Static caravan holidays have been a UK favourite for many years and here at Allens Caravans, we like to think we know a lot about them. With over 80 years of experience, we have pioneered the UK’s caravan park industry and this guide is everything we’ve learnt during that time.
We will work through all the aspects that make up a great static caravan holiday, from researching to arrival. Bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you need.
Planning your static caravan holiday is the most exciting part of the whole experience. The very nature of caravan parks, their varying locations and available facilities mean your getaway can be as rustic or as luxurious as you want. The preparation step of the caravan holiday process is where you get to decide exactly what your holiday will include, so let’s get started!
Understanding exactly what you want from your holiday is incredibly important if you want to enjoy every moment of it. A great static caravan holiday can fulfil every one of your needs, it’s just a matter of deciding on what those needs are. Let’s work through some of the most common reasons for a holiday:
Many people choose to go on a caravan holiday because they want a peaceful and relaxing alternative to the hectic, loud and crowded all-inclusive holidays that a lot of people enjoy. There are two main features you’ll want to look out for if this is your desire. Firstly, smaller caravan parks with fewer residents are bound to be quieter and secondly, some caravan parks have curfews or quiet policies, which is perfect if you want some peace.
Some holidaymakers prefer to spend their caravan break enjoying new experiences and exploring. These are those people that leave during the morning and come back in the evening, using their caravan just to sleep in before continuing their adventures the next day. If this is you then you don’t need to concern yourself too much with the park facilities; instead, focus on checking what activities and attractions are available in the surrounding area.
On the flip side, there are people who prefer to relax during their holiday, avoiding activities and just staying within the caravan park instead. If you feel like you fit in this category, then focus your search on what facilities a park has within arm’s reach. Many static caravan parks have lots of different amenities available from launderettes to restaurants; so, if you don’t want to travel too far during your stay, then try to stay focused on these in-house facilities and what they can offer you.
Friends or No Friends?
Many people recommend going on a caravan holiday with friends and for good reason! A big part of the caravan holiday park experience is the community and shared enjoyment; having your friends next-door only amplifies the fun being had. However, holidaying with friends does mean that more people’s desires must be considered when making decisions, so keep this in mind.
After deciding how you will best enjoy your holiday, you should have a good idea of what you want from your static caravan holiday. This goal will be the deciding factor when choosing your location but it’s still too broad to make the choice easy, so let’s take a look at some of the most common requirements that holidaymakers need to consider.
If you’re thinking about bringing your pet on holiday, then it’s important that you keep in mind both their needs and the rules of the holiday park. Many holiday parks completely forbid pets, whilst others encourage you to bring them but keep pets such as dogs on a lead. Similarly, sometimes specific caravans permit pets and others do not, it’s all about researching what’s available and what isn’t.
Every caravan and caravan park will come with different amenities and facilities. Maybe you’re looking for a quiet holiday, free from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? In this case, you wouldn’t want to go to a holiday park with lots of playgrounds and an outdoor pool, as the likelihood of children being present is significantly higher. Alternatively, maybe you intend to spend most of your time in the caravan park as opposed to exploring, in which case ensuring there is a shop nearby as well as other social facilities, like a community centre or bar, is hugely important.
Leaving the non-essential amenities behind, think about the home comforts you simply can’t live without. Do you need a launderette to keep your clothes clean, or are you happy hand washing? Do you need an oven for most of your cooking, or is a hob enough? These are the questions to consider and research before making a decision.
When selecting your holiday location, be sure to check the activities available in the surrounding area! Most caravan parks are based in areas of outstanding natural beauty, leaving some incredible new nature-based adventures within arm’s reach. Similarly, there are also some beautifully quaint villages and outstanding natural history around too; try creating a rough list of places you’d like to go and activities that interest you.
Environment and Area
As previously mentioned, environment and proximity to natural spaces is a big part of the static caravan holiday lifestyle. Understanding the environment around your desired holiday location is an essential part of the preparatory process. If you’re looking for some romantic beach strolls, then obviously your holiday park will need to be near the coast. Similarly, Welsh caravan parks usually have large hills and mountains that make hiking incredibly enjoyable. Do a little research on the surrounding area and you never know what you might uncover.
Are the features of your caravan, as well as the amenities offered in the caravan park itself, child-friendly? Furthermore, are you well prepared for your caravan holiday with your children? It’s obviously very important to consider how your children will be entertained. Make sure to look out for appropriate activities in the area and for particularly young minds, consider whether your caravan is child proof. Are the hobs easy to reach? Is there a soft flooring? How easy is it for the caravan door to be opened? If you’re unsure, you can always contact the operator of the static caravan you’re hiring, or bring along your own safety solutions like portable stair gates.
Above all else, a static caravan park should be secure and safe. Most parks will have dedicated on-site staff and security, whilst particularly large ones might include security barriers and roaming patrols. Decide what will make you feel secure during your holiday and then don’t compromise on that requirement.
After you have found the perfect location, it’s time to select a caravan. Depending on the nature of your holiday, what amenities you require and where you’re going, the right caravan for you will differ; however, there are still a few key features to consider for all.
