Booking CLs - how far in advance do you book?

Oct 19, 2023
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Another Newby question, and possibly a 'length of string one' to boot. We've only been away in the caravan twice (September and October this year) and both times booked a week or two before without any problems. Looking at going away for a week in May or June next year. Do CLs tend to get booked up around this time? I'm guessing some are more popular than others so it may be a difficult question to answer.
 
Dec 27, 2022
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Looking back through last year's bookings I made them anything between 24hrs and 3 months in advance normally about 6 weeks.
I book as soon as I know when/where we are going.
 
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Mar 3, 2022
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Depends solely on the popularity of the site. We have booked many a CL with a phone call the day before or even the same day.
We've already booked 2 CL's for next June as it's sites we really like and where we want to be at that time.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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When we wanted a site in the village of Hutton le Hole in the North York Moors we booked around 9 months ahead, similarly for Seahouses. If it’s a place you particularly want to stay at nothing is lost by booking well in advance.
 
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Nov 12, 2021
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I agree, book well in advance. The longer you leave it the more difficult it can be to get two or more consecutive weeks due to weekends being booked quickly. If you can't get on to the site of your choice, ask if they have a cancellation list.
Many sites are now taking deposits to discourage no-shows which often left sites with empty pitches.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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I've long since tried to get next year's holidays planned and booked in September/October - that way I get a good chance of securing a CL near any events we're going to, like the Midlands Air Festival, as well as popular CLs because many regulars book for next year while they're on site. This generally enables us to advise hospitals when we're not available for follow-ups, particularly important for my wife's 6-monthly Prolia injection for Osteo-porosis which doesn't have much leeway.

We generally avoid using CLs where a non-refundable deposit is required but that's harder over time as an increasing number adopt it. So our Scottish tour for next year isn't booked, we'll do it much nearer the time - or we may decide to book ferries and visit some of the Scottish Islands.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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When we wanted a site in the village of Hutton le Hole in the North York Moors we booked around 9 months ahead, similarly for Seahouses. If it’s a place you particularly want to stay at nothing is lost by booking well in advance.
With you on the CL at Hutton le Hole, many months ahead but the pub used to be able to put you up for a few days. The chocolate factory on the way to the pub is fantastic.

We generally never book untill maybe less than a couple of weeks ahead, as we never know what we are doing. Due to being OAPs we have so much time on our hands, that getting away is taken up by Health appointments, the next 3 months are opticians stuff.
Trying to convince Mrs H that we can cancel sites at the last minute, even leave the van 200 miles away and return the next day.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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With you on the CL at Hutton le Hole, many months ahead but the pub used to be able to put you up for a few days. The chocolate factory on the way to the pub is fantastic.

We generally never book untill maybe less than a couple of weeks ahead, as we never know what we are doing. Due to being OAPs we have so much time on our hands, that getting away is taken up by Health appointments, the next 3 months are opticians stuff.
Trying to convince Mrs H that we can cancel sites at the last minute, even leave the van 200 miles away and return the next day.
I'm far more ready than my wife to travel back to our home area for important appointments which come up while we're away - Fakenham to Birmingham is the most we've had to do so far - it's a long day but it's only one day in 3-4 weeks.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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There’s a couple of CL s we use regularly to see the family. Both charge a £10 deposit balance payable a few weeks before arrival , no reminders. That’s fair. Why should they be doing all the admin.
Since CAMC changed their booking rules the cancellations have dropped by some 70% I think? Remember the advance booking brigade. Hogged the sites until the last minute and then cancelled. They only went for a weekend meaning others couldn’t book two consecutive weeks . That’s different now👏👏. In truth never had a problem even with most last minute bookings
 
Jul 18, 2017
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We book CLs well in advance for Bank Holidays. At other times about a month as need to fit in between other appointments etc.
 
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Oct 19, 2023
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Since CAMC changed their booking rules the cancellations have dropped by some 70% I think?
What was the change? I'm guessing from your comments that they forbid sties from charging a deposit or forced the sites to refund it on cancellation (which seems ridiculous - just invites people to make speculative reservations on the off chance the weather will be good). The CL we stayed in asked for one night payment as a deposit, and the private site asked for two.
 
May 7, 2012
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Once you have decided where you are going it is best to book at that time, irrespective of the type of site.
 
Apr 19, 2023
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The main risk of booking ahead is if things change and you have to cancel and lose your deposit. We decided on the day of arrival to cancel a site and come home early as 40 mile an hour winds were forecast. We lost the full payment. I'm not complaining, I knew we would. But sometimes you just have to accept the consequences of a decision you take that's right for you.
 
