The ultimate guide to planning a caravan holiday
5th May 2022
There’s nothing better than heading outside and immersing yourself in nature. Luckily, the UK is the perfect place to do this, with the country boasting both coastal and countryside destinations that are sure to take your breath away.
With warm weather hopefully on the horizon, the summer is the perfect time to explore. Not only does spending time outside have myriad health benefits that are sure to boost your energy levels, but it gives you the freedom to choose accessible locations that may otherwise be hard to visit, especially for those who rely on mobility aids like a straight or curved stairlift.
Whether you’re planning a week-long escape with views of the crashing waves or are thinking of something a little more secluded, a caravan is one of the best accommodation options out there. Both static and touring caravans come with a number of different features that have the ability to make your holiday more comfortable. Take a look at this guide to find out how to plan the perfect caravan getaway this year.
Static or touring?
Before you embark on your exciting getaway, you’ll need to think about what caravan is right for you. The two main types of caravans – static and touring – have different benefits, so select one that is right for you.
A static caravan is one that has a permanent home at a holiday park. These have no wheels and often have a terrace or balcony attached. They are often warmer than touring caravans, with more space. This is because there is no need for these to be moved, so the caravan can weigh more. Another thing to consider when booking a holiday in a caravan is the toilet, and fortunately, there is no need to empty those in a static caravan as they are permanently plumbed, with no limit on the amount of water you can use. Static caravan holidays can come in a variety of different price ranges, with luxury models on offer to give you extra comfort.
Nicola from the blog Travelling With Boys recommends a static caravan at a park, especially if you have children, she adds further commentary: “We've done a few caravan holidays including one at Wemyss Bay in Scotland and one in Solway Holiday Village in Silloth, Cumbria. Caravan holidays are fab when your children are little, and you need to pack everything but the kitchen sink in order to keep them happy. It feels so much easier bunging everything in the car and driving to a caravan holiday than even considering taking a flight to another country. Our little ones have loved listening to the rain battering down on the tinny roof and it's been great to have everything you need to hand under one roof - kitchen, lounge area and bathroom.”
Alternatively, a touring caravan allows you the freedom of visiting different locations across the country and even further afield. These are a perfect option if you have a lot of spare time, as they give you the freedom to check out new places at your will. However, these caravans are smaller and compact, so if you have trouble manoeuvring around small spaces, you may feel a bit cramped.
Where to go
Naturally, the first thing to consider when planning a holiday is where you’re going to go. Fortunately, the options with a caravan are endless. Across the UK, you can find a plethora of holiday parks. From the deep depths of a forest to a cliff-top park overlooking a stretch of golden sand, you’ll be able to find the right location for you and your loved ones.
Not only is the UK home to a number of incredible locations for you to visit, but you can even travel further afield, with caravan sites on offer in France, Spain and across Europe. Knowing that these places are attainable for your next holiday, planning where to go first is essential.
A staycation is a lovely way to spend time with your family or partner. Plus, the journey time is often shorter which is great for those who have low mobility. Look at the journey using a map or an online journey planner tool, such as the AA Route Planner, to see how long you’ll be travelling, as well as where you can stop for a rest.
READ MORE: The best staycation locations in the UK
If you’re looking at travelling abroad, make sure your passport is still in date and complies with the new regulations. Additionally, if you’re bringing your own caravan with you, make sure you’ve booked your ferry or Eurotunnel in advance. The Caravan Club has lots of important information about travelling overseas with a caravan, so make sure to take a look.
Blogger Nichola from the blog Curious Campers believes that you should always call up a campsite if you’re considering booking a holiday, as “Websites and brochures don’t always reflect everything you need to know about a campsite – always ring and check if something is important to you.
“We recently considered a trip with my grandparents. The site ‘looked’ great but when I called to double-check the helpful staff were quick to explain it was built across a range of sand dunes with undulating walking paths and less than flat roads. Not easy for a couple in their late 80s.”
What you’ll need
The beauty of a caravan holiday is that you have everything you need under one roof, including a kitchen. However, the space can soon become cramped, particularly if you’ve overpacked, so making sure you only bring the essentials is important.
Write a list before you begin packing as it means you can visualise how much luggage you’ll be bringing. If you’re travelling in a touring caravan, you should have a pretty good idea of what items you’ll need, as well as the amount of space you’re working with but when it comes to a static, it is easy to go overboard. Be methodical with your packing, and you’ll be able to travel light.
Starting with clothes and toiletries, these don’t need to deviate too much from your usual packing. Next, place any additional items that are a must when travelling. A caravan is a great alternative to a self-catering stay in a hotel, so think about the items you would use there. Washing up liquid, towels and tea bags should be top of the list, along with other non-perishable food bits.
READ MORE: What to pack when travelling in later life
If you’re booking a stay at a holiday park, email ahead and ask what the caravan is stocked with. This makes it easier to prevent packing doubles of kitchen utensils and bedding. We spoke to Nichola who shared her insight when it comes to packing for a caravan holiday: “Pack well. Sounds obvious? You’d be surprised how many times we’ve been caught out - dog food, tea bags, shoes! We now use a checklist. I’ve created my own, refined over many trips away.”
Nichola also let us know what things she would bring with her and told us that a slow cooker was top of the list. “Chop up your tea, chuck it in the pot and leave it to cook. There is nothing better than arriving home with hungry mouths to feed and all you’ll need to do is dish up (and breathe a sigh of relief).”
Nicola from Travelling with Boys also spoke a little more about the facilities you can expect on a caravan site: “Choose a caravan park that has lots of facilities. Many resorts have entertainment, indoor swimming pools, playgrounds, and onsite restaurants - making the holiday as exciting as possible for little ones. Pack for all weathers. Caravans can get extremely warm in the summer and super chilly when the temp drops. Pick as big as a berth as you can afford. For our family of four, we try to go for a 6-berth caravan so there's plenty of room for all the stuff we want to bring.”
If you’re planning a caravan holiday this year, take a look at this list of quick things to keep in mind before booking:
- Is it accessible?
- Does the campsite have everything you’ll need to be comfortable?
- Are you planning on travelling in a touring caravan or staying in a static?
- What sort of holiday do you want to have?
- Have you contacted the site to make sure it’s suitable for you?
- Have you packed everything you need?
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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.