Plan Your Perfect Camping Summer
If you haven’t already booked your summer camping holiday, WHY NOT? Do it now, before the best campsite pitches get snapped up.
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?
Decide where you want to visit during the year. Do you want to go to the coast? Or perhaps a countryside break is more your thing. Perhaps somewhere completely new, or an old favourite with a twist. You could even split a week or two between sites. Try to involve the whole family in choosing a site. It sounds obvious, but narrowing down to one region or area makes it a lot easier to search for a site.
Visit our campsite finder for ideas on where to go.
WHEN SHOULD YOU GO?
Choosing when you take your camping breaks is important.
The beginning of June through to the middle of September is the time when we do most of our camping – quick overnights away, weekend breaks and long summer holidays..
In Britain, there’s no particularly “good” time for weather, but obviously the height of summer is more than likely to give you the most sunshine. However, early September can often be surprisingly warm and sunny as well.
Obviously if kids are involved you’ll be restricted to the school holidays and weekends. This can be limiting – the laws of demand and supply mean these are the most expensive times and you’ll also need to book early to guarantee a pitch. Bank holidays are especially popular so if that’s when you want to go, get on to it quickly. Likewise, the peak summer months are incredibly popular too.
Of course, if you don’t have school-age children, then the world’s your oyster! It’s much easier to avoid the popular dates and that means quieter sites and less expensive pitches. The downside is that sometimes sites don’t have all their facilities available outside the peak season – so make sure you check in advance if you want to take advantage of swimming pools and entertainment.
Don’t forget Scotland has different school holidays to England, so if you’re based south of the border and fancy heading north to one of the stunning sites on the west coast, you might be best waiting until late August when the Scottish kids are back at school, or go earlier during the English half-term holiday.
BOOK IT NOW
Don’t risk missing out on the site and dates you want. Look out for early bird offers as well – some sites will give you a discount if you book your pitch a few months in advance.
Rather than a long summer holiday, you might fancy spending your summer touring. Planning can often go out the window with this type of holiday, and it might be a case of finding any site with a vacancy, especially in school holidays. Be prepared to be turned away from busy sites though.
SORT OUT YOUR GEAR
Unpacking and checking your stored gear is a big job but don’t put it off. You’ll need time to check what needs to be cleaned, repaired or reproofed and then get the jobs done before the summer.
If you use a trailer, make sure it is road safe. Get it serviced by a specialist if you can, and pay particular attention to tyres. Don’t forget you’ll need a spare.
HIT THE HIGH STREET
Now is the time when the new gear and tents arrive in the shops, so you can replenish your stocks and maybe splash out on a new tent. Have a look at our Tent Guide for ideas and buying tips.
DRAW UP A CAMPING GEAR CHECKLIST
Think about how you’re going to pack your car and have trial run. Consider a roof box or trailer to spread the car’s load. Sort out a proper bike rack and, if necessary, get a lighting board. Download our FREE checklist here
CHECK YOUR PAPERWORK IS IN ORDER
If you are planning an overseas trip in the summer, check all your documents are valid well in advance (especially passports). Shop around for good ferry and site deals and arrange breakdown cover. Is your insurance up-to-date? Make sure your policy replaces old gear with new. If you are not insured, consider cover. And find out the get-out clauses.