‘Visiting friends and relatives’ is one of the most popular reasons why people travel. But as houses and apartments shrink in size what should be an enjoyable experience can create a headache for both the host and guest.
Questions like, ‘where are we/they all going to sleep?’ and ‘how long will we/they stay?’ are cropping up more and more often. And it could be one of the reasons why the growth of caravans is going through the roof.
According to new figures just released by the National Caravan Council (NCC), the British touring caravan industry made 13.7 per cent more caravans in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year, while the number of motorhomes made increased by 11.3 per cent.
Adding the new caravans to the existing stock means there are now approximately 550,000 touring caravans in the UK and around 205,000 motor homes. And they’re all well used.
Figures from Visit England show a total of 11.9 million UK caravan trips were taken last year, representing an annual increase of 2.5 per cent. It also found that we took 44.7 million trips in England during 2016, up 2 per cent over the previous year.
Of course lots of TV footage of families bedding down for the night in an airport terminal has meant many families have rediscovered the joys of holidaying in the UK or taking ‘staycations’; one of the reasons the NCC put down to this double digit growth.
And these families are not having to give up their luxuries. Many of these new caravans now boast facilities such as showers, flushable toilets, flatscreen TVs, well designed kitchens and even dishwashers.
Of course luxury does come at a price and the highest priced caravans can stretch up to a whopping £70,000. This will buy you an iconic, American-style ‘Airstream’. If you’re looking for something cheaper, VW are building modern versions of their hugely popular campervans for only £40,000.
Given all these mod cons, it’s not surprising that visiting friends and relatives in a caravan is an altogether easier – and probably more enjoyable – experience for both the guests and the hosts.
Conversations that used to start with ‘where will they all sleep?’ now have a simple answer (‘outside’). Although we suspect it’s more difficult to answer other questions, such as ‘we thought we’d stay a week if that’s OK?’