Wednesday, 6 March 2019

My Top Reasons for a Family Caravan Staycation

*This is a paid post in collaboration with Bailey of Bristol

With spring now very much in the air and summer being only a few short months away, it's that time of year where we start to think about our summer family travel plans for this year. Now the boys are getting bigger, we are starting to feel a little more adventurous with what we might like to plan, but equally, we are also mindful of how some types of holiday just might not be that easy anymore with two boisterous little boys. I think the days of sharing a single hotel room and tip-toeing to sit in the en-suite bathroom all evening are behind us. A week of that routine certainly doesn't make for fun or enjoyable evenings on holiday. We are therefore now trying to be a little more creative with how we plan our holidays, to find something which suits our routine, which allows us to seek adventure and to give us the chance to show the boys different places too.

As a family, we do love our sunshine holidays, but there is something I also really love about a staycation in the UK. There are so many beautiful places I would love to take the boys to, and for me, there's something about the idea of going away on a caravan holiday which really appeals to me, particularly with the boys at the ages they are now (3 and 5 years old). I've been on a few caravan holidays myself when I was younger, but we have yet to take the boys on their first caravan adventure. There are some fantastic caravans available now, such as the Bailey 6-berth caravan, perfect for a comfortable family break away, With that, I thought I'd share my top reasons why a caravan staycation could be a really good option for family holidays.

Explore the UK (and further afield...)
Caravan holidays are a great way to explore different parts of the UK (and further afield into Europe as well if you fancied a ferry ride). There are so many different camping and caravan sites to choose from and there is always something for everyone, whether you prefer the coast or a quieter stay in the countryside. After the initial outlay of buying the caravan, having a caravan also allows you to go on more affordable, frequent short holidays throughout the year, even in the colder months. It's also a great way of being able to go on a 3 or 4 day break without the commitment of a week long holiday.

Freedom and flexibility 
As I mentioned earlier, the idea of staying in a single hotel room with the boys and having to tip-toe around in the evening and sit scrolling on our phones in the en-suite while they fall asleep isn't our idea of fun. The flexibility of staying in a caravan really appeals to me. You are able to set and follow your own routine, which is always a bonus if you have young children who like their routine at home. I love the idea of being able to sit and enjoy a relaxed BBQ while the boys run around and play outside, and then come bedtime, they can climb into the caravan while the grown ups sit and relax right outside the door. Bliss.

Cost effective
While there is obviously an initial outlay with buying a caravan (there are options for a range of budgets), caravan holidays can be a really cost effective option for family holidays. Camping and caravan sites offer pitches at a fraction of the cost of a hotel per night, and obviously there are no expensive flights to pay for. Obviously self-catering means you're in control of the cost of food and drink too.

Whether you're a holiday maker who likes to make friends with neighbouring holiday makers (or in my case not so much) or whether you're planning a group holiday with friends or family, caravan holidays can be really sociable, particularly for children. It's a great way for them to be able to run about and play, meet other children, cycle around the site on their bikes or sit outside and eat ice lollies and sweets together. For the grown ups, its a great way of sitting and enjoying a few drinks and a BBQ together, particularly if you're in neighbouring pitches, where you can share facilities and catering responsibilities.

Quality time with no screens
I'm not sure what wifi is like these days on camping and caravan sites, but when we went in our caravan when I was younger, there were definitely no TVs and "screen time" wasn't even a thing yet! Being in a caravan is a really good way of having a screen time detox, and getting back to basics. If it's raining, it's a really good opportunity for some quality family time with a few board games, or to sit and draw, play cards or read books.

It's an adventure for kids
I know 100% my two boys would absolutely love the idea of staying in a caravan, and the whole trip in itself is a huge adventure, from towing it on the back of the car, to the excitement of finding the caravan site, setting up the awning and going off the explore the site and discover the shop. It has all the sense of adventure and excitement of staying in a tent without the hassle and discomfort of staying in a tent if that makes sense?!

It's a home from home
One of the biggest advantages of going on a family holiday in a caravan is that you can take all your home comforts with you, from the kids' bedding and pillows, to toys and games, even food and kitchen accessories... a real home from home. What's more, there's no limit to what you can take and certainly no restrictions on liquids or faffing around with miniature toiletries! The interiors and layouts of caravans have come on in leaps and bounds since I last stayed in one (I'll add, it was a very tiny, retro 1970s caravan, complete with one of those canvas hammock beds!). If the weather isn't great, there are no worries about sitting in a soggy tent, just all hop into the caravan, snuggle under a duvet together and play a few board games or watch a film together.

So those are my top reasons for opting for a caravan staycation. I really think our boys would find a caravan holiday such an adventure and I look forward to planning a little holiday with them somewhere. Here are some of our adventures from staycations around the UK, which have been some of my absolute favourite holidays with the boys, and I can't wait to go on more, hopefully someday soon on a caravan adventure...

Have you been on a caravan holiday with your kids? Is it something you'd fancy trying? I'd love to know if you've been on a caravan staycation, drop me some top tips in the comments below!

*Sponsored post



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