Winter isn’t often the first time of year that springs to mind when considering a caravanning Christmas holiday. And there’s good reason for this: the roads are treacherous, the weather frightful, and the opportunities for traditional caravanning activities few and far between.
But who says a caravan holiday need stick with tradition? The entire point of owning a caravan is that you’re free to jump into the driver’s seat of your car and tow your home-away-from-home to whichever corner of the globe you see fit – and at whichever time you deem fit.
It’s more than possible to go on a caravanning holiday at Christmas – and have a great time while doing so. But it’s necessary to think carefully about the potential pitfalls one might encounter on the way, and take steps to avoid them. Let’s take a look at some tips for the occasion.
When you first book a holiday in a static caravan, you’ll likely be asked to provide a security deposit – which is there to cover any damage you inflict on the caravan during your stay. If you emerge on the other side of Christmas without having damaged the caravan, this deposit will likely be refunded in full within a few weeks of the end of your stay. Some security deposits offer less leeway than others, however, and so it’s worth checking with the site operator exactly what strings are attached.
If you’re not taking your own caravan, then it’s risky to assume that the caravan you end up sleeping in will be able to accommodate small children. It’s therefore wise to check before setting out – that way you won’t end up arriving at the site only to find your child has nowhere to sleep. Since making alternative arrangements at the last minute will be difficult, it’s best to plan for this eventuality well ahead of time.
By the same token, not all caravan sites will adopt the same policy toward pets. If you arrive onsite with your pet dog in tow, you might find that you’re not allowed to bring it in. Check that your site accepts dogs well in advance, and if you find you can’t take yours, make alternative arrangements to have your dog looked after over the season. Some sites might take a dim view of dogs being allowed inside the caravan – even if they’ll allow you to bring them onsite. But winter is a time when dogs won’t want to be tied up outside the caravan, and sharing a caravan with a dog might be unpleasant.
At this time of year, the grounds of a caravan site will be a great deal muddier than they might be throughout the rest of the year. Since you won’t want to be confined to your caravan for the entirety of your stay, you’ll want to pack the footwear you’ll need to walk around the site. A standard pair of shoes just won’t do when there are deep puddles and muck everywhere – especially when it’s dark and you’re unable to see where you’re walking. Pack a pair of wellington boots, and you’ll be able to get around without worrying about sullying your new Christmas socks.
Daylight hours on a campsite during winter are not plentiful. But since the campsite will be mostly designed to accommodate the needs of its peak-season customers, the lighting might not be sufficient to cover the whole camp. Consequently, you’ll need to bring your own torch with you – one that’s small and powerful enough to be relied upon when you’re returning to your caravan in the dark. The torch that you’ll find on your phone simply won’t cut it!
Over the Christmas period, all of the shops will be closed – and so tracking down essentials like toilet roll might prove extremely tricky. The last thing you want to happen is for such essentials to run out shortly after the entire family has devoured their Christmas dinner. Be sure to prepare well, and thereby avoid this undesirable scenario!
You’ll want to bring along plenty of entertainment for any caravanning holiday – since playing games with your fellow caravaners is an enormously important part of what makes a caravan holiday so appealing. This is especially so for your Christmas holiday as it falls in the Winter, when the daylight hours will be fewer, and the opportunities for entertainment outside the caravan less plentiful.
Popular forms of entertainment, naturally, come in the form of video games. Be sure that your caravan comes equipped with a TV with the appropriate HDMI socket. Some modern game systems and games require connection to an internet line in order to download updates and play online multiplayer – so see whether yours works without the internet before you set out.
Of course, part of the fun of a caravan holiday is a board game. Fortunately, there are more types of board game available now than there ever have been. From classics like Monopoly and Risk to more modern favourites like Pandemic, there’s no shortage of available options. If you’re going to opt for a quiz-style game like Trivial Pursuit, then be sure to choose a version containing questions that the younger members of your household might understand.
If a caravan site boasts a great deal of on-site entertainment, then it might offer a two-tier system to guests – if you’re willing to pay a little bit extra, you might be granted a park pass, which will allow you to enjoy not only a stay in your caravan, but some of the other activities available. In winter, some of these activities might not be on – but on the other hand, the price of admission might be relaxed a little to help encourage demand. Be sure to investigate the various options available in the park you intend to stay with, and consider whether it might be worth the price of an upgrade.
Provided that you’ve taken the steps necessary to prepare for the trip, a Christmas caravan holiday can be a great way to spend the season. Why not book yours today?