Feeling desperate to book in a luxury holiday for 2021? You’re not alone – but this year, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues and travel restrictions remain in place, many affluent families are looking for an alternative to the usual five-star resort in the Caribbean.
Unwilling to compromise when it comes to creature comforts – and as for the impeccable service, you can forget it – you’d be hard pressed to find such a traveller opting for a standard stay under canvas on the local campsite, but glamping (posh camping), which offers an opulent experience for even the most demanding of holiday seekers, is set to come into its own.
Despite being a trend that has become popular amongst wealthy staycationers over the past few years as well as those who simply can’t bear going without their hair-dryers and hot showers, glamping has never quite managed to de-throne the luxury long-haul to sunnier climes – but with travel corridors now closed and endless restrictions remaining in place, 2021 might just be its year.
While choice for travel elsewhere might be looking limited for the months ahead, for some, it won’t just be about obligation. For many, the prospect of busy beach resorts and buzzing city hotels no longer holds quite the same appeal that it once did, with worries about Covid-19 transmission when spending time in such close quarters with others putting a dampener on what would usually be the highlight of the year.
Add to that the social distancing measures we can expect to see in place at our favourite five-star hotels in the world, and it’s hard to imagine our holidays ever being quite the same again. But glamping sites across the nation have been busy stepping up their game in preparation for what could be a lucrative summer season ahead, with high-net-worth families expected to favour the peace and privacy of staying in their own private luxury abode, away from the crowds and queues they would likely encounter elsewhere – and all without the stress of international travel.
Embracing al fresco living
There’s no denying that the past twelve months have given us a renewed appreciation for the great outdoors, with long walks in the countryside often the one saving grace of lengthy lockdowns and extended time spent separated from family and friends – so when glamping, be ready to fully embrace the experience to get the most out of it.
You don’t have to worry that you’ll be staying in a primitive cabin – glamping set-ups these days are surprisingly well-equipped and go above and beyond to meet and exceed your needs – from flat-screen TVs and cinema rooms to comfortable four-poster beds.
Even so, the greatest enjoyment of the experience will likely come from embracing the outdoor living, while cooking and eating outdoors will all add to the fun. Some glamping sites offer barbecue equipment and even wood-fired pizza ovens which can be used at your leisure, so there’s no need to have nightmares about dining on cold tins of beans. And, of course, each yurt tends to come fully equipped with its own fridge so that you can effectively chill those all-important bottles of champagne – because frankly, it wouldn’t be a luxury getaway without some bubbles.
Starting the day with some early morning yoga before the family awakes will give you that much-needed dose of me-time. While there might not be a luxury spa to disappear to for the afternoon to immerse yourself in all manner of blissful treatments, there are still ways to get your fix, and a gentle flow as the sun rises can do wonders.
Worried about keeping the children suitably entertained? There’s no need. Many of the UK’s best glamping sites offer activities including nature walks, foraging, bush craft and art. And, in the evenings, why not round things off with a few good old-fashioned games around the fire?
Of course, the key to a successful glamping getaway is effective packing. If you’re new to this type of holiday, then head over to the Expert Camper to find out what you might need.
Given the current pandemic, it would be wise to bring your own bedding and pillows – and be sure to include a few extra luxuries such as your favourite high-end toiletries and a few good books to really make your trip. Add to that some outdoor attire for walking and hiking and you’ll be all set for a great stay, since most sites will provide almost everything else for you.
Bringing a cool box stuffed with some of your favourite food and drink will elevate the entire experience even further – so why not pop in some smoked salmon and caviar blinis and a few bottles of your favourite vintage to make your first night a good one?
That said, if it all sounds like too much effort when you’re used to being waited on hand and foot whilst on holiday, then there is good news – there are several fully-catered glampsites around the country that will take care of the meals so you don’t have to.
The perfect glamping site
Finding your perfect campsite shouldn’t be tricky, and will depend mainly on what you’re looking to get out of your getaway.
If long seaside walks and falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing against the shore sound appealing, then coastal areas such as Devon, Cornwall and Dorset are all great places to look into.
However, if you’re more drawn to the idea of woodland rambles and bird-spotting in the forest, then destinations such as the Forest of Dean and elsewhere in the Cotswolds might be more suited to your tastes.
If you’re looking to ramp up the level of luxury even further, then why not book yourself into a remote woodland cabin, complete with its own private hot tub? It might not quite be a night under canvas, but the experience is similar and equally as rustic – a great choice if you’re craving an extra dose of opulence, and a cosy choice for the autumn and winter months.
The bottom line
There’s no denying that the past year has been a challenging one, and in 2021, the way we holiday will certainly be different. But, approached with the right attitude, a week of glamping under the stars can be just as magical as a five-star break in the sunshine. All you have to do is open your mind, and it’s certain to be a getaway to remember.