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The popularity of touring caravan holidays

Some people might tell you that the heyday of caravan holidays in the UK were the decades running from the end of the 1940s through to around the earlier 1970s.

Some people might tell you that the heyday of touring caravan holidays in the UK were the decades running from the end of the 1940s through to around the earlier 1970s. In the austere days after the Second World War, the attractions of overall low-cost holidays meant that statics, caravan parks and holiday camps, were the mainstay of much British holiday making.

Whilst it is true that the advent of mass tourism to the Mediterranean in the 1960s and 1970s dented popularity of the holiday caravan somewhat, things have changed significantly over more recent times.

Why is this?

Value for money

The financial and economic traumas that started in 2007 caused many people to look again at how to get out in the open air and have fun but without paying a fortune for that privilege. And, in recent years, worries over Brexit has pushed up the price of holidays overseas. There’s little doubt that the decline in value of Sterling against the Euro and dollar since 2016 has been a major factor.

By contrast, that drive up the motorway to Scotland or across to Cornwall, is looking much more financially attractive – and easier.

That is why staycations and caravanning have enjoyed a resurgence – especially among the Millennials.

British resorts / sites have learned lessons

Going way back to the 1970s, one reason increasing numbers of British holidaymakers fled overseas each year for their holiday break was not only the advent of cheap flights but also the rather indifferent state of many British resorts. Some, including some touring caravan sites, hadn’t really done much to improve their facilities since the 1950s – and that carried on even into the 80s and 90s.

All that now has changed though. Huge sums have been spent in the past 20 years in order to bring UK touring campsites and holiday parks up to 21st century standards. Now the facilities are often excellent and designed with the caravan communities needs in mind rather than just expediency. There are plenty of holiday parks offering electric pitches as well as luxury touring caravan sites with on-site bars and restaurants if you don’t fancy preparing your own food.

A re-discovery of the UK

The UK has scenery and natural beauty and many attractions that compares very favourably with any major holiday destination in the world.

In past decades, going abroad for a holiday was trendy and fashionable. Today, that’s less so and people are re-discovering the beauty and grandeur of their own country and all it can offer. It has been said that some British holidaymakers were more familiar with the geography of Spain or France than they were that of the UK.

That looks to be changing, what with the UK offering a beautiful coast line, quaint inland villages and forests, theme parks and even caravan adventure holidays!

The weather

This is, of course, an old chestnut and one that can’t be ignored.

Nobody is ever going to pretend that the UK is likely to have a reliable Mediterranean summer. What might be called “iffy” weather is always a possibility.

However, two factors in recent years are reducing these concerns:

  • climate change is leading to typically warmer summers;
  • UK resorts and caravan sites are simply much better prepared to offer poor weather entertainment than they were say a decade or more ago.

So, if you get the odd rainy day, it’s not a disaster. In fact, there are touring pitches that stay open all year round and aren’t seasonal – because today’s innovative touring caravans means you’ll be warm and cosy whatever the weather.

The staycation

Touring caravan holidays are not only are they cost-effective but their very nature had changed massively since those far-off days of the 1950s etc.

Today, many contain all modern facilities and are fully connected to mains services. Some are equipped to designer-level and there are some holiday parks based in some wonderful UK locations, from Cornwall to Yorkshire and everything in between (and beyond).

Understandably, people began to move back into these traditional holidays and that trend continues.

Here are some great reasons why choosing a touring holiday may be appropriate for you:

