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Holiday in a Caravan

Choosing to take your next vacation in a caravan is not for everyone. Caravans are huge beasts that will travel at the top speed of 80mph, when going downhill. But for some reason it is fast becoming a fad among young upper middle class families.

And your home away from home means you can fit in your entire family, your fridge, the dog, cat and hamster, but most appealing of it all is that if you don't like the vacation spot you're on, you can move to another.Caravan owners will discover they have joined a community ready in waiting to help you by means of a vast network of clubs and associations made up of fellow caravan owners worldwide who work together to help each other, give advice on routes to take, relate small details about their own mishaps to perhaps quell the same misgivings to newbies in the club.Your house on wheels can very well be the fad of the decade, but careful planning is advisable. For your first venture, I advise you to choose a destination that is sufficiently close to home ground to be safe, but sufficiently far away for you to enjoy an exotic getaway.There are hoards of books to help you plan your route, select campsites, restaurants, inns and roadside toilets (you would never have remembered the importance of that little detail if I hadn't mentioned it, would you now?).Other than the frustratingly slow speeds you will manage on your new caravan, there are other disadvantages that only careful planning will protect you from.

You will be reminded that you didn't plan well enough when you venture off the main road to visit a quaint little village and discover, to the humiliation of your entire family, that your lush, but oversized caravan brings village roads to a standstill. So before you venture off the main road, read your maps carefully.Another joy you will discover is the camaraderie in campsites - the evening barbecues with your campsite neighbors, a huge backyard for the kids to run around silly all day and of course, the silent, cool breezes that assure you a sound sleep.This is of course if you are lucky. Because you are more likely to encounter the caravanners' community made up of people who spend money on going abroad, only to take home with them.

The most irritating for me are the blaring TVs - people will take their television sets with them so as not to miss the evening soaps. Although you will not be acquainted with the family parked next to you, you will be overcome with the sense that nothing seems different in their way of life, whether they are at home or at a foreign campsite. The only difference is that there are no walls to divide your home from your neighbour's.

But I must say that, in general, the people I have met in my travels have been friendly, interesting people, from young families to retired couples who, like us, want to travel without the time-constraints of a tour group, without the hassles of scheduled flights, and sample local culture in a more intimate, calm way.A caravan vacation can be challenging. If you are happy to drive for long hours and want to truly sample local culture, it's perfect. Keyword here is patience - a caravan is not a racing car.

But you will be in control of the destiny of your vacation. If you don't like the first spot, you can simply drive off and choose another. You choose when to arrive and how long to stay for.

.Cristina Santos owns The C Channel, a multi-interest website which attracts a globel audience to its travel, weddings and shopping sites.

For The C Channel Travel Portal we are building up profiles for destinations around the world, and every day you will find new articles, new photos and new destinations to dig into. Visit us.

By: Cristina Santos


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