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Accommodation and Camping: Planning your first outdoor adventure

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Exploring the great outdoors, travelling to new places and enjoying new adventures. 

Whether you’re buying or hiring, pitching or freewheeling, doing it for the first time should be a great experience. 

There are so many options to choose from, from your accommodation, to the best tips and tools to take along with you. 

Hold on for the ride, we’ll help you to have your camping kettle on before sundown with our handy guide for first-timers 

Accommodation 

Depending on how flexible you would like to be with your travels, your first consideration will need to be where you sleep. 

There are a huge range of options available to you, here are a few of our favourites: 

Caravan: a touring caravan offers the flexibility of travelling with what is essentially a moveable home. It’s ideal for those wanting to go off and explore regularly, but having a place to return to at the end of an action-packed day. Many touring caravan owners choose to leave their ‘vans on permanent or seasonal sites, giving them the option to choose a new destination each season. 

Others prefer to tow to each location. It’s a great skill to acquire, and you will need specialist equipment such as towing mirrors, towbar and electrics, but this option gives you the greatest flexibility with your travels. 

Campervan: an aspiration for many. The ultimate for greatest flexibility, manoeuvrability, and access to locations that are potentially difficult to reach with larger vehicles. With an elevated seating position and oodles of glass to see out of, campervanners get a great view of the world on their travels. Many have inbuilt kitchens, sleeping arrangements as well as lots of storage in lots of different configurations. We recommend looking at a few different options to find out which suits your needs best.

Motorhome: With more internal space, motorhomes are a great option for those wanting a larger vehicle that stays with them throughout their travels. Motorhomes can generally sleep between 2 and 8 people, often with a spacious internal layout including dining, sitting and sleeping areas, as well as a separate bathroom. Increasingly, some motorhomes have an additional slide-out area that provides additional living space too!  

Tents: Many people love to sleep under canvas. It’s a great option that provides brilliant flexibility with many types of tents and awnings available. Air tents are a great way to get your family in a tent in just a few minutes of set-up. More traditional tents and awnings now come with fibreglass poles, making them a lighter-weight and more robust option than their steel-poled pre-decessors 

Destinations 

The world is literally your oyster when you have a home on wheels. 

There are many places across the UK and Europe that seasoned travellers would no doubt recommend. However, for first timers, it can often be useful to travel not too far from home on your first trip, just in case you need to pop back for some essentials that you didn’t know that you would need. We’ve all done it! 

For a great idea on where to start with your planning, take a look at these websites for starters… 

https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/ 

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/ 

What to Take 

Make sure you don’t leave without the essentials, with our Campervan Packing Checklist: 

Food: plan out what you’re going to be eating while you’re out on the road. You don’t want to get to your destination for the night to find the shop is closed and you don’t have any food left to make a decent meal. Consider foods that are easy to store and to prepare, great camping dishes include chilli, veg skewers, baked potatoes and pasta dishes. Don’t forget to include snacks when you’re stocking up on your food either, an energy bar, fruit or even a packet of biscuits can go a long way when youre hiking in the countryside. 

Torch: A torch is pretty much a standard item, regardless of what kind of vehicle you’re staying in. It especially helps with late night arrivals, think electric hook-ups, un-hitching and so on.  

Clothes: Most caravanners are fairly relaxed with their dress code. If you’re planning for adventures and life in the outdoors, take a mixture of clothes to cover every option. Many sites have onsite washing and drying facilities should you need them.  

Entertainment: what an opportunity to have a digital detox, reduce screen-time and spend more time with family. Simple card games, board games and reading are great past-times while you’re inside. Binoculars are a great addition too! If this doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, most vehicles have some kind of in-built entertainment system, such as radios and TVs 

The Essentials: Don’t forget these key essentials to keep your trip running smoothly and on track! You’ll need toilet chemicals, water treatment, gas, matches, toolkit, spirit-level, outdoor chairs and table and bedding.  

The Little Bits: don’t take the small things for granted when you’re packing, the last thing you need to be doing is taking a midnight trip to the closest town because you forgot the can opener and can’t get into your beans. Other great small things to include are a decent knife, chopping board, sweeping brush, bug spray, towels, tea towels, sunscreen, soap and shampoo.  

For any further help and advice, there are many forums and groups on social media.  

You could also visit one of the many recreational vehicle retailers throughout the UK, who will be able to provide expert advice. They’re a friendly bunch – tell them that Miriad sent you!