Staycation nation

It’s hard to tell why UK holiday makers are choosing to stay at home – and harder to track our spending. But the facts are becoming clearer year by year as more and more glamping sites are opening across the UK. It seems that while the idea of sleeping beneath the stars is romantic, we’d rather not leave our luxuries at home. So, why is glamping becoming more popular?


Glamping (‘glamourous camping’) sites offer their visitors the chance to enjoy the great outdoors without losing the comforts we’re used to – like electricity and comfy beds. Perhaps this is why celebrities like Jamie Oliver, Kate Moss and Tom Cruise have taken their families into the great outdoors. But as each campsite has different amenities, let’s look at the more obvious benefits to glamping.

Greener holidays

Glamping is a great alternative to travelling abroad – not just for us, but for the planet too. According to Alpha Batteries’s recent infographic), families can prevent 95% of their CO2 emissions by choosing to have a ‘staycation’ rather than travelling abroad.

Cheaper adventures

By staying in the UK, AlphaBatteries have calculated that families have been spending 92% less on transport, and saving more than 8 hours of travel time. Do I dare to mention Brexit? If plans for visas go ahead, then those of us who decide to explore the beauty of our national parks, forests and campsite will be much better off.

Glamping can save you money in other ways, as you don’t need to buy, maintain or store your own tent, camp beds, sleeping bag, etc. When you only camp once or twice a year, and need the space in your home the rest of the time, hiring a ‘glamp’ tent could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Less hassle

Glastonbury’s new accommodation options for their festival have been popularising glamping. And if you’ve seen pictures of their campsites after the event, it’s clear to see why some festival-goers prefer to pay a little more for tents which are closer to the venues, set up before they arrive, with no need to take them down afterwards. And if you don’t fancy a bell tent, Glastonbury has many other glamping options – like yurts, and even a converted railway carriage.

The weather

The British are always complaining about our weather. And with forecasts so changeable, we should be forgiven. According to many glampsites are offering us a solution. While most of us book in advance, 25% of us only book ahead by a few weeks – allowing us to more accurately predict what kind of weather we’ll be having. 12% don’t book ahead at all, and just make a quick email, phone call or internet booking before we get in the car.

Thanks to AlphaBatteries and we’re able to see that glamping’s popularity is continuing to rise. After all, domestic camping and caravan trips increased by 10% last year, and I can’t wait to find out this year’s figures. What do you think will we find out about our holiday habits this year? Do you think we’ll beat last year? I think we will!

Written by Oliver Carding from Alpha Batteries

Forget the Pecking Order

I had one of those eureka moments yesterday morning on my commute. I was listening to a TED talk podcast by Margaret Heffernan called 'Why its time to forget the pecking order at work' and it really hit home. It's just what I'm hoping guests can experience when staying here whether in a group of colleagues, friends or family.

Maragaret was using the analogy of chickens laying eggs when looking at how society seeks to be happier and more productive. A study compared the breeding of a flock of highly productive 'superchickens' and another with your standard hens. The main observation, after several generations, was that the group of standard hens were the healthiest, happiest and most productive whilst the competitive superchickens had pecked each other to death, with only a few survivors. She used this example to suggest that our society has become so obsessed with being the best at everything, we've forgotten how to behave and interact with other people. Then, she used the context of businesses to explain how this superchicken approach kills morale, productivity and happiness. Her experience showed that teams investing in their 'social capital' (getting to know each other as real people) were far better at collaborating and being productive, with everyone achieving their potential. Just imagine that - a world where everybody could reach their potential!

When I created camp, this is just the sort of social experience I imagined for guests staying here. A place for people to live as equals, disconnecting from their busy modern lives and enjoying comfort in a natural environment. There is something quite soul-enriching about life at camp if enjoyed with the right approach. Sitting around a campfire, sharing stories and staring at the starry skies is one true joy that springs to mind. And I used to get worried about the lack of power at camp, being off-grid. Then I came to realise it was a blessing in disguise. It gave our guests the opportunity to appreciate uninterrupted chats, making their own fun and exploring a real world. It also shows that problems can be solved with a little help and discussion (such as building camp fires). The results are always so much more satisfying too.

Why not start small and see how you feel? Enjoy a board game one evening instead of watching TV. Visit your folks instead of messaging them. And maybe ask your colleague if they want to go for 'Fika' (a lovely Swedish expression for a social coffee and sweet bite). You might just surprise yourself with the delight it brings.