The Staycation Camping Bug - Easy to Catch, Hard to Shake Off

More British tourists are holidaying at home than ever - World of Camping explores the phenomenon of the Staycation and the positive impact this is having on the camping industry.

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Many people say that after initially choosing camping as a budget option, they've realised how enjoyable it is and it becomes a preference.

(PRWEB UK) 31 January 2014

A cautious UK public is making the most of a poor financial situation and taking more 'staycations' in comparison with pre-recession holiday choices. What began as an enforced necessity, based on shallower pockets and an uncertain future, continues as a well-informed choice.

"There are signs of a more permanent shift in attitudes, with almost half the population (and 70% of staycationers) expecting that they will take more holidays in the UK than they have in the past," according to online camping portal pitchup.com.

UK holidaymakers already recognise camping's big advantages: "In 2012, some 71 million bed nights were spent in caravans, tents and motorhomes by UK residents. This accommodation category is second only to hotels, and larger than the combined B&B, Guest House and built Self-Catering sectors, by domestic trips/bednights "- source: GBTS (Great British Tourist Survey).

World of Camping Director Clay Cowie commented: "Being based in the southwest, we meet customers planning camping trips in the UK, but also see Staycationers on holiday in Cornwall.

"Many people say that after initially choosing camping as a budget option, they've realised how enjoyable it is and it becomes a preference.

"Camping gives families a chance to forget modern gadgets and distractions and enjoy nature and good company in the great British countryside. And for those who won't be prised away from the laptop or tablet, most campsites offer free Wi-Fi, so breaks can be planned without fear of missing any action from the Winter Olympics or World Cup."

At the current Euro exchange rate, £1.00 will buy you slightly over €1.20 - considerably lower than the €1.50 peak of 2007. Suggestions of a rally in the UK economy are viewed with some suspicion by a public that's taken a financial beating in the past few years. While many who haven't recently been able to afford a foreign holiday may be hoping to take one soon, there is still reluctance to do so.

Ironically, this may help strengthen the UK economy, due to the increased spend of home tourism in combination with a larger influx of European visitors encouraged by the exchange rate. The average 2012 trip length was 4.5 nights and the average spend per trip £159 per person for domestic camping and caravanning breaks.

Luckily, there's a happy compromise available for those planning a domestic holiday in the short term. Camping equipment purchased for a UK-based staycation can be used again on a future continental holiday, providing a big saving on hotel and gîte costs, and allowing tourists a fully self-contained experience where they can make the most of local fresh food ingredients and landscapes. A small investment in equipment now will enable an extremely inexpensive holiday in a year or two.

After the basics of tent, sleeping bags and camping chairs, extra gear is optional: some campers prefer to be at one with nature, keeping it as basic as possible. Others gradually add items to their kit; tent carpet and footprint groundsheet one year, airbeds and camping furniture the next, and slowly upgrade themselves from campers to glampers.

As families grow or friends tag along, living space can be extended by adding a tent extension, or a motorhome or caravan awning. Campers can also take advantage of the fact that previously costly 'luxury' improvements to the camping experience are now very affordable. Coolboxes, fridges and camping stoves are also an investment, as they can be used year after year for hearty campsite feasts at the upfront cost of a couple of family meals out.

Of course, taking a cheaper holiday doesn't call for a reduction in quality. Those taking it to the extreme and holidaying at home or nearby will instantly free up a large chunk of their budget by lowering petrol costs - the fuel price of transporting the family to a holiday destination within the UK can equate to a whole family day out at a large attraction. And for those needing a proper break from the norm, due to a varied UK geography even a short-range journey can be enough to allow a sense of new exploration, without going to the expense of a major vacation – saving money for going out and having more fun during the stay.

worldofcamping.co.uk are based in Cornwall as an online UK retailer of camping equipment, tents, caravan awnings, portable chairs, folding tables, camping stoves and 3-way fridges.