Overseas holidays are something of a no no this year with many of us struggling to pay for the basics, let alone expensive holiday packages. So what could be better than packing up a tent and heading for the nearest seaside camping site? This type of holiday is perfect for families and can be a bit of an adventure for those of us used to luxury hotels.
But camping doesn't have to mean leaky tents and burnt sausages. It really is possible to fit out your tent in style and to have a home from home when you are in the middle of nowhere.
This entirely depends on your budget, but tents can range from as little as £40 to upwards of £1000.
A small two person tent can come in attractive festival style patterns and can be a way of making a statement. The family tent ranges can be large enough for the biggest family, with separate bedrooms, lounge areas and even dining rooms. They come equipped with shelving, and hooks to hang coats and even awnings for sitting out in the sun.
While the purists will say that all that is required to sleep on is a thin foam mat, with a good sleeping bag, those of us in the know, realise that this will never do. The options are endless for portable sleeping arrangements. Blow up beds are the most practical and will even come with zip on sleeping bags to prevent the inevitable “slip off the mattress” worries. Battery powered pumps even take the hard work out of this option. Roll up cotton mattresses make a good eco-friendly option too.
Sleeping bags come in a range of weights and if you are a fair weather camper then the lightest will be sufficient. Choose your favourite colours and take a nice knitted blanket in case it gets chilly.
This is where you can get really creative, as plastic picnic sets are the perfect camping companion. For those people who need style, Cath Kidston has the perfect range. Even stores such as Argos or Tesco will do great plastic utensils and plates for very little and they look fantastic.
The Camping Gaz range is ideal for cooking up those bangers and burgers and will even do a round of toast in the morning.
Unfortunately, tents do not come equipped with electricity, so some form of lighting will be useful. Battery powered lamps are a great option, but the romantic mood can also be set with a few candles. Obviously great care needs to be taken and these should only be used for those late evening glasses of wine, outside of the tent. A good torch is a must for the inevitable midnight trips to the loo. Ones which hang around your neck or fit around your head can be very useful, leaving your hands free.
The key to an enjoyable camping holiday is to turn it into something resembling your own home. There is no need to be apart from the luxuries of your own bedroom and kitchen. Portable versions of nearly everything you could need are there to be had, it is just a matter of choosing your budget.