Friday, 24 July 2015 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
Have you ever thought about buying a motorhome for you and your family? Dad of two and friend of, specialist motorhome insurance provider, Staveley Head, Martin, shares his experience of hiring a motorhome for his family’s summer holiday and tells us how he fell in love with the adventure of the motorhoming life…
Every summer holiday the same things happen:
- You are filled with dread at the thought of six weeks (or more) with the kids and nothing to do to amuse them that doesn’t involve sweets or dinosaurs
- You plan to fly somewhere but you see the price of flights, hotels, taxes, travel insurance and hire cars and you realise you could get the loft converted for that
- You look at where relatives live in the UK and die inside at the thought of spending a week with them and their opinions
- You half consider camping, remember what it was like at school and then walk zombie-like towards the drinks cabinet
Well, this is what happens in my house. Every. Single. Year. So what’s left to do? Well, last year and this year and for the foreseeable future we fell in love with the idea of going somewhere in a motorhome. The thought of going wherever we want to? Nice. The thought of me being allowed to take the Alpha Male role (for once) and wear driving gloves? Very nice. Going to beaches for a swim when it’s warm and riding the bikes in the woods and stopping off at country pubs when it’s really raining? Oh come on!
So last year we hired a pretty average-sized motorhome (a Rambler for £60 a day, all in) for the four of us, packed it with what we thought we’d need and headed off with me at the wheel and Springsteen belting out Born to Run on the MP3 player. And what a laugh it was. Within five miles from home we’d changed from wound up, hard working, stressed out parents into two laughing twits. The thought of the kids hating the cramped space was unfounded as it turn out they love campervans. And we saw more of the UK in seven days than we’d seen in seven years.
We drove along the south coast from Bournemouth to Exeter and then up towards Ilfracombe in Devon, stopping whenever we wanted. We had barbecues, we went for walks, we played games (we stayed in one B&B when the weather was truly awful) and then headed back home after a week utterly at peace with the world. The fresh air and exercise helped us sleep better than we had for ages and we simply relaxed. Something I can never do, anywhere.
We loved it. So this year, we’re going further and away for longer. We now know what to do to make the trip even better from renting from the same people (as we’ll get a better deal), planning the route more to stay at good campsites with all the amenities and shops we need to restock, and the biggest thing - remember to insure my wife so she can drive too, as doing it all myself last year was a bit of a pain. Although she did enjoy the mid-day naps as I drove…
OK, so the downsides. A motorhome is not the cheapest holiday you can enjoy and yes, you can get stuck in traffic and sometimes the weather in the UK is just awful. But then again, it’s cheaper than a lot of other holidays, you can use your SatNav to avoid the worst of the delays and there’s nothing you can do about the sunshine apart from going abroad. And as we get more experienced we’ll do that, too.
But the biggest, most fabulous thing about motorhoming is the sheer adventure you have with one. When you holiday in the same resort you meet the same people, go to the same restaurants, and stay in the same hotel. When you motorhome it you have no idea what is going to happen and what you’ll experience, and we absolutely love that sense of fun.
It changes you as a person. You do get more relaxed, yes, but you also become more free spirited and that feeling carries on in you for the rest of the year.
We’ll buy a motorhome within the next 12 months and then we’ll be off most weekends. Maybe we’ll see you out there too – you’ll recognise us as the grinning twits shouting along to Bruce.