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Glamping or get kitted out for family camping? Please help!

(20 Posts)
GoldfishSpy Sat 17-Jan-15 18:54:41

Hello, please can I pick your brains?

We are planning our first family holiday for years. We have 5 year old twins and a baby who will be just 1.

I would LOVE to go glamping - the Featherdown Farm tent really appeals, because it looks easy. but the COST!! We are pretty brassic, and had budgeted £500 for the week's holiday, but can't afford glamping for that money.

But I have a significant birthday coming up, and my wonderful family will be giving me £500 to go towards a holiday. SO do we blow it all on a Featherdown-style holiday (it would have to be VERY good to meet our expectations for £1000 - we would normally spend that amount only on a car or similar), or should we get kitted out for camping as a family so we can go year after year? What would we need and roughly what would it cost??

Any thoughts or advice greatly appreciated....

GoldfishSpy Sat 17-Jan-15 19:28:05


kaymondo Sat 17-Jan-15 19:37:02

I do love the idea of glamping but have to say that in your situation I'd go for the camping equipment which should not only give you an amazing holiday this year but also in years to come.

GoldfishSpy Sat 17-Jan-15 19:56:44

But is camping amazing? I loved it when I was little, and into my teens ( so I am sure the boys will love it), but will it be a nice holiday for DH and for me? I'm a bit worried we might fork out for all the kit ( I'm thinking 250 ish for the tent, £100 for beds, 50 for a stove) and then what if we don't like it!

You're right though - great holidays for years is appealing, if we do like it!

Sootball Sat 17-Jan-15 20:03:00

Doesn't have to be that expensive. We booked 5 days on a glamping holiday in June for £380. We're going to one in the west country but there's some in Norfolk (wild luxury? ) that were comparable in cost

FrozenAteMyDaughter Mon 19-Jan-15 11:25:12

For that money, I would get yourselves a large bell tent (if you like the glamping vibe) and some other kit (search the threads on here for inspiration) and as others have said, you will be set up for many holidays to come, rather than just one. Also, with the bell tent, you will always be glamping regardless of where you go.

As to whether it will be a holiday for DH and you. That is a difficult question to answer really. By definition it is harder work than a hotel or even regular self-catering as you have the elements to contend with and will be sleeping wither on an airbed or self-inflating mattress rather than a proper bed. However, there are plenty of things which make up for that, particualrly sitting round the campfire in the evenings and having a few glasses of wine, seeing how much fun the children have and getting up and going for country walks to pubs. Cooking outdoors is also great fun.

Personally, the bit I hate about camping is setting up a tent if it takes longer than 10 minutes, and packing up at the end. You can avoid the former by buying either a bell tent, or a pop up (from Decathlon or similar, eg. or an inflatable tent (pricey but brilliant I gather.

The only way to make the latter less painful is also to have an easy to take down tent and to pack as light as possible - something which seems to be almost impossible for everybody.

But honestly, it is all worth it for the lovely time you have when you are there.

GoldfishSpy Mon 19-Jan-15 12:00:01

Ooooh, thanks Frozen

We have decided we are going for the camping kit rather than the glamping holiday smile

We are are now looking at tents. We are trying to decide whether a bell tent or a more standard tent is right for us. With 3 DCs, one only 1, we might have a lot of kit and were wondering whether one with different 'rooms' might be best so we can put some of the stuff out of sight? But the bell tents do look really lovely - and I can imagine having one of those with fairy lights set around the door grin

Are airbeds best and most comfy for sleeping? I have seen camp beds too in the camping shops - but we will be limited on space so maybe air beds would be best...

shivs1974 Mon 19-Jan-15 12:02:21

Admittedly our children are a bit older, but we have those army-type camp beds. You're off the ground, quick to put up and they pack up small. Not for everyone I know but they work for us...

FrozenAteMyDaughter Mon 19-Jan-15 12:14:01

Good decision Goldfish grin.

With five people in a tent, you might be better off with one with separate rooms, yes, particularly if you are not the sort of person who likes a mess. You can find yourself tidying up a bell tent a lot, and we are only three in a 5 metre so it could only be worse with 5 people.

You can still put fairy lights and other decorations (bunting anyone grin?)
on a standard tent after all, though I too do love the look of a properly glamped bell.

As to sleeping, we have a massive airbed for the three of us (DD still sleeps with us for at least part of the night even at home). THe advantage of an airbed is that it packs up smaller than most SIMs (self inflating mattresses) which are the other most popular choice for camping. THe disadvantages are that airbeds are likely to spring leaks at unfortunate times and can be cold to sleep on (though that is easily solved by putting some insuation underneath you like a sleeping bag or blanket). Some people also find them less comfortable to sleep on than SIMs but that is a personal thing really - I prefer an airbed for comfort.

