Choosing a holiday is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. You have worked hard all year and now it’s time to take a well-earned rest – but with so much choice of caravan sites and UK holiday parks around which do you choose?
Here are our top things to consider when making your choice:-
The big holiday choice – where to go! Do we try a beach holiday, countryside, north, south, east or west of the British Isles the list could go on. Choosing where to go camping or caravanning in the UK and the time of year can all affect your choice of location.
If you are after a short break – just travelling a couple of hours in the car is enough to make you feel like you are actually going on holiday.
Head towards the south west and you will have plenty of choice throughout Devon, Dorset and Cornwall – and some of the best beaches in the country. Fancy something perhaps a bit quieter then why not go east and try some of the parks around the famous Norfolk Broads – you certainly won’t be disappointed.
If you are looking for a holiday where you can do lots of walking and sightseeing then why not try Wales or the North of England they have some of the most stunning scenery.
Choosing when to go can make a big difference to your stay, although we can’t always guarantee the British weather. Most holiday parks start their season around the end of March and then stay open right the way through until the end of October. However, at lot more are now staying open all year round to cater for the visitors that want to enjoy a staycation.
Typically most holiday parks are busy during the school holidays with half term breaks and the summer proving to be very popular. But with more people able to take holidays at short notice – you will find some great deals if you are able to be a little bit flexible with your dates.
April through August we have the longer nights so there is plenty more daylight to enjoy the great outdoors. However, have you ever experienced Christmas in a caravan or park lodge? A number of our BoB parks are open over the Christmas holidays and staying on one over the festive season can be very special indeed.
Think about the accommodation amenities you are going to need – particularly if you have young or elderly people in your group. All of our BoB parks will have disabled access and baby essentials like cots etc. – but double check with the park before you go if you have any specific requirements for your stay.
Most caravans and park homes will be kitted out with a fully fitted kitchen along with cooker, fridge, crockery, saucepans and basic utensils that you will need for the number in your group. But if you don’t fancy slaving over a hot stove all holiday check to see what eateries are available on the park and any local pubs nearby.
Ask at the park reception if you want somewhere a bit special to celebrate a birthday for example – they will be happy to share their local knowledge.
A lot of holiday accommodation now comes with an outdoor space that is allocated to you; the perfect place where the kids can play safely or somewhere where you can set up the BBQ and sit with a glass of wine of an evening and relax.
Don’t forget to pack an extra couple of fold-out chairs if you have a larger party.
Not everyone wants to sit back and relax on holiday so having lots of things to do (whatever the weather) is a big bonus on holiday. Most parks will list their facilities on their website- from swimming pools, gyms, sports facilities, kids clubs and even crèches.
Don’t forget to pack a few things that can be used as a fancy dress costume for the little ones around Halloween and during the main summer holidays as there is usually lots of entertainment going on during those weeks.
If you are a dog lover, going on a camping trip wouldn’t be the same without taking your favourite pooch with you too.
Almost all of the Best of British holiday parks welcome responsible dog owners on their campsite and provide dog-friendly facilities such as dedicated dog walking areas. Check with the holiday park reception for details of local dog walks and any beach restrictions.
Although most holiday parks will have a well-stocked shop there are some things (like a pharmacy) that you might need to pop to the local town for.
Your park reception will have all the details for local medical centres, dentists, and a vet should you need one.
No one wants to hear the phrase – “Oh Mum, I’m bored!” So having a list of local attractions and things to do up your sleeve before you go will help keep the whole family entertained during your stay.
Check with reception to see if there are any special offers or deals they have going with the park. Why not register yourself on Groupon for special discounts or check to see if your Tesco vouchers can be used against your entry fee ;0)
If you need to be on hand to grab work emails or just catch up on the local news and sport – having access to WiFi is going to be quite high on your holiday check list. Not all parks offer WiFi in your park home so you may need to pop up to the bar or reception in order to grab a signal.
Ensuring you have enough room during your stay is going to be important as no-one wants to feel claustrophobic on holiday. Don’t just consider the number of beds and sleeping arrangements; check there is enough room for you all to sit down during meal times.
Every once in a while it is good to spoil yourself – and why not do that on holiday. Many parks will offer upgrade options such as WiFi in your lodge or cable TV. Hot tubs are very popular with guests these days – so why not treat yourself and upgrade your accommodation to include a tub.
If you are booking early or late in the year it is worth checking if all the facilities on the park, and attractions near to it are open when you want to make your trip. I remember taking a trip to the southwest late one October – had a great time but found out that lots of the local attractions closed on the 31st. One very disappointed child for the remainder of the week ;0(.
It’s the little things that count when booking a holiday, so taking the time to consider all the points above carefully should ensure you have the best holiday break.