With summer fast approaching, the realists among us will leave the weather forecasters to their failings and jet off to sunnier climes. However, after several consecutive years of torrential washouts, the odds dictate that we must be in for some decent weather this time around. Here’s hoping the barbecue summer, predicted for last year, was merely postponed. Coming out of tough economic times many of us won’t be able to afford the luxury of a holiday abroad. But what do people do when they holiday at home?
They caravan of course! To many of you this will seem like a suggestion made of complete lunacy. “They’re the bane of the motoring lover’s life!” I hear you cry. I’m sure all of us have had the displeasure of being stuck behind a queue of traffic following a caravan crawling along at a snail’s pace. Of course, bank holiday weekends tend to make them proliferate quicker than flying ants, except not as easily swatted. But stop and think about it for just a moment. Why do so many people risk the derision of every other motorist on the road for their beloved caravan trips? There must be something in it.
The caravanning holiday was something explored to great comedic effect on Top Gear with Clarkson and co managing to wreak havoc in a caravan park, eventually setting fire to their vehicle (inadvertently, of course). The point is those guys just didn’t want to even try and get it. They had their preconceptions and couldn’t shake them off. They looked at the wrong cross section of the caravanning public, for a start.
Some owners enthuse about their motor homes as much classic car owners do about their minis and MGs. But don’t visit the website of the British Caravan Owners Club; it may just serve to reinforce already negative stereotypes!
So, you may ask, what are the benefits of caravanning? Why do they do it?
Freedom is the biggest benefit. A caravan or motorhome can take you absolutely anywhere you want to go, and at the drop of a hat. Sure, you can do this in a car but can you have a decent night’s sleep in it? If you’re like Clarkson you may argue that you can stay in a hotel like normal people, but at what extra cost? How much would it cost to travel the length and breadth of the country booking into hotels along the way? And being bound to the location and rules of a hotel takes away some of the freedom that caravanning gives you. This also highlights the second benefit: it can be cost effective. It’s like having all the glories of camping without waking up with a beetle crawling up your nose.
If that wasn’t enough, these days you don’t even have to own your own caravan! There are many companies that provide motorhome hire and to find the best you want to visit erento.co.uk. The website basically compiles a list of companies providing motorhome hire. You can browse through models of motorhome, compare prices, and find the location of a firm close to you. You can tailor your search based on any requirement. You need not be tied to caravanning in Great Britain in either. Erento provides details for motorhome hire across America, parts of Europe and Australia. Just submit your enquiry for availability and they’ll do the legwork for you.
Once you have your caravan, the world is your oyster. If you want to find traditional caravanning parks in England, you can visit www.enjoyengland.com and search for parks in parts of the country that interest you. While you’re here, you can take a look at all the attractions that England has to offer and perhaps you never knew existed. You can do the same for Scotland, at visitscotland.com, Ireland, at discoverireland.com and Wales, at visitwales.co.uk.
So to conclude, why do they do it? The answers are just as obvious as you may think. It’s merely that the negatives are so ingrained in popular culture it becomes difficult to see past them. After all, those who criticise are often the ones stuck behind the caravan and not those driving it. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!