Parts & Accessories

Caravan Holidays – How to Book, Pack, and Save Money

07th June 2024 | Lee Davey
As a caravanner, I like to plan future trips almost as much as I like to save money. As for packing, it’s a necessary evil. Thanks to an array of online tools, it’s possible to choose a campsite and inspect it from above with Google Maps, check for money-saving promotions, find pitches on sites that tend to be fully booked, and use free apps or browser plug-ins to ensure that value for money stays on point.

How to save money when making a booking

Both UK clubs –  The Caravan and Motorhome Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club –  run occasional promotions such as midweek discounts or free child places. When such offers were spotted, we pitched the caravan at a nearby coastal campsite and commuted to work each day. The midweek savings discount made this a very cost-effective thing to do, and nothing beats a mid-week campsite barbeque. Such offers are generally advertised on the relevant website or social media account, with some arriving via e-mail. It’s also worth checking to see if a minor date or location change can affect pricing.

The Caravan and Motorhome Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club websites.

Do you need a pitch with an electric hookup? Prices can vary between pitch types, or if you’re making a last-minute booking and the site appears to be full, searching for a pitch without electricity not only saves money but can also make a pitch appear from nowhere. For example, we wanted to spend a weekend at the ever-popular Trewethett Farm, but the site seemed full. I changed the search to include all pitch types, which uncovered an empty economy pitch. It was a non-EHU grass pitch with stunning clifftop views, but best of all, it saved us £10 per night.

If you’re a frequent CL and CS visitor, you will already be aware of the savings on offer. CL and CS sites are privately owned, five-unit sites that are available to members of The Caravan and Motorhome Club (CL sites) or The Camping and Caravanning Club (CS sites). Each mini campsite is unique, with many offering outstanding value for money. These sites can be found by ticking the CL or CS box on the search page. The CL Booking website and app is an excellent resource for Caravan and Motorhome Club members as it allows a more interactive approach to booking.

If you’re not a member of either club, and list thousands of campsites in the UK and beyond. These can act as useful price-checking websites when staying in a certain area, as bargains can be found in your chosen location.

The hugely popular site, Trewethett Farm in Cornwall.


Everyday caravaning essentials live in the caravan permanently, so levelling ramps, a nose weight gauge, and all the equipment associated with piping water into and out of the caravan are always remembered. However, if we have booked a fully serviced pitch (which is rare) or are venturing overseas, our things-to-remember list contains items like a float valve and a longer hose for the Aquaroll, European EHU adapters, etc.

If you need new caravanning kit, Bailey of Bristol’s sister company, Prima Leisure, stocks a multitude of caravanning essentials and the prices are incredibly keen. Spare parts for Bailey caravans can also be purchased.

Prima Leisure fulfils orders made via The Caravan and Motorhome Club Shop, and club members can save up to 10% on a wide range of leisure vehicle essentials. For example, the 5% Avtex sat-nav discount saves a whopping £19, and even toilet chemicals are discounted.

Prima Leisure, the home of Bailey parts, is the perfect place to visit if you're looking for camping and caravanning parts and accessories.

Preparing for a trip

If it’s been a while since your last trip, ensure that your water system is safe to use. Puriclean is designed for this task and will not attack components within your hot water heating system. Mix following the instructions, add to the Aquaroll or onboard tank and fill the water system. Ensure that all air has been removed by opening the taps until a steady flow is achieved, and then leave for the period specified by the instructions. Once sterilised, rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Check the tyre pressures on both the car and caravan. Not only is this a significant safety concern, but it can also increase miles per gallon. A TyrePal set-up works well and is a great safety net when travelling.

If your caravan has an ALKO anti-sway hitch (most caravans do), check that the tow ball is free from paint, rust, grease, etc. If not, clean with 400-grit wet and dry sandpaper, dry thoroughly, and wipe clean with brake cleaner on clean tissue.

Make sure you read the advice above when planning your next caravan advenutre!

Join a Club

Most folks join The Caravan and Motorhome Club or The Camping and Caravanning Club to access the relevant site network, but did you know both clubs offer significant member savings?

Discounted site nights are an obvious saving, but member benefits include ferry travel, days out, etc. For example, just one ferry trip recouped my annual membership fee and a battery retailer’s discount scheme extended to motorcycle batteries, allowing me to save a fiver when treating an elderly Honda to a new battery.

For days out, ticket discounts can be significant. Before buying or booking anything, check if a relevant deal is available through one of the clubs.

On board a ferry from Dover to Calais.


Rallying is almost as old as the earliest caravan and comes in many guises, from Clubfest and Torchlight to District Association get-togethers and owner’s club rallies.

Regional or DA events offer outstanding value for money, and attendees can get involved with the planned activities or visit the local area solo. As a family, we have enjoyed The Caravan and Motorhome Club’s Clubfest, The Camping and Caravanning Club’s Torchlight Festival, The Bailey Owner’s Club Rally, and several other rallies, including panto visits.

Without exception, the teams have been some of the nicest people we’ve ever met. With some smaller events having per-night costs of around £10, it’s a great way to keep costs down while meeting new people.

If you’ve yet to try a rally and own a Bailey caravan or motorhome, contact the Bailey Owner’s Club.

Money-saving Apps

I use an Avtex sat nav when towing, but should I need diesel, I’ll check the Waze navigation app. It allows users to price-check fuel stations along the route, and hefty savings can be had. For example, a French petrol station just 200 metres from the dual carriageway was a whopping 30 Euro cents per litre cheaper than the central service station. Best of all, the Waze app is free.

Have you heard of Honey? It’s a free browser plug-in that automatically scans for voucher codes when an online checkout basket is detected. During a trip to the Isle of Wight, our leisure battery decided to quit. A nearby retailer was found, and Honey automatically applied a code as I pre-paid online. The saving was £30.

Waze and Honey are two must use money-saving apps for any caravanner!