Caravanning For The Younger Generation
Going on holiday in a caravan should be enjoyed by all generations
So, why is caravanning seen as an older person’s pursuit? And have we got the reasons all wrong?
Statistics from the Camping and Caravan Club put the average age of its members at 55 years old. But people shouldn’t be fooled into believing that this is because it is an old and stuffy way to holiday.
The Sixties and the Baby Boomers
The ‘golden age’ of caravanning in the UK was in the 1960s and this would make the 55 year old baby boomer the perfect age to have enjoyed this as a child. Just 18,000 new caravans were registered in 1957, compared to 53,000 by the end of 1969.
Today, families with young children would bring down the average considerably; which suggests that there are plenty of over 55s caravanning. They would have been young adults during the golden age, the optimum time to fall in love with the caravan and now have the good fortune to be retired – giving them plenty of freedom to take to the road.
So, rather than being simply an ‘older persons’ pursuit; it attracted them when young, has stayed with them through the years and now the ‘golden age youngsters’ happen to be retiring.
The Dawn of the Package Holiday
From the mid 1980s until the year 2000, worldwide air-travel doubled and consequently affordable ways to travel abroad increased. Since then, we have been overwhelmed with choice; websites searches can find us endless cut-priced deals to places that our grandparents would never have dreamed of visiting.
Since the golden age of caravanning we have become very well-travelled. But has this has made us neglect all the wonderful places in the UK and Northern Europe? Is now the ideal time for simplifying our holidays? Saying no to those endless waits in airport queues and baggage claim?
The young people we want to recruit are already camping; at music festivals, in friends’ gardens and as an affordable first holiday. But is investing money in their own caravan a step too far?
"there is a rising group of young consumers in their twenties and thirties who aren’t bothered by the stereotypical image of caravanners. They are embracing the freedom that this kind of holiday offers." (Mark Bebb, managing director of Salop Leisure)
Caravanning is certainly enjoying a revival. Celebrities are openly declaring their love. Designers are outdoing themselves with beautiful new models. Air fares are not as enticing as they were… we are realising that the UK is more spectacular than we appreciated - while we were being distracted by the rest of the world.
But you can, of course, combine the two….
In New Zealand: http://wilderness.co.nz/on-tour
To make camping ever more enticing, tents are now much easier to assemble (some even contain toilets and separate rooms). To widen its appeal camping has become glamping… Caravans, in turn, are keeping up to date with all the mod cons and creating more visually desirable models.
Perhaps the idea (that some have) of caravanning has needed to evolve. But this vehicle has always been a wonderful concept; take a miniature version of your home anywhere with a road, enjoy nature, eat outside and meet new friends…..