More and more British holidaymakers are considering staycations in the UK rather than journeying abroad. From worries over COVID-19 and ever-changing travel restrictions to a desire for more eco-friendly holidays, there are many factors driving this change.
But just because you’re holidaying in the UK that doesn’t mean you can’t ramp up the luxury factor. Indeed, recent research by Autotrader found that a massive 71% of Brits who were thinking of taking a winter holiday in 2020/21 were considering a trip in a luxury motorhome – so-called glampervanning!
If you’re considering this option for your next trip, then read our guide to glampervanning to find out what it’s all about. We’ve also rounded up some of the perfect spots to visit, so you can soak up the envious looks and show off your luxurious motorhome to its best advantage.
Before you set off, make sure your motorhome insurance is up to date – you don’t want your luxurious trip ruined by a bog-standard breakdown!
What is glampervanning?
We’ve all heard of the term glamping, right? Well glampervanning is the four-wheeled equivalent. So, rather than bell tents and yurts, we’re talking luxury campervans and motorhomes! Glampervanning combines the unique sense of freedom experienced in the great outdoors associated with campervan holiday but with the luxury of a 5-star hotel thrown in.
But while glampervanning is associated with the glamourous end of the market, it can really vary depending on what your definition of luxury is. After all, one person will be happy with nothing less than an on-board Jacuzzi. While someone else will simply want that bit more than a traditional campervan or motorhome. Perhaps something as simple as a proper goose-down duvet rather than a sleeping bag would be enough for you?
However you choose to describe it, the important thing to remember is that it needs to be fun!
All about glampervans
When it comes to what type of vehicles can be used as a glampervan it really is entirely up to you. While many glampervans have a clear connection to what you would think of as a traditional motorhome, they could also be newer VW campervans kitted out with luxurious interiors and accessories.
But while the days of trying to keep warm in a poorly-insulated camper may have gone – the new generation of luxury travellers has an impressive list of requirements that need to be met before they’ll even consider setting off on a luxury camping break.
According to Autotrader’s research, a Smart TV with integrated Netflix is the number one priority, followed closely by a smart kitchen and a luxurious sofa for lounging around in the evenings. Next up is high-speed in-built Wi-Fi and a decent pressure shower. Around 13% of respondents even said they would love an onboard Jacuzzi bath!
If you do plan on installing some of these luxury additions to your own campervan or motorhome then check you’ve got the most appropriate motorhome insurance in place to cover the refurbishments.
The main thing is that whatever the vehicle features, you should still be able to use it like a traditional motorhome or campervan and enjoy the great outdoors. Just because you have luxury surroundings that doesn’t mean you can’t experience getting ‘back to nature’ – you just want a nice hot shower and a comfy bed when you finish doing so!
Many glampervans aim to offer a truly high-end experience all year round. From massive US-inspired luxury RVs to souped-up motorhomes and campervans with all mod cons, there are so many to choose from.
For example, the inside of the Mercedes Benz Marco Polo Sport offers a gorgeously slick finish more akin to a contemporary New York hotel room than a campervan. There’s a double hob, fridge and sink and it’s full of class and elegance with mood lighting, leather and carbon fibre all round. Perfect for arriving at a summer festival in true A-list style!
However, there’s also a trend towards re-purposing older vehicles and transforming them into top-of-the-range glampervans. Classic VWs from the 1960s and 1970s – traditionally the go-to vans for surfers looking for a place to rest up after a day at the beach – have become particularly popular as glampervans.
But not every form of glampervan follows the traditional designs. Across the UK there are hundreds of enthusiasts putting together some utterly unique, bespoke forms of luxury vehicle that can’t be found elsewhere. During our travels, we’ve seen a surprisingly roomy old British Gas van, up-cycled ambulances and fabulously quirky converted double-decker buses, along with many more options besides.
Glampervanning – is it for you?
Whether you’re more enticed by traditional touring or the more glamorous side of life, the goal is the same: to get outdoors, embrace nature and see what our wonderful country has to offer. But what are the pros and cons of glampervanning? Let’s take a look at the basics.
Taking yourself off to remote locations can be a beautiful, rewarding experience, but it also requires work. We all know the joys and benefits of touring are that you can visit more places, never tire of the same view and easily move on if the weather changes or the neighbours start to get annoying. However, having that extra bit of luxury means you’re a bit more self-sufficient and if you don’t get back to the campsite in time, there’s no issue as you’ve got all your facilities already onboard!
Depending on your location, traditional touring can be pretty basic, although still a lot of fun. However, if you take a glampervan you’ll always have excellent cooking facilities, a super comfy bed and those additional extras. The great thing is that because you take all your luxury amenities with you, you’ll make your very own glampsites wherever you pull up. Whether it’s a motorway service station or a beautiful secluded beach once you close your van door you’ll immediately be in the lap of luxury.
Luxury does cost and it’s not always so easy on a budget. However, as we said earlier, your level of luxury is entirely up to you. Also, if you’ve taken everything you need then you won’t have to spend more on costly add-ons. If you want a slap-up, three-course meal made with fresh local ingredients then you can do so without having to drive to an expensive restaurant.
