Camping and caravan holidays: Expert on how to prepare for a first-time al fresco UK break

The Camping and Caravanning Club detail virus safety measures

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Camping and caravan holidays are an affordable and naturally socially distanced getaway type making them ideal for a UK break when travel starts up again. For those considering camping and caravanning for the first time, how does one prepare for such a trip? spoke to Simon McGrath from The Camping and Caravanning Club for his travel advice.

Firstly, wannabe campers should consider the different types of camping holiday available and what sort of area they’d like to visit.

“For example, do you want to go tent camping or consider buying a caravan or motorhome?” said McGrath.

“Then think about the type of campsite you want to book. Do you want a family-orientated site or a quiet, small campsite off the beaten track?

“Location is important too – do you want to be near the coast, set in a mountain location or close to attractions such as theme parks?”

A good way to make sure camping is for you is camping out for a trial night in a garden if you have one available.

“Having a trial run means you can make sure you know how to put up your tent properly and check that everything is as it should be,” McGrath advised.

“It’s a good idea to spend a night in your tent close to home first and it’s an especially good way to introduce children to the pastime too. Camping in the garden is great family fun and it also means the kids are never far from the loo should they need a visit during the night.

Anyone on the fence should remember “that camping doesn’t mean giving up all the creature comforts of home,” the expert pointed out.

“There are incredible new camping products and tents available utilising the latest trends and technology, from quick-pitch inflatable tents to materials used for sleeping cabins that keep out the early morning sunshine.”

On the topic of which, you’ll also need to think about what camping equipment you need.

For sleeping, you can get a camp bed, inflatable airbed or sleeping mat, depending on your needs. You’ll also want a decent sleeping bag and an easily washable sheet liner.

“Think about warmth, comfort and light. Invest in a good sleeping bag and consider what goes beneath it to insulate you from the cold and potentially bumpy floor such as a self-inflating mat,” said McGrath

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As for picking a campsite, you’ll need to make sure you’re picking one that suits your needs.

“Campsites range from full-facility sites to back-to-basics campsites where you might find just a tap for fresh water and a place to dispose of waste,” said McGrath.

“If you’re camping for the first time it would be best to pick somewhere with on-site facilities such as a laundry, washing up area and facilities block – it will make the experience even more enjoyable.

Don’t worry if you come across any issues, though. “Campsites are also friendly places with like-minded people who are willing to offer advice should you have any technical problems,” said McGrath.

“The Camping and Caravanning Club has 103 Club Sites around the UK where you’ll be assured a warm welcome by site staff and fellow campers – it’s why we’re called the Friendly Club.”

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