Necessity being the mother of invention, Andy Pietrasik seeks out some affordable alternatives to sleeping under canvas
“Nothing flash”, would appear to be the mantra of many when it comes
to holiday choices this year. In uncertain times, cheap, traditional,
home-made alternatives have come to the fore. Twice as many Britons are planning to spend their holidays in the UK
this year compared with last, advance bookings for 2009 caravan breaks
are up by 40% on 2008, and online reservations for overnight stays in
youth hostels in England and Wales have increased by nearly a third.
Even Pontin’s is close to selling out in the peak holiday periods.
Through necessity, we’re turning back the clocks to a simpler, less plugged-in lifestyle. Ben Hourahine, futures editor at the Leo Burnett ad agency,
has predicted: “The recession will hijack the green argument, turning
it from a moral argument into an economic one.” While holidays have
been heavily marketed over the past decade with accusations of “greenwashing”
in order to cash in on the strength of the green pound, more basic and
adventurous alternatives have quietly seen a revival in popularity.
Buildings that have been rescued, restored or simply maintained – in
some cases over many years, such as mountain bothies – have suddenly
become a desirable option.
For some, the options listed below
will be a step too far into the discomfort zone, but for others they
represent an opportunity to reconnect with nature and to have a holiday
on the cheap.