Carry on camping, in a portable hotel room

CAMPING under canvas could be a thing of the past at T in the Park, as next year's festival-goers try out a portable hotel room.

The hotel chain Travelodge is piloting the Travelpod, which allows holidaymakers to live in luxury on the move. It plans to test the new rooms out at next year's T in the Park, allowing festival-goers to ditch their tents.

The Travelpod - the world's first mobile hotel room - is being tested by customers across the country, but the pilot scheme could be aimed at an event, in this case Scotland's biggest music festival - T in the Park.

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The pod is towed on a trailer-bed but, unlike a caravan, is a replica of one of the chain's hotel rooms. A Travelodge spokesman said the plans were still in the early stages. "We are thinking about trialling it at T in the Park next year, but have not put the wheels in motion yet," he said.

The portable room will include air- conditioning, a flat-screen television, DVD player with a collection of DVDs, tea and coffee-making facilities, and a washroom with eco-friendly toilet and washbasin with running water. The pod also has furniture made from recycled timber and uses low-wattage bulbs.

It contains a double bed with bedding, bedside lights, carpeted floors, and dressing table with light, mirror and chair. The pod is sealed in a clear glass box, and measures six by 2.4 metres and is 2.6 metres high. Blinds are included.

Leigh McCarron, of Travelodge, said: "The Travelpod is a ground-breaker in outdoor accommodation."

This year's T in the Park, on 6-8 July at Balado, Perthshire, attracted crowds of about 80,000 to see bands such as Snow Patrol, Scissor Sisters and Kasabian.

T in the Park 2008 will take place on 11-13 July. Some 40,000 tickets have already been sold for the festival, with the rest expected to go on sale in early 2008.

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