I’m putting these words together at a time of year I quite enjoy – January. The hurly-burly madness of the pre-Christmas period is over, editors have disappeared on Canadian skiing holidays (deadlines, what deadlines?), and large numbers of people have deserted the city in favour of a coastal beach holiday. It’s a time for catching up on all the things that were carefully ignored before Christmas and making a few plans for the year. Well, that is the idea anyway... A bonus of a considerable number of people on holidays is that it’s possible to get across Sydney in an hour without trying to catch that hugely variable time period known loosely as non-peak hour!
It’s also a time when it’s possible to sit down for an hour or so to read and not feel like there was something else more important to be done. Two items of interest caught my eye. One was a Facebook item where a couple of grey nomads were outraged at the cost of staying overnight in a NSW coastal caravan park during the busy January period. What they were most unhappy about was that there was a minimum two-night stay. Whilst I sympathise with the quite substantial cost increase (and it was very substantial) compared to off-season times, I also recognise the fact that it comes under the classification of commercial reality, supply and demand.
During January in high demand areas, everyone – caravan parks, hotels, motels and service industries – are going to put their prices up. In some areas, that is the only way businesses can afford to be there during the off-season at a much cheaper rate for those who are more flexible about their travel dates. It’s not only January (think Jindabyne, NSW, in mid-winter), or accommodation, either. A couple of times in recent years, we have done a bunk to Britain for the Christmas/New Year period. Whilst airfares to winter time Europe are quite cheap, there’s a short period of time when they look more like European summer airfares. Guess when? It’s not only holiday times, either. A few years ago one of my regular trips to Brisbane was knocked back a week by the company bookings’ person. The reason being that the State of Origin rugby was on in Brisbane that same week and both airfares and hotel costs had risen two or three times their normal cost. I’m sure you all know the moral of all this...
CARAVAN HOLIDAY AT THE BEACH
My second piece of reading was in the Sydney Morning Herald and also on seaside caravan park holidays in January. Written by a freelance writer, Amanda Sheehan, it was an entertaining read. Normally recreational vehicle articles in the daily papers are written by people who don’t understand the industry at all, like “wow, this caravan has a microwave oven” – or they get fixated by $500 million motorhomes and forget about everything else, the likes of which you and I get around in!
This was something different though, Amanda’s article was entitled: “Nothing beats summer in a caravan by the sea” and goes on to describe the joys, as well as some of the few lesser joys, of taking her children on their annual Christmas caravanning holiday. In a brave move (by today’s standards), the Sheehan children are not allowed to take away any electronic devices. That had even me wondering but apparently it’s a great way to get the kids outdoors, on their bikes and mixing with all the other families enjoying their caravanning holiday. To quote Amanda: “I love what happens to our kids when we go caravanning. For a start we see a lot less of them.” That might sound a bit funny until you learn that the family caravan is not a 7m (23ft) family bunk van but something a little smaller at 4m (13ft). Indeed, Amanda ponders this very matter “we question why we are leaving a spacious air-conditioned home to live in a tiny space”. The answer is quite simple really, isn’t it? There’s nothing quite like a family caravanning holiday by the beach. I remember them very well, especially as we too had a family caravan that was also 4m (13ft) long but we really did not spend too much time in it – only for meals and sleeping! The rest of the time was outdoors. Like me, I reckon the Sheehan children will remember their beachside caravan holidays long after they have grown up and moved on. Also, they too might enjoy their own caravanning holidays as adults and isn’t that music to the ears of any RV manufacturer with an eye to the future.
Read the full article in Caravan World #560. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!