How to Book a Cheap Glamping Holiday
None of these tips will work everywhere, however many sites will operate on a "first money is the best money" policy and booking many months ahead of your holiday could pay dividends in savings when it comes to settling your balance. During the Winter months, or early in the season, it would not be too cheeky to ask for an extra something for a booking in the Summer, or a special rate for an early booking, particularly for a large group with multiple accommodations.
Our early booking savings policy means that any Summer glamping bookings confirmed before the end of January each year receive a 20% discount on their accommodation rate, and Summer bookings confirmed before the end of February can receive a 10% reduced rate.
2. Make the most of it and stay for two nights (three nights during BH) or more
Traditionally holidays have had set arrival and departure dates, and times. The traditional weekend break runs from Friday - Sunday, and a midweek break is Sunday - Thursday. At Bank Holidays, a break would be for three nights from the Friday and departure on the Monday. Most sites will not welcome guests for a single night glamping or less than three nights over a Bank Holiday weekend, and have fixed arrival & check-out times.
Unlike most sites we can welcome guests for short breaks such as a one night stay during a weekend or less than the full three nights of a Bank Holiday weekend with a single night supplement per person. A short stay supplement applies per person per night of a three night Bank Holiday weekend left unoccupied.
3. Check-in & out on time
We also do not operate our bookings on strict fixed check-in and check-out times. Check-in at our sites is from 2pm - 5.30pm with a lieu period until 6pm for those who may be running a little late. For check-ins after these times, a small fee applies to ensure a member of staff is active onsite to welcome guests and show them around the site & facilities.
Our check-out times are also generously reasonable at 10am. Many sites operate a strict "out by 9" policy and will not allow guests to stay longer. We allow guests to book a late check-out after 10am at our glampsites for a small fee.
4. Go independent
Many glampsites outsource their bookings to third party online systems and do not interact with the guests until arrival, if at all. These sites will have firm minimum stay policies as previously outlined above and will lack the "human element" to booking your holiday such as answering your questions about the site, adding additional guests or booking additional items.
Being an independent family-run business, when you call us directly on 01225 290924 the telephone is answered by a real person, usually present on one of our sites at that moment in time, and can give you detailed information and answers to any queries you may have. If the line is busy, you can leave a message and we will always get back to you as soon as possible. During busy times, we often man the phonelines until late, giving guests the opportunity to make their booking in their own time and not hurriedly fill out a booking form from their workstation. Our aim is always to make the process simple for you.
5. Get a last minute deal
On some occasions cancellation availability means that accommodation is available at short notice and in certain instances these last minute vacancies can provide a lucky guest with a special reduced rate for their accommodation.
Asking simply for "a discount" is rarely a strong tactic, a better approach is to enquire and receive a quote for your last minute glamping break - if your choice is above your set budget, let us know and we can check availability for less premium accommodation options or in some short notice cases, provide a special rate. We believe that glamping holidays should be for everyone and as a family business, we understand the importance of holiday time.
6. Book Deluxe
Deluxe Glamping packages, available at our Somerset and Dorset glamping sites, are one way to save if you think you are going to need "the full kit & kaboodle" - these include bedding & towels for each guest plus logs, kindling, charcoal & firelighters for your fire pits and barbecues, plus a packet of XXL marshmallows to roast! The price per night for these accommodations is higher than our Classic packages, however the Deluxe packages work out at a saving compared to purchasing all of the items included as individual services.
7. Leave canine friends at home
Many sites will simply not let you bring pets glamping, others will charge you in excess of £25 just for your canine friend to tag along on your holiday.
We understand how our canine friends are part of the family, how it can be difficult to leave them behind or in kennels and we welcome dogs glamping! Both of our glamping sites are dog-friendly - there is merely a small charge of £17.50 per stay to cover the additional cleaning required in case subsequent guests have any allergies to pets.
8. Consider reviewing your expectations
It's a hard thing to hear, but we will always be honest with you, dear reader - if one is sticking to a budget, one cannot expect to get the most premium accommodations complete with all the trimmings. For reference, generally Bell tents are less expensive per night than Yurts and the more things that are included, the price will increase accordingly.
Our Classic packages always come with all of the standard set up you would expect from a glamping tent with a double bed, lights, rugs, cutlery, crockery, cooking essentials, food storage and clothes storage. Step inside any of our accommodation and you will agree that beyond simply pre-pitched tents, we provide guests with an experience rather more akin to a "hotel suite under canvas" and an exquisite, attentive, personal service to match.
Our glamping site in Dorset has been reviewed by hundreds of guests over the years and in 2018 received the coveted Hall of Fame award from TripAdvisor, acknowledging five consecutive years of "excellent" ratings on their platform from 2014 - 2018. Despite these accolades, our prices have consistently only been raised below the rate of inflation, a conscious decision that our Directors implemented in the early stages of the recent Credit Crunch and the ensuing Great Recession to enable families to continue enjoying luxury glamping.
9. Go off the beaten track
Any place that you have seen on the TV, you can bet that many other people have also just seen that same programme and are also looking to book there. The place in question has most likely raised their prices as they are now "as seen on...[insert vapid & mediocre 'reality TV' show titles here]" and swimming in enquiries just like the one you are about to make.
The same thing applies to location, if you are looking at an area for a specific purpose, consider extending your search a little further afield, as the further away from "prime" locations you are, the chances are that the prices will be a little more competitive as one pays a premium for having attractions right on the doorstep.
10. Bring friends
A lot of glamping sites do not or cannot welcome groups. This is only the case at our Dorset site, where groups of families & couples are more than welcome, but other types of group must book at our Somerset site, Woodland Escape.
With glamping it is often a case of "the more the merrier" - especially when it comes to group bookings. Large groups will often need to book exclusive hire of the whole glamping site in Somerset for their events such as hen & stag parties, birthdays, and other celebrations so that they can relax and enjoy their stay without having to concern themselves with noise disturbing other guests and families on site.
When this is the case, booking a hen party for eight people is not particularly cost-effective, as the cost per night will be the same whether one is coming as a group of eight, sixteen or fifty, which is the maximum capacity at our Somerset site which welcomes groups glamping. For 50 people sharing, the cost of exclusive hire of Woodland Escape is only £20 per person. For only 8 people, the cost per person works out considerably higher, so to bring more people for your party event can bring the individual cost down to benefit you.