CampingClaire Thu 22-Jan-15 14:45:46

I'd def get a tent with separate rooms. As the kids get older they'll want their space (and you'll want yours) and then you've somewhere to stuff bags and things into and out of the way.
Check ebay shortly for bargains as loads of people will be upgrading their camping kit for new stuff for the new season (once you've been a few times you'll see what I mean. We campers love trying new kit...even when the old stuff still works perfectly!)

dreamcometrue Thu 22-Jan-15 15:06:01

Good choice op!
We love camping. Can't wait to take our lo this year.
It is a personal choice with bedding. We prefer air beds. We put those insulation sheets underneatstoring eachcan get from the pound shop (the ones they wrap people in after marathons. We make our bed really nice too, blankets quilt cushions etc. Gives the feel of glamping smile
Definitely separate rooms,try to get a porch too (some you can buy as an extra) as it helps for if it's rainy to take things off in. we use these bags for storing clothes in.

See if you can get a little pantry aswell that has shelves to store food etc. We use whicker baskets as they look nice and are easy to pack.

And put rollout beach mats on the floor as it's warmer.

Blu Thu 22-Jan-15 15:13:51

Personally I prefer a SIM to an airbed, but it is very much a matter of choice about which you find most comfortable.
And I have an aversion to inflating and deflating air beds, but you may not be as lazy as me grin
Also if you are wanting to start off economically, your 5 year olds would be perfectly OK on the roll-out cheap mats, especially as they have the sleeping bag under them.
There are tents that can be divided or not, depending, but only by a Velcro-in screen - a Vango Icarus 600, for example, which is a big tent.
Is there somewhere nearby that you can go and look at tents pitched and walk n and out of them?
In a month or so the camping shops will crank up again, start selling off last year's models and introducing the new.
You can start with your basics and then build up.

GoldfishSpy Fri 23-Jan-15 13:08:07

Thank you all!

We have just booked a week in August at what looks like a gorgeous site in Dorset.

I am getting extremely excited grin

We are considering a Coleman Coastline (for 6) tent with porch thingy. We have a budget of £500 for our basic camping kit, so any recommendations very welcome!

Also thinking of this stove - what do you think??

profpoopsnagle Fri 23-Jan-15 20:48:37

We have that stove- use it nearly every trip. That's a good price for it too.

It's easy to use and stable. The grill isn't as good as a home grill but does eventually do toast- that's the bit we use the least! And the blue gas bottles are good value and last for a while.

The main downside is that it's a pain when you want to move it and the gas bottle is attached- 2 person job. We also bought a carry bag to store it in- this has been useful.

Blu Sat 24-Jan-15 06:51:45

Yes, that's a good stove.
You will need to get a regulator and gas bottle as well.

Flappingandflying Fri 30-Jan-15 12:28:53

If I was in your situation, I'd look for a trailer tent. I hate camping. Aways said I would never camp but last year we bought a folding camper and now I love it. It's got the best beds ever. We bought ours second hand and it was above your limit but while on holiday we met some people who had the most beautiful trailer tent which they had bought off ebay. People buy these things, use them once or twice a year for five years then sell but they've actually been only used ten times so it is worth doing thinking long term. Likewise some other people had bought a massive inflatable tent second hand for around £300 and it was over a thousand new. Look at ebay and gumtree.

hettie Sat 31-Jan-15 13:37:12

Personaly, the thing that makes camping holidays ok is having something comfy to sleep on. I favour a self-inflating mat (I find air beds cold and uncomfy) and I would get the thickest you can afford- or look for good amkes on ebay (thermarest and alpakit). Get a really warm sleeping bag too- and take pillows. Tents.... well if you can get to walk around some great- we have a vis a vis (very similar to the coleman you mentioned in layout) and if I was buying again I'd get something with all the rooms at the back and then a porch in front.... I like the views camping and we are always peering out of the side of ours so something a bit more like this. But the thing is it's very personal, hence my suggestion to see if you can find anywhere with them up (tricky at this time of year)....

Hotbot Sat 31-Jan-15 14:08:29

You will love love love camping !!!!!!!
I would wait for aldi lidl as round springtime they do sims and air beds really cheaply.
I used an air bed for years then bought a cheapo weekend tent for. A Festival and they wouldn't fit in.
I slept on an insulating mat and was the most comfy id been in years.
Also think about the space you have in your car before going mad and buying everything.
Perhaps invest in a roof thinggy to store your clothes in?
Sleeping bags , I've just bought a sleeping pod from Amazon it's massive .I luffs it.

Sadly I also,do,fairy lights in and outside the tent and bunting and a flagpole

<slink off head down>

BouleSheet Sat 31-Jan-15 14:21:25

we use blow up mattresses with insulation sheets (that you would put under a laminate floor so very thin and light but effective). Super comfy - and the four of us (2 adults and two kids) squish together on two doubles so we're warm and snug).

lavendersun Sat 31-Jan-15 14:23:17

Re the separate rooms thing - we have never had any and love the fact that we are all in it together (max of four).

I can be drinking wine while children are reading books/playing games (aged 8).

We reckon that they can use our small ridge tent when they get to the age of wanting their own space.

Only have one child but we usually take two with us.

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