Glamping has been making waves for a little while now, but many people still do not understand what it is. Some simply have no idea what benefits glamping provides or why they should choose it over traditional camping, and others simply know of glamping as the butt of jokes on sit-coms like Parks and Recreation. If you’re confused about what glamping is exactly or want some ideas for planning your next camping trip, fret not because we are going to answer those questions and more.
What We'll Cover
- What is Glamping?
- Decide Your Budget
- Pick a Location
- Types of Glamping Accommodations
- What to Pack
- What Do You Do While Glamping?
What is Glamping?
The word “glamping” is actually a portmanteau of “glamorous” and “camping”. It is a way to enjoy nature similar to camping that does not involve giving up all creature comforts or doing as much work. The accommodations are more luxurious with you choosing the level of comfort. If you want to connect with the great outdoors but still take showers glamping may be the right way to get the camping experience.
It is a great family vacation—depending on the location you choose—because you can find activities for the outdoorsman and those who would much rather be soaking in a bubble bath. Glamping is a great option for large families or groups who want to go camping but all enjoy different aspects of it.
Decide Your Budget
At this point, the lowest cost glamping site I have seen is $85 per night, and they can go up to thousands per person per night. While that does sound expensive, it is actually comparable to hotel stays or Airbnb rentals. The point of glamping is to enjoy the outdoors while enjoying luxury and convenience. If this is what you are looking for, you will find glamping prices to be fair for what you get in exchange.
It is incredibly important that you set your budget prior to looking at glamping sites, though. There are some really amazing places out there that will make you want to throw caution to the wind and break the bank. Remember though, that this is not supposed to be a stress-inducing vacation. Set your budget first, then begin to look through the available options.
Also remember when deciding your budget that you also need to account for travel to the glampground. There might be an affordable location in the Swiss Alps that catches your eye, but spending thousands of dollars on plane tickets to get you and your family there may be too much.
Pick a Location
There are glamping sites all over the world, so your first step towards choosing a location is choosing a country. You can go glamping just about anywhere in the world, so if you’ve always wanted to go to Egypt, glamping could be the perfect reason to finally go.
Here are some great domestic glamping locations:
- Conestoga Ranch in Garden City, Utah
- Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- Camp Buttercup in Dexter, Michigan
- Collective Yellowstone in Big Sky, Montana
- Huttopia White Mountain – North Conway, New Hampshire
Here are some great international glamping locations:
- Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp in the Sahara Desert, Morocco
- Eco Camp Torres Del Paine in Patagonia, Chile
- Shipwreck Lodge in Skeleton Coast Park, Namibia
- Hoshinoya Fuji in Fuji, Japan
- Clyoquot Wilderness Resort in Vancouver, Canada
- Aman-I-Khas at Ranthambore National Park in India
The beauty does not stop there, however, as these sites are available in most, if not all, imaginable locations. For more and information, or to book a glamping trip, check out sites like Glamping Hub or Hip Camp.
Types of Glamping Accommodations
Glamping accommodations can be as unique as you are, so you have plenty to choose from. There are many types, but below are some interesting ones:
The first tent I ever remember seeing was a safari tent on a movie in which the characters were on some sort of long-term archeological dig. It looked the size of a small house, though, so I had no clue it was a tent. They are usually at least the size of a hotel room, though they can also be bigger. You can fit more than one bed and some other furniture in them. You can even find some now that are made from wood, have electricity, and more.
Yurts are formed in a circular fashion with the ceiling coming to a point in the center. Some models might be mistaken for a circus tent as they can look a bit similar. As far as we know, they were first used in Central Asia, and they were designed to be easily moved. They have been around for thousands of years, but they have definitely improved and grown over time.
These are similar to both yurts and tipis. The differences are that these have guy ropes and a larger entrance than the others. They are constructed from cotton canvas and there is no smoke hole. These can be small enough for one bed or large enough for multiple ones and additional furniture, if you choose.
