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Subject Topic: Poll : going abroad this year : yes or no
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Message posted by Colin2127/7/2021 at 11:43am
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Each to their own I suppose Vampgirl. It's a different kind of holiday with a motorhome compared to a caravan. We tend these days to go to one site and stay there for a week, 10 days, or a fortnight. Now that we are "oldies" and retired we don't want any hassle at all, so we would rather stay at home than go through all the messing around needed to go abroad at the moment. If we were younger maybe we would think differently. We do however tend to book last minute, as we can go anytime really.


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Colin

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Message posted by badger5427/7/2021 at 11:57am
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Quote: Originally posted by Vampgirl on 27/7/2021
We're planning to be in France this time next month...2.5 weeks of bliss and both of us are counting down the days. To be honest the only thing that will stop us going is either the UK government putting France on the red list or the French government closing the borders to Brits.

We tried the UK thing earlier this year...nice, but we didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much so as our trips abroad and we weren't able to relax in the same way. The UK just doesn't really cater for motorhomes very well, or at least our style of motorhoming....ie. not booking anything, seeing what the weather is like and sitting down with a drink and deciding where we fancy going next.

We managed a couple of weeks in France last September and we're so glad we did.... we felt totally safe, campsites and shops had good measures in place and nowhere was particularly busy. The memories of that trip have sustained us over the past year, though the wine ran out a few months ago ;-)

So the tunnel is booked (but is easily amendable online), we have our ACSI card and the France Passion book should arrive soon. Yes there is a slight hassle of needing to get tested before coming home and then the day 2 & 8 tests and quarantine (if still needed by then). But the cost and hassle is totally worth it for us. We've planned for the worst: will take work laptops with us in case one of us tests positive and we need to delay our return and have bookmarked an aire with EHU where we can hole up if needed. Having a contingency plan in place means I don't need to stress about "what if".



I agree with you about the different style of camping in the UK, we never book anything in Europe, just go where the fancy takes us and stay as long or as short as we care to. It does seem that UK sites are so different, requiring bookings and advance payments - - that does not appeal to us at all. Hopefully we will get to France this time next month too for a few weeks if nothing changes drastically.

Message posted by Vampgirl27/7/2021 at 12:21pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Colin21 on 27/7/2021
It's a different kind of holiday with a motorhome compared to a caravan. We tend these days to go to one site and stay there for a week, 10 days, or a fortnight.

Yes exactly, its a totally different style. There's one place we sometimes stay for 4 nights...but there's a lot to do there within cycling distance and direct access to a lake to launch the kayak. On a typical trip we'll probably have around 40% of the nights are single night stopovers, 30% are 2 nighters and 30% are 3 nights. We never stay in one place for very long.

Quote: Originally posted by badger54 on 27/7/2021
I agree with you about the different style of camping in the UK, we never book anything in Europe, just go where the fancy takes us and stay as long or as short as we care to. It does seem that UK sites are so different, requiring bookings and advance payments - - that does not appeal to us at all. Hopefully we will get to France this time next month too for a few weeks if nothing changes drastically.


That's exactly how we feel too - the continental way suits us much better. When we go away we have a rough plan, but if the weather doesn't co-operate or we just change our minds then we usually end up winging it Some of our best trips have been when we've thrown the plan out the window and just gone where the weather forecast sends us!
Fingers crossed that you manage to get away.

Message posted by Big Roy27/7/2021 at 12:49pm
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I agree Vampgirl, I must admit with all the ups and downs I did for a brief moment think of cancelling my France trip, I still might have to but I just can't bring myself to go to a UK site anymore, too many wet fortnights in Cornwall put paid to that years ago.


It was easier to travel last year, without the vaccine and these travel restrictions are not going away anytime soon, they will certainly be with us next year and probably many years more, so best going for it now.


Don't forget to leave a review of the French and other European campsites you have visited!


Message posted by chrisandsandra27/7/2021 at 1:15pm
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We are the same. We usually go abroad for about 8 weeks every June and/or September, only booking the outbound ferry and leaving the inbound one until we feel like coming home. Being retired we’ve no constraints or deadlines as to when we have to be back.

We might book a campsite for the first night if we are arriving late or if we really want to be somewhere for an event, but other than that we wing it using the internet to find the next campsite or Aire. When we get to the site we look round before booking in and paying and if we don’t like it move on. On most sites in Europe you pay when you leave and don’t have to specify how long you are staying for. It’s all very flexible.

For the past two holidays we’ve stayed in the UK due to Covid. The holidays have been ok but we really don’t like all the booking and paying in advance and having to say how long we’re staying for. On both occasions we’ve changed plans part way through and have lost money on bookings because we either didn’t like the site or just got bored with the place despite doing as much research as possible beforehand. Reviews and websites can be misleading and what is one mans meat is another mans poison, but that doesn’t always come across.

On both holidays our chosen areas in Northumberland/Durham and South West Wales were chosen because in ‘normal’ times they have been quiet when we’ve visited in short breaks but on these occasions have been uncomfortably busy both in the campsites and the places themselves.

Our preferred means of transport when we are on holiday is by bike or public transport to both give my husband, the only driver, a break from driving and because parking the van can be a pain because of tight car parks and height barriers. Once again we’ve found this difficult in the UK as the roads are so busy and there are nothing like as many cycle paths as we find in Europe.