There’s no easy answer, as all motorhome and campervan experiences are different. You may prefer a simpler experience with no amenities to really feel like you’re getting ‘back to nature’. Or you may enjoy having those all mods to make your vehicle feel more like a home on wheels. At the end of the day, what’s important is getting outside and connecting with nature. Just remember the camping maxim, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.”
Top tips for a luxury upgrade
Want to give your motorhome or campervan a luxury upgrade? Or a fresh new look for the year ahead? There are plenty of ways to do so – not all of which cost an arm and a leg.
We’ve picked out five top tips to start you off, but there are plenty of other ways you can add a spot of glamour.
- Make over your mattress
Getting a good night’s sleep is the key to an enjoyable motorhome holiday for many of us. So why not switch to a sumptuous new mattress to get that hotel-grade night’s sleep?
- Update curtains and blinds
A good way to control the temperature and introduce a high level of privacy into your luxury motorhome is to install a heavy-duty curtain to cut off the cab area. Adding thermal backing to the curtains in other areas will keep the interior feeling toasty even on the coldest nights.
- Add some mod cons
Anything from some new outdoor furniture to a microwave oven can add an element of luxury without any work. If you do decide to install some built-in systems like heating and a decent pressure shower, or cookers and fridges in a cordon bleu kitchen, speak to the professionals regarding installation!
- Wi-Fi and entertainments
From upgrading your onboard music system and getting in a Smart TV with integrated Netflix to providing your own high-speed Wi-Fi there are lots of ways to make your motorhome tick all the boxes when it comes to modern must-haves.
- Upgrade your security
Unfortunately, providing some extra luxury can make your motorhome more attractive to thieves. Beefing up your security will not only help to prevent theft from happening but could also attract some healthy benefits on your annual motorhome insurance.
Luxury UK locations to visit
Whether you’re cruising along in the latest luxury motorhome or a vintage VW, there’s nothing like the thrill of hitting the road to one of the UK’s beautiful destinations. Safe in the knowledge that you’re beholden to no-one and limited only by your imagination.
Whatever your idea of the perfect road trip, there are plenty of open-road adventures to be had at these four UK destinations perfect for a glampervan trip.
Scotland's North Coast 500 – for the wild at heart
When you're relaxing in the lap of luxury there’s nothing better than looking out on a wild and beautiful landscape. Billed as Scotland’s version of the US Route 66, the North Coast 500 cuts a course through sumptuous carpets of wild heather in the bleakly beautiful Highlands.
Beginning and ending in the city of Inverness, the stunning 516-mile route connects crumbling ruins, beautiful beaches, photogenic fishing villages and out-of-the-way distilleries. If you enjoy fishing, check out our blog on the best fishing locations on Mortimer & Whitehouse for some more fishing destination ideas.
If you’re thinking of leaving your motorhome for any length of time while exploring the Highlands, be sure you check your motorhome insurance is fully up to date.
Snowdonia - for long walks
What better excuse for spoiling yourself with a bit of pampering than a long walk in the bracing air of North Wales. The Snowdonia National Park is the biggest draw around here and is a walkers' paradise. Voted the best view in Britain, you need to reach the top of Snowdon to really experience the area in all its glory. If you’re not feeling so energetic then you can cheat by taking a ride up on the Snowdon Mountain Railway instead – we won’t tell if you don’t!
The Cotswolds - for quintessential English charm
The British upper classes really knew how to spoil themselves and had a good eye for beauty. Take a trip through the stunning Cotswolds and fall in love with picture-postcard villages, miles of rolling countryside and magnificent stately homes. Covering 800 square miles of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, there’s plenty to explore. From the charming village of Castle Combe to Prince Charles' inspirational gardens at Highgrove House, see how the other half live.
Rock - for absolutely fabulous celeb-spotting
Dubbed the ‘Saint-Tropez of Cornwall’ with its string of interesting shops, beach side cafés and top-class restaurants, the Cornish village of Rock has an idyllic location. Sat on the banks of the Camel Estuary across the water from foodie-paradise Padstow, Rock’s long sandy beach and sparkling sea views make it a perfect luxury holiday destination. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular with the rich and famous. You‘ll fit right in, in your luxury glampervan!
Protecting your vehicle with motorhome insurance
From cute and simple to big and beautiful, the vehicle you drive is a big investment of time and money. So, never leave home without ensuring you’ve got the proper protection in place.
Working with our panel of leading insurers, the dedicated team of insurance specialists at Motorhome Protect work to find you the very best motorhome insurance, perfectly suited to your vehicle, needs and budget.
Our bespoke cover can include benefits such as:
- Unlimited cover across all the countries that are part of the European Union
- Cover for motorhomes valued up to £150,000
- Cover for camping personal effects up to £3,000
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Consideration of all claims and convictions
Call Motorhome Protect and get a quick quote for motorhome insurance today.
Policy benefits and features offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.