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How We Started

The Start of Our Caravanning Journey / How It All Began

Brian often worked nights on the motorways and found staying away in B&Bs or travel lodges not practical as he would be paying for 2 nights to get a day’s rest. He would get back to the accommodation in the early hours and just got of to sleep as the rest of the place would be waking up, getting up for breakfast and vacating rooms. Then the staff would start cleaning and vacuuming ready for the next round of guests. This was okay occasionally but not for 5 / 6 days a week, week in week out.

So we brought a small 2 berth caravan (quite cheaply) to see if staying on small certified sites would be more comfortable / suitable experience for him. He could eat and sleep when he wanted and not disturb others with his going in and out for work.

School holidays came round and the girls wanted to go away in “daddy’s” caravan. We sourced an awning and sleeping tent for in the awning and booked a popular site (with things to occupy the girls) for a few days.

If anything was going to put us off the caravanning experience this site would be it. The site was jammed with everyone and their families getting away for school holidays. Tents and caravans were mixed in amongst one and other, with family games and equipment filling in the spaces between “pitches”. Site facilities were portacabin style which never appeared clean due to the rain and mud everywhere (It had been a wet few days leading up to our stay). Luckily we did have our own onboard facilities albeit not bigger than an under stairs shoe cupboard.

Needless to say I heaved a sigh of relief when the next site we arrived at was a lot less crowded and had better facilities.

Being new to caravanning with children and having to put up and down an awning was an interesting learning curve but we did enjoy the freedom to go out for the day and visit some of the more “expensive” attractions and managed to eat out quite often – so I did not end doing all the meals. Something we could not have afforded to do if we had been staying in hotels or B&Bs.

The girls loved it and we became adept at packing just the right amount of clothes, food, toys, books and games to have a good time without making the car and caravan too overloaded.

In the end we bit the bullet and bought a lot newer caravan with fixed bunks so we could go away more often without the hassle of having to put up and down the awning – meaning weekend stays were more viable and the caravanning season not so restricted to warm weather.

It also meant that if dad (Brian) was working away in school holidays we could go too – yet another life skill to be learnt – keeping children amused and quiet in the mornings so dad could sleep. He mastered the art of getting in and out of the caravan with the girls asleep but we did not manage this to the same skill level.     

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