Christmas holidays are a great opportunity for a break. Indeed, while many people associate a caravan holiday with summer holidays, winter caravanning has gained popularity in recent years and can be enjoyed equally as much if you are well prepared.
Preparing for a caravan holiday over Christmastide need not be complicated, except you may need to negotiate the annual rush, heavier traffic, booked out caravan parks, and perhaps, some nasty weather. It is therefore even more essential than ever to prepare early. Always book at least a month in advance to secure not only your caravan lot, but to ensure you are not relegated to a slopey corner at the back end of the park.
Preparation is key at Christmas time, and you need to factor in the extra time you need to complete otherwise simple tasks. Paving the way for a hassle-free caravan break depends on how well you do this.
Depending on space availability, you may need to tailor your holiday towards a more purpose-specific event in order to facilitate enough packing space so that you can celebrate Christmas in style. Although it may be impracticable for you to imagine a conventional Christmas dinner that involves many guests in a caravan, a modified version is nevertheless quite possible. Rather than attempting a traditional Christmas celebration with all the trimmings, consider simple alternatives wherever possible. Do not make the mistake of overcomplicating the occasion. Besides, the space limitations of a caravan and annexe naturally lend themselves to simplicity anyway. It is advisable to book a caravan with bathroom facilities so as to avoid having to leave the caravan in freezing conditions just to visit the toilet.
If your holiday begins just prior to Christmas and concludes shortly before the New Year, and you wish to centre your holiday on Christmas celebrations, you should pack for your holiday accordingly. What you pack and how much depends on whether you take your own caravan or rent one on-site. If you rent an on-site caravan, you first of all need to know exactly what you can expect to find in the caravan upon your arrival. You may need to speak with the caravan park caretaker or manager to gather this information, although you should be provided with such details as you make your reservation.
In the event that you rent an on-site caravan which already contains basic equipment for cooking, cleaning, and bedding arrangements, you are well on the way towards saving space. You may also wish to consider the use of a trailer to increase your packing capacity. Naturally, what to pack for your holiday is entirely up to you, but for the sake of having the most essential items included, you may need some indication of what you and your family/friends intend doing whilst away.
It is sometimes a good idea to break down your holiday plan into segments and think about the categories of activities you may engage in. The below examples pertain to a family holiday in a modern on-site caravan with attached annexe. It is a winter time Christmas holiday, which means a lot of packing space is needed.
If holidaying in Great Britain over the Christmas holiday, the clothing you pack for your family must be warm. Include plenty of layers, both thin and thick. Thermal underwear and socks, skivvies, woolen jumpers, waterproof shoes, insulated jackets, gloves and beanies are the order of the day. An important point to remember is that whilst modern caravans are generally well insulated, the attached annexe may prove a challenge to keep warm.
Bring as much food with you as possible from a pre-holiday grocery shop. Make the most of hearty soups, broths and stews. For Christmas day, you may wish to have a roast turkey dinner with the usual festive accompaniments. Anticipate any difficulties you may experience in preparing such a meal in the confines of the caravan kitchen and simplify accordingly. Hot drinks such as teas, coffees and hot chocolates help keep you warm, but you should also have some cold drinks on hand. Bottled water is advisable in case the caravan water pipes freeze.
The owners of the caravan park may provide some heating for the caravan itself, but if not, you must bring a good and reliable heater, plus a backup heater in the event of malfunction. You should check the condition of your heater before your holiday as it is likely to be needed for more constant use than usual. Christmas holiday heating is indispensable, and should your holiday caravan include an annexe, you also need to heat this difficult, non-insulated area. You must be extremely careful when heating small spaces on holiday, especially with children on board. Inflammable fabrics situated close to a heating element presents a constant hazard in winter.
Portable oil filled radiators are a safe alternative to exposed elements. They tend be large, bulky and heavy, but are quite easy to move around as they are mounted on castor wheels. They are not effective for instant warmth as they heat up over ten to fifteen minutes, but they do have a timer that you can set. These heaters provide reliable and efficient heating over long periods. They come in various sizes, but you may need more than one. Less recommended portable heating options include convector heaters or fan heaters.
A typical drawback of a British Christmas is the weather. This ensures the celebration remains for many an indoors only occasion. Of course, you may wish to brave the outdoors and explore your local surrounds, but indoor amusements are likely to be greatly appreciated on those long cold nights. With this in mind, always pack as many compact games and books as you think are necessary. Today's many small digital games can make bulky board games unnecessary if space is limited, although board games still have their advantages on a social level. Jigsaw puzzles are another good holiday idea, as is a portable television if one is not already provided.
It is wise to prepare for situations that may necessitate the need for repairs or modifications to be made whilst on holiday. It is recommended therefore to bring a DIY toolkit with you if there is someone on the holiday adequately skilled in repairs and maintenance work. The toolkit need only be small with basic tools such as multi sized screwdrivers, pliers, ratchet, hammer and tape measure. It must be noted, however, that any work needing to be carried out to the on-site van or attached annexe needs to be immediately reported to the owner or caretaker.
Accidents can occur at any time, and winter is a notoriously treacherous time as ice, snow and poor visibility is a constant hazard. In the event that an accident occurs, you need to be prepared with both good first aid skills and the right equipment. A comprehensive first aid kit suitable for a camping holiday is a non negotiable necessity on your Christmas caravan holiday. As a minimum, the kit should contain bandages and other dressings, pain relief, alcohol and antiseptic creams, and a first aid manual.
It may be desirable to decorate your campsite with Christmas decorations to enrich your holiday experience and that of those around you. If you would like to attach outdoor Christmas lights to the caravan and annexe, you may first of all need to seek permission from the park owners or caretaker. Alternatively, you could place other Christmas decorations outside your caravan, but only do so if you can secure them from theft. Nativity sets,Santa Claus, reindeer and Christmas trees, for example, can all be found with ease on eBay.
If you do not own the specific items you wish to take on your Christmas caravan holiday, your first stop in acquiring these items should be eBay. Enter a search string for your needed items into the search bar, such as " first aid kit". Always make comparisons between several listings of the same item so that you get a more complete picture of what is available. Carefully examine all the information listed, and make sure you are aware of the returns policy before you decide to purchase. Choose the type of postage according to the product, and try to arrange pickup or delivery for large or heavy items.
Another check to make before you make a purchasing decision is your designated seller's eBay reputation. This can normally be verified by their eBay top rated seller certificate and customer feedback score. Try to find a seller with the highest score in their customer feedback ratings.
You should always begin to organise your holiday well in advance. This alleviates stress and reduces the risk of neglecting something important. Early organisation also allows you time to order something you need from eBay and have it arrive in time for your holiday. It is unnecessary to pay large sums of money for items you may only use occasionally, and what you can save by shopping on eBay is substantial. It has become a very convenient way to acquire otherwise expensive or hard-to-get items.
As you pack for your holiday, remember that simple is good. For many people, life has become insanely hectic, and a simple holiday can alleviate and help reverse much of what we accumulate during the year. A caravan holiday at Christmas may be the best way to not only recharge your energy, but also to reconnect with those things you hold most dear.