First Impressions - Should They Count?

Post date: Wednesday, 14 June 2023 - 3:15pm

It's been a long day of driving and it's time for you to stop for the night. You pull up in front of a caravan park that you've never visited before. You haven't had a chance to do any research on the park. Therefore, you have no idea what it is going to be like.
Do you take that right or left turn into the park or do you take a U turn?

As you pull into the entrance to the park, you realise that you're not certain that you like what you see. What do you do? Do you stay or do you keep going? Should you allow your First Impressions to influence your decision?

A few years back, I was inspecting a potential park for Kui Parks. I stopped out the front and noted with interest, a very distinct track where many a vehicle - no doubt with a caravan attached - had done a U-turn and most likely driven off. 

I found it interesting why so many would make a judgement call on a caravan park purely by looking at the entrance. Why would that happen?  What is it that attracts or discourages  people entering a caravan park? I tried to work it out. The amenities and facilities wouldn't have been checked nor would the office have been entered. So what makes people drive away based on limited information? 


There is a lot to be said about first impressions. What one sees in the park and at the entrance from the outside can often have a significant impact on whether travellers decide to stay or go.

For example, if a caravan park is visibly occupied, this can give you the reassurance that others have come to the park. A busy park gives the impression of a successful park. 

A well maintained and attractive entrance area can often indicate that the rest of the park is well-cared for. Good signage, fencing, trees, shrubs and flower beds make for an inviting entrance. A feature that maybe reflects what the local area is known for can add to the appeal.

A clearly marked parking area for check in and visitors is always a bonus too as it takes the stress out of where to park whilst checking in. Anything 'Inspections welcomed'. A creative entrance is worth considering using logs or railway sleepers.


However, if you find that the entrance to a park is not as inviting as you might like it to be, don't dismiss the park as not being a great place to stay.

It can be surprising what you might find on the other side of that entrance way. The amenities might be newly renovated. There may be a fabulous camp kitchen where 'Happy Hour' is held each afternoon. The staff might be very knowledgeable about the local area and happy to share that knowledge with you.

So next time you stop off at a park where you are unsure, check it out. You may be surprised. Many parks tick those important boxes for you as a guest offering good quality facilities, a friendly welcome and a great environment.

Although first impressions are important, the true value of your stay is not determined until you get inside and experience what you could be missing.

Have you had a first impression experience? Tell us about it. Email me at