals in spectacular locations and got creative with camping cooking – think nachos with the lot, amazing veggie hash and stewed fruit desserts.


First Wedding Anniversary

Ivy and Andres, October 2018

Lake Powell First Wedding Anniversary Campervan Trip

Photo courtesy of Ivy Jones

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip?

I first discovered campervan traveling through reading blogs about Iceland and its popular “Ring Road” road trip route. I instantly thought it sounded like such a fun, convenient way to travel and see the great outdoors, and continued to research from there for options in the U.S.

What led you to choose Escape?

Andres and I have had Sedona, Arizona on our travel bucket list for a while. Neither of us had ever seen the American Southwest before, and once I set my mind on the idea of a campervan trip, I started Googling to see if there were any options in that region. That’s when I found Escape! I was instantly impressed with the number of locations, reasonable prices, and great reviews. Also, Andres is a huge fan of graffiti/street art, so knowing we’d be driving around in such a unique, artsy van was a bonus. The trip easily came together in my mind when I saw how many amazing spots there were to see in the beautiful Southwest within driving distance of each other.

What was your route?

We picked up our Story Book Van at the Phoenix depot. After stocking up on groceries, we headed north to Sedona, AZ where we spent the first 2 nights (Manzanita Campground). Next, we headed further north and spent 1 night camped on the shores of Lake Powell (Lone Rock Beach Campground). From there, we headed west and spent 3 nights in Zion National Park (Watchman Campground). At the end of the week, we dropped our van off at Escape’s Las Vegas depot and flew home to Houston from there.

How did you decide where you wanted to go?

I started planning the trip far in advance, searching Instagram and reading blogs on where to visit, hike and camp in the Southwest. I mapped out our must-see stopping points and booked campsites, with each stop being no more than 2 – 3 hours drive apart (this made for a relaxing trip; since we only had a week to explore, we didn’t want to spend super lengthy stretches on the road)

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple? Top advice for traveling by campervan in general?

  • Plan out at least a loose itinerary for your trip (especially if you have a limited amount of time). Having campsites booked ahead of time put us at ease knowing we had a place to sleep at each stopping point, and researching amazing hikes and points of interest along the way ensured we could make the most of our week on the road, and see as much as possible.
  • Leave yourself open to being spontaneous. On our actual wedding anniversary, we had a bottle of wine and a campfire meal planned out, but at the last minute, decided to valet park our campervan and eat at a nice restaurant in Sedona that caught our eye. So much fun!
  • Have a great road trip playlist ready to sing along to (don’t forget to add the $5 AUX cord onto your rental or bring one of your own) ?

I couldn’t think of a more romantic way to spend our anniversary. Spending time alone together in beautiful nature, and experiencing a new way of travel. We now dream of having our own campervan one day, with a framed picture on the dashboard and fond memories of our first adVANture with Escape’s Story Book. But until then, we’ll happily rent from Escape and explore as many areas as we can. Next up, we have our hearts set on the Pacific Northwest or Canada!

Onward ❤


Celebrating 10 Years Together / Surprise Engagement

Grace and Daniella, November 2017

Campervan Trip Engagement Vegas

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip? What led you to choose Escape?

We went back and forth between different places, Greece, Iceland… but then I pitched the idea of renting with Escape and she was all for it! I remember seeing a Groupon for Escape specifically a few months prior. We wanted to do something different. We loved the concept behind it, all vans painted by local artists. Amazing!

What was your route? How did you decide where you wanted to go?

Originally we decided that we would go up the PCH from LA all the way to San Francisco, hitting up Big Sur/Carmel. An all-coast scenic drive. But unfortunately there was a huge mudslide which took out an entire bridge and it would have re-routed us and it just wasn’t something we wanted to do. So instead, we did Venice Beach, Santa Monica then made our way up to Death Valley! It was an amazing experience…we only camped out for 1 night at Stovepipe Wells but we will be back!

From Death Valley, we made our way to Las Vegas! We witnessed something very cool on our way in a town called Pahrump. Traffic came to a complete stop for what seemed like hours. We saw camera crews and little crowds on the side of the road. Thought they were filming the next Fast & Furious movie but it was actually for a world record! The Agera RS is the world’s fastest car reaching 277.9 MPH. Amazing. We got to witness a world record in the making.

