As belts are tightened and purse strings are pulled, it looks like the annual ritual of going on holiday may be under serious threat. Indeed, the UK outbound holiday market appears to be in a slow decline, as fewer people are able to afford their sacred two weeks in the sun. Yet research shows that most people take their holidays very seriously and that many will prioritise the need to take a break.
So, as people feel the pinch and are unable to go for their exotic all-inclusive deals in four-star hotels, we may start to see a change in holidaying habits, and many people will be pleasantly surprised by the options that are available to them at a much reduced cost. Take camping for example; the idea of roughing it in the great outdoors may have some rolling their eyes or coming out in a cold sweat, and yet there are many benefits to pitching a tent and sleeping under the stars.
The first advantage has to be cost: renting a pitch can cost less per day than a bottle of plonk; once you have invested in the tent and the necessary kit, your only costs will be food and travel. Many campsites offer activities and sporting facilities, making them an ideal setting for a family holiday. If the budget is tight, choosing camping can mean that a foreign holiday is still a possibility once you have swopped the luxury villa for some canvas and a shared pool.
Camping does not have to mean a complete sacrifice of all home comforts either. Camp sites are catching on to the fact that their market may be growing thanks to the current economic climate, and the standard and quality of facilities can now be very high. The developing trend for ‘glamping’ is testament to the fact that campsites are cottoning on to the idea that some little luxuries will persuade people to take a risk and leave their camping misconceptions behind.
Glamping, or luxury camping, has also managed to bring some romance back to the idea of camping, with sites working hard to offer picturesque pitches that seduce campers with an idyllic setting. Furthermore, there is no longer any need to stay in a tent; take a look at the options available and indulge your imagination with a stay in a yurt or a traditional roulotte. There is no need to ditch the holiday, just take it back to basics!
Matthew Higgins is a camping enthusiast, here he looks at holidaying under canvas, writing for Winfields Ltd