Just this October, the iconic Club 18-30 was axed by holidaymakers Thomas Cook after a decade of plummeting sales. What brought Club 18-30’s inter-generational success to a relatively abrupt end? Thomas Cook blamed the rise of ‘ego travel’.
Essentially, this means people care more and more about what others think of their holidaying choices. Pictures snapped on holiday, therefore, must look luxurious. Anything else – such as those £300 package holidays in budget hotels – no longer cut the mustard.
But ego travel is by no means restricted to the young-uns. Over-55s are the second biggest demographic on Facebook, of which 43% use the social media giant for sharing holiday pictures. (A further 15 per cent even admitted doing it to arouse jealousy in friends and family members.)
The rise of glamping
Glamping has steadily increased in popularity since the advent of mass social media. People with no interest in caravanning often looked bemusedly at us hobbyists, appreciating our interest for an escape to the country, but without the willingness to sacrifice some of the comforts at home. (Of course, those of us who visit caravan and camping sites regularly know that the facilities and entertainment is generally excellent – but it wasn’t obvious to the masses and shrugged off.)
Glamping has changed all that. It has sent signals of luxury and dream-like escapism to huge swaths of the population, who are now sitting up to take notice.
Festive glamping: a home away from home
Holiday breaks during the festive season are probably second-only to the summer holidays, when the children finish up school. The realisation that a warm, comfortable, luxury caravan is a not-too distant drive away is a tiebreaker for millions who would rather avoid the disorientation of an international flight. As the population ages, austerity draws to a close, and the over-55s are more social media-savvy than ever, 2018 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years for glamping in a home away from home.
This all, or course, assumes glamping is just for seniors. It is not. Glamping is loved by everyone, which explains why it is jumping in popularity year on year by an astonishing 50 per cent.
And who can blame them? No matter what time of the year; how short the days are, we are still subject to gorgeous crisp and sunny days even if there is a little frost. And if it does get a bit nippy, guests will know a hot shower and a warm cup of tea are only an arm’s reach away.
Jack Derbyshire, writing on behalf of Liberty Caravan Services.