Caravanning holidays. Caravaners. Caravans. Park homes. We’ve all heard the jokes, the jibes, the many and various putdowns. Caravanning just isn’t thought of as exciting or interesting or engaging in the way that many other forms of holidaying often are.
While camping has been updated with ‘glamping’ and backpacking has become an entirely new game thanks to the joys of the smartphone, Instagram, and of course GPS, caravanning feels like it is a throwback to a very different era of holidaying. But as with so many things we leave behind in the past, we ignore the wisdom of the ages at our peril. Despite being out of fashion, there’s still lots of advantages to caravanning. So before you completely shun the ways of the past, give these three things a think over…
For many of us, the thought of making friends while we’re on holiday is the ultimate idea of awful. Either all the interactions will be awkward and stilted beyond belief, or we’ll become so close and bonded that it will be extremely sad when the time comes to leave.
However, holidays are all about embracing new horizons, and we should be open to the serious possibility that maybe the experience will fall somewhere between those two extremes, and thus it might be worth our time to try something different. When you’re in a hotel, the experience is very much designed so that people can keep themselves to themselves, and no one will tread on anyone else’s shoes in the process. Yet with a caravanning holiday, while the aim isn’t community necessarily, it certainly can be the result much more often than adjoining rooms.
Caravans represent something of a wonderfully happy medium between the city-surrounded urban-cloyingness of your average hotel, and the visceral embrace of the wild touted by backpackers. When you look on the pages of providers like Allens Caravans, you see lush green spaces, wide open fields, and plenty of trees in all directions, yet it is also controlled and managed in a way that makes it comfortable, sensible, and manageable.
If this doesn’t seem like an immediate benefit, guess what? The science is in. Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, published a meta-paper examining 140 different studies from 290 million people. She said in Science Daily that “spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits. It reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration.”
So if you want green spaces, and all the health benefits that such things offer, but you don’t want to be packing and repacking your tent every night, maybe look over caravanning options in the near future.
You might be tempted to think, from the way some people talk dismissively about the subject, that a caravan park consists of nothing more than a wide green field, some sheds for the administrators, and a few cables and pipes to supply electricity and water. In reality however, there are so many more options available.
The biggest ones are sporting facilities, with track and field equipment of all kinds available in so many different settings. More and more parks are also equipped with swimming pools, to give people a nice lounging area in the heat of the summer, and many others even put on open-air film screenings, and outdoor dance parties. There is a certain culture that’s often been associated with such events, which is why in some people’s minds there is an entire subgenre of music known as ‘caravan pop’. If you’re not too cool for school to get down with Agadoo, then this could be something to enjoy, rather than escape.
Caravans do seem like something from the past, it’s true, but a closer examination will find something very much worth clinging onto. You might find that what you once thought of as irrelevant can, in fact, be as enjoyable as any good #ThrowbackThursday.
Have you been on a caravan holiday?
*This is a guest post