We have always camped. For years it has always been in tents but last year we decided it was time to upgrade to a caravan. Don’t get me wrong I love a tent but I was so tired of all the packing of bags and trying to organise the kit in the tent. We wanted to get abroad and simply cannot afford the prices; this seemed like the only way we could do it.
We love getting closer to nature, exploring lots of different places on a budget (after buying the caravan, of course) and not having to travel far to have fun. In fact, some of our best breaks we’ve had in our caravan have been less than an hour from home but of course it is wonderful that if you want to you can go abroad too.
If towing a caravan isn’t for you there are hundreds of static caravan parks to choose from around the UK and Europe where you can go and have everything ready for you. Or you could share a touring caravan with friends or family.
If you are thinking about a caravan break here is a few tips for you:
- Get the best layout to suit your needs.
This is one of the most important things to consider. It depends on what is important to you and the family. We really wanted twin beds at the back for the children and a bathroom in the middle so we don’t disturb them when they have gone to bed and it took some time to find a caravan with this particular layout but it works perfectly for us. Take time to work out exactly what you want from the caravan.
- Get an awning
This is a must for us. The space is perfect for storing bikes and bulky kit, and of course a more private outdoor space. Whilst abroad we spent a lot of time eating and socializing under the awning. If you have a small caravan it can be difficult to put the kids to bed and have a separate space for you in the evening, so an awning is a great solution. The kids will also love sleeping out there when they are a little older.
- Pack before you go (this is what for me makes a caravan better than a tent)
You can organise all the clothes in the wardrobes and cupboards as soon as you want. You can even keep clothes in the caravan all year if you wanted to. Pack all essentials and food. I tend to pick up things in the house and rather than leaving in a packing pile they just get thrown straight into the caravan
- Get a clothes line/ dryer
I know this sounds incredibly exciting! But honestly you don’t need loads of wet towels and swimming costumes, washing etc. hanging around inside the caravan much better to get it dried outside in the awning on a line
- Research family friendly campsites
We often stay on campsites with no electric hook up or facilities but sometimes it’s nice to have this close to hand, especially if you’re new to caravanning. There are lots of family friendly campsites in the UK and Europe that have electricity, toilet blocks, a club house, play parks and swimming pools, all included in the price of your nightly stay. Many of these sites are also located near the sea or great places to visit, so you’re never short of something to do whatever the weather.
We honestly did not know if we would enjoy having a caravan or not but we love it. I am counting down the days till we get back out into a field somewhere.
Melanie Chadd says
Great post. As kids, our family holidays used to be in static caravans and we loved it. It was usually in the same park, so a bit like coming home.
Thats it exactly Mel, Mother in law has a static one and the kids love going and it is very much like going home when we go.
Will Hawkins - Digital Editor, Caravan magazine says
That’s all great advice and reason enough for caravanning!
Choosing the right caravan for you is so important and it will change over time as your children grow.
You sound like you have a great time. Happy caravanning!
We love it Will. Counting down the days till the children break up from school. It means alot that the caravan magazine have picked up on this post. Pop me a message if I can help with any family based caravan topics. Huge Thanks
Plutonium Sox says
Ah this is brilliant, some fab advice. We love camping too but we’re still in a tent at the moment so we’re fair weather campers. I think we’ll go for a camper van rather than a caravan when we can afford it .