Glamping. It’s been a growing trend for several years now, with a 1% increase in the outdoor hospitality industry in 2016 (that’s £3bn revenue), and has become a shining beacon of hope for those people who love the overall appeal of camping, but don’t actually enjoy the practicalities, such as sleeping on the ground, cooking using basic equipment and limited space to get dressed. For those not in the know, glamping simply refers to glamorous camping, this basic idea of being able to have all our creature comforts while away from home. Some people compare this to caravanning, but it would be more appropriate to compare it to a resort or hotel.
With demand for glamping continuing to grow, many providers now offer a wide array of options, with some deemed as more authentic than others. Moreover, by authentic it’s meant as close to the traditional camping lifestyle as possible. For example, you may want to be inside a tent, but one that’s luxuriously roomy and offers exceptional comfort even though you’re still staying inside a material ‘home’ for the weekend. However, if you want something that is more like a home from home, then cabins are for you. Not only do they provide more protection from the elements, but also you can rest a little easier knowing you have a proper bed to retire to at the end of a long day.
In terms of which is better, it really does come down to personal preference and what you want from your holiday. Nearly all forms of glamping offer a strong sense of comfort, but some do that more prominently than others. In your decision making process, perhaps consider aesthetics: does it bother you how the accommodation looks? Comfort: How relaxing will it be to stay there? Size: Is it large enough for your needs? In considering these options, you begin to form a better picture in your mind of what glamping means to you
The ever increasing importance of luxury
Quality beds, with proper mattresses are much kinder, leading to fewer stiff joints. The odd stray stone under a sleeping bag or an inferior sleeping mat can cause havoc on your back, with consequences for whatever plans you had for the following day, not to mention sleep having a very important impact on the overall quality of your holiday. Thin canvas walls are notoriously inferior for keeping noise out, leading to a potentially rough night’s sleep, especially if you’re unfortunate enough to pitch up next to the one guy with a guitar that’s always on every campsite. Cabins, caravans and other non-traditional campsite dwellings offer slightly more insulation from the world outside. A huge benefit of glamping is the facilities available. On more remote campsites, this isn’t always a problem for young men, but lacking appropriate, personal toilet facilities can cause significant distress for others. Knowing you’ve got your own personal WC in your own cabin or caravan can make the world of difference.
What will it cost?
A prime example of glamping is this vintage offering from Dorset Country Holidays; they provide a caravan experience that takes you back to your childhood. Even though the appeal of this may wane for some people, consider that all your essentials are provided, and that the cost is a mere £33 per night. That’s extremely cheap, and some might argue cheaper than the fees asked for on some camping sites, and with this option you have greater control over your experience. The telegraph have also provided a list of the most incredible luxury campsites. The thing is, if you’re going to decide on the glamping life, you need to make sure you take into account the additional costs.
Not only does it cost more to cart around more luxurious items, with an increase in fuel costs, especially if your luxury items are bulky or require a trailer, but also more amenities on a campsite charge a higher premium. Electricity, better quality showers, warm water can all increase that cost. For those who regularly glamp, there’s also a potentially increased risk of theft. While caravans do provide more security with lockable doors, it’s also a potential target for thieves, who may believe you own more higher-end gadgets than a more bare-bones camper. Insurance cover is arguably a must have commodity and provides peace of mind for any potential damage.
One of the main reasons anyone thinks of going glamping, over the traditional camping trip is because of there being comfort and a sense of ease - there’s no rough ground hurting your back when you choose the glamorous side of camping. And if comfort isn’t what most concerns you and memories are, think of all the weird and wonderful places you can now stay because of this travel trend, there’s even treehouses and gypsy caravans.