Glamping: A fun fad or here to stay?
Monday, 12, Dec 2016 03:38
Glamping - What it means to the camping, caravan and motorhome community.
Glamping seems to be taking over the world - its one of the hottest topics on forums and glamping sites have sprung up all over the country and even further afield.
This year I have been to many glamping sites to test out the different types but more importantly talk to the people. We will be bring more detail on each type of glamping in the current weeks but before we start on the detail here some thoughts about it in general and where it sits with the camping, caravanning and motorhome community.
So what is glamping? on the face of things glamping is exactly what the portmanteau word describes, glamorous camping. It is camping where you don't have to take a tent, caravan or motorhome. Your glamping tent invariably comes with different levels of amenities from cooking facilities to bedding and towels depending on your location (please check carefully before you arrive incase these things are not included).
This means glamping can be seen as a drive in drive out, almost hotel-like experience or more importantly it can be marketed in this way. From the original idea of a few yurts at the bottom of a farm you can now buy glamping "experiences" in Argos! The proliferation of marketing from websites like AirBnB, to Groupon mean this is now big business in the UK and it looks like it is here to stay.
There is some bad press and comments around glamping, especially more recently. This is a little unfair on glamping and it is probably more about the way it is marketed. To friends who ask about it that have never been camping I will advise them to not forget the camping part. Im sure many of the bad comments have been made by people who buy a glamping "experience" and are glamoured (get it) by the idea, the romance of sleeping under the stars with no idea of the practicalities of using a portaloo at 3AM or shower block on a rainy morning.
Now we have addressed the negativity lets look at the positives. Given your reading this on CaravanTimes I expect you have some experience with camping, caravaning or motorhoming so I won't dumb things down. The main advantage of Glamping is that it opens up more of our amazing countryside and coastline to more people. It makes it possible for people to get a flavour if not a taste of what keeps us camping, caravanning or motorhoming. Thats a good thing, trust me - whilst no one likes crowded beaches having more people camping/ caravanning or motorhoming means better facilities, better investment from local and national government for the industry, better legislation and more product innovation in the industry. If some of these glampers get the bug and profess out camping, caravanning or motorhoming on there own then as far as I'm concerned glamping is brilliant.
Now where does glamping fit if you're already camping, have a caravan or motorhome? should you give it go? Well in my opinion yes, some of the more remote locations are amazing and very off the beaten track, potentially more remote than CL sites or even rallying. But do be warned if you are used to a caravan or motorhome this is still camping, most glamping tents don't have central heating, dual fuel cooking facilities, satellite TV or 90 litre fridges!
But where I see the real benefit in glamping is about opening up our world to our friends and family. I'm for ever going on to anyone who doesn't camp about the wonderful locations and fantastic breaks we have as a family but unless they spend a lot of money to try it they can't come with us... now they can. There will be a glamping site just about anywhere, meaning you can go to your favourite location and your friends or family can go glamping near by and you can all have a fantastic time together. Some of the big site companies such as Parkdean Resorts offer glamping and touring facilities on the same site, as do caravan club with there camping pods. So next time you're telling someone about your fantastic holiday you can invite them along to the next.
Over the coming weeks we will be looking in more detail at the different types of glamping from pods to yurts to safari tents and everything in-between to give you more ideas to inspire your friends and families.