Taking a holiday with a spouse or a family is a great way to spend quality time together as well as experience the beauty of nature and the depth of other cultures. One great holiday idea for adventurous travellers who do not want to spend their entire travel budget on accommodations is a caravan holiday. For anyone in Europe, including the United Kingdom, there is, perhaps, no more desirable destination that the beautiful French Riviera in the South of France. No matter what the ultimate destination, keep in mind that caravan holidays can be planned on one's own, but are also available for purchase from local travel agents as well as online from eBay. Taking a caravan holiday represents a truly unique and also affordable way to explore the South of France. In order to best enjoy the holiday, it is a good idea to brush up on some common travel tips as well as a few strategies that may be helpful in this specific kind of journey, such as choosing the destination, knowing the various types of caravans, being aware of the weather, finding campsites, and learning the local language.
Choose a Destination
The first step to planning a caravan holiday is choosing a location. Although the South of France may be the broad destination, there are many locations within that region where travellers may want to park a caravan or rent a mobile home. The Cote d'Azur, which translates to the Coast of Azure, refers to a large swath of the southern part of France, while Saint-Tropez is one of the many resort destinations along that coast.
The Cote d'Azur region in the South of France is also known to many English speakers as the French Riviera. The largest city on this coast is Nice. The area features many beautiful beaches and is often a vacation destination for the rich and famous. However, there are also many caravan camping spots in Cote d'Azur that put a French Riviera vacation within reach for those who may be on more of a budget.
Although technically a part of the French Riviera region, Saint-Tropez is a destination unto itself. Boasting some of the most beautiful beaches and people in the world, it is no wonder that this resort town is a popular destination for all types of travellers. Keep in mind when travelling to Saint-Tropez that there is a great deal of congestion in the city, itself, and so manoeuvring a caravan may be difficult. Instead, look for camping sites away from the city, of which there are a few.
Types of Caravans
When planning a caravan holiday, it is important to keep in mind that some people use the word "caravan" to describe two distinct types of vehicles. For many people, particularly in the United Kingdom, a caravan holiday involves driving or towing a caravan in which a couple or family can comfortably sleep. However, some that advertise caravan holidays are actually referring to small, stationary homes, also known as static caravans. When planning a caravan holiday, for those who do not own a caravan, it is important to make this distinction with any potential hosts so that both parties know what to expect.
No matter which type of caravan holiday is being planned, transportation should certainly be a concern. Even if the caravan, itself, is the main mode of transportation, there is the matter of getting to France from your point or origin, as well as getting around the South of France once you arrive. Even if the main plan is to spend days lounging on the beach, at some point, one or more members of the travelling party may want to explore without the added hassle of the caravan, itself. Some towns in the South of France have public transportation available, but in others, it may be necessary to walk or take a bicycle. Consider how far members of the party may want to go and plan accordingly, which may mean actually bringing along bicycles or other means of transport.
Caravan in the Eurotunnel
There is also the matter of getting the caravan to France. For those travelling from the United Kingdom, this means crossing the English Channel, which can be done in a few different ways. One popular way to travel with a caravan or other vehicle is by using the Eurotunnel Shuttle. This conveyance allows travellers to park their car or caravan on the freight train and walk about the deck during the journey through the Eurotunnel. The Eurotunnel travels from Calais in France to Folkestone in Britain.
From Calais, it is quite a long drive to the South of France. Using a ferry to convey the caravan across the channel may save on driving time, although that extra time is then spent on the ferry, instead. It is a matter of personal preference whether driving the caravan onto the Eurotunnel Shuttle or onto a ferry is the preferable route.
Consider the Weather
No matter where, or by what means, one is travelling, it is always a good idea to consider the climate of the region before embarking on any type of holiday. This is true even when travelling to the South of France. It goes without saying that the South of France is a particularly popular destination during the summer holidays, as it is an ideal area for sunbathing and other beachgoing activities. The South of France has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters, so truly any time of year can be ideal for travel to this region. Do keep in mind that the little rain that does fall in this area is usually in the autumn and springtime.
Knowing the weather forecast for your journey can also be extremely helpful when determining what to pack for a caravan holiday in the South of France. Although travelling in a caravan may seem luxurious in that there are no baggage restrictions, it is still a good idea not to overpack. After all, the caravan needs to be able to comfortably hold all of the travellers in the party as well as their luggage. Over the course of an extended holiday, things can get quite cramped if there is too much luggage. Instead, pack only the necessities and be prepared to do laundry or buy anything that is needed and has not been packed.
Find Suitable Campsites
It is highly recommended before embarking on a caravan holiday that you plan out the campsites where the caravan can park during the trip. Depending on the itinerary, this may mean only one campsite in the South of France, or it may mean a number of different sites along the route to the final destination. There are many online resources, message boards, and travel guide books that can help to plan out the perfect route including safe and affordable campsites for all types of caravans. Take advantage of these resources and the journey is likely to be much smoother.
Learn the Local Language
Many people have come to take for granted the popularity of the English language, and indeed, it is widely spoken throughout Europe and elsewhere. However, it is still a good idea to take some time to study the local language before travelling to France. Not only are there still many people that do not speak English, but knowing even a few words can establish a friendly and helpful rapport with locals. Consider taking a language course or even just study online before the holiday.
How to Buy Caravan Holidays in the South of France on eBay
Once you have decided that a caravan holiday is indeed the best choice for you and your family, you can actually search for, and purchase, the perfect getaway on eBay. To find your caravan holiday, simply enter some relevant keywords into the search bar that can be found on any page of the site. This may mean a simple search for "caravan holiday" or something more geography specific, like "French holiday".
When you find a deal that is appealing to you, make sure that you have cleared up any questions about the holiday before completing your purchase. Keep in mind the payment methods that are accepted and any policies. Most eBay listings are extremely detailed, but there may be something that the seller forgot to mention. Just use the eBay interface to send the seller a direct message, and they can get back to you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
Taking a holiday can improve one's life in a wide variety of ways. This includes learning from other cultures, experiencing new views, climates, and cultures, and being able to get away from it all and relax. No matter what the reason is for taking a holiday, using a caravan as a means of travel and accommodation can be both affordable and fun. By taking a caravan holiday to the South of France, it is possible to see much of the beauty of the country at a much lower price than some other methods of travel. In order to plan a caravan holiday to the South of France, it is essential that you choose the perfect destination and work out all of the details before taking off. This means figuring out how to get to France as well as having an idea of the activities in which those in the travelling party want to participate. By doing a good amount of research and planning ahead, a caravan holiday to the South of France could introduce anyone to the joys of travel and cultural exploration, or even just to the beauty of the beach.