Camptoo Head of Wanderlust shares his guidelines for first-time glampers
Whilst now firmly on the other side of restrictions in the UK, the pandemic has resulted in an exponential increase in the popularity of camping trips, with one in five adults going camping or caravanning since the start of the pandemic – many for the first time.
With more people choosing to camp, the ’glamping’ trend has become the optimal choice for the more discerning traveller. Gone are the days of having to contend with heavy and frankly dangerous tent poles, deflating airbeds and having to stash muddy, wet shoes next to your pillow.
Ed Bassett, Head of Wanderlust at Camptoo.co.uk – the Airbnb of campervans – explains why glamping has become the staycation option of choice for Brits: “The rise of glamping is a natural progression – in this day and age, there’s simply no need to rough it in a borrowed tent if you don’t wish to when it’s so easy to have a more comfortable camping experience.
“From traditional tents through to yurts and teepees to campervans, there are so many different glamping options available, all offering holidaymakers a unique experience.
“The key to making any glamping trip a success is undoubtedly research – you can’t simply book somewhere based on a pretty picture and hope for the best. You need to be honest about what kind of trip you want whilst understanding each traveller’s needs and what level of luxury, comfort, and budget they would prefer. Once you have this nailed, you can sit back and enjoy the experience.”
Here Ed shares his guidelines for first-time glampers to ensure your next trip is a hit…
Do you know your yurt from your tepee?
Every camper has a story about turning up to a campsite or pitch that wasn’t quite as advertised, so to avoid any nasty surprises it’s worth learning about the different glamping options available.
Many campsites now offer a small number of pitched tents, meaning that you don’t have the hassle of struggling with tent poles and confusing instructions as nightfall inevitably sets in. Similarly, many offer yurts (originally from Asia – they feature a wooden latticework structure for the walls and are slightly larger than traditional tents) and teepees (less headroom and significantly smaller than yurts but similar in structure). Opting for a pitched tent, yurt or teepee can prove more expensive than many realise, so it’s best to do your research and book well in advance.
A popular glamping option is campervanning – it automatically feels more luxurious as it’s literally a small house on wheels. You can travel wherever and whenever you wish, with better protection from the elements, which is ideal for the unpredictable British summertime. Campervanning is also much more cost-efficient than many realise, at around £70 to £150 per night when booking through a peer-to-peer rental platform.
Where are you heading?
Those travelling with young children may prefer a traditional campsite which will have all the traditional amenities – toilets, showers, washing up facilities and a small shop for the essentials. Do make sure to double-check that the site is family-friendly and pet friendly if travelling with a dog. Sites like the Camping and Caravanning Club and Jetcamp offer options for all manner of glamping.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you should consider travelling off the beaten track for a taste of wild glamping. This is the perfect option for intrepid campervanners, as whilst you will be immersed in nature, travelling by campervan means it’s much easier to travel with everything you need. Whilst it isn’t legal to pull up and park your campervan just anywhere in the UK, sites like Wild With Consent allow you to stay in more secluded spots at one with nature, with full landowner consent and Scotland allows a degree of wild tent camping.
If you’re an experienced campervanner, why not enjoy a road trip? If it’s stunning scenery, fresh sea air and lush green forests you’re after consider a 5-day road trip in Northern Ireland, for Mediterranean sunshine head across the Channel and experience a French road trip, or for something a little different head to the land of fire and ice and enjoy van life in Iceland.
It’s all about the mindset…
Ask any avid camper for their advice for first-time campers and glampers and they will say to always be prepared. When camping it’s not uncommon for things to not quite go to plan – whether that’s the weather playing up, consistently ‘losing’ your tent amongst the sea of pitches or ending up with noisy neighbours – human or otherwise…
The best advice for any trip is to retain a sense of adventure and fun. Rather than getting bogged down and letting an unexpected mishap ruin your day or entire trip, simply view it as part of the fun of the experience. Life should be an adventure, as should your holidays!