  1. the cost. In today’s cost-conscious environment, why pay more for a holiday if you have to? Either taking your own tourer, hiring one, or staying in a static caravan means you can enjoy all the benefits of luxury accommodation (yes, caravans nowadays really can be luxurious) without a hefty price tag;
  2. you can get multiple breaks in your ‘van, whether you visit stay at touring caravans parks near a bay on the coast or inland camping UK sites;
  3. freedom. Caravan holidays give you lots of freedom, whether you are hitting the open road in a tourer, pitching up at a holiday park or staying in a static home. If you don’t like your destination, in the case of a tourer, you can simply move on!
  4. you can be spontaneous! Fancy a weekend away? Then get in your touring caravan and go! (You may need to check that your chosen touring caravan sites are open and whether they have seasonal pitches);
  5. a touring caravan holiday means you have your very own home from home on wheels. No worries about cramming everything you need for your holiday into a suitcase, then paying baggage fees at the airport. You can simply pile everything you need in to your tourer and off you go – no weight limits and no hassle!
  6. you can do what you want, when you want. Unlike if you stay in a hotel, where you may have set mealtimes, in your touring caravan, you are in control of the food. You can cook when you want, or eat out if you prefer, without being tied to the hotel timetable. People with children may particularly enjoy this freedom;
  7. going abroad on holiday in your tourer is easy enough to do. As long as you have continental cover and know the legal driving requirements of the country you are visiting (for example, in France, you are required to carry a breathalyser kit in your vehicle), Europe is your oyster!
  8. using a tourer to get around on holiday means you may see parts of the continent that might simply not be accessible from traditional package tours;
  9. perhaps the best thing about staying in a caravan is that in the unfortunate event that it does rain, there is nothing that quite beats the feeling of being cosy in your tourer, hearing the pitter patter of raindrop on the caravan rooftop!

Caravanning and a caravan holiday really can be a fun, rewarding experience. If you are one of the few people who haven’t yet tried it, maybe your next holiday could be the one where you do!

Some people might tell you that the heyday of caravan holidays in the UK were the decades running from the end of the 1940s through to around the earlier 1970s.

In those austere days, the attractions of overall low-cost holidays meant that statics, tourers and holiday camps, were the mainstay of much British holiday making.

Whilst it is true that the advent of mass tourism to the Mediterranean in the 1960s and 1970s dented popularity of the holiday caravan somewhat, things have changed significantly over more recent times.

Why is this?

The staycation

The financial and economic traumas that started in 2007 caused many people to look again at how to get out in the open air and have fun but without paying a fortune for that privilege.

Focus switched rapidly to caravans because not only are they cost-effective but their very nature had changed massively since those far-off days of the 1950s etc.

Today, many contain all modern facilities and are fully connected to mains services.  Some are equipped to designer-level and are based in some wonderful UK locations.

So, understandably, people began to move back into these traditional holidays and that trend continues.

Here are some great reasons why choosing a touring holiday may be appropriate for you:

  1. the cost. In today’s cost-conscious environment, why pay more for a holiday if you have to? Either taking your own tourer, hiring one, or staying in a static caravan means you can enjoy all the benefits of luxury accommodation (yes, caravans nowadays really can be luxurious) without a hefty price tag;
  2. freedom. Caravan holidays give you lots of freedom, whether you are hitting the open road in a tourer, or staying in a static home. If you don’t like your destination, in the case of a tourer, you can simply move on!
  3. caravan living means you have your very own home from home on wheels. No worries about cramming everything you need for your holiday into a suitcase, then paying baggage fees at the airport. You can simply pile everything you need in to your tourer and off you go – no weight limits and no hassle!
  4. you can do what you want, when you want. Unlike if you stay in a hotel, where you may have set mealtimes, in your caravan, you are in control. You can cook when you want, or eat out if you prefer, without being tied to the hotel timetable. People with children may particularly enjoy this freedom;
  5. going abroad in your tourer is easy enough to do. As long as you have continental cover and know the legal driving requirements of the country you are visiting (for example, in France, you are required to carry a breathalyser kit in your vehicle), Europe is your oyster!
  6. using a tourer to get around means you may see parts of the continent that might simply not be accessible from traditional package tours;
  7. perhaps the best thing about staying in a caravan is that in the unfortunate event that it does rain, there is nothing that quite beats the feeling of being cosy in your tourer, hearing the pitter patter of raindrop on the caravan rooftop!

Caravanning really can be a fun, rewarding experience. If you are one of the few people who haven’t yet tried it, maybe your next holiday could be the one where you do!