Camp in my Garden

We spotted this fantastic new travel website Camp in my Garden, it’s a very simple idea – the website matches up people with gardens with those looking to camp. The website allows homeowners to  advertise their garden as a temporary campsite, and it soon became a surprise hit after 1,100 members signed up in its first month. It has now grown so much that a staggering 2,500 people a day are currently visiting campinmygarden.com to promote their lawn for hire or to find a cheap place to stay. Campers can pay homeowners as little as £2 per person per night to stay in their garden, often getting access to their bathroom, barbecue and wireless internet.

Garden close to T in the Park festival, Scotland. Sourse: www.campinmygarden.com

Many of the campsites are close to venues for music festivals and large events, the idea was actually borne after founder Victoria Webbon was walking to watch the tennis at Wimbledon and saw so many lovely gardens along the way. She thought that camping in one of the gardens was cheaper and more pleasant than getting public transport everyday.

Somerset Garden, Source: www.campinmygarden.com

Victoria explains, “The idea just popped into my head. I really like camping and going to festivals and I was thinking particularly about the London Olympics. It will be difficult to find accommodation and the prices will be so high, so I thought people could rent out their gardens. People who want to rent a garden contact the owner directly and the owners manage each campsite and the bookings.” The costs range from £3/night for bamping (basic camping) to £16/night (camping with a bit more glamour!). The website is expanding so rapidly that there are gardens advertised on the website from across the world, and there are sections devoted to particular events with nearby gardens available for camping. We liked the look of Pawjit’s place close to the South coast of Thailand!

Garden in Burgundy, France. Source: www.campinmygarden.com

Beyond the website, the trend for camping is rapidly expanding. A spokesman for the World Travel Market – a large-scale event and organisation for the travel and tourism industry – stated that “garden camping is a fascinating trend and one that the traditional travel and tourism industry should keep a close eye on as it has the potential to really take off for major sporting events and all holidays.” The WTM praised the homeowners who are turning their gardens into campsites for providing “some of the most ingenious accommodation options available”. Regarding the upcoming Olympics, Euromonitor International Head of Travel and Tourism Research Caroline Bremner stated how “the rent-a-garden concept not only provides a cheaper alternative to hotels benefiting both cash-strapped homeowners and visitors on a tight budget, but it also allows visitors to experience the “real” London during the 2012 Olympic Games.”

Whilst we don’t think we could offer many campers enough space on our balconies (!), we do think this is a great budget travel idea that has been really well executed by its founder, and we can see it quickly catching on globally.