From glamping to 5 star luxury, shipping container holidays have been gaining popularity in the past few years as people have found themselves more inclined to take a holiday closer to home rather than travelling abroad, both for reasons of cost and practicality during the pandemic.
What is glamping?
The term glamping is a combination of the words “glamorous” and “camping”. It is a type of camping that includes accommodation and facilities considered to be far more luxurious than traditional camping, allowing the experience of freedom and closeness to nature without missing out on home comforts. It has become particularly popular at music festivals, where pre-made glamping areas attract participants who might otherwise be put off by the idea of camping in a muddy field.
So what can you expect when you stay in a shipping container?
Self contained shipping container accommodation is similar to staying in a mobile home. Some have separate sleeping and living areas and some are like studio accommodation where kitchen and living space are in the same open plan area, with a separate bathroom. You're unlikely to find a bath in the bathroom due to space constraints, but you can expect modern provisions nevertheless. The overall facilities vary depending on price and location, from basic functionality to full-on luxury. There would normally be some outside space like a deck with a shaded seating area, and some will have a barbecue or even a hot tub.
Examples of shipping container glamping:
Glamping at festivals - Companies such as Caboose & Co offer the opportunity to glamp at many of the big festivals. With the luxury of a proper bed to sleep on, ensuite bathrooms, power points and tea and coffee making facilities you might be fooled into thinking you are staying in a hotel. Caboose luxury container glamping units feature built-in sun terraces outside and heating inside to ensure guests receive a cosy, VIP experience that takes glamping to a new level.
Luxury glamping - Booking a holiday through companies like Airbnb gives you the opportunity to choose the level of facilities and luxury you require. Ranging from the very basic to full on luxury with your own private tub in the backyard.
Glamping in your backyard - A converted shipping container can provide self contained accommodation in your garden for when family and friends come to stay or an additional income if you decide to rent it out.
How to do it yourself
Shipping container accommodation often does not need planning permission because it is not considered to be permanent. However, the rules vary in different parts of the country, so you should contact your local planning authority (LPA) for a definitive answer regarding your site.
Converting a Shipping Container into accommodation can be carried out by a competent DIYer, keeping overall costs down. A 20ft one trip container can be picked up from around £3,000 and could generate an income of around £750 per week should you choose to rent it out once the work has been done.
If you are not confident in taking on the project yourself you can buy shipping container accommodation out of the box from companies like Glamping Innovations, who offer the Extendable Glamtainer (below), where “self-containment and self-sufficiency meet the highest standards in staycation luxury”.
Other ways you can keep ongoing costs down and keep your container self-sufficient is to attach solar panels. These can be used to provide all the power required for your container when accompanied with a generator to enable both functionality and security.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden with a view you might even decide to build yourself a roof deck to make the most of it.