The Handbook
The Handbook

Britain’s thirst for a summer holiday is forcing us to look closer to home with staycations set to be the vacation of choice for 2020. But are we willing to go one step further and bring back the caravan? We take a look that the unlikely trend, loved by celebrities and millennials, that’s supposedly making a comeback.

To quote Will from The Inbetweeners, caravaning is nothing more than “a sense of shitting in a bucket in a cupboard … in England… with your parents!” 

Granted, a long weekend in NYC or two weeks in Sri Lanka sounds more up our street, but according to some, the great British pursuit favoured by our grandparents is about to come back and, apparently, it’s cooler than ever. Not convinced? Here are seven reasons to consider a week in a home on wheels…

  1. Millennials have said it is, so it is

It’s always good to take statistics with a rather large pinch of salt, but according to Auto Trader, 33% of those planning a staycation this summer would consider staying in a caravan.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the popularity of rented holiday apartments and houses is set to fall behind caravans and hotels post-COVID-19 and chances are if you’re reading this, they mean you. Yep, it’s millennials (25-34 year-olds specifically and the majority of The Handbook readers) that are driving the trend for caravan-based staycations.

When surveyed, a massive “40% of this age group said they would consider staying in a caravan in the UK this summer – more than any other age group,” A spokesperson for the brand claimed.

Whether millennials are really that keen on the idea or not, with festival season cancelled and Ibiza (or anywhere for that matter) on ice, perhaps caravanning in the UK fits somewhere in the middle.

2. It’s cheap(ish)

If you’re going to outright buy a caravan, it’s not going to be cheap with prices for new models ranging from £15,000 up to £250,000 and beyond – there’s even a supped up American brand selling some for a cool $2million – granted, they look more like a high spec tour bus.

If you’d rather a fleeting romance with caravanning rather than a lifelong commitment, you can always hire one or stay in a unique glamping spot that errs on the right side of caravanning but with all the mod cons.

Canopy & Stars specialise in one-of-a-kind staycations, from shepherd’s huts to vintage vans, that will give you that same sense of freedom without the long-term cost or commitment.

Shepherd’s huts might not come on wheels, but they’re looking to be a big trend given that holidaying in the UK is going to be huge. Look to Ockeridge Rural Retreats for a hut that comes complete with a freestanding copper bath or the Merry Harriers in the rolling Surrey Hills, which have outdoor log fire pits, cosy décor and even an adjacent llama farm next door.

The Happy Hare

Colber Farm, Dorset

Shepherd’s hut for 2 from £80 per night

Canopy & Stars

www.canopyandstars.co.uk

Shepherd’s Huts

Surrey Hills

Shepherd’s Huts from £195 B&B per night

The Merry Harriers

www.merryharriers.com

Luxury Ashwood Shepherd Hut

Wichenford, Worcester

Shepherd’s hut for 2 from approx. £159 per night

Ockeridge Retreat 

www.ockeridgeruralretreats.co.uk

The 76er

Ty Cefn Tregib, Carmarthenshire

Airstream for 2 from £75 per night

Canopy & Stars

www.canopyandstars.co.uk

3, You’ll be ahead of the curve

Not that curve, but Covid does have something to do with it.

Caravanning might not seem that cool now, but if it gives us the chance to get away, even if that is still in the same country, it’s worth a shot.

Look at glamping. It’s really just camping with a matress and running water thrown in and the luxury glamping market is now huge, from bell tents to woodland cabins. Those with itchy feet are always on the lookout for a new trend, and while it might not be Tulum, caravanning could be the next big thing – until we can actually go to Tulum of course.

4. It gives you the freedom to roam

We don’t mean in a Dominic Cummings kind of way, adhere to the guidelines, please. But caravanning does give you the chance to explore the British Isles, from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, or even Barnard Castle.

Pitching up in a designated park can cost from £10 per night so it’s a cheap way to see the country, and if you end up somewhere you don’t really like, you can just get back on the road.

5. Kids love it

Kids under the age of about 10 will love it, any older and bunking up with mum and dad probably doesn’t seem that appealing. And if you have teenagers you can pretty much forget about it.

Younger children do tend to love it though, from the sense of adventure on the open road to meeting other little happy campers at stop-offs. Plus, many sites have lots of facilities for little ones to keep them entertained, even on rainy days.

6. It plays to your passions

Whether you’re into hiking, fishing or surfing, caravanning gives you the freedom to go straight to your favourite outdoor pursuits, without the added cost that you would probably incur on holiday.

7. You’ll be in good company

We shouldn’t need a celeb name to cement the fact that caravanning is official cool, but it helps.

Dame Helen Mirren is said to be a paying member of the Caravan Club, Jamie Oliver has been paped behind the wheel of his famous VW Camper many a time and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has caravanning in his blood – his dad owned a caravan empire in Devon (Martins Caravans) when he was growing up – and has been known to take to the open road along the American coast.

Curious? Here are some of the top caravans that might just tempt you…

VW California 6.1 (left)

www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk

Airstream UK

www.airstream-uk.co.uk

Adria

www.adria-mobil.com

Barefoot Caravan (below)

www.go-barefoot.co.uk


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