Planning a short break can sometimes appear to be a nightmare, and if it is to be a camping short break, this is especially so. What started out as a playful idea one evening can quickly snowball into a mini-expedition with the kind of logistical and planning nightmares normally associated with say, moving whole armies.
But this need not be so. With a little thought and preparation, planning a camping short break can be a breeze, even taking into account the children, the school holidays, the pets, the traffic, in fact, everything can be planned and scheduled in such a way that everyone's wishes are taken into account, and no one will feel that they are being forced to go on a trip they will not enjoy.
Learning about some of the common pitfalls that may beset even the happiest of campers helps the planner decide who and what to take, and probably more importantly, what not to take. eBay can help in many of these areas, and offers an extensive range of camping essentials to make every trip happy and memorable.
Deciding Where to Go
Because a short break is by its very nature, short, when deciding just where to go, it is probably best to choose somewhere nearby where the campers live. Maybe it is not right on the doorstep, but certainly not more than an hour and a half away by their chosen means of transport.
This is important in that the designated driver does not want to spend hours behind a wheel driving, only to find that he or she then has to put a tent up when they arrive. In the United Kingdom, locals are blessed with some of the most beautiful countryside in the world, and unless the campers live in one of the major cities, the open countryside can only be a matter of minutes away.
Deciding How to Get There
If the campers have access to a car or van, then so much the better, but for an increasing number of campers without access to a motor vehicle, then the train or by coach are the other options. This need not be the major setback that the prospective campers may think. Travelling by public transport is often much cheaper than fuelling a car or van, and it has the advantage of forcing the campers to only take what they need for their short break.
With a car, there is always the excuse that something may just be needed, whereas if the campers have to carry all their luggage, normally on their backs, then the taking of often unnecessary items becomes less of a problem. If something is desperately needed whilst on a short break, then if all else fails, buy it locally.
Deciding When to Go
Choosing just when to take a short camping break is often as important as choosing where to go. Throughout the year, many campsites vary their prices according to the season, but also according to the school holidays. Short breaks taken in August are often much more expensive than say, the middle of September when the schools are back in.
If the campers have children they wish to take, then unfortunately, they are usually stuck with the school holidays. However, an increasing number of savvy campers manage to take their children away with them for short breaks in term time by arranging it so all their luggage and essentials are packed on a Friday afternoon, so that when they pick their children up from school, they set off on holiday straight away from the school gates.
More parents with school-aged children are doing this as it means they can take advantage of the cheaper prices offered during term time, but it also cuts down on their children possibly delaying their departure by wanting to take seemingly everything they own away with them. All the packing, and the necessary arguing about what to take, is safely out of the way the night before.
Travelling During Bank Holidays
The traditional bank holiday used to be seen as the only time when families or couples can get away from the 9-to-5 drudgery and escape to the countryside for a few days. However, with the seemingly inexorable rise in car usage and the amount of traffic on the roads in general, many campers view bank holidays as a time to definitely not go on short camping breaks. They would prefer to actually be camping, rather than being sat, delayed for hours in roadworks. Bank holidays are also often seen as "peak season" for campsite owners, and prices often reflect this.
By choosing not to travel and holiday during these peak times, the short break campers can take advantage of often lower campsite prices, less traffic on the roads, and a generally quieter holiday than the vast majority of holidaymakers.
Making a Decision Based on the Weather
Love it or hate it, the British weather, aside from being a conversation opener with strangers, is increasingly unpredictable, so planning for a camping short break should always take this into account. While it may be nearly a 100 degrees of blazing sunshine when setting out, the travellers should always be prepared for the unexpected.
If the campers are planning a short trip to the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands, or the Welsh mountains, then foul-weather clothing is essential, particularly if outdoor type pursuits such as walking or fishing are planned.
Choosing a Campsite
Increasingly, farmers keen to supplement their income, have opened campsites on their land that had previously been used for crops or grazing livestock. They are keen to open their land up to enthusiastic holidaymakers and many are now listed in the many guides available for prospective campers.
Before setting off on a short camping break, the campers would be well advised to read as many guides as possible. This not only helps the campers in deciding where to go, but also gives useful facts of the surrounding areas for campers to visit during their stay.
Checking the Camping Equipment
This is an absolutely essential activity for the campers. All too often, the campers forget that there are tent pegs missing, or that the groundsheet lets water through, or that their drinking water container leaks, only to arrive at their campsite and remember. The campers should also check their gear well in advance of their departure. This allows time for new items to arrive and prevents the last-minute panic often associated with short breaks.
Other Camping Essentials
These essentials include things like insect repellent, the first aid kit, sunscreen, and a sewing kit. All too often, in their haste to get away for the weekend or a mini midweek break, campers forget these items, and while their missing is not potentially life threatening, it can somewhat dampen an otherwise excellent trip out. Checking out their camping equipment is often an activity much enjoyed by campers, as it gives them ample opportunity to anticipate their next holiday, and also re-live some of the funnier or more memorable moments of their previous holidays.
Planning Timeline for a Camping Short Break
Included is a rough table to show approximate timings of what the planners should be aware of and more importantly, when they should be aware of them while planning their camping short break. Of course, this table is not exhaustive, but should give the planners an idea of possible timings.
Time to Departure
Decide on destination
Book time off from work
Check on camping equipment
Repair broken gear or buy new if necessary
Make a list of all purchases or wants
New gear should have arrived; check to make sure it is right and that it fits with existing gear
Order more if necessary
Check the list
Buy consumables, such as suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap, shampoo, and toothbrushes
The night before
Do a final check
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but it should give the planners an idea of the kinds of things and timescales involved with the planning of a hopefully successful short camping break. The planners should be aware that successful breaks need preparation to avoid last-minute rushes or a forgotten essential item that may otherwise ruin the short break.
How to Plan a Camping Short Break with eBay
eBay is now seen as an essential tool for campers and is a one-stop place for all their camping needs. There are thousands of items on offer, from tents to sleeping bags, to just about everything campers could possibly need for that short break. Often seen as essential, especially if the campers are planning their first camping trip to an area, is the guidebook. These are usually packed with not only the best places to go, but also the best to avoid if the campers are looking for that short break away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
When planning a camping short break using eBay, it is essential that the campers look well in advance of their planned holiday. This not only ensures that everything bought has actually arrived, but often, things can suddenly come to mind that may otherwise have been forgotten, and so these too may be ordered well in advance.
Many people often have bad memories of childhood camping holidays, with the torrential rain, the leaking tent roof right above their heads, and the ever-present midges, and this can put them off camping for life. They would much rather spend their holidays in the conventional way in a hotel or apartment, but increasingly, with household budgets being squeezed, and with many more campsites opening every year, often by farmers wanting to supplement their income, a camping short break is seen as an alternative, and in most cases, preferable option to the convention.
With a little planning of just where the campers wish to stay and how they are going to get there and back, the short break campers can enjoy their holidays, normally at a fraction of the cost of a more conventional hotel-stay holiday. Camping short break holiday planners can also be fully prepared for whatever the British weather may throw at them, and come rain or shine, they can be assured of a relaxing and restful short break away from the stresses and strains of modern living and all that it entails.