Interview: CaravanTimes welcomes new tourers

First time buyers opt for the Elddis Autoquest 420

By William Coleman

There are so many young couples and families buying their first caravans and motorhomes so they can get away more and make the most of the holiday opportunities here in the UK. We thought it was time to catch up with some of these newcomers and find out what lured them into the world of staycationing.

We can all remember when we decided it was the touring life for us. For many of us, it was a staple part of our childhood and we carried it on as we grew up. As the years have gone by, a lot more people are deciding to try the lifestyle for the first time in their 20s and 30s.

This week we spoke with Matt and Tina Joyner, who’ve been using a motorhome for their family holidays for almost two years. They are both in their 30s and have two children under the age of eight. For years, they have taken holidays around the world, but now they have made the transition from jet-setting to motorhoming.

CaravanTimes: You’ve recently started to take touring holidays and even bought a motorhome. What brought you to the world of touring holidays?

Tina Joyner: We realised one day that our kids were growing up so fast and that, in the near future, they wouldn’t want to hang out with sad old mum and dad. We wanted to hang on to every second of their childhood and appreciate them as they grow up making memories together. I also had caravans and campervans growing up and wanted to recreate those amazing memories with my own family.

The cost of a holiday abroad during school holidays for even a basic package costs thousands of pounds, and when you get home that money is gone. You’re not able to go on holiday again for a long time, so I figured that a van would be something we could always get away in, and we now own an asset.

CT: What motorhome did you buy?

TJ: We bought a 25-year-old Peugeot Elddis Autoquest 420 six-berth. As our first, it had to be affordable and was kind of a trial to see if we like the lifestyle – we do. Now it’s time to try and save for a newer one! Getting this one meant we know what we need, what we don’t need, how we use it and what suits us.

CT: Have you learnt any valuable lessons while on holiday?

TJ: Oh yes. Take it slow, find your pace and shave off layers of stress where you can. Do this by cooking simple (but by no means boring), get a projector (best times watching movies together after a day outside) and do what suits your family.

There’s a lot of admin, so free yourself up some time by being organised. Trying to sort out the van and prepare what we need while having the kids is no easy task.

CT: You have two small children, how are they enjoying the motorhome?

TJ: They love the adventure, discovering a new site and helping us with water or finding sticks to toast marshmallows on. They also love having mummy and daddy time without the normal life stuff that goes into running a home and working. It is nice to get away from it all with the kids while they are still so young.

CT: Would you have any advice for anyone who wants to start using a motorhome?

TJ: Just do it, if it’s not for you, you can always just sell the van, it’s an asset. You also have to like your family, sort of a joke but not really at the same time. We have been able to go away on weekends together that we just would not have had together without the van.

Once you’ve sourced a dog-friendly hotel or sitter, paid to eat out, etc, it’s just not an option. The van is there, we jump in it all together as a family.

Oh and advice – I have a tick list spreadsheet on my computer, as you need pretty much the same kit each time. Print the sheet out and tick away, this makes packing a breeze and I have lots of spare stuff that stays in the motorhome when it’s not being used.

CT: The last question, would you ever consider a touring caravan holiday, towing is easier than it looks?

TJ: No, not really. We did think about it, but we like to travel with the van exploring for a few days rather than set up a base and go to and from. We are starting to plan a trip around France next summer. I think this kind of holiday and lifestyle suits us best with a motorhome.