Singapore’s happy ‘glampers’ pick airport stays for year-end holidays

December 28, 2020 - 12:34 PM
Children play with the Jurassic Mile Dino plush toys that come with the indoor glamping package at Changi Airport in Singapore, December 21, 2020. Picture taken December 21, 2020. (Reuters/Ying Shan Lee)

SINGAPORE — Staying overnight at an airport isn’t unheard of, especially if you miss a flight. But choosing to spend your holidays there in a tent is something entirely different.

With the coronavirus pandemic severely limiting trips abroad, some in Singapore this holiday season are going “glamping”, or glamourous camping, staying overnight in luxury tents at the retail and leisure wing of the city-state’s Changi Airport.

“Usually we go out of the country every holiday but since we can’t travel much and it’s a school holiday, I thought why not do something different for the children,” said Fadlina Musa, standing under twinkling fairy lights.

Her husband, Khairil Anuar Malek, said it was nice to get out of the house. “It has been very tough for all of us, so we wanted to experience closeness at a different level,” he said.

Glamping isn’t cheap. Guests spend up to S$360 ($269) a night for queen-sized beds, shopping discounts, a cool box for picnics and plenty of festive Christmas lights. Private bathroom facilities are not provided.

Air-conditioned gardens, walking trails and an indoor waterfall provide a sense of the great outdoors, minus the bugs, rain and humidity.

Serene Beh, an accounting manager visiting the mall with her family, said she liked the idea, at the right price.

“I will look at the package,” she said. “If it’s worth it, then I think it’s a good experience for the children who have never been camping before.”

The ‘glamp-cations’ at Changi Airport were sold out until Dec. 28, reflecting appetite among Singapore residents for creative distractions that have included flights and cruises limited to the country’s airspace and waters.

— Reporting by Travis Teo and Lee Ying Shan; Editing by Martin Petty and Karishma Singh