Travelling, in its various forms, is a pastime that many of us indulge in, whether we want to go aboard to be by beautiful, blue waters, or if we want to stay local and investigate hidden gems. There have been several concerns thrown at Caravanning. It’s a fuddy-duddy way of traveling, with popular shows like Top Gear lampooning caravanning at every opportunity possible. Even though this is the case, there’s a lot to be said for caravanning, a holidaying option that is making a comeback in a big way; gone are the days of always exploring foreign places, for today is the age of staycations.
There are many benefits to the owning a caravan, chiefly the flexibility provided by it: rather than relying on others to get you to your destination, you get there yourself, leaving and arriving whenever you want. What is more, you also have that sense of being closer to nature because of how many secluded, naturally rich locations are darted about the nation. Those that are already caravanning can boast opening their doors on scenes of squirrels going about their daily lives in nearby trees, or wide expanding vistas, with the countryside a prime location for caravans.
Nowadays, caravanning is even more enjoyable, thanks to the many technological advancements that have been made. What used to be a holiday for reading and board games, has now turned into a high-tech adventure that everyone can enjoy. It doesn’t matter if you’re out with friends, enjoying some downtime with the family, or going for a romantic weekend away, there’s no end of gadgets to keep you all amused.
While mobile networks do still have some way to go to becoming truly nationwide, with many black spots around the country there has been significant updates made, depending on the network you’re on. While it’s still possible to use caravanning to “get away from it all” including those intrusive e-mails from work, it’s equally likely to find a caravan site with plenty of signals. Keeping up on Facebook, Instagram, and finding out what’s going on in the world is no longer a sporadic affair, relying on newspapers from a shop 1 mile down the road, or hoping that the caravan has a television.
One of the best investments tech-savvy travellers can make is to get yourselves a mobile hotspot. Most of us go traveling to get away from the daily grind, but with so many perks to using social media, such as showing off your pics, you need to have access to the internet. If there’s none to access nearby, but you have a mobile device, you can create a mobile hotspot for you and up to five people. This is a great way of staying connected when you need it most, though do bear in mind that it could end up being costly if used for prolonged periods.
We know we were just talking about being connected, but sometimes taking lots of appliances with you just isn’t the way forward, like washing machines, for example. Even the portable ones can take up an enormous amount of room, limiting your living space further. This is when a gadget like the Scrubba Wash Bag is a must; it’s simple in its design and involves some elbow grease, but it does the same job without the need for unnecessary space. In the same trend as caravanning, camping often has the reputation of being filled with the great unwashed. Having the ability to wash your clothes, without having to either lug your washing machine and taking up any prime caravan real estate, or lugging a bag of washing to a nearby laundromat can really calm the nerves and make a caravanning trip more enjoyable (for you and the people you have to live with in close proximity).
Anyone who has been camping or caravanning will know how awful insect bites can be – they just never seem to end! While some people are more susceptible to insect bites than others, it can be a real problem, especially midges in Scotland. If it is a source of much frustration for you and the family, you can purchase the Invisaband, a microfiber bracelet that keeps your immediate personal space protected from the nasty bites of mosquitos. Not only is it a long lasting alternative to aerosol solutions (up to 120 hours), but one pack has five bands included, making it ideal for get-togethers.
For those that go caravanning more regular, getting a caravan into the right location can be a real concern. Putting your shoulder into it will certainly get the job done eventually, but risks subsidence inside the van, with plates, pots, and pans going all over the place as well as potential damage to yourself. There’s always the risk of just pushing slightly too hard as well and ending up with the caravan going ever so slightly too far.
Remove movers can push your caravan to exactly where you want it to go, with products like Rhyno movers giving you complete control.
Being out in nature doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you have to rely on the cacophony of birdsong to keep you entertained either. With drastic improvements in both battery life and the amount of sound quality, many Bluetooth speakers now give you the chance to boogie away into the night, with many speakers coming with several parts to give yourself that extra volume, or bass boost. Speakers also come with wide ranging prices. You can go as expensive as you want for the additional boost in quality, or if you’re on a budget, keep yourself somewhere more reasonable in price but still get a good sound quality.
It is, however, always wise to remember where you are. With campsites becoming more popular, more and more people turn up and wanting to get off to sleep when there’s one person on the campsite who just doesn’t take the hint, and plays loud music until 3am can be a bit of a bore.
There are gadgets that address the problem of noise as well though. Rather than just drowning out music, it’s possible to use noise canceling headphones, which aim to stop you from hearing what’s going on in the outside world, allowing you to hear only what you want to hear. If you are happy keeping you and your music to yourself, you can invest in some noise canceling headphones, which aim to remove a lot of the noise from the surrounding area. You can then listen to your own music at a much more reasonable level.
Many campsites are around some outstanding areas of natural beauty, with some lovely walks up some fells or mountains. Recent trends have had people highlight what they’re doing with hands-free, portable cameras that clip on. Go Pro have been particularly successful in this area, being used by cyclists, but also by skydivers, and base jumpers. Sharing your walk and the sights and sounds from a shoulder high view can get across the true beauty of what you’re experiencing more than a few snaps on your phone can.
As well as the gadgets that come with you when you travel, there have also been drastic changes to the camper vans themselves. No longer are you stuck with rigid frames, and limited space without buying a larger caravan, being forced to drive down country roads, hoping beyond all hope that you don’t come across another caravaner coming the other direction, meaning a 45-minute navigation around each other.
Expanding caravans pack up small when you’re traveling from point A to point B, but will expand out when you need them to, giving you the best of both worlds.
While gadgets can make caravan trips more comfortable, with lots of different home-comforts, it still won’t do any good to making a caravan trip successful. Know where you want to go. Are you going for a walk, or are you more interested in being near a lovely pub, or somewhere to get some good food? Do you want to be near other people, or do you want to be completely isolated? How important is your data connection? How will you get there? Things like google maps can highlight the quickest route or the route with the lowest amount of traffic. TomToms can help you find your way if you get lost.
Planning routes past petrol stations, and being sure that your insurance covers both your car and your caravan is essential. Your current insurance might not cover caravans as well, so taking out some caravan insurance can ensure that you’re covered from any potential damage. Reviewing what maintenance is needed can also be quite daunting, so ensuring that you’re well versed in your caravan’s model is pretty important.