Our First Caravan Holiday

The first caravan holiday we had as a family was spent in the Park Dean Resorts Holiday Park Landguard in Shanklin, Isle of Wight. Landguard Holiday Park is a smaller park based on the eastern side of the Isle of Wight and is accessible by Ferry, Hovercraft from Portsmouth Harbour. You can also get to Landguard holiday park by train after crossing over from Ryde. It takes around twenty minutes and is quite a picturesque train ride down.

I remember picking out Landguard for our family holiday and booking a last minute deal for October. Back then we had the freedom to travel during term time as Evangeline had only just turned four and we did the entire leg of the trip by public transport. We were lucky with the weather for October and got a Gold Plus standard of Caravan which had loads of room, a fully equipped kitchen and was situated next to a play park.

Shanklin is a lovely destination for a family holiday as there is so much to do and suitable for all ages. It particularly comes to life during the summer holidays which we learned when we returned in 2018. For our first holiday as a family of three it was an ideal location and we had a lot of fun.

Evie had a great time at the kids discos and kids clubs whereas Adam and I enjoyed being somewhere quiet and being able to snuggle up on the sofa with the fire on in the evening. We were able to get out and about easily and everything was so central. It became apparent during that first caravan holiday that we would love to continue doing these every year as it’s a form of camping we are absolutely on board with.

I like caravan holidays because they come with everything you need for a holiday as well as running water and your own shower. The only thing we’ve found frustrating is taking luggage on public transport but as we haven’t been able to drive it’s been more of a negative against us rather than a caravan holiday.

I know caravan holidays aren’t suitable for every family but for us they make sense. There is always a shop on site for convinience and thanks to google maps you can scout out the area you’re staying in very quickly. This has helped in our planning as we know in advance where a supermarket is. We always pick a park that has lots of facilities for kids like a swimming pool and entertainment as it’s important the whole family has something they can look forward to whilst away.

We particularly like the Isle of Wight because there is so much there to do for everyone when it comes to day trips and getting about on the Island by bus, train or taxi has been pretty easy for us. Since then we’ve had a caravan holiday almost every year and I hope it’s a tradition we will continue with as as Felix gets older. I think he’ll love being on a campsite just as much as Evangeline does!

Our first caravan holiday on Isle of Wight, Hampshire at Landguard Holiday Park, Park Dean Resorts

Places We’ve Travelled

We love travelling and I want to make sure my children get a taste for travel and so it’s really important for me to make sure we have a family holiday every year. Some of our trips have been as a couple, especially in the early days and prior baby Felix but since 2014 we have had a family holiday each year. Some of our trips have been long weekends and midweek breaks.

We usually opt for an affordable Monday to Friday break as this gives us a chance to visit somewhere new without breaking our bank or budget. We love travelling but we do have a budget to stick to and a lot of our travel in the past has had to involve public transport which of course includes a cost in itself.

I’ll go into more detail about the places we’ve travelled in future blog posts but for now here are some of the places we’ve visited and loved to help you get to know some of the content you can expect to see from this blog in the future.

  • London
  • Edinburgh
  • Blackpool
  • Warwick Castle
  • Disneyland Paris
  • Thorpe Park
  • Chessington
  • Bruges, Belgium
  • Stavanger, Norway
  • Cardiff
  • Bath
  • Bristol
  • Cornwall
  • Isle of Wight
  • Bergen, Norway
  • Alesund, Norway
  • Portsmouth
  • Salisbury
  • Devon
  • Weymouth
  • Bournemouth
  • Geiranger, Norway

Our trips to the places above have been a mixture of cruise trips, caravan holidays, short stay hotel breaks and weekends with friends. I can’t wait to extend this list with more caravan parks around the UK and our next cruise where we will be visiting Hamburg, Amsterdam and returning to Bruges with the children.

I think travel is really important and something all families should do together. The benefits of travelling, for me, far outweigh the stress as it gives us all a chance to try something new. In the past it’s given us some much needed screen time breaks, meals together, conversations and so much fun. I am really excited about sharing our next travel adventures with you.

My Mini Travellers

I’d like to take a little chance to introduce you to my family so you can find out a little bit more about us and hopefully help you to understand the type of content you can expect to find here at Cruises & Caravans which I began in April 2019. We are a family of four living in Hampshire and I think our favourite place to stay so far has been the Isle of Wight. It’s easy for us to get to and really feels like a holiday destination without being too far from home.

I live with my partner Adam who goes along with all my travel plans and thankfully is also a fan of cruising and caravan holidays. So far we’ve only cruised as a couple but we do have our first family cruise booked for next year and we are all very excited. I met Adam in 2012 and we’ve been venturing around the country and Europe together since then.

Child number one is Evangeline born in September 2010. Evangeline lives with us but regularly spends time with her dad and gets to go on many more adventures. She is used to travelling long distances by car and public transport now especially as many of our own personal travels have been done without having a car in the household.

Child number two is Felix born in October 2018. I can’t say much about his experience so far but I’ll be blogging all my tips about travelling with a baby.

The family behind cruises and caravans -  a UK based travel blog focusing on UK Caravan Parks and Family Cruise Holidays

Why Cruises & Caravans

Here I am again with another blog but this time with a very specific idea of content. I have blogged over on my main site Candyfloss & Dreams on my love of cruising and caravan park holidays. It’s a joy my family and I share together. A few years ago now on during a blog event a friend recommended that cruising should be my niche because my knowledge was great. I’m no expert, of course, but over the years I have discovered that cruising is my favourite way to travel.

So why cruises and caravans then? Well, that’s the other way we like to travel as a family returning and testing new caravan parks across the UK. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea but we have loved our caravan holidays every year as a family and plan to continue as our family has grown to four.

After a bit of contemplation I decided that I could easily combine my knowledge of cruise and caravan holidays and collate it all here on this blog to help other families find the absolute joy in cruise and caravan holidays. My goal is to post helpful, useful information, travel tips and advice on travelling as a family of four. I’ll introduce the family in a later blog post to help you understand a bit more on the type of content you can expect in the future.

In the meantime I’d love for you to follow us on Instagram and share anything you find useful with friends or family. You are welcome to contact me through the blog as I’d love to connect.