Spent 2 nights in Las Vegas. Did as much as we could in 48 hours, sleep was not one of them! On the 2nd night after doing the happy half hour on the High Roller…. we met a group of people in the LINQ Promenade just drinking dancing having a good time. A few moments later, I turn around to see Daniella on the verge of tears, I know she said a little speech but all I can remember is her wanting to spend the rest of her life with me! And just like that, we were engaged! I remember everyone surrounding us clapping even taking videos and pictures. It was so sweet. Truly the most amazing moment of my life.

On our last 2 days, we were able to do some sightseeing. Universal Studios, Hollywood, Beverly Hills.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple? Top advice for traveling by campervan in general?

Definitely make a list of destinations, to see what would make the most sense. And be ok with not seeing EVERYTHING. Might have to skip out on something. We were only on vacation for 10 days and there were a lot of things that we wanted to see and do. But we cut it down to just a few so that we didn’t rush. Still had the trip of a lifetime!

And advice for travelling as a couple, well we are both pretty easy going….so it’s like whatever she wanted to do I was ok with and vice versa!

Tell us the story about finding Pedro!

So after leaving Las Vegas we had planned on driving through Joshua tree but opted out and decided to save it for next time. Instead, we made our way back to the LA area but stopped in Long Beach to have some lunch at the San Pedro fish market. The girl working at the desk at Escape in Inglewood had suggested it to us at the start of our trip.

Upon leaving the fish market, I’m not sure how she spotted him but I just remember Daniella’s face going pale as if she had seen a ghost. She said there is a kitten on the road! She pulled over and I jumped out. It took me a couple times walking up and down before I eventually spotted him. Without hesitation, I wrapped him up in my jacket and ran back into the van.

Made some calls and reached out to a friend who runs a rescue here at home. Got in touch with the people at the Animal Hospital of South Bay Rolling Hills. Got the necessary vaccinations and the OK to bring him back to Canada with us! He suffered a gash on his chin and his tail is short and jagged. But all good otherwise! $50 plane ticket and he was able to fly with us as a carry-on. We had 2 cats already! Marvin and Oreo…and now little Californian Pedro!

The Proposal

It was the night of our 10 year anniversary and we had planned on taking pictures in front of the High Roller by the beautifully lit up fountain. I secretly asked 2 couples to help me film the proposal. That was when I had Grace turn and face the fountain while I got her ring and got the ladies all set up with phones. She thought they were there to take some pictures of us.

I will never forget the look on Grace’s face when I approached her, made a speech and got down on one knee and asked my soulmate of 10 years to marry me. She was in complete shock but with the biggest smile on her face. I had no idea so many eyes were on us and people were taking pictures of us, clapping and cheering. Congratulating us. It was the most beautiful moment and we are so looking forward to our wedding!

We have decided to rent with Escape for our honeymoon and travel east from Las Vegas to Miami! It is going to be amazing 🙂


Honeymoon

James and Anna, September 2018

campervan honeymoon road trip

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip?

We both knew we wanted to do a bit of an unorthodox honeymoon and stay within the United States. Living in California we are hooked on long weekend adventures and any chance to escape on a road trip. Since we got married back east (New Jersey), which is where our families are from, we thought a road trip back across the country would be a great way to celebrate our honeymoon and get back to Los Angeles. We decided that we’d give ourselves two weeks after the wedding to spend time in a few places along the way and really enjoy the experience.

What led you to choose Escape?

We chose Escape because when we were searching for vans to travel in or rental vehicles it was the best option cost wise as well as the closest van rental to New Jersey, that also allowed us to return the van in another state. It was a perfect fit and to top it all off, once we saw the custom paint job on each van, we were sold.

What was your route? How did you decide where you wanted to go?

Our route began in Jersey City, where we first picked up our van. From there, we spent about two days driving through New Jersey and Pennsylvania with no set plans of where to stay along the way. To do this trip the way we wanted to, we would wing our travel plans until that day and just enjoy the entire experience. Our first night in eastern Pennsylvania, we set up camp in a Walmart parking lot. We had ordered the top crows nest/sleeper with the van as well so we could sleep up top most nights. But given that we were in some random parking lot, our first night was spent comfortably warm inside the van. We spent the first night of our honeymoon shopping for goodies in Walmart at midnight and setting up camp in the parking lot – it was surprisingly one of the best parts of the trip.

