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How We Got Into Caravan Holidays: A Case Study

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 8 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Caravan Holiday Hotel Camping Facilities

I’d really never considered a caravan holiday. To me, caravans had always just been annoyances on the roads, slowing up traffic and forcing you to dart around them to overtake. It seemed crazy to haul a caravan to a site and set it up next to a load of other caravans. That wasn’t a real holiday. A proper holiday meant getting away to somewhere hot, with a good beach, where you could come back with the kind of tan that showed you’d really been away.

But all that was before I was made redundant. Suddenly, the flow of money that had been around for years was turned off, and we had no choice but to economise. One of the first things to go was the idea of a holiday abroad – it was simply too expensive to consider. But we did still want to get away, to take the kids somewhere for a week. I wasn’t going camping, and we were hoping for something cheaper than a hotel, so renting a caravan began to seem more attractive than it had before.

Renting A Caravan

Look on the notice boards in supermarkets, and the chances are you’ll find someone advertising a caravan for rent on the coast. At least, that was how my wife found ours. I rang the owner, we went over and they showed us photographs, not just of the caravan itself, inside and out, but also the area close to Filey where it was parked. It was better than I’d imagined, more spacious, but I can’t say I was thrilled.

My wife was, however, and said it would be good for the kids, so I agreed, and we took the place for a week right after school finished for the summer. My family was happy we’d be going somewhere; I was dubious.

The Caravan Experience

The directions to the site weren’t the best, so it was just as well that I had my Satnav; I took that as a bad omen, along with the overcast skies on the Yorkshire coast. But we found the place, parked, and moved our gear into the caravan.

I had to admit, it was a nice place. There was a shower, toilet, small kitchen, a reasonable seating area, and – by moving things around a little – enough sleeping space. We wouldn’t have the privacy we’d have with us in one hotel room and the kids next door, but it was fine for a week.

We’d brought food, and the owner had given me instructions for turning on the water and electricity. Once that was done and we sat down with a cup of tea, things seemed a lot better. The skies had cleared, and a short walk showed some beautiful scenery we could explore.

Was Life In A Caravan Good?

For the rest of the week we thought of the caravan as a base. We did a lot of walking, and took the car up the coast as far as Whitby and Sandsend, enjoyed ourselves and relaxed a lot. Whilst the caravan didn’t quite feel like home, it was definitely a lot better than camping.

It brought us closer together – the kids couldn’t escape to their rooms to go online or watch TV. We were together all the time, and that meant doing more things together, which proved to be very enjoyable. To be honest, we didn’t watch much television, but talked and played plenty of games. The facilities were good enough, certainly for a short period, and we all slept well – although whether that was due to comfortable beds or the sea air, I’m not sure.

No, it wasn’t a hotel, but it was fun, and I liked it, if I’m being completely honest. Would I do it again? Yes, without a doubt. It wasn’t expensive, the caravan itself was fine (and some others we saw on the site were far more luxurious), and we had a good time. When all’s said and done, can you ask more than that?

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We've been big fans of caravan holidays for years. I remember going on one with my parents when I was little and it seemed pretty awful, like a week in a tin can. But newer caravans are more like houses, with plenty of luxuries and they don't even seem that cramped. Bought one a few years ago and it gives real freedom to fo where you want, when you want.
Julian - 31-May-12 @ 9:31 AM
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