With the dreaded lurgy having eaten the legs, guts and heart out of a lot of our travel plans in the past year, those of us stuck in one spot may be wondering if we will ever see the inside of an aeroplane again.
Fear not, we will. Eventually.
In the meantime, there is something to be said for exploring your more local surroundings. They say no man is a tourist in his own land, but the current situation may have forced us to re-evaluate that idea.
If local travel is available to you, how can you best take advantage of it?
Plenty of hotels have amazing deals on offer and staycations can be fun, but, what if I told you that campervans or RVs can be as sexy as a holiday in a 5 Star hotel?
Before you throw your Andy Capp cap at the screen, let’s look at 4 different types of on road holiday homes on the market from ‘best bang for your buck’, to ‘who cares how much it costs?’. According to carmagazine.co.uk, people with a reasonable, but not break the bank, amount of money can purchase a very decent permanent hotel on wheels for less than £65,000 which, they say, will last you up to ten years.
These vehicles look like, and essentially are, converted people movers. Think 7-seater family bus with more features. It’s kind of like having a caravan hidden in your car.
This price tag will get you enough beds for 4- quite-small-people, a small but functional kitchenette, a canopy to create an outdoor space when you park and a small living space/dining area once you have flipped everything around inside.
Two people could easily travel around and live for a while in one of these, even two people and a pet. What it doesn’t have, at this price point, is any kind of bathroom facility.
This fact may limit where you end up for the night. If campsites are open where you are, then you are set, however, if you want to really get away from everything, or you don’t fancy making a midnight walk to the toilet block, the lack of ablutions may make you want to look into the next price range. One big advantage to the lack of features, of course, is that at their size they are smaller, they drive like a car, and they are easy to park.
If the toilet thing is an issue for you, the next level up when it comes to an ‘on-road lifestyle’ are the Class B group. These vehicles come in at between £60,000 – £150,000 and for that kind of money, you are entitled to a loo and even a shower.
Slightly longer than their cheaper brothers, usually between 20-24 feet, they may not be as nippy on the road, although there appears to be little difference in fuel economy and parking is not as troublesome as might be expected.
What you will get in this category are the added extras that make life more…comfortable.
For a start, more room. Kitchens have preparation areas, there will be some kind of ‘entertainment area’, you may even have satellite TV, more headroom and, as mentioned, a place to freshen up.
The class B is like if a really big car and caravan had a baby, but kept it secret, sort of.
Once again, most advertise themselves as sleeping 4 people, and this seems more viable in a moving hotel room this size. Again, 2 people or 2 people and pets would be quite a good option.
Now it is time to get serious. In the world of ‘taking your hotel room with you’, there is an enormous jump between the Class B we just looked at and the next in the range, the Motor Home.
Made famous by Americans, or at least that is how we imagine it, this is how you holiday when you really want to take your house with you. Not only are these things significantly larger, they are fully kitted out and can cost more than a 4 bedroom residence.
To classify as a Motor Home, these beasts are between 29 and 45 feet long. They often have pop-out sections which can be expanded when the vehicle is stopped to provide extra square footage.
Large Motor Homes can sleep up to 8 people, and a family of four would have enough personal space to not want to kill each other. You can pay up to £500,000 – and more- for a good quality , and while that is not the very top of the line, as we will soon see, there are enough bells and whistles to be getting on with.
Wardrobe space, heated floors, lighting schemes, marble countertops, maybe even two toilets, it’s all here. Motor Homes at this end are certainly equal to, or even better than, most 5 Star hotel rooms. Of course, no one is there to bring you room service, but tidying up is not going to take too long, and there are fully off-road versions that will take you to places where you wouldn’t get room service anyway.
Motor Homes, RVs, do not fit into single parking spots, and they a like driving a bus, but what they lack in handling, they more than make up for in ‘flash’!
And so, we get to the serious big boys. These are the ‘no holds barred, take no prisoners’ outright winners of travelling around your own country shouting “I’ve got money”.
If you have anywhere between £1- £3 million to spend on a staycation road trip, good news.
Your chariot awaits.
The most distinct, and possibly disturbing, looking mega RV is the EleMMent Palazzo Superior. That bubble is where the driver sits. It is 65 feet long and has an expandable top deck for when you have the other campers over for a bar-b-que. At the top of the line, this home away from home boasts a full bar, rain shower bathroom and all the maiden crafted leather you can point a bespoke stick at. Yes, you will need some kind of special licence. You will also need to be OK with stopping traffic everywhere you go.
This is the bathroom. Remember when we talked about the importance of bathrooms 2.95 million pounds ago? Still stands.
However, this big cyclops car does not have EVERYTHING.
This one has a place to park your car when you want to nip to the shops.
This one has a helicopter for when you want to nip to even better shops. To be honest, this may affect fuel economy, which is something to consider… So there we have it, if you can’t get on a plane, but you need a holiday you can get yourself a modern day caravan- there we said it- and become that tourist in your own land, and whether your hotel room looks like this…
or like this…
we know you will have a great time singing tunes, honking your horn and waving to fellow travellers as you hit the road.