Over the next few days, we drove through the rest of Pennsylvania, through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and eventually into South Dakota. Those first couple of days were primarily spent inside the van so we could cover enough ground to make it West for all of the beautiful parks we wanted to hit. Once we got to South Dakota, we camped one night in a KOA (Campground of America), outside the Badlands National Park and another night inside of the park at a campground that we had reserved for the night – one of the only spots we planned to stay at. Each night was special in its own way, and besides our first night in Walmart, we spent every other night of our trip up top in our sleeper.

From South Dakota, we drove Southwest toward Wyoming, spending two nights inside of Yellowstone National Park. The park itself was so massive we couldn’t get to all of it in one trip, but our heads were on a swivel the entire time. At this point, we had been into our trip for about a week and the van had quickly become our home and our comfort zone. Nearly every opportunity we had, we set up camp, started a fire and cooked using the cookware and propane stove in the back of the van. It was such a freeing feeling to cook under the clear starry skies with a campfire going right next to the van. We were in heaven.

After two days spent in Yellowstone, we traveled an hour south to the smaller national park in Wyoming – The Grand Tetons. This place blew our minds – the size of the mountains, the snow capped peaks and the sheer beauty of the surrounding landscape made the Tetons a favorite of ours on our trip. To get off the grid a bit we chose to camp outside of the National Park and in the National Forest our first night there. Although much more secluded and away from the amenities of the park, this proved to be the most rewarding place we camped in the entire trip. With an unobstructed view of the Tetons, away from people and under the stars, our Escape sleeper became our magic vehicle for stargazing. Our second night in the Tetons, we found a campsite right outside the park that had availability and an electric hookup so we could finally recharge some of our batteries. That night, we spent the evening in the small town of Jackson, south of the Tetons – eating our first sit down restaurant meal of the trip and putting back a few IPAs to wash down the meal.

Our next stop on our journey was south towards Utah. The drive itself was pretty beautiful – catching an insane sunset driving through the Dixie National Forest on the way to Moab. When we arrived in Moab, we met up with our good friends for a few days to do some exploring together. Our first day in Moab was spent mountain biking through some state parks and exploring Arches National Park. That night we drove our trusty van across the state a few hours to the Canyonlands. We spent a beautifully cool night under the stars, cooking up some late night food and listening to the sound of the campfire.

The following morning, we parted ways and just the two of us hit the road for our last stop of the trip – Bryce Canyon National Park. The route we chose to take to get there was a couple hours longer than the freeway but was way more rewarding and insanely scenic. Along the way, we drove through National Monuments, National Parks, and scenic canyons. At this point, the attachment to our van was real – we’d spent every night of a two-week trip sleeping inside of the van and driving at least 8 hours a day. Our last night of the trip was spent camping outside of Bryce Canyon National Park with the perfect fire, a hot bowl of mac and cheese, and a peaceful and secluded site under the stars. It was a perfect ending to an amazing two-week honeymoon.

How did you find where to camp?

Most of the time, we would figure out how far we’d end up getting each night and scope out campsites in that area that way. Using an app called Hipcamp was a helpful way to see what sites other people have stayed at and recommended. Other than that it was just using our phone maps or the physical U.S. map that we kept with us the entire trip, in case we were in remote places without service. Each national park also has campsites but those fill up way quicker than sites outside of the park. If all of the sites are full both inside and outside of the park, KOA sites are available in most areas and by going on their website you can easily see which sites are available and close by. As a last resort, a Walmart parking lot is a safe option. Most are well-lit, open 24 hours and allow overnight car camping for free.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple?

We travel extremely well together and since we started dating 5 years ago, traveling has always been easy for us. That is one of the reasons we knew we would be right for one another, we could travel well with each other and always find a way to make each other laugh and have a good time. I think being able to go with the flow and let things happen naturally, while also having some kind of plan is a tough balance but important to traveling as a couple. Patience is also a huge factor in traveling as a couple. Driving 10+ hours with anyone, with little sleep and out of your element can test your patience and your ability to think logically. But most importantly, traveling together should feel effortless and be fun! We learn so much about one another when we are on the road and it’s incredible to be able to do something new with the one you love every day. It is such a freeing and beautiful feeling and we encourage every couple to travel together as often as possible!

Top advice for traveling by campervan in general?

Traveling in a van is definitely tough to get accustomed too, but once you do it is very hard to travel any other way. A few key tips for traveling by campervan that make the journey more enjoyable.

