Turn back the clocks to simpler times, and nobody would say camping could be a good Valentine's break. As a holiday more reserved for well-meaning dads trying to get their kids in the great outdoors, it was rarely considered romantic. Between the rain, poking yourself with tent poles, shivering through your sleeping bag, and getting funny looks from countryside locals, it's hardly the first recommendation given for couples looking for a getaway.
But camping has since had a makeover. The more luxurious sister to countryside breaks, glamping UK-wide has become a booming industry within the travel sector, being offered by farms, festivals and beachside resorts.
If glamping is on your list for a break with your beau, here are our top tips for planning the perfect glamping Valentine's break:
Research locations for Valentine Glamping breaks
Image: Love2Stay Glamping resort in Shropshire.
No two glamping experiences can be compared. Glamping for couples differs greatly to glamping designed to be more for families and friendship groups, and nothing could spoil your glamping experience more than screaming children playing table tennis outside. It is worth doing your research to ensure that your chosen location is couples-friendly.
You also need to make sure you like the actual location. If you want rural and isolated, check that your chosen glamping locations aren't by busy roads. If you want to be able to venture into a city for dinner dates and explore the different sights, don't pick a location that's out in the sticks.
Shop for Valentine's-exclusive packages
Image: Inside Glamping logdes at Love2Stay in Shropshire.
As a couple, have you ever gone to board an aeroplane and been bumped up to first class? Ever arrived at the hotel and found your room has been upgraded? The same can happen in glamping if you look hard enough.
Search for providers that wheel out the extras for couples during Valentine's breaks, and we don't just mean rose petals on the bed. Nowadays, it's possible to go glamping with hot tubs for rent, special dinners for booking at on-site restaurants, and free champagne on ice.
Check weather and travel conditions ahead of time
While February can be a mild and pleasant month, long enough past the madness of Christmas and New Year, you just can't ever be sure. Before booking, check your location is a good commute from where you are with accessible travel options, and pack for all forecasts.
While you can be comfortable and cosy inside your tent for your whole stay, it's always better to have an umbrella and anorak to hand if it decides to rain. If you have a reversal of fortune, sunscreen definitely comes in handy to avoid unattractive sunburn.
Try to go as niche as possible
Valentine's Day is not like an anniversary, because the date is not unique to you. Thousands of couples may have their eye on that same lovely, little glamping yurt with the high ceilings, chandelier and four-poster bed. To make sure you are able to book something in time, dare to go against the grain.
Glamping has become a competitive market, so it benefits you as a customer to shop around and potentially score yourself a deal. Having properties to hire that need maintenance, glamping providers will want to keep their rooms full to meet the expenses and will give you the tent of your dreams for a great price.
Be aware of the safety and security measures
There's nothing worse than arriving at a site that is not as well-kempt and regulated as the pictures would suggest. While glamping sites rarely run into safety and security issues - if ever - you want to know the site is maintained properly by its owners to avoid any risks. Check for the following:
- Guarded car parking
- Gated entries
- Food safety certifications
- Fire safety measures
- Housekeeping and groundskeeping facilities
A good glamping site is one where you feel secure, your car is safe and your expensive Valentine's gifts are protected.
Planning on Cooking a Romantic Meal?
If you are planning on cooking a romantic Valentine meal, most glamping locations have cooking facilities within their accommodation yurts or lodges such as ovens, fridges, pots, pans and utensils (it is luxury camping afterall right?) Still, you should always check first just in case.
Make sure you can stay connected
While a Valentine's break should be about the two of you, we do live in the 21st century. Not having an internet connection can be more of a passion killer than you think. Check with glamping providers that they have good Wifi connections and mobile phone reception. Apart from allowing you to Netflix and chill, this is also a good precaution should someone from home need to contact you.
We could choose to keep our mouth shut and not share this, but we feel that we have a duty to share this with you. Just because you are a guy, you can't use the "I forgot" excuse when it comes to Valentine's Day - no matter how long you've been together!
53% of women who don't receive anything on Valentine's are likely to break up with their significant other, according to a 2014 poll (and it's doubtful things have changed that much in 6 years). - Get that romantic Glamping trip booked now!
Avoid these flimsy excuses on V-Day.
- I was going to book a romantic Glamping trip, but they had no availability
- Valentine's Day? It's just a big conspiracy with Hallmark and Hershey at the sleazy center of it all. I refuse to be a part of it.
- Candlelight dinner? You know that eating in the dark gives me a nervous stomach. Remember what happened last time?
- But you said we weren't going to get each other gifts this year. I believed you!
- Valentine's Day already? Didn't we just have Valentine's Day a year ago??
- You asked for a hot & spicy night, so what's the problem? What does hot & spicy better than a bucket of Buffalo wings? I even got the blue cheese dressing.
- But these candles I bought for you ARE romantic. They smell just like the Red Lobster we went to for dinner during our honeymoon.
- Chocolate? It's nothing but a high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie substitute for sex. And I know you don't settle for substitutes.
If you follow these top tips, you are sure to have a memorable time with your partner for all the right reasons. Happy Valentine's day!