How I became a glamping convert
Hands up if you don’t like camping? Me me me I answer. I grew up in England with parents who didn’t like camping and I guess that is why I didn’t like it either. Now I am part of the glamping faithful, here’s why…
I did get a tent when I was about 7 years old and I camped in the back garden on a sloping bit of grass with my best friend Martin, I recall having a wind up Mickey-mouse alarm clock and waking up pretty much hourly all night, till about 3am when I saw that somehow 3 earwigs had entered the back of the clock and were moving around the clock face with Mickey. This slightly surreal and nightmarish vision had me back indoors and sleeping on the living room floor, and abandoning the tent.
About age 14 a friend, who was always going to the Lake District for a weeks caravanning (The UK term for a trailer), and camped most summer vacations in France, asked me and another friend to go with her for a weekends camping. It was pretty good, we went to a well equipped English campsite and while the parents caravanned we slept in a tent next to them, there were hot showers and even a shop and bar on site. I am not sure if we managed it but I recall trying to get someone to buy us cider. What I also remember was meeting a city girl (we were innocent country girls) and she put makeup on us, it was the first time we had worn lipstick. But we didn’t get the boy that all three of us liked to hold our hands or give us a cheeky kiss, so I decided camping was not the place to find a boyfriend.
At 17 when I got together with my now husband, he suggested a camping trip. I said I was not keen, but wanting a ‘romantic getaway’ and not having much financial liquidity it seemed a feasible solution. So off we go with quite a good range of equipment, specifically the double airbed which he convinced me woiuld make all the difference to my camping experience!! Well it rained, as it often does in England, the tent leaked and we woke up on a half deflated air bed floating on about 2 inches of water. Yes this proves it I don’t like camping!!!
My next foray into camping was several attempts at very wet Glastonbury music festivals. So it was 1997 or 1998 or both, just google it, they were some of the worst muddy Glastonbury’s ever! It was that bad people got trench foot!! That is something people got in WW2!!! We came home early after two days of misery.
So as you can see I was not the happiest camper! Fast forward about 10 years and I started to hear a new word ‘Glamping’ it was camping for people who did not like to camp. I was not convinced at first, but the more I read and then when friends started to go on Glamping trips I thought I would give it a go. Well it was great! Since then we have been hooked.
There are many glamping accommodations options: Tents, cabins, pods, eco-domes, tipis, Yurts the list goes on, basically it is just any sort of shelter, that is at the location on permanent basis, and means you don’t have to put up a tent or tow a trailer. These ‘glamping’ units are equipped with a bed, OK sometimes it is just a simple wooden platform and a bit of foam where you bring your own sleeping bag, but at other places it is a 4 poster bed with Egyptian cotton sheets!!! There is the whole spectrum of glamping holidays, from just a bit above tenting to pretty much 5 star luxury, places that charge $50 a night to others that charge in excess of $500. There is nearly always a form of heating, wood fired stove, hot water bottles or propane heaters. Often lighting, electric or solar and occasionally ensuite bathrooms with flossing toilets and hot showers!! Sometimes there are meals served to your tent or cabin, or honest shops with local produce.
Glamping is perfect for all sorts of reasons, especially when you have kids, we now have three. It means you often only have to pack your food and a few creature comforts for the car journey. There are nearly always some kids toys on location, or there is so much to do with farm animals or at local attractions you no longer need to pack everything but the kitchen sink.
It is the way to go if you don’t have the space to store a trailer for the 48 weeks of the year that you don’t use it, or you don’t have space in the already full garage for all the tenting gear a family of 5 requires.
It is for you if you only want to go camping a few times a year and don’t see the point of buying a tent, sleeping bags, thermarest, portable stove, pans etc.
Glamping is the way to go if you want a weekend to truly get away, many sites are perfect for a couple romantic weekend, and also if they don’t have wi-fi you can reconnect with your loved one and turn off from the outside world.
Glamping is the way to go, period.