If you’re not up for camping but want to enjoy an outdoor break, then why not try glamping? Get it right and family glamping can be as fun-packed, rewarding and exciting as any package holiday – without the price tag. Across the UK and Europe, there’s a huge range of high-quality glampsites where you to enjoy a welcome break in nature without having to say goodbye to your creature comforts.

The key to a successful glamping holiday is to be prepared. You’ll want to ensure you’ve packed all the essentials you need to enjoy your time away. If you’re planning your first family glamping UK getaway, Halfords is here to help. (We don’t just do cars and bikes, but everything you need for the ultimate family glamping trip, too.)

What is glamping?

Glamping combines the convenience and closeness to nature of camping with the comfort and glamour of a hotel stay. That’s the idea, anyway.

In the past, camping – and campsites – were far from glamorous. If you’ve ever pitched a tent in a field then spent hours trying to find the nearest shop, you’ll know what we mean.

A new range of glampsites bring you closer to nature, meaning you can relax in relative luxury. Glampsites can include semi-permanent tents, treehouses, yurts, canal boats, shepherd’s huts, converted planes and more. Modern family glampsites in the UK and Europe can boast impressive facilities on site or nearby, including shops, bars and on-site entertainment suitable for all the family.

What to take glamping: Essential list

Wondering what to take glamping? Here’s our essential list of (almost) everything you’ll need for a fantastic family glamping break. We’ve also linked to some of our favourite Halfords products to make it easier to pick up what you need.

The best thing about glamping is that beds, bedding, towels and toilet paper are (almost) always included – which means extra space in the car to pack the stuff that will make your trip special. We’ve broken the list down into several sections to make it more manageable.

Expert tip: Before packing and preparing, check what your specific site provides. Some request you bring essentials like bedding, towels and toilet paper, whereas others provide it. (If you do need to bring a tent to your glampsite, check out our guide to the perfect glamping tent set-up.)

Cooking, eating & drinking


Activities & adventures


Choosing the right campsite

There are several things to consider when choosing the right family glampsite, including location, access, facilities and fun factor. Let’s look at each one by one.

Location and access

UK or abroad? Up north or down south? These are some of the things you’ll need to consider when booking your family glamping trip. When travelling with your family, consider time in the car (and prepare for inevitable traffic and delays during holidays).

If you’re travelling abroad, be sure to prepare your car with a European travel kit and understand the rules and regulations around driving. You can read more about foreign driving laws in our handy advice article.

Some glampsites can have difficult access, especially for those with young children or those with mobility problems. If you’re travelling with little ones, older ones or those with mobility issues, be sure they’ll be able to enjoy the facilities before booking.

Expert tip: Read all the reviews (including the negative ones) to get a balanced perspective on your prospective glampsite before booking.


Some people choose glamping to get closer to nature, while others want to be closer to the action. Before booking, check the facilities at your chosen glampsite. If it’s your first family glamping trip, it’s a good idea to find one that’s not too far away from things as the darkness and seclusion can be scary for some children.

It’s a holiday, so we hope you’re going to leave the laptop at home, but be prepared as some glampsites are totally off-grid, with no mains power, lighting or cooking equipment. Some may not have showers, running water or even a flushing toilet. Building a log fire and taking a digital detox may sound perfect but be realistic and practical – and consider what’s best for your family.

Expert tip: List out the non-negotiable facilities your family needs and use these as the basis for your glampsite selection.

Fun factor

You’ll want to ensure that you have access to amenities like a local shop, pub or beach. Before booking, be sure you know where you’ll be able to find these things. Are they close by or are you going off grid? (Having to drive half an hour for a pint of milk isn’t always pleasant, so be prepared before you book.)

Some glampsites – particularly larger ones or those located next to caravan parks and campsites – may have swimming pools, social clubs, arcades and other activities. This can make a family holiday easier but it’s likely to be busier, too, so try and find the right balance.

Depending on your interests, you may want to choose a glampsite that’s near a beach, lake, bike or walking routes, or other outdoor activities. After travelling to your stay, another lengthy drive from the glampsite is hardly likely to be much fun for the family.

Expert tip: Think about what every family member needs to make a family holiday fun and consider these criteria in your search.

Things to do while glamping

We’ve focused on some of the challenges of glamping, but let’s focus on some of the fun stuff you can do while glamping!

  • Campfires and outdoor cooking: There may be places to buy food on-site, but no family glamping adventure is complete without at least trying to cook your own meals outdoors. Whether you’re cooking hotdogs and burgers or trying not to burn marshmallows, kids of all ages will love a campfire and some outdoor cooking. Check out our top camping recipes for some budget-friendly ideas.
  • Biking (and scootering): A glamping holiday is the perfect opportunity to pack your bike and enjoy some pedal-powered adventures. Halfords stocks a huge range of bikes for all the family, including road bikes, mountain bikes, e-bikes and kids’ bikes. If your little ones aren’t cycling yet, then pack their scooters and find a suitable path. Searching for some inspiration? Check out our guide to the UK’s best cycling routes.
  • Walking: If you’ve followed our advice above and packed your walking boots and wellies, you’ll have everything you need to get out into the great outdoors and enjoy a walk.
  • Outdoor games: When the sun is shining, get out and enjoy some games. You can play a game of football, rugby, tennis or even practice your putting with a few items of equipment.
  • Nature spotting: Glamping gets you closer to nature than most holidays – so take advantage! Bird watching, bug spotting or late-night stargazing are all family-friendly (and free) activities.
  • Board games, card games and creative activities: While glamping, you’ll probably spend as much time as you can outdoors but with the UK weather as unpredictable as ever, plan for some indoor time too. Take some board games, a pack of cards or some craft activities and you’ll be prepared for every eventuality. Some glampsites even offer some indoor activities on-site for this very reason.

Start your family glamping holiday at Halfords 

The secret to a successful and satisfying family glamping holiday is planning and preparation. We can’t help with the weather, but we can help you with everything else – including camping gear, car maintenance essentials, roof boxes and bike racks.

Once you’ve booked your glamping break, set your course for Halfords where you’ll be able to find all your glamping essentials.