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5 summer essentials you need for your family caravan holiday

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With holiday prices for families soaring by 50% during the summer (FairFX), it’s understandable if you find yourself looking at other options during this peak time. Caravan holidays are a great alternative for an affordable family trip, allowing you to enjoy some fresh air and an exciting change of scene at a fraction of the cost of a trip abroad.

Before you set off on your adventure together, it’s worthwhile considering what you need to bring along for your caravan stay. Taking a few essentials with you can ensure that you don’t find yourself unprepared once you get there, removing a lot of potential stress and leaving you and your family free to enjoy your time away. To help you out, I’ve rounded up a few of my favourites to add to your packing list.

Weather protection

Even the joys of caravanning can often be disrupted by the wet British weather. However, rather than staying inside and grumbling with the kids climbing the walls, why not go prepared by packing waterproofs, wellies, and umbrellas that can protect you from the worst of it. You will find that there are many attractions can be enjoyed whatever the forecast says, and packing your rainy-day gear will allow you to get there and back while staying relatively dry.

You also need to consider the other (slightly rarer) side of our climate: hot, sunny days. Bringing along some hats and sunscreen to protect you and your family from harmful UV rays is absolutely essential. Check out the British Association of Dermatologists’ sunscreen fact sheet to brush up on your facts and find out which SPF-factor product you need.

A basic food supply

Most caravan holidays are self-catered, so you will need to go shopping at some point. However, when you are excited about arriving in and exploring a new location, a trip to the local supermarket can be a bit of a mood-spoiler. Instead, bring along a few essential meals and snacks — not a whole week’s worth, but just enough to get through the first day or so. This way, you can dedicate your time to getting settled in, rather than traipsing around supermarket aisles. You can then go shopping when things are less hectic.

Some local knowledge

Before you hit the road, it’s worth equipping yourself with some knowledge of the local area that you are visiting. Your caravan will make a great base of operations for a few fun days out, so knowing what’s worth doing and where’s worth visiting can save a lot of last minute arrangements.

Sitting down with a good guide book is a great place to start, but be sure to consult the kids on any plans to make sure they are enthusiastic about activities too. The National Trust run many locations of beauty and interest up and down the country, and they often have family-focused events on certain days during the summer. You can use their days out tool to find options near your destination, then plan the perfect day out around your visit.

Your family bikes

One of the best ways to get out and about exploring the area you’re visiting is to hop on a bike and get pedalling. Taking the family bikes along with you removes the need to pay any rental fees once you’re there, opening up the road for a fun day out and a chance to get some exercise.

If you have any concerns about riding with traffic about, Sustrans, a charity for walking and cycling, have a great resource that is jammed with traffic free routes that you can take together from all over the UK. Plan around one of these paths and you can enjoy a safe day out, saving the busier tracks for when you are all more confident about biking as a family.

A few fun board games

We’ve already mentioned the unpredictable British weather, but if you’re very unlucky you might experience the very worst of it and find that your day plans are a washout. In these unfortunate circumstances, it’s always good to have a back-up plan, and packing some board games that you can all enjoy together is a great trump card to have. There’s something timeless about enjoying a good game of Snakes and Ladders or Mouse Trap in a caravan as a family, and it’s a pleasure you can share with your children too. These games are even a fun activity for the evening after a big day out.

Bring these five essentials with you when you set off on your caravan holiday and you will already be on the right track to having a great time. With a little bit of forethought, you can enjoy a memorable family holiday together.

 

About the author

David Brock is Managing Director at MB&G Direct, an insurer who specialise in warranties and insurance, including specialist cover for caravans and motorhomes. mbgdirect.com

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