Carry On Camping: How To Have A Laugh On A Caravan Holiday


We’ve all seen it; Sid James with his characteristic cackling laugh as he gets up to mischief, Barbara Windsor giving everyone an eyeful after a rather unfortunate Aerobics accident and Kenneth Williams being frankly disgusted with it all. Carry On Camping may have been an overstated slapstick take on the traditional caravan holiday, but it raised plenty of laughs as the UK’s most popular film at the Box Office way back in 1969, and it reminds us even now that caravan holidays are there to be enjoyed and there is plenty of potential for light-hearted moments.

The main crux of a caravan holiday is that it creates precious quality time together for friends and family, away from the distractions of real life and in many cases, away from the technology and gadgets that often deny us the pleasure of conversation and really getting to know people.

A caravan holiday certainly enables us to get down to basics, and in circumstances where everyone is living a little closer together and our only entertainment is ourselves, it often brings out the best in people. Many a time you will walk past a caravan of an evening with everyone sat snugly inside, and the ripple of hearty laughter is frequent as people enjoy a rare opportunity for extended bonding, having a sociable drink and playing board games or cards.

Of course the humour mechanism in many families revolves around poor old Dad; the butt of many a joke, mainly because his clumsy and hapless persona is by no means an exaggeration. If there is a setting up job to be done; be it awnings, tents or windbreaks, or even getting the barbecue going, Dad will be deployed to the task and will slip seamlessly into character bringing laughs aplenty within minutes. Every family has one character like Dad, of course, so people-watching as you sit idly in the sun outside your caravan can bring plenty of light relief as you giggle at some other poor soul’s misfortune. But remember, you really should offer to help!

Caravan holidays are naturally at the mercy of the weather, and there is nothing better for bringing everyone down to earth, and finding the humour in the most absurd of circumstances, than getting a drenching whilst you’re out. Again, an ability to laugh at yourself on a caravan holiday is just as important as being able to laugh at others, and somehow, in the great outdoors, we manage to lose our inhibitions and our hang-ups and a carefree recklessness means we don’t care too much about what we look like, and we can laugh about it too. The sense of adventure that caravan holidays bring somehow offers us a freedom and abandon that brings humour and devilment to the fore, and so plenty of laughs will follow.

The enclosed nature of a caravan also promotes a thriving environment for pranks and practical jokes. Items are forever ‘going missing’ or being located in the most ridiculous places, and the fun you can have with zip-up sleeping bags is more extensive than you probably imagined. And of course, Dad will be the brunt of the jokes again, and for the sake of maintaining harmony and supporting a laughter-filled holiday, he will more than likely go along with it.

All caravan parks of course have a code of conduct, and respecting other campers is an integral part of that; a generally accepted rule amongst caravaners. But within that there is plenty of scope to let loose and enjoy the freedom of caravanning, whether you bring your motorhome or pitch up a tent instead. There is an air of liberty and mischief about living in the great outdoors and for young and old it is a time to sit back and enjoy life with a giggle, a drink and hopefully a little sunshine. Even sat watching your neighbour’s dog for half an hour can bring untold fun. And if the weather is lousy stick the ‘Carry On Camping’ DVD on and have a laugh at that instead.

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