Obviously, size is massively important when picking out your caravan. Not only is having a little space more comfortable but it makes other important household activities easy, like hanging clothes to dry or cooking a meal. Most companies will use the number of beds as a guide for size but if you want specific figures, contact the park and they will likely give you all the information you need.
Most static caravan holiday providers will include some sort of rating system to differentiate their caravan offering. This could be based on user reviews or package prices, it all depends on that individual business. Most of the time, a higher rating indicates improved facilities or increased space, so if you have more room in your budget, consider upgrading for some extra comfort.
Whilst different parks have different rules on pets, so do different caravans. Often, due to the materials used in the caravan or for other less obvious reasons, some caravans permit pet residency and others do not. Keep this in mind when bringing your animal companion along with you.
Depending on the time of year, heating can be incredibly important to make the most of your caravan holiday experience. Usually, increasing the rating of your caravan can improve the heating on offer but as a general rule, you should always check on where and how your caravan is heated – if at all.
Now that you’ve done the hard work in picking a location, finding a caravan and booking, it’s time to prepare for what’s coming. In all aspects of the preparation, be sure to keep in mind what the aim of your caravan holiday is and what you’ll need to enjoy yourself.
Packing is a make-or-break moment for any holiday. If you forget something essential or miss out on the perfect outfit for a special occasion, all it does is frustrate you when you’re meant to be enjoying yourself! To try and avoid this happening, we’ve brought together the absolute must-haves during your caravan holiday.
It all depends on the time of year, the location and the specific holiday caravan that you’re staying in, but the key phrase here is ‘dress appropriately’! Despite the natural beauty here in the UK countryside, many holiday parks in Wales and beyond can get very windy and rainy all year round. As a rule, always include a warm coat and some waterproofs – preferably some wellies too just in case. This should help you adapt to whatever the weather throws at you.
On a side note, bringing extra blankets is also a great way on ensuring you’ll be warm after a walk. Even thin ones can make a difference!
The majority of static caravans have limited kitchen equipment, sometimes featuring just a hob, kettle and cutlery. Be sure to bring some saucepans if you think you will be cooking while away as well as any utensils that you suspect your caravan will be missing. Other than this, your accommodation should be fully equipped.
Again, depending on the specific caravan that you’re staying in, bathrooms can vary in size and supply. Regardless of your bathroom situation, it’s always a good idea to bring a few extra towels – especially because the weather can be quite volatile. Try to pick out thin towels so that they dry quickly outside.
Whilst most static caravan parks have a shop on site or nearby, bringing food from home is the only way to be sure of what you have available. The key to saving space, time and hassle is to bring ingredients for simple and easy one-pot meals. Particularly if you’re staying with a family, space inside the caravan can be limited, so spending forty minutes cooking a complicated meal might feel much more draining than in your own kitchen. Keep it simple to lower your stress levels.
Most people travel to their selected holiday park via car for ease of packing, simplicity and a more direct route. Saying that there is definitely a case to be made for travelling to your caravan holiday location via public transport instead. Just be sure to investigate and plan ahead because many caravan parks are in very rural, very scenic areas that can be difficult to access without a car.
This is easily one of the most overlooked aspects of the preparation process.
It’s assumed that most caravan parks look after themselves and that all the activities are self-contained but this isn’t entirely accurate. Whilst most caravan parks do have lots of facilities and activities, there is always more to discover in the area surrounding the park, too. Whether you’re interested in natural beauty, historical sites or just quaint villages, there’s bound to be something suitable in the vicinity of your chosen park; make sure that before leaving, you research what’s going on in the local area. Maybe make a plan of what you might like to do each day to be sure you squeeze it all in – but don’t forget your downtime, too!
Similarly, many caravan parks host their own seasonal events, so be sure to investigate these too.
We have also put together some of our top tips for a great caravan holiday. These aren’t necessarily ‘rules’ to follow, merely suggestions that we’ve learnt during our many years running caravan parks:
Static caravans are known to be quaint, small and cosy; which is exactly what makes them practical for holiday parks. However, this does mean you might not have as much space as you might have otherwise. Most caravans simply don’t have ample storage solutions. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to keep your packing under control. Pack light; or at least maintain a moderate level of items, otherwise, you’ll find yourself stuck in a sea of your own belongings.
Get involved in the caravan park community! One of the most desirable aspects of the traditional static caravan holiday is how friendly people are with each other. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with others, particularly if it’s your first time in that particular holiday park and if you’re unsure about the rules.
In fact, community rules should always be considered during your holiday. There are a variety of common courtesy rules that people tend to follow, such as no late-night music. These particular guidelines fall more into the category of etiquette than rules – just be sure to brush up on what’s expected in your particular destination.
Most caravans will have a very simple kitchen set-up. One to two hobs, a sink and sometimes a kettle; though it varies from caravan to caravan. Universally, it’s best to stick to single pot, easy to cook recipes during your stay to save you the hassle of lots of washing up. Consider investing in a one-pot cookbook and practising some meals to see what you enjoy, then bring along the ingredients and utensils. This tactic will also save you packing space as you won’t need so many cooking utensils, pans or general kitchen gear.
With any luck, this guide will have helped you and made you even more excited about your upcoming static caravan holiday. If you’re looking for more tips, information or advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch and our experts will be happy to help.