This month Discover Ferries is excited to welcome Rob Ganley, Editor-in-Chief of the Camping and Caravanning Club Magazine to our blog. The Camping and Caravanning Club operates a network of more than 100 high-quality campsites around the UK and currently has a membership of nearly 320,000 households.
A key part of the Club is its Travel Service, which helps around 80,000 members head overseas on camping and caravanning holidays each year. It offers discounted crossings to mainland Europe and the ability to book a pitch on some 150 European partner campsites.
Rob is the Editor in Chief of the Club’s Publications, which include a monthly magazine available to members in print and digital formats. He’s a keen tent camper, caravanner and motorhomer. Over the last 20 years he’s made countless ferry crossings and toured many thousands of miles through mainland Europe, including joining Club winter sun rallies on the Costa Del Sol and towing a caravan through the Alps to southern Italy.
Tell us a bit about what you do and who you create content for?
I oversee the Club’s Publications, which include a biennial campsite directory of thousands of campsites at home and abroad, and a monthly magazine titled Camping & Caravanning for our members.
The Club’s been producing a magazine since 1906, but in recent years its changed a great deal as our membership’s needs have changed.
While we still produce a mix of Club news, travel and lifestyle, reviews and advice, we now also create more video content than ever before, for our magazine website, magazine app, YouTube channel and social media channels.
The magazine team is regularly out touring and camping, reviewing and reporting, and I’m lucky that my wife and our two kids, Joe (10) and Iris (7) love caravan and motorhome breaks too.
We’re conscious that people’s lives are stressful and fast-paced and we all need the room to escape and recharge our battery. Moments away from the everyday are precious and the Club is here to help campers of all ages create memories and share some of life’s warmest moments together – that’s why we aim to entertain and inspire with our content.
Tell us about a recent trip you did by ferry
My last ferry crossing was for our cover story for our November 2018 issue. It was in mid-August, after weeks of heatwave during a school summer holiday that felt like it would never end.
Joe and Iris were bouncing off the walls with excitement when we finally set off from home, heading for Plymouth with an Adria caravan on loan to the Club magazine team.
We chose a Club Summer Holiday Rally at La Piscine campsite near Fouesnant in Brittany. My wife Anna and I last visited ten years ago as newlyweds on a culinary tour in a motorhome. Ten years on, we needed a bigger rig.
The Brittany Ferries crossing to Roscoff was like sailing on a millpond. What’s more a firework display lit up the sky as we sailed out of Plymouth harbour and we watched until the kids, running on adrenalin fumes by now, finally had to crash out in our comfy four-berth cabin.
Which types of campers/ caravanners would you recommend taking the ferry to?
For me, ferry crossings beat flights every time: going anywhere with young kids means travelling heavy, and the restrictive limits on airline flight luggage, the stress of check ins and departure lounges, make ferry crossings a breeze in comparison.
We like to treat a ferry crossing like a mini cruise and it’s more an adventure than a hassle. Whether you’re a cycle or motorbike camper, caravanner or motorhomer, drive-on, drive-off ferries are straightforward and stress free, with loads of fun things to do on board.
If you haven’t camped abroad, driving on the right quickly becomes second nature, and so many of the mainland European campsites are wonderful destinations in themselves.
Any tips for people planning to go on holiday by ferry?
Do the cost versus comfort equation: the Plymouth-Roscoff route saved us a lot of time behind the wheel and a lot of fuel when compared with driving from Calais. Plus I love overnight ferry crossings: you can’t beat setting off tired in one country and waking up fresh and ready for adventure in another.
Campers and caravanners need to think about on-site fuel – if you plan to use electricity on site, take an adaptor for a two-pin Euro connector for your UK three-pin hook-up lead. Calor Gas isn’t available in mainland Europe, so take enough for your trip
Swot up on road regulations, especially when towing – from national speed limits to low emission zones, each country in Europe has its own rules
Carry a European driving kit – this includes headlight converters, a GB sticker if needed, a warning triangle, hi-vis vest and more. And keep hard copies and digital versions of your essential documents and insurance certificates.
Where you would like to take your caravan on a ferry to next?
I’d love to head to Iceland and the Faroe Islands with a motorhome, but I’m also determined to venture to the West Coast of Scotland and try an island-hopping itinerary with a compact campervan. The Club has some great campsites in Scotland, including one on the Isle of Skye which I’d love to visit in the not too distant future, and I hear the ferry routes are a dream.
How to find out more about the Camping & Caravanning Club
The benefits of camping with the Club have remained unchanged for more than 100 years, since it was founded in 1901. It helps its members discover, explore and relax their way to a different place, with friendly experts on hand to guide people through the many camping experiences it offers its members.
Join the Club today at https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/jointheclub
For dedicated overseas travel, visit https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/travelabroad
Check out our magazine website blog at https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/blog/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CampAndCaravan
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefriendlyclub/
Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/campandcaravan/
Subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/TheFriendlyClub