Owning a caravan holiday home or luxury lodge is a big commitment, but it is also an incredible opportunity to gain more freedom in your life, so that you can focus more on the moments that matter most.
Imagine planning for a holiday that isn’t bound by busy flight schedules, seasonal hotel capacity, price fluctuation and booking fees.
Imagine packing for a holiday knowing that equipment for your favourite sports and activities, toys for your children, a comfy bed for your pet, and even a few spare changes of clothes were already safely stored at your holiday destination.
This is a genuine reality for those who have already taken steps towards a lifestyle that takes the stress out of holiday-planning, and who can enjoy spontaneous holidays to a destination they love with their family friends, anytime they please.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned caravan veteran looking to upgrade or re-locate, the prospect of choosing from the many different models of caravans and holiday parks across the country might seem daunting.
You might be feeling uneasy about investing a large sum of money upfront to cover the holiday home purchase, or concerned that you’ve overlooked important annual running costs.
Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience in the past or heard about other people’s horror stories.
If any of the above applies to you, or you are simply keen to learn more about caravan ownership, then you have come to the right place…
Read on to learn about some of the key considerations you should make before setting off on this journey to freedom, and what it means to own a holiday home.
Our Five Star Escapes may not be best suited to you, but either way we’d love to help you make the right decision.
Location Location Location
You will need to consider the following – what are your priorities for the location of your holiday home?
Do you want to be on the beach, or close to a specific mountain, lake or river – or are you happy to make a short trip to get there?
Generally, the closer you are to the action, the busier and more crowded your immediate vicinity will be.
Are you happy to sacrifice privacy and a more peaceful environment so that you can roll out of bed onto the beach?
And what about local amenities?
Parking can often be a hassle in busy towns and villages, so is it more important that you can walk to nearby amenities and leave your car safely parked at your holiday home – or are there convenient public transport links nearby?
For others driving can be part of the adventure, giving you more freedom to explore off the beaten track, and enabling you to carry all the equipment and essentials you’re going to need for your big adventure!
Or perhaps you’d prefer something that is more self-contained, with enough facilities that once you reach your holiday home, you don’t have to venture out too often.
Space and Privacy
What about safety and privacy?
Generally speaking, the closer you are to the action, the higher the footfall will be near your holiday home.
Often, the general public can gain access to your site if you have public facilities such as gyms, restaurants, etc. or if you’re close to sites of interest such as walking trails, beaches and nature reserves.
Invest in your family life and wellbeing
Your primary cost is going to be the holiday home itself and this can vary greatly, depending on size, features and quality.
Once you have decided a location that best suits you and those you will be sharing your leisure time with, you will need to think about the amount of space you need, your preference for style and quality, and whether there are certain amenities you consider essential, such as a washing machine, electric fireplace or dishwasher.
There is no wrong or right answer, but be realistic and honest with yourself about what you actually need and can afford, and weigh these factors against the amount of time you will spend at your holiday home each year.
If this is your first holiday home, don’t just rush into buying a massive twin unit with all the extra-added gadgets.
We normally suggest starting small or maybe even pre-owned, to first test the water – and if you decide you are ready to upgrade, most parks will be happy to help you part-exchange for a holiday home that better suits your needs. This can often be more cost-effective too.
We like to build long-term relationships with our owners, and will never push you towards the most expensive options.
Your secondary costs are the annual fees for running and maintaining your holiday home – this includes site fees, council rates and site charges for water, waste and energy.
Some parks separate their annual pitch fees from any ongoing rates, you should therefore make sure you have calculated these together for a more comprehensive understanding – also, don’t forget to check if you need additional insurance!
Lastly, consider your holiday expenses such as money for food, drink and activities, car fuel or public transport prices.
It is good to have a rough idea of local prices, many tourist areas hike up their prices – are restaurants considerably more expensive than takeaways or DIY BBQ’s & picnics, will car parking cost more than using local transport?
Most of these costs are non-recoverable, so to put it bluntly, owning a holiday home is not a financial investment.
However, it is an investment in your quality of life and the mental and physical wellbeing of you and your loved ones, and an exciting way to make sure you don’t miss out on the moments that matter most.
Should you own a holiday home?
A great way to test the water is renting a holiday home in an area that interests you, perhaps for a week or two, or at least enough time for you to get a better sense of the holiday home lifestyle and a chance to explore the surrounding area.
Many parks, such as ourselves, will refund the full cost of your holiday if you go on to purchase a holiday home with them.
Visit our holiday accommodation page for prices, availability or to make a booking.
We believe in transparency and conducting our business in a responsible and ethical way.
We feel all prospective buyers should be realistic when weighing up the various pros and cons of owning a holiday home, relative to their individual circumstances and preferences.
This lifestyle is not for everyone, and we want to help people decide whether this decision is right for them before they make a commitment, just as much as we try to decide if prospective customers are right for us…
With our license agreements lasting up to 30 years, we believe it is important to build strong relationships with our customers that can last many family generations, right from the start, and to help you gain the most value from your lifestyle investment.
Our Five Star Escapes are located at the edge of Snowdonia National Park, and whilst Sarnfaen sits conveniently on the Cambrian Coastline near to Barmouth, Madryn Castle‘s unique central location means it is an equal distance to the most iconic beaches that surround the Llŷn Peninsula (Abersoch, Llanbedrog, Nefyn & Pwllheli).
There are a number of good local pubs and restaurants within easy reach and some of the best beaches and hiking trails in Wales at your doorstep.
Both sites are close enough to the action, but still afford our owners a more private and exclusive experience onsite, and apart from the leisure club at Sarnfaen, our amenities are for exclusive use by our holiday home customers.
Exclusivity is an important aspect of owning a holiday home with Pritchard Leisure. We remain loyal to our customers, as they remain to us.
Our holiday parks may not be right for you, but either way we hope this blog helps with your decision-making, at least to get you thinking about your priorities and asking yourself the right questions.
If you would like to chat to us about holiday home options, or have any general questions about ownership, we’d love to hear from you.
And if you think this blog could help anyone else, please share it using the links below.