Oct 19, 2023
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The main risk of booking ahead is if things change and you have to cancel and lose your deposit. We decided on the day of arrival to cancel a site and come home early as 40 mile an hour winds were forecast. We lost the full payment. I'm not complaining, I knew we would. But sometimes you just have to accept the consequences of a decision you take that's right for you.
Exactly, I'd much rather book a week or two before the date to avoid having to cancel, but being new I have no idea how much this will restrict my choice of sites because they're fully booked.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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What was the change? I'm guessing from your comments that they forbid sties from charging a deposit or forced the sites to refund it on cancellation (which seems ridiculous - just invites people to make speculative reservations on the off chance the weather will be good). The CL we stayed in asked for one night payment as a deposit, and the private site asked for two.
The Caravan Club doesn't set the rules for CLs - it's just provides the licencing arrangement in lieu of a full caravan site licence. The club does ask for deposits with club site bookings which it never used to.
 
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Mar 3, 2022
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Exactly, I'd much rather book a week or two before the date to avoid having to cancel, but being new I have no idea how much this will restrict my choice of sites because they're fully booked.
Popularity depends on a number of factors, hard stand, shower etc.
If you're happy to use your own facilities and grass pitches you can generally get a pitch at short notice.
If you can go off-grid.....opens up even more opportunities.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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What was the change? I'm guessing from your comments that they forbid sties from charging a deposit or forced the sites to refund it on cancellation (which seems ridiculous - just invites people to make speculative reservations on the off chance the weather will be good). The CL we stayed in asked for one night payment as a deposit, and the private site asked for two.
I’ve mislead you apologies. My comments refer to CAMC mainstream sites not the CLs
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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We decided to try this C/L site High Breame Flamborough Bridlington Adults i rang it up 9 months ahead it was fully booked he put my name down in case there was a cancellation and lucky there was so we paid the deposit . Also when we go Amble Northumberland we book that 12 months ahead .we always look forward to our stay .
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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We decided to try this C/L site High Breame Flamborough Bridlington Adults i rang it up 9 months ahead it was fully booked he put my name down in case there was a cancellation and lucky there was so we paid the deposit . Also when we go Amble Northumberland we book that 12 months ahead .we always look forward to our stay .
Was this before you hung up your towbar😜
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Was this before you hung up your towbar😜
Since we hung up our towbar we are booking main holiday accommodation 6-12 months ahead. Next June we stay at Boat if Garten for two weeks. Booked a couple of months ago , plus overnight stopovers too. Wrt deposits I would suggest anyone that moans about CMHC have a look at the T&Cs for rental holiday accommodation. “Punishing” might be an apt description. Our two weeks in Scotland required full payment up front. But we can cancel up to two weeks ahead without penalty. Whereas our stay in Devon in February was £50 non refundable pay balance on departure from hotel.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Since we hung up our towbar we are booking main holiday accommodation 6-12 months ahead. Next June we stay at Boat if Garten for two weeks. Booked a couple of months ago , plus overnight stopovers too. Wrt deposits I would suggest anyone that moans about CMHC have a look at the T&Cs for rental holiday accommodation. “Punishing” might be an apt description. Our two weeks in Scotland required full payment up front. But we can cancel up to two weeks ahead without penalty. Whereas our stay in Devon in February was £50 non refundable pay balance on departure from hotel.
Herein lies a serious issue.
If the person to whom you paid the full holiday price goes belly up or does a runner where do you stand?

section 75. Credit card?
paid by bankers transfer?
Do they pay you interest earnings on your full payment?
Have they offered you any insurance against any issues on both sides?

Doing such a deal with say someone like BA may have an attraction but a small one band holiday rental seems worrying🤔
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I didn’t say it was a small one band holiday rental, what made you draw that conclusion? It is via Expedia/VRBO using a credit card.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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I didn’t say it was a small one band holiday rental, what made you draw that conclusion? It is via Expedia/VRBO using a credit card.
You didn’t but my concern paying up front 100% stands. Flybe and Thomas Cook spring to mind.
Isn‘t it wise to mention potential pitfalls and possible financial protections for those parting with big chunks of money?
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Herein lies a serious issue.
If the person to whom you paid the full holiday price goes belly up or does a runner where do you stand?

section 75. Credit card?
paid by bankers transfer?
Do they pay you interest earnings on your full payment?
Have they offered you any insurance against any issues on both sides?

Doing such a deal with say someone like BA may have an attraction but a small one band holiday rental seems worrying🤔
A few CLs require full payment at time of booking, not that I'd use them.

A few years back we had to cancel bookings at CLs in Scotland due to ill health - we accepted the loss of the deposits but a few weeks/months later 3 out of the 4 CLs returned the deposits as they'd re-let the pitches - IMO that should be standard rather than them keeping the deposit any any circumstances.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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You didn’t but my concern paying up front 100% stands. Flybe and Thomas Cook spring to mind.
Isn‘t it wise to mention potential pitfalls and possible financial protections for those parting with big chunks of money?
I’m not that naive when it comes to these things. On many holiday rentals via companies like Cottages.com it’s 25% deposit and final payment 8 weeks before arrival.
 

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