  • Keep a toiletry bag of essentials (toothbrush, deodorant, soap, etc.) handy and in an easy-to-reach place. There’s nothing worse than getting to a dark campsite late at night and having to dig through bags with a headlamp to find one toothbrush and a bar of soap. Organization in close quarters is key.
  • Another crucial tip is to always plan ahead for filling up the tank with gas. There will be plenty of times you’ll have a half of a tank thinking you have enough to make it through a remote part of the drive, when suddenly you realize you’re 50 miles from any gas station and are almost on empty. Don’t make this mistake! Running out of gas in some of these remote, mountainous areas is scary and can be totally avoided if you take the proper precautions ahead of time.
  • One last tip – always store bags, plates, and any misc. items in parts of the van where they will not move around on the drive. It is super distracting to have bags flying all over the van when you hit rugged terrain. Strap stuff down or store it properly and it will be a much quieter and smoother drive =)
  • The last, last tip – travel in a campervan whenever you have the opportunity! It’s been one of the best experiences we’ve ever had and we can’t wait to do it again!

Photos by Anna and James, @leavethemap


Honeymoon

Erin and Daniel, September to December 2018 (76 days)

South Dakota Mt Rushmore Road Trip

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip? Had you done a campervan trip before?

Yes, we have been to NZ for 9 days in a campervan. We wanted to experience the best parts of America and get amongst the national parks and nature.

What led you to choose Escape?

The awesome paint jobs and price/flexibility

What was your route? How did you decide where you wanted to go?

We went everywhere, we had our top 20 things we wanted to see and worked out our route from there.

How did you find where to camp?

We used a variety of websites such as freecampsites.net and RV Parky app.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple?

Take it all in and enjoy the time together.

Top advice for traveling by campervan in general? (Especially for such a long time!)

Bring minimal clothing, plan your meals for a couple of days so you do not buy unnecessary items. Have storage boxes for clothing and shoes etc.

We absolutely loved our time in Warpspeed and couldn’t imagine having any different type of honeymoon. Thank you xx


Honeymoon

Sara and Jacob, October 2018

Winter Road Trip Colorado Campervan

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip?

I (Sara) was looking into our honeymoon, which is not like what your typical honeymoon would be. I was planning to stay in many places through Colorado visiting all the national parks, state parks, and national forest. I was looking on Airbnb for places to stay when I came across Escape Campervans. Once I saw there is a depot in Denver I knew this was made for us! We got married in Estes Park and then went to pick up the van on the day following the wedding.

What was your route?

We started in Denver visiting Red Rocks, where we got engaged. We parked and slept in the mountains right outside of Manitou Springs.

Day 2 we went to the Cliff Dwellings in Manitou Springs before heading south on I25. We stopped in the late afternoon and spent the rest of the day at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Although it was early October, it was quite a cold week with lows in the 20s and highs were 30-50 degrees! We stayed overnight at the national park then got back on the road heading to Durango. We stayed one night in an Airbnb I rented before we decided on the van.

Day 4 we hit the road again and went to the Mesa Verde National Park, then headed up highway 550 or also known as Million Dollar Highway. (It was the one road I was scared to drive on in Colorado from the stories I had heard, but it wasn’t the worst of the roads we drove.) We stopped in Silverton to see the small town and had a beer at the end of the day. We parked and slept at South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest at the end of the night.

Day 5 we woke up and hiked Ice lake trail, a lot harder than we thought it would be because it had snowed quite a bit for the 2-3 days before we hiked it. After the cold hike, it was amazing to come back to the van and be able to heat up some soup on the burners to warm us up! We then hit the highway 550 again and stopped at Ouray (Switzerland of America). We explored the town as much as we could because some of the small mountain towns close pretty early in certain times of the year. After having dinner in Ouray we got back on the road and headed to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park where we parked at a campsite and slept there. We were able to see the milky way here as well as in the San Juan National Forest.

Day 6 we woke up and explored Black Canyon for a while before heading back to Denver. We drove back on US-50 and US-285 back to Denver and the weather was a mixture of rain and snow which froze on the car by the time we got back in Denver. We booked a last minute Airbnb in Denver because the low that night was 17 degrees. We turned the van back in the morning day 7 and it was the best experience to have such a fun and adventurous honeymoon. Plus we saved a lot of money because the trip we had a house and car all in one.

How did you decide where you wanted to go?

We wanted to go on the route that had the most national parks and forest to see some of the best natural places the state has to offer.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple?

