Wouldn’t it be great if you could experience the great outdoors without having to rough it?
More than 75 million people go camping at least once per year, but not everyone is a born camper. Many of us like our creature comforts like heat and running water.
When you hike out into the wilderness and sleep in a tent, you may not be able to access cell service in an emergency. You also risk exposure to extreme weather and the odd wild animal.
The good news is that there’s another alternative: glamping. What’s glamping, you ask? Only the hottest vacation trend in the world.
We’ll give you the lowdown on glamping and help you get started planning your next vacation!
What’s Glamping, Anyway?
Glam camping, also known as “glamping,” is the same as camping, but with a twist. Instead of staying in a tent, you can stay in a comfortable cabin or other permanent structure.
In the next five years, the glamping industry should top $1 billion in revenue worldwide.
Is glamping trendy? Yes. But will it be permanent? Most likely.
Glamping is great for those of us who love nature but need our wifi service. Typically, glamping destinations have easy access to parking so you don’t have to carry your luggage very far.
They usually have an indoor heat source and hot and cold running water. Depending upon where you go, you may have to share a bathroom.
You should have your own cooking space, though. There are also some romantic glamping destinations that provide catered meals and private dining options.
Alternatives to Traditional Tents
The first step toward booking a glamping adventure is to figure out where you’d like to go. There are attractive glamping destinations all over the world including private beaches, remote mountaintop cabins, and even tree houses!
If you’ve never gone glamping, here’s a quick list of the types of structures you may want to stay in.
Yurts are perfect for weekend work retreats or family reunions. They’re circular structures that are typically made from wood and canvas.
Yurts are surprisingly roomy and you can often lie in bed to watch the night sky. These structures are a great home base if you’re a hiker or a dedicated trail runner.
Before you book a yurt, ask your campground’s representative whether it has electricity.
Yurt bookings go quickly, so it’s best to plan at least six months ahead, if possible.
Cabins are a nice choice when you need to travel with young kids. Many cabins have electricity, running water, and private bathrooms.
If you love camping, cabins are a transitional step for younger kids. They can get comfortable being away from home, even if they’re not ready to sleep in a tent.
If you’re traveling with children under 10, offer them the option of sleeping outdoors for at least one night.
They’ll feel brave and they can tell their friends at school that they went camping.
One of the most popular glamping ideas is RV glamping. You have wifi and electricity, and you can go anywhere you want.
You don’t have to go far to have a glamping vacation. Just rent an RV and travel around your state to different campgrounds.
If you travel during the off-season, you may have more luck with booking popular sites.
Even if you’re glamping, you can still shop for camping gear. Bring a portable camping stove with you and let the kids sleep in their sleeping bags.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not book a stay in a tree house? There are tree houses for rent around the world, everywhere from Asia to Canada to the United States.
Before you book a tree house, ask the booking agent if there’s a pulley system attached to the house. You don’t want to have to carry all of your supplies up into the trees when you could hoist them up instead.
Tree houses can fill up quickly, so you may have to book your trip up to one year in advance.
What to Bring on a Glamping Trip
Once you’ve booked your glamping destinations, it’s time to start on that packing list.
You should bring your electronics and cords, but keep them in an airtight, waterproof bag in case your destination has moisture in the air.
Depending on where you stay, you may need to bring a few pots and pans. Pack a few rolls of toilet paper and paper towels, three or four washcloths, and two towels per person.
It’s also a good idea to bring a few gallons of bottled water along for the ride, just in case.
If you’re planning on spending time outdoors, make sure you bring portable chairs. You might also want to bring a few board games and some of your favorite books.
Finally, make sure that you have your drivers’ license with you. Even if you’re not driving to your glamping destination, you may need the ID to check in to your cabin or yurt.
How to Book Your First Glamping Trip
Once you’ve figured out where you would like to go glamping, it’s time to reach out and book your stay. Many glamping locations have online booking, but you may need to speak directly with a representative.
What’s glamping like? If you’ve been camping before, the experience is similar. You’ll have ample time to interact with nature and you can even build a campfire at night.
If your family is full of dedicated campers, glamping is a great way to vacation together. You can relax in your cabin while they go for a hike. Then they can sleep outside while you have a locked door and air conditioning.
Sound good? Just keep checking those prices and try to catch luxury glamping sites when they’re discounted. You will probably have the most luck if you book for a weekday instead of a Saturday or Sunday.
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