As we emerge, bleary-eyed from the festive season, and the grey days and cold weather take their toll, this is a great time of year to start planning your next holiday.

Maybe you’ve got several dates in your diaries, or you’ve been away in your van already.

I’m excited to hitch up and head off on our first tour of 2018 – but I am keen to take my family with me!

Let’s rewind to 2017…

Why do I say this? Well, they say that time heals all wounds, but I have to reveal that this ‘accentuate the positive’, mindful encouragement is not universal.

Or put it another way – I’m still in trouble.

You may recall our less-than-perfect summer caravanning experience last year – featuring trench foot, projectile vomit, soggy dogs, a leaky awning and my possibly ill-advised three-day escape to Portugal.

Thankfully, my broken bones have now knitted nicely, but the emotionally hypersensitive general concept is still raw.

Hopes are fading, fast

“On your bike,” were the fond words that greeted my tentative suggestion that we might book our annual pilgrimage to our favourite, stunningly lovely campsite in Dorset.

The plummeting temperature in the kitchen might have made you think I had just introduced my wife to my supermodel mistress’s love child.

The instant my wife realised that I was clinging to the futile hope that my beloved weeks away in the caravan were still a possibility, she became deaf to all entreaties.

“No,” was her compromise position.

Still a caravanner at heart

This left me with a serious conundrum. I love the caravan.

I love going on caravanning holidays. I love ‘our’ Dorset campsite.

I even love the sound of rain bouncing on the roof while I’m snuggled up warm and cosy (if a bit damp) in bed.

As long as I can… er… (discreet cough, slight shuffling of feet)… nip off to a Continental beach resort where it’s still 30C at 10 o’clock at night, in the middle of that caravanning holiday.

“Still no,” my wife continues, before my carefully considered words of reconciliation have even left my lips.

“Which bit of ‘never, ever, ever, ever, ever again’ do you not understand?” she asks, frostily.

The solution!

And so, dear reader, I have to admit to succumbing to rather desperate measures (needs must, as they say).

Well, blatant bribery, actually.

And I can now happily report that our cost-effective, back-to-traditional-values, perfect-for-the-children, family caravan holiday in Dorset is back on the calendar.

And the desperate measures?

Well, 10 days at a five-star beach resort in Mauritius in February was a small (well, alright, quite a high) price to pay.

So much for affordable caravan holidays, eh?

Wishing you all the best for a very happy and healthy 2018 – at home and on tour!

Visit Martin’s website for information about him, his books and his property training weekends, and follow his adventures on Twitter.