Organize all your clothes and food before hitting the road. If cold, make sure to bring extra blankets or some 0-degree sleeping bags to keep warm at night.

Top advice for traveling by campervan in general?

Use the atlas for help on places to park/sleep and to help with directions. There are a lot of places along out route that didn’t have service which was amazing to not have to worry about phones but the atlas came in handy during those times.


Honeymoon

Jen and Marty, June/July 2018 (21-day trip)

Honeymoon Campervan Road Trip Moraine Lake Canada

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip?

We knew we didn’t want the usual luxury beach honeymoon and we knew we wanted to explore on our own. We also knew we both love the US and Canada. Using a campervan seemed like a great, flexible way to see the amazing National Parks of Canada and the USA together, doing what we wanted to do, when we wanted and choosing a route to suit us.

Had you done a campervan trip before?

No! But we will definitely do it again, and again. In fact, we are already planning what to do on our next trip which will hopefully be this summer. We can’t imagine having that much fun doing a “normal” holiday again.

What led you to choose Escape?

We trawled the Internet for suitable campervan suppliers and were lucky enough to find Escape. The vans seemed really practical and we liked the idea of having something smaller than your usual RV. Especially as first timers we wanted to feel we could park up anywhere, drive to anywhere and not be restricted by the size of the vehicle, whilst also being comfortable and having everything we needed. The escape vans seemed ideal.

There was an added bonus at the time in the Escape were the only company who would allow us to pick up in Canada and drop off in USA for a fee. I know this is no longer permitted but it was an absolute deal breaker for us and being able to do this allowed us to have the most amazing trip.

What was your route?

We picked up the van in Vancouver, went to Mount Robson, Jasper National Park, Banff National Park, Lake Louise and Lake Moraine, crossed the border at Montana and headed to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, stayed at an amazing ranch at Jackson Hole, headed across to Salt Lake City, then Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point.

By that time, the heat was starting to get pretty intense so we took a detour to Vegas and booked a Tower Suite at the Encore/Wynn. It was really something to see the Valet parking attendant pull up in our muddy van having just delivered a Rolls Royce to its rightful owner! We ended our trip in Phoenix, Arizona, and spent a few days sunbathing before flying home from there! It was a lot to pack into 21 days and the heat took it out of us in the end (45 degrees in Moab). Praise must go to “the nomad’s direction” who planned an amazing itinerary for us to use a starting point and we then picked any detours and amendments we wanted to make as we travelled.

How did you decide where you wanted to go?

We spent a long time trying to decide our route. We knew we wanted an “outdoorsy” nature-filled trip in a country setting and we really wanted to see the Canadian Rockies and some national parks. See above for comments on the nomad’s direction who really helped in giving us a great route to start from. Being from England and having not done a campervan trip before we were struggling to plan what to do, where to go and what was realistic in the timeframe. The itinerary really helped us.

How did you find where to camp?

Again, we relied roughly on the suggestions made by the nomad’s direction company. We didn’t always stick completely to the recommended sites, however, and I would say 70% of our bookings were made from just showing up, trying the direct National Park websites, or from using an app called Roadtrippers. This app was a great, quick way to suss out the camping and dining scene in any area we were in. Really though, just keep an eye out as you are driving along – a lot of camp sites are visible from the roadside and you can choose which one fits your requirements (for me a key one was “must have running water” but for others that will be less of a priority!)

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple?

We fell into a natural routine which worked to both of our skill sets. Out of 3500 miles, I would say I drove about 10. Marty is a much more confident driver than I am, especially abroad. He enjoys it and was more than happy to take the wheel, so I let him! Likewise, I love to cook, and I am more practical when buying food-related ingredients and planning meals, so I always took the lead on that.

Being from a military background, Marty was also great (and a lot better than me) at setting up the fires and fixing things or making practical choices about routes and staying safe when camping, so I let him take control there and I was happy to be looked after in that respect. I just helped out with anything I could.

Oh, and I chose the music! I loved that we settled into a routine which worked for us. Being flexible also helps, try not to become too fixated on how things will be and just adapt to any twist and turn, rather than getting stressed. Enjoy the time spent together and aim to see the positive in any change of plan which is out of your control.

Top advice for traveling by campervan in general?

