Since the recession caravanning holidays have been talked about in the travel media as something of a new phenomena. But Britain’s love affair with camping is nothing new; in fact it dates back to the days of Robert Baden-Powell and Scouting in the early 20th century. Groups of young boys headed out to learn survival skills in the great outdoors of the English countryside and the love of sleeping under canvas was instilled in them for life.
During the fifties and sixties tents were replaced by caravans and mum and dad rather than scout leaders were in control. Holiday parks sprung up all over the UK even giving rise to movies such as Carry On Camping.
However, camping and caravanning holidays took a nosedive in the eighties and nineties as the cost of air travel plummeted and low-cost airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair took to the skies. People swapped the South Coast for the Costa del Sol sleeping in purpose built resorts rather than old and well-loved tents and caravans.
But as fuel costs increased and the UK was plunged into the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, camping and caravanning holidays were given a new lease of life. Hailed as the saviour of holidays, Brits were choosing to take their summer holiday within the UK once again. The media dubbed this the ‘staycation’, but really it was how holidays began.
Holidaymakers began to search for used caravans for sale, such as those on offer from Park Resorts, to enjoy British-based holidays year after year. The cost effective holiday retreat was found with used caravans for sale as people realised they could have a ‘holiday home’ for a lot less than they thought.
However, there was more change on the horizon. Although Britons loved the idea of enjoying their home landscape and taking time out to breathe in the great outdoors, not everyone was happy with the basic accommodation found in traditional tents and caravans. ‘Glamping’ as the media termed it, became a new trend in camping. Holidaymakers wanted the level of comfort found in a hotel, but with the flexibility and outdoors lifestyle enjoyed with camping. Caravans were fitted out with all the mod cons; tents multiplied in size and looked more Bedouin than bargain but the basic premise remained the same: people want the ‘back to nature’ low-impact living enjoyed with camping and caravanning holidays and instilled in our mind-sets from the Baden-Powell era, it’s just they are now willing to pay a bit more for a real bed.