Wednesday, 9 March 2011

It rhymes with camping and it's overpriced

The year is rolling by, and whilst my friends plan to jet off around the globe this summer, it has dawned on me that I simply cannot afford a holiday.

Well, I could afford it, but I surely can’t justify it. Two weeks in the sun is going to have to fall by the wayside if money-saving-madam is going to stand any sort of chance.

Or is it?

Perhaps I could just about get away with a budget holiday.

A quick Google is enough to discover that The Telegraph and The Guardian’s idea of a ‘budget holiday’ is sadly no longer mine.

The Sun is offering ‘holidays for £9’ but my problem with this is twofold.

Firstly, partaking in this offer means purchasing the Sun 10 times. I don’t like the Sun. This is nothing to do with snobbery. It pretends to be the voice of working class people but instead has a tendency to focus on the worst aspects of humanity; and as such will not be receiving my hard-ish earned £3.

Secondly, and more embarrassingly, I have experience of these £9 holidays from the heady days of having no money. The resulting ‘Caravan of no comfort’ holiday was a challenge to say the least. No seating or bed area was quite large or soft enough to be comfortable, and the fibreglass roof provided a constant reminder that it was raining solidly for 5 days. In fact, so much did it rain, that when the day finally came to leave, we were flooded in.

Frankly, if it hadn’t been for the on-site ‘Cabaret’ club, featuring failed red-coats, bingo and adult humour for a family audience, I would have thought it was £9 poorly spent.

Even under the guise of research I’d rather not go through it again. Not even Louis Theroux would put up with that.

So if it seems a £9 holiday ain’t gonna cut it, how about a free one?

Remember Mr Smith, the British freelance writer, who came up with the idea to tweet his way around the globe for free?

He decided he wanted to try to get to Campbell Island, 200 miles off New Zealand's coast, within 30 days. He posted his aims on Twitter 28 days before he wanted to leave but, at first, there was little interest. That changed when Stephen Fry found out about him and mentioned Mr Smith to his many followers.

But that option is out of the question. It’s hardly novel anymore, and besides, I can’t tweet.

Back to the drawing board – 'what about camping?' I hear you cry.

Apparently growing numbers are rejecting traditional holidays to head out on their own for a spot of wild camping for a truly peaceful (and free) escape.

Personally I think they’re mad. I have an aversion to camping. It's a knee-jerk reaction at a genetic level. All I can imagine is a cataclysm of tent-based horrors, from falling into toilets to watching a caravan slowly slipping off the edge of a cliff. I think the whole thing is asking for trouble.

For me, camping is one the Seven Circles of hell, an experience so entrenched in misery that the thought of doing that as my holiday brings me out in a rash.

Turns out that I care about having a bed with a quality mattress, am rapidly turning into someone who gets irritable without eight uninterrupted hours of sleep, and am not terribly interested in shared bathrooms, crumbling bathrooms, leaking bathrooms, leaking bathrooms with low water pressure, tiny bathrooms, or cold-water-only-bathrooms.

Friends, now mostly professionals in their late 20s and 30s and used to a certain level of luxury, (or at least a minimum thread count) are concerned what my ‘Budget-Holiday’ might look like, and think that youth hostels, coach-travel, tents and cold water showers are a special form of torture.

But I think I’ve found the answer: luxury camping. This encompasses two words that are pleasing to me.  

Luxury; meaning  something inessential but conducive to pleasure and comfort. Something expensive or hard to obtain. Sumptuous living.’

And camping; meaning ‘Rachel can afford this on her year of no spending.’

Apparently this high-end version of camping is called Glamping. This branding suggests it is both glamourous and frugal. Frugality, apparently, got fashionable. Ok, here we go. Cuckoo Down Farm Yurts, this looks nice. A three-acre wood, rabbits, deer and swallows. Peace, quiet, campfires. Oooh - own loo, double bed, and, there, the deal-maker, a powerpoint. Phone charging and ghd use a go-go. How do I book?

What? It costs how much? I could stay in a hotel cheaper.

Ah well, I should have known. After all, it was featured in The Telegraph.

1 comment:

  1. I like this one, but it sounds like SJP wrote it (or rather someone wrote it for her to write!)but without the ridiculous 'real social catasrophe/no man can stand my whiney face' comparison. (Did you see her classic conclusion that the troubles of single 'girls' in their 30's is wholley comparible to those (actual) 'troubles' in N.I. Of course!)
    In fact, you've got some way to go, and some desperate drinking to do, before you get that nuerotic/narcissistic/n-deluded. However, I have the upmost faith in you x x ps feel inappropriate caberet club has not had sufficent billing(what about falling can-can dancers and most of the cast of Benidorm, featuring the budget butlins industry standard football strip uniform for all male customers under 12 or over 30... We saw no other teenage/twenties all week!)