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Christmas Breaks in your 'van

There’s nothing better than a familiar Christmas at home.

Much as we all say and believe that though, in practice, sometimes it’s nice to do something just a little bit different. Getting away over the holidays can make a nice change and give you the chance to have a more personal Noel than is possible if you’re back at home base and acting as the Master of Ceremonies.

If you’re considering spending a few days away in your caravan, here are a few top tips.

Christmas caravanning tips

To start with, let’s not consider places to go. The chances are, you only have a few days and won’t want to spend large chunks of that driving. So you’ll be looking for destinations that are within a modest driving distance of your home base.

Here through are some tips that may apply wherever you’re off to:

  • at the risk of sounding obvious, make sure your chosen site and its basic facilities are open. Many are but quite a few aren’t, so check and book ahead;
  • if you can, try to avoid driving on Christmas Eve or the day immediately before the return to work, as the roads can be very busy. If you can’t, plan in lots of contingency in your estimated journey and arrival times;
  • take plenty of food and supplies with you. Although less of an issue than it once was, many shops, particularly in country areas, can be closed for extended periods over the holidays;
  • if it’s your first winter caravanning break, keep in mind that the conditions on and around the site are likely to be very different to what you’ve experienced in summer. Plan accordingly, with plenty of winter clothes and make sure your caravan’s heating system has been tested and is fully functional;
  • check your touring caravan insurance well in advance. Make sure it’s active and that it doesn’t have any restrictions about when and where you can use your caravan in wintertime (if it does, make sure you comply with them);
  • give your caravan an extra-special and thorough check before departure. Winter can be a demanding time for caravans and their systems. Look closely at hydraulics, brakes, cables and all external mechanisms. Given the darker days, make absolutely sure all your external lighting systems are in perfect working order;
  • be sure you take all your required medicaments with you. Chemists and pharmacists can have highly unpredictable opening hours over the holidays;
  • nature can be magnificent but perhaps a little less awe-inspiring in poor weather. So, hedge your bets by looking for a site close to a significant town or city. If the weather’s poor, you’ll find more to do by driving in there;
  • read up on caravan towing techniques for bad weather conditions unless you’re already experienced in this area. Winter towing is very different to summer, depending upon the exact weather conditions of course. As the saying goes, “hope for the best but plan for the worst”; where weather is concerned;
  • don’t forget the decorations! Most of us like a little tinsel around over the holidays and some lights. They’ll make sure you keep the festive atmosphere alive – unless you’re deliberately trying to escape it of course;
  • if you love your Christmas TV, remember to check your dish and connections extra carefully before departure!