The Rise of Glamping

The days of arriving at a campsite and pitching up your own tent are long gone. Over the past half a decade, there has been a growing trend of posh camping, known as glamping, both in the UK and abroad.

The word ‘glamping’ is a fusion of glamour and camping and it’s a concept which delivers just that. Glamping sites allow holidaymakers to immerse themselves in nature without sacrificing the luxury of comfortable accommodation with all the amenities.

Glamping gives people the opportunity to wake up in yurts, treehouses, tepees, eco-pods and lodges of all shapes and sizes at beautiful locations across the country and abroad. ‘

The concept of glamping became so successful owing to its ability to appeal to a wide market.

New research by hospitality job board Catereer.com suggests that 70% of Britain’s are planning a holiday or short break in the UK this year, giving the economy a potential boost of £27 billion. Staying in the country for your holidays has widely become known as a staycation. This type of trip is growing in popularity year on year, probably due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the rising cost of travelling abroad. Companies are also coming up with ever more innovative and appealing offerings, both in terms of accommodation and activities, increasingly making the UK a first choice for families and individuals alike.

Staying local allows people to save a great deal of money and reduces travelling time, making it more accessible to those on lower incomes, those with less time to spare and those who suffer from travel-related phobias and sickness.

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The UK has many beautiful destinations to explore and the rise of the staycation is broadening the range of places people are visiting. Whilst in the past, the south of England was one of the most popular destinations for staycationers, this is now changing. Holiday rental marketplace, Snaptrip, has revealed that parts of Yorkshire and Wales have become increasingly popular in recent times, with the seaside town of Whitby in North Yorkshire being the most popular home destination for British holidaymakers in 2019.

The great thing about glamping is that it appeals to people who were previously put off by the thought of roughing it, setting up tents, sleeping on uneven ground and waking up soaked from leaking tents, using chemical toilets (or worse) and eating dinner off foil tray barbecues. Glamping allows people to immerse themselves in nature without making these compromises.

Although the trend as we know it today became popular around 2007, glamping is believed to have its roots in the 1900’s. Wealthy Americans and Europeans sought luxury on their camping travels to Africa and were catered for in large safari tents, luxuriously furnished with antique furniture, double beds and beautiful rugs.

The resurgence of glamping is a growing movement that’s showing no signs of slowing down. As such, it represents a fantastic business opportunity for those seeking to upgrade their current campsite or start a new venture to benefit from the economic boost of the domestic holiday. Farmers and landowners are increasingly jumping on the trend as a way of diversifying their businesses and boosting their income. Some glamping business models have been shown to pay for their setup costs and generate a return on investment within the first year or two, which is a fantastic result for a new business. This is attributed to the low cost and high-income benefits of a glamping business.

Glamping is a win for business owners and holidaymakers alike and could be key to boosting the UK economy following Brexit in the coming months and years. With so many beautiful destinations and affordable accommodation on sites right across the country, there really is no reason not to start exploring all that the UK has to offer.

 

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Can Flatpack Homes Help Solve the Homeless Crisis?

Recent figures published by housing charity Shelter revealed that 1 in 200 people across England do not have a permanent place to live. In London, the figure is 1 in 50 with some boroughs having even greater numbers of people sleeping rough or living in temporary accommodation. The total number of homeless people across the country is estimated to be 280,000, a figure that has risen by 23,000 since 2016. Rising rents, lack of social housing and benefit cuts are some of the many reasons why we have a growing homeless crisis in this country.

Homelessness is a complex issue which has many different causes and there is not one single solution alone that can solve the problem. To tackle the problem, the government will arguably need to take a multi-pronged approach that addresses the various causes including affordable housing (or the lack of), the health and social care system, the prison system, the private rental sector and social welfare.

Having said that, one of the major causes is undoubtedly the lack of accessible and affordable housing. A major contributing factor to the rise in homelessness is the fact that there aren’t enough homes for people and the ones we do have are unaffordable for the average person. Our population is growing, people are living longer and the way people live is changing – it is no longer the norm for people to co-habit in marriage like they used to, raising their children under one roof. Many children grow up in one-parent households and people increasingly live independently. All of this puts an increasing demand on the housing stock. Put simply, we need more houses.

The government estimates that we need to build 300,000 new homes a year to meet the housing shortfall. Many people estimate the need to be much greater even than this.

According to the government’s annual housing supply report, 222,190 homes came into the market in 2017/18. 195,290 of these were new builds and the remainder were gained from house-to-flat conversions and changes of use from non-domestic to residential properties. This indicates that the government’s target of 300,000 is ambitious. It’s not unreachable though – back in the 1960s, up to 400,000 homes were being built each year.

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One of the biggest changes we have seen in the housing supply since the 1960s is the shift away from public housing provision, which accounted for a significant portion of the homes being built each year back then. According to Shelter, approximately 126,000 social homes were built per year between WWll and 1980. In contrast, there were just 6463 new social homes built in 2018. This is compounded by the fact that much of the old social housing stock has been sold off without being replaced.

To help solve the homeless crisis, new homes need to be built quickly and they must be affordable for those on low incomes. If we are not going to invest in social housing, we will need innovative solutions. House building can be much more complex than it might seem, due to planning difficulties, bureaucracy, heavy costs and the various environmental issues involved.

One possible solution is flatpack homes. Also known as prefabricated or modular houses, flatpack homes are pre-built in factories, transported to site and then assembled by the builders in a matter of days. This type of housing can be completed much faster and at a lower cost than traditional onsite builds. For this reason, councils across the country are beginning to view flatpacks homes as a solution to the homeless crisis. Temporary housing is often inadequate for families and can be costly for councils. Flatpack homes can help to move families on from temporary accommodation rapidly into permanent, affordable homes.

