UK holidays: Britons warned of common camping mistake ahead of Easter holidays – ‘crucial’

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Ed Bassett, UK Country Manager at caravan and motorhome hire platform Camptoo, warned Britons should book as soon as possible: “Remember many more people own campers now so there will be more full timers on the road year on year – in fact we estimate that RV ownership is growing around five to seven percent per annum – and whilst summer capacity at camping areas has grown, demand for pitches remains high.”

Ed shared his best advice for those planning to drive to their staycation holiday: “Choosing the right vehicle is important, make sure to choose a vehicle that you’ll feel confident driving and are able to manoeuvre; for example, a smaller van or motorhome makes sense for a first road trip.

“And make sure the van is suited to your exact needs – does the owner allow pets? Is there a bike rack or somewhere to store your surfboard?

“Always take the van for a short test drive before embarking on your actual trip – it’s important to ensure you’ve got to grips with the controls, steering and parking systems before travel.”

The expert also recommended “planning the trip itself carefully, this means researching routes, ensuring you have adequate insurance as well as booking campsites ahead of travel”, which is something many people don’t do.

But what about finding the right place to park your caravan or vehicle?

Ed said: “Once on the road, only park in designated parking spaces – most attractions, National Trust locations and National Parks offer spaces for campervans – and take care to avoid height restrictions and smaller parking spaces.

“Avoid parking on lay-bys or at the roadside and never park on double yellow or red lines. Parking on private land is also not permissible as a rule. To make things easier use an app like Park4night which boasts over 600,000 locations with safe overnight parking options.

“You can also check out the Camping & Caravanning Club website for campsites close to you. Each campsite includes details on what’s on offer, from walks nearby, to attractions. Check if your campsite is child and pet friendly before booking and always adhere to campsite rules, particularly when it comes to lighting campfires, any designated ‘quiet times’ and waste disposal,” he recommended.

Prashant Maharshi, Head of Car Insurance at MORE THAN, said “staycations typically result in long journeys, often by car, so it is crucial that you are prepared before setting off on your holiday”.

The expert shared what Britons should “make sure” they do before heading to their camping destination.

Prashant started by revealing a very common mistake people make when going on a camping holiday: bringing valuable items, such as jewellery.

He said: “Avoid. You should avoid packing valuables on your trip, in case they are lost, damaged or stolen. Keep jewellery and technology to a minimum and focus on bringing items that provide a more useful function.”

Pack the right kit

He said: “The more space you save in your car, the more gear you can carry comfortably.

“Here, you could use soft luggage instead of hard suitcases to save space or borrow/buy a roof box – the ultimate space-saving item. Putting heavy stuff towards the middle of the boot also keeps the weight central to aid cornering and remember to put things you use the most in an easy to get to place – so you don’t have to unpack the car to get your wallet!”

Carry out car checks

Prashant explained “the last thing you want on staycation is a breakdown, especially if the source could have been identified with a quick preliminary check”.

“Before you set off, check the tread depth of your tyres. It’s also important to check you have the right amount of oil, and that all lights, windscreen wipers and indicators are working properly. If you have any doubt, taking your car for a service at your trusted garage will ensure your car is all set for a long-distance drive,” he said.

Prepare for things going wrong

He advised: “Make sure your car is equipped with a torch, a spare tyre and jack, spare headlight bulbs, jump leads, an empty fuel can and a warning triangle. This will help ensure that, if you do breakdown, that you have the essentials to tide you over.

“It’s also important to familiarise yourself with your emergency breakdown cover so you know who you can call to get you out of those trickier situations.”

Prepare for all weathers

The expert said: “The weather in the UK is infamous for constantly changing, so be sure to pack relevant clothes for all forecasts to ensure you can still have a good time, rain or sunshine.”

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