  • Do a “big shop” as soon as you get the van. We bought a large cooler box which at the time I thought was really over the top but it actually proved to be extremely useful for any food we couldn’t get in the fridge, also beer, water, anything! It stored nicely on the top shelf of the back of our van and was $40 well spent.
  • When food shopping, try to go in with an idea of what each meal will be and what you need for each meal. You won’t have your usual kitchen staple items so choosing something which needs lots of herbs and spices or lots of extra ingredients which come in huge containers is a pointless waste of money and space – you’ll use it once! Instead, try to make a list of campervan friendly “one pot” meals and shop “per meal,” not just strolling around and hoping an idea comes (which I also did, never with any success!).
  • Have a snack station up front for longer drives – sweet, savoury, fruit, drinks.
  • Ladies: pack a toiletry bag with the essentials in for easy quick trips to the shower/toilet block on a morning and evening. Leave it next to the campervan door or in easy reach when going to bed as you do not want to be searching all over for it at 7 am when you are desperate for the loo and the block is a 5 min walk away.
  • Take some battery-powered fairy lights to light up the van for reading/chatting when the doors are closed for the night.
  • Keep chargers in a handy space up front so they don’t go missing and can always be easily found in the dark when needed.
  • Take soft bags rather than suitcases as they are much easier to store in the limited (but sufficient) space available once the bed is made.
  • Pack less and stop at a laundrette if needed, rather than taking lots and lots of clothing options. On that note – pack things which don’t crease!
  • Buy some antibacterial wipes. We used these A LOT and they were so handy for quickly cleaning up the kitchen area after breakfast or just generally cleaning things up whilst on the move. Also, a pack of baby wipes in the glove compartment is super helpful for freshening faces/hands when on the road.

I could go on with random tips but I will stop there!


Engagement

Ronnie & Aaron, September 2018

Devil's Bridge Sedona Arizona Proposal

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip? What led you to choose Escape?

We had been planning a long trip for the fall all year and saw Escape had a great relocation deal one way from Miami. We decided to change our original plan of going to Europe to take a chance on Escape. We wanted to try out van life and explore as many national parks as possible!

What was your route?

Our goal was to go to as many National Parks as possible! Our shared goal is to visit every National Park together. Since we had the relocation deal from Miami, we planned a route that would take us through as many National Parks as possible and decided to end in San Fransico. We went to Biscayne and Everglades first, cruised through the southeast, visiting some family and friends along the way in Mobile, Alabama and San Antonio, Texas. We continued through Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert and a detour down to Sedona (our favorite place!). We went north to Monument Valley, Capitol Reef, Bryce, Zion, Joshua Tree, Sequoia, King’s Canyon and Yosemite- whew that’s a lot! Our days consisted of taking hikes, eating a packed lunch in a stellar place, bathing in rivers and star gazing- absolutely amazing!

Tell us about the proposal! How did it happen?

While in Sedona, AZ, our favorite place from a previous trip, we chatted with some locals and they recommend hiking out to Devil’s Bridge. We had just finished our laundry and drove out to the trailhead and hiked up to the bridge.

Ronnie: I hadn’t showered in days, was sweaty and sunburned, but beyond happy to be exploring more in our favorite place. When we got to the bridge, I was self-conscious about asking a bystander to take a photo for us and almost didn’t ask but Aaron insisted we take a photo. We went out to the bridge, took a couple photos and then Aaron said, “Hold on, one more…” and pretended to tie his shoe when he pulled out the ring! I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect moment.

Aaron: I had the ring hidden in my guitar case since we boarded the plane to go to Miami. When we were told about Devil’s Bridge, I knew it was time to make my move. Before the hike, I went back into the van and snuck the ring into my cargo shorts. Once we made it to the bridge, standing there taking pictures with her… I took the knee and asked the biggest question of my life.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple?

Number one rule is to stay well-fed! When you’re cranky and hungry… that can be problematic. Create and share a playlist together. Take breaks often- get out of the car and walk around, take in a scenic view, check out a quirky roadside stop. You can go stir crazy sitting in the car for a long time so mix it up! And remember.. if you can make it in a van on the road together for weeks- you’ve found an amazing partner! We can’t wait for our next adventure!


10th Wedding Anniversary

Shanice and Andrew, January 2019

Zion National Park Hiking

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip?

We were originally going to go to California and stay in a hotel and hike until someone overheard my conversation and explained to me about renting a camper van. It was our 10 year anniversary and this was right up our ally.

What led you to choose Escape?