We are now booked to go to France in late August as we feel we really need the sort of holiday we enjoy. We’re not getting any younger and don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to keep doing this. Our ferry booking is fully flexible. We’re both fully vaccinated and don’t mind having to do the tests or isolate when we return if necessary. Reading reports on this website and other places there is much less crowding in the places in France we may visit and the campsites are nothing like as busy. We are just keeping an eye on things and hoping that one or other of the governments don’t prevent it. If we can go we will.


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Message posted by Colin2127/7/2021 at 4:09pm
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We rarely book far ahead in the UK, normally no more than a couple of weeks and sometimes just a couple of days. Yes sites are a lot busier than they used to be, particularly at the moment, but I think a lot is misconception. The site we were on recently was only booked a few days before, and it wasn't anywhere near full while we were there. There were quite a few caravans unoccupied when we arrived but these turned out to be seasonal. There were also quite a few empty pitches. People turned up to some of them over our middle weekend and were gone again by Monday. Very often we find that sites that appear to be fully booked on Friday or Saturday are half-empty during the week, which is why we always aim to arrive on a Monday. If we want a short break we book Monday to Friday rather than at weekends. One big advantage of being retired. Could it be that there are a lot more weekenders in Britain than abroad? I don't know.

Just a few years ago we had a week in Devon then a week in Cornwall. The site in Cornwall was booked by phone just before we left the Devon site. We didn't have any problem at all. I must admit though we didn't move on a Friday or Saturday, and it wasn't during the school holidays as we never go away at all then. I think it was late June or early July, our usual time. I don't think it's always true that you have to book UK sites months ahead, that's just a myth, as we never do.

I doubt any UK site would turn away someone who just turned up, unless they really were fully booked, especially if they turned up after the weekend.



Post last edited on 27/07/2021 16:16:40

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Colin

Message posted by Vampgirl27/7/2021 at 4:35pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Colin21 on 27/7/2021
I don't think it's always true that you have to book UK sites months ahead, that's just a myth, as we never do.

I doubt any UK site would turn away someone who just turned up, unless they really were fully booked, especially if they turned up after the weekend.

No I very much doubt any site will turn anyone away if they have the space, but we don't like travelling anywhere in the UK without booking because you can't be sure that there will be space for you when you arrive unless you have booked. And if you turn up and there's no room what do you do?

Abroad if there isn't any space on the campsite (or if you don't like the look of it when you get there) there's almost always an aire nearby where you can at least stop for that night and decide what to do next. Not that that has ever actually happened to us though....the nearest we got was a campsite in Alsace during harvest time: they were just putting out the "complet" sign when we arrived. But a quick chat and they let us (and a few others!) stay on their playing field for the night until pitches opened up the following day.

Don't forget to leave a review of the French and other European campsites you have visited!


Message posted by badger5427/7/2021 at 4:57pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Vampgirl on 27/7/2021
Quote: Originally posted by Colin21 on 27/7/2021
I don't think it's always true that you have to book UK sites months ahead, that's just a myth, as we never do.

I doubt any UK site would turn away someone who just turned up, unless they really were fully booked, especially if they turned up after the weekend.

No I very much doubt any site will turn anyone away if they have the space, but we don't like travelling anywhere in the UK without booking because you can't be sure that there will be space for you when you arrive unless you have booked. And if you turn up and there's no room what do you do?

Abroad if there isn't any space on the campsite (or if you don't like the look of it when you get there) there's almost always an aire nearby where you can at least stop for that night and decide what to do next. Not that that has ever actually happened to us though....the nearest we got was a campsite in Alsace during harvest time: they were just putting out the "complet" sign when we arrived. But a quick chat and they let us (and a few others!) stay on their playing field for the night until pitches opened up the following day.



In 10 years of meandering around France and the Netherlands, normally 3 trips a year, we have only once found a site full up, that was in Beaune and that one is apparently always busy. As you have said, there is always an alternative nearby if needed.

Message posted by Mick S.28/7/2021 at 12:28pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Big Roy on 27/7/2021
I agree Vampgirl, I must admit with all the ups and downs I did for a brief moment think of cancelling my France trip, I still might have to but I just can't bring myself to go to a UK site anymore, too many wet fortnights in Cornwall put paid to that years ago.




Being virtually surrounded by the sea, i wouldnt expect anything else in Cornwall. You've been going to the wrong place, mate. Ive been drowned in France more than once, so its the luck of where you are.
They way things are going, not only have we binned France this year, i'm less than confident next year will resume. I'm going nowhere that entails wearing masks for longer than it takes to get round Tesco's. So we could possibly have taken our last overseas holiday.

Message posted by arthurdent via mobile 28/7/2021 at 7:00pm
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No, staying in N. Ireland this year, and probably staying on the island of Ireland next year, depending how much covid has retreated (if at all).

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Message posted by alan2929/7/2021 at 9:22am
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We have just booked a week in Croatia which is a Green country at the moment. We're double vaxxed and are just going to do all the tests etc that are needed.

Don't forget to leave a review of the French and other European campsites you have visited!



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