This type of housing can also help people onto the housing ladder who might previously have been unable to buy their own home. BoKlok, owned by Ikea (yes, the flatpack furniture company) and construction company Skanska, provides flatpack homes that are built with the average income after living expenses in mind. This makes property ownership a real possibility for many people.

Of course, there will always be the argument that this type of housing is too homogenous and its style may not date well, but it does offer a viable solution that can go someway towards tackling the growing and urgent homeless crisis we are facing in this country today.

 

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5 Ways to Get More Space Without Moving House

Moving house is often a stressful and costly process. If you’re struggling for space, there are many things you can do to resolve the problem that don’t involve moving. Here’s 5 ways to get more space without moving house…

1. Get a Garden Room

Garden rooms are a great, versatile solution if you’re lacking space. You can have your garden room beautifully custom designed to meet your exact needs. Garden rooms can be used for almost any purpose you can imagine from home gyms and offices to playrooms, guest rooms and art studios. Having a room that’s separate from the main house is ideal for running a home business or carrying out any tasks that require peace and quiet. We can’t think of a better way to get more space out of your property. Depending on the size and purpose of your room, you might not even need planning permission.

2. Invest in Clever Storage Solutions

When it comes to storage, you are limited only by the extent of your creativity. If you’re lacking space in your home and find that every room looks cluttered, clever storage is your solution. One option is to build smart storage solutions into the property itself. Look for unused space and think about how it could be utilised for storage. Perhaps you could put inbuilt shelves in your walls or use the space under the stairs for an inbuilt customised storage unit. Another option is to purchase standalone furniture that maximises space. There are many storage units on the market that serve this purpose, often taking advantage of height over width or length. Also consider furniture that doubles up as storage, such as an ottoman bed or chair.

3. Make Rooms Multifunctional

When you’re trying to manage a small space, having separate rooms for everything just won’t work. To get the most out of your space, consider combining the functions of two rooms into one. You could have a bedroom that doubles up as an office or a living room that’s also your dining room. Really tiny properties often make use of foldaway furniture or beds that pull down from the wall to change the space according to need.

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4. Have a Serious Clear-out

This one might seem obvious, but many people go years accumulating things and not clearing out. You might think you want or need everything you own but this is probably not true. Take the time to go around each room in your home, seriously considering whether you really need things that are taking up space. Ask yourself these questions: do I need it? Do I use it? Could I live without it? This will help you to be more realistic about the need for the stuff you own. It might be a difficult process, but you will thank yourself for it.

5. Convert Your Loft

Most lofts are suitable for conversion and this can be a great way of boosting your space without moving to a new house. The good thing about loft conversions is that they use dead space in your home, as opposed to extending your property into the garden. They are also ideal if it’s an extra bedroom you really need. There a couple of potential downsides though; if you’re currently using your loft as a storage space, this solution will push the problem elsewhere. You should also bear in mind that, if you have sloping ceilings, this will reduce head height substantially which could be a problem for whoever will be sleeping in there.

Depending on what you need more space in your house for, one or more of these 5 tips will give you the perfect solution. Got too much clutter? Have a clear-out. Need a whole new room? Get a garden room.

 

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5 Creative Uses for Shipping Containers

Strong, sturdy and stackable, shipping containers are being used for ingenious construction projects worldwide, from schools in developing countries to temporary housing in disaster zones and as a cure to the homelessness crisis in the UK and abroad. But they’re not just suitable for large-scale projects like this, with a bit of creative thinking, you can use these adaptable containers to enhance your property and even earn yourself some money.

1. A shipping container swimming pool

A shipping container can provide a durable alternative to an inflatable pool. With no digging or building necessary, all you need to do is have your container specially altered and drop it into place in your back garden. Because they are so sturdy and strong, these containers are perfect for holding gallons of water with no risk of overflooding. They can even be modified to include cool features like glass walls, jacuzzi jets and heating to provide comfort all year round.

2. Extra storage

If storage is an issue in your home, a shipping container can provide ample room for all the things you want to keep hold of, freeing up space in your house. These containers are an upgrade to the traditional garden shed, providing much more space and a greater degree of security than the wooden alternative. For those that like to spend time in their sheds, a shipping container can make a great workshop protecting you from the elements much more effectively and giving you the space you need to indulge in your hobbies.

3. Airbnb shipping containers

Airbnb is all the rage these days, with people seeking to make money from renting out their spare room to guests. A shipping container can provide you with the opportunity to do just this, without sacrificing your privacy. You can have a nice, self-contained space in your garden for guests to enjoy all year round. You can customise your container to make it cosy and comfortable or give it an individual touch to make it stand out from the competition. Check this one out for some inspiration.

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4. A new business venture

Shipping containers are being used for all kinds of enterprises now, from restaurants and pop-up food stalls to theatres, music studios and creative workshops. Whatever your business idea, a shipping container could provide an affordable solution. For some, these containers provide the perfect space to work from home whilst others place them on privately owned land or rented spaces. This could be the innovate solution you need to start earning money from your business idea faster than you thought possible.

5. A garden room

A garden room lets you get more space out of your property without having to move to a new house. These adaptable containers are ideal for creating the perfect garden room because they are so sturdy and versatile. Whatever you want to use your garden room for – a home gym, office, playroom, guest room or something else – a shipping container can meet your needs. You can customise it to suit your requirements and you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment by recycling.

 

With so many possible uses, it’s easy to see why these versatile containers are becoming all the rage. What would you use yours for?

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