As soon as we checked out the website and saw the awesome painted vans and everything you needed camping all together and a house on wheels we knew this was exactly what we wanted to do.

What was your route? How did you decide where you wanted to go?

With the Government Shutdown, we were limited to what we could do. We came from Canada and said if we need to stay in a Walmart parking lot then that will be fine and is all part of the adventure. We were able to go to Zion Natural Park and it was amazing.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple?

Enjoy every little moment together. We drove together, ate together, hiked together and slept together all in a small little area. You know it’s love when you can spend that much time together and are already planning your next campervan adventure. We learned new things about each other after 10 years of being married and have so many memories.

How did you find where to camp?

Someone asking about our original trip showed us pictures of her camper van experience, we checked out the website and immediately changed our flights and booked a whole new vacation.

Top advice for traveling by campervan in general? Anything you’d do differently next time?

This was the best vacation we have had. It was such an adventure and the fact that you had a fun van you could drive and live in was something we talked about but didn’t know it was possible. We wouldn’t pack as much next time. And maybe think about taking our kids with us on the next adventure


Engagement

Devin and Amanda, May 2018

Grand Canyon Engagement

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip? Had you done a campervan trip before?

We’d never done a camper van trip before. We wanted to take a hiking trip across Arizona and were trying to figure out the best way to travel when we came across your site. It looked like an amazing new opportunity so we decided to go for it!

What led you to choose Escape?

We looked at a few different campervan sites but Escape was the only one that had everything we were looking for. Your vans fit our style and Devin went to high school with Connor Barwin, who used your vans and had a great experience.

What was your route?

We were going to Arizona for Devin’s friend’s graduation so we decided to stay for the week after and check out all the best hiking spots. We flew in from Detroit, spent a few days in Phoenix, went to Tonto National Forrest, spent a few days in the Grand Canyon, a day in Flagstaff, then a few days in Sedona before heading back to Phoenix.

Tell us all about the proposal!

Devin proposed just after our longest hike in the Grand Canyon. We did one day trip where we hiked 6 miles down to the river overlook then 6 miles back out. Devin had the ring in his pocket the entire time but early on in the hike he decided that the trail wasn’t the best place to propose, he was afraid I would get too excited and fall off the edge ? He waited until we were back at our campsite at the edge of the canyon and proposed that night by the fire. It was absolutely perfect 🙂

How did you find where to camp?

We researched hiking blogs and looked on the national park’s sites to find the best areas for vans that were closest to the hiking trails we knew we wanted to travel along.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple?

Enjoy the time together and meet new people along the way! We met so many amazing people along our hikes, including two couples that happened to originally be from Detroit. Travel is such an amazing way to make connections all over the world and we love to meet people who we stay in contact with even after our trips end.

Top advice for traveling by campervan in general?

Pack light and get ready for the time of your life. Living in a camper van for over a week was completely different than we expected but also so much easier than we expected. We fell into a routine really quickly and we had so much fun cooking our meals out of the van, relaxing by campfires, and playing cards in the van late at night. It made us slow down, step away from technology, and just enjoy our time together.

As a side story, we were only in the Grand Canyon for 3 nights, the day we got engaged it was 80 degrees and they said there was rain coming in overnight. The last morning we woke up to leave and the canyon was covered in a layer of beautiful snow! I attached two pictures of our van that were taken one day apart, it was a pretty wild experience!


Engagement

Joe and Katie, May 2015

Campervan road trip engagement

How did you initially decide to go on a campervan trip? What led you to choose Escape?

We’d always wanted to do a road trip of the Californian national parks, and we thought escape vans were the coolest and most fun looking!

What was your route?

We went all over the state of California in your van and it was almost like having a third personality with us, made the trip all the more special. We loved that van so much and are desperate to return to California to re-visit some of those places.

Tell us about the proposal!

I asked my fiancé to marry me outside an Escape camper and called Lasik at tunnel view in 2015 and it’s the happiest memory I have.

What is your top advice for traveling as a couple? Top advice for traveling by campervan in general?

My top tip for travelling as a couple is to ensure the person you’re travelling with really is someone you could get through anything with. Then any problem is no big deal. For campervan’s, my advice is book your campgrounds early! We got some lovely spots because we planned ahead, but because we had the flexibility of a camper we were able to drive out to Las Vegas for a night on a whim!


Thanks to all who shared their stories with us! Stay tuned for more to be added.

Do you have your own story to share? Email info@escapecampervans.com!

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