Happy New Year

Okay, huge apologies for not having blogged for absolutely ages. I started the blog with really good intentions but then the more I went away in Edna the less time I seemed to have to write about it and then I had a bit of a back log. Sorry! So, I will definitely blog more often and try not to feel overwhelmed when we’re out and about lots.

Anyway, hope you’re all well. The first year in Edna has come and gone and it’s been brilliant. We still love her to pieces even though we had to pay a little bit of money to get her through her MOT. We didn’t manage to do all the counties in Wales, though we have done a few and intend to do more this year. We went to Scotland in the Summer which was brilliant and have visited relations in Clacton and Hertfordshire. Last year I talked about the horrible hotel we stayed in visiting relations in Hertfordshire and how it was too hot and itchy. Well, the last camping trip of 2014 was again visiting family but we stayed in Edna at a campsite which was brilliant. We hooked up for the first time and ran a little blow heater which comes on and then off again when it heats up to the correct temperature. It was less noisy than the diesel heater and I wasn’t sure how expensive the diesel heating would be to run all night. The diesel heater is louder in the van and also louder outside as it vents out. It was still colder in the roof than the main part of the van, it always will be, but it was warm enough with some good bedding. We’d do it again. Breakfast was a bit harder because we had to wrap up and get some ventilation in whilst we were cooking. The second morning we went out for breakfast. Well, why not. It was cheaper than the budget hotel and much more fun.

So, next year the plans are more of Wales, more visiting friends and relatives and either more Scotland or possibly a trip further afield to Holland or maybe France. We’re hopefully moving house this year so it depends when that happens. We don’t want to go anywhere warm though as my son still burns if it’s too warm. What are anyone elses plans for this year? Last year was a year of firsts for us so this year we get to worry less and benefit from a tiny bit of experience.

I’ve also got a new SatNav for this year. The SatNav app on my phone has really been playing up and Edna kept parkouring off onto B roads so now we’ve got a shiny new toy which will hopefully behave itself. We’ve only used it once so far and my daughter checked with the map the whole way there and back to make sure it wasn’t leading us a merry dance.

Budget Hotel vs Camping

Arrival

  • With a budget hotel I always try to check in as early as possible as I’ve heard all sorts of rumours about them overbooking.  I’ve never actually heard of anyone being turned away, but it always plays on my mind.  I’m happy once I have a key in my hand.
  • Similarly, at a campsite the idea flashes through my mind that they may have lost my booking.  Then I worry that they will have run out of space and I will be shovelled into a corner somewhere with no space around us.  Again, this is completely unfounded.

Toilets

  • With a family room you share an en-suite bathroom.  Great!  Many people will think.  Toilets on the doorstep, but that also means toilet smells.  The worst thing is the toilet in the middle of the night.  The light switch was on the outside which meant that you had to switch it on and then open the door and wake everyone else in the room up with the very efficient light.  It was also accompanied by the loud fan whirring
  • If I talk about camping people always say, but what about having to walk to the toilets in the middle of the night.  I like walking to the toilets, looking at the stars and listening to the peace and quiet.  If you pick a good campsite they’re clean and tidy and you get a bit of peace and quiet when you go to the loo.  No nasty smells in your bedroom either.  Of course it can be cold and wet, but then you get to snuggle up in bed afterwards and appreciate the warmth.  The zip of the tent can be noisy though.

Noise

  • In a hotel room you can hear people moving around in neighbouring bedrooms above, below or next door to you.  You can also hear people arriving and leaving in the the corridors and stairwells.
  • In campsites you can hear other people moving around and settling down in the evening, but a lot of campsites have an eleven o’clock quiet time so most of the time it’s quiet after that and before seven or eight.  In the morning you hear hushed children and if you’re lucky sizzling bacon.  Okay, sometimes you do hear late night jollities and early morning children.

Breakfast

  • Some budget hotels don’t have anywhere for breakfast.  Some have overpriced options, some have a variety of options as they are located in a central position.  So breakfast can vary
  • Camping can be weather dependent.  Cereal in the rain,  sizzling bacon eaten outside if it’s dry.  So, similar to the hotel in that it can vary.

Temperature

  • Budget hotel’s can be extremely hot and dry and difficult to control the temperature.  At the weekend we struggled to sleep because of the heat and turning down the heater didn’t help much.  Opening the window onto the floodlit car park wasn’t particularly useful either.
  • Camping can be cold, so you need to wrap up warm in layers and have plenty of covers.

Well, I know I’m extremely biased, but I couldn’t believe how hot it was in the room and it wasn’t just me who was hot.  Mmm!  I wonder how many people would share my view of prefering camping.  I know a lot who would prefer the hotel.