I have an admiration for parents who attempt to carry on with adventurous holidays after the children have arrived. They’re the sort who can be seen backpacking around South East Asia with four children, or climbing up Snowdonia with a rucksack on their back and a baby on their front.
We prefer to keep it simple and believe there is a much greater chance of a relaxing holiday in the UK and in a holiday park.
Hotels, spa breaks, quirky B&Bs and camping all have their time in life but for us, that time is definitely not whilst travelling with toddlers and babies.
Caravan holiday parks offer space to run around, onsite facilities and they are often in prime locations near to child-friendly beaches. It also doesn’t matter if you end up eating breakfast at 6am and tea at 4.30pm, which most hotels wouldn’t be keen to accommodate.
Broadly speaking, you can split holiday parks into three categories.
The first type are those big holiday parks which are part of national chains. They are busy and overflowing with activities onsite, so you could spend the whole week without travelling outside the front gate (if you want to). Most have indoor swimming pools with slides and flumes, as well as entertainment for the children and bingo for the grown ups.
The second type is the much quieter holiday park which is independently owned. Facilities are often limited to a big field and a playground, but they tend to occupy prime locations and make a great (and cheap) base for exploring a popular area. If you are thinking about a self-catering cottage, these make a great alternative as they offer more green space to run around.
The third type of holiday park are at the posher end the scale. Usually they avoid calling themselves a holiday park at all and prefer something like ‘country club’ ‘lakeside lodges’ or ‘holiday village’. You’ll obviously pay more, but you won’t be sleeping in a caravan, which is a plus point if your holiday coincides with a hurricane.
To get the best value, travel in a large group. A four berth caravan often costs the same as a six berth one, so bring the grandparents along and you’ll only be paying a few pounds per person, per night
During the school summer holidays you can expect to pay about £500 – £1000 for a week in a caravan (or more for a fancy one). During the off season, you’ll see deals under £200 which is a bargain once you’ve split it between six people.