Here we are referring to the tipis well-known as the homes of the Native Americans. You have likely seen them on movies and TV shows, and wondered how they did not freeze in the winter or sweat to death in the summer. The beauty of the simplicity of tipis is that the construction is actually more weather proof than one can imagine. They are quite cool in the summer and warm in the winter with the ability to have a fire inside. Tipis also keep its occupants dry.
If you miss your childhood tree house, or you simply never had one but desperately wanted to, you are in luck. You can go glamping in one. You can relive the fun times or make new memories with your family. Either way, no one outgrows a tree house.
Are you a history buff? Have you ever wanted to know what it was like for the pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail, minus the dysentary? Now you can…well, sort of. You can hang out in a covered wagon, anyway. If you choose to rough it, you can experience the full thing. However, you can also choose a covered wagon with more comfort. The level is up to you.
Cabins and Cottages
These may be the most familiar to most people as most people have seen them on a movie or television and many have had the chance to check them out in person. They can come as simplistic as a fire place, a camping generator, and a water pump, or you can get one that is a fully functioning building with running water and electricity. You can also get them very small or large enough for a big family. This all depends on your preferences and your budget.
You will also find other accommodations that include boats and floating homes, hobbit holes, tiny houses, caravans, air streams, beach houses, private islands, and more. You might have a hard time deciding which to choose.
What to Pack
Before you break out all of your camping gear, there is something important to understand: glamping is similar in many ways to staying in a hotel room. Most locations have restrooms, showers, beds, and more. This means that there are many things you will not have to pack—yet another luxury of glamping. Check with the location you choose for what amenities they offer. Also, many locations have a meal plan and dining area, so you will not need to worry about packing a bunch of cookware and such. However, if you want to experience a little more of the camping side, you might try cooking over an open fire at least once while on your trip.
This will obviously be up to you, but it is something that should be decided beforehand so you know what to pack. As different locations will often provide most of what you need, including blankets, there is not much you will need to pack. However, there are a few basics that everyone should take. You can add to the list according to what you choose. Do not be surprised, though, if you find yourself packing only one small backpack or duffel bag.
Flashlights and Headlamps
Whether you are walking back from the dining hall, hiking, or telling your kids ghost stories, flashlights, camping lanterns, solar camping lanterns,, and headlights come in handy for every type of camping or glamping there is. Never go camping or glamping without something that can create light in an emergency.
If you plan on hiking or backpacking, you need to have a compass for hiking in case of emergency. A glamping trip is supposed to be relaxing, but that certainly won’t be the case if someone gets lost on the trails. An appropriate compass can help you reorient yourself if you get lost.
As with any other trip, you should take your toiletries, especially since you will likely have access to a shower. Whether you choose to forego hair gel is up to you, but do take your soap or body wash and dental hygiene products.
You are obviously going to pack clothes to where, but we are talking about more than your basic list here. Packing the appropriate clothing can mean a big difference in an enjoyable or a miserable trip. It is best to pack the following in addition to your regular clothes:
- Long Johns: Even really hot climates can have freezing nights.
- Coats: Depending on the climate, you might need to carry a large winter coat or a rain coat. At the very least you might want to pack a disposable poncho and either a light jacket or sweater for cool nights.
- Hats: The type should depend on the climate you will be visiting. You should likely have a sun hat for day time for any climate. For cold ones, be sure to pack a winter hat.
- Shoes: The type of shoes you pack will depend on the activities you plan to participate in. It is a good idea to pack warm socks or a camping heater for nighttime, shoes with good traction for trail walks and hiking, and some casual shoes to hang around in.
- Pants: Even if it’s summer and the weather is hot, if you’re glamping in a location that has a lot of tall grass, pants are necessary to keep your legs from getting sliced up.
- Hiking Boots: If you plan to do any backpacking or hiking, you need a pair of appropriate leather or vegan hiking boots. And if you’re bringing your dog, they need a set of dog hiking boots, as well.
As previously mentioned, most glamping sites provide meals, but double check your location before packing just in case. You will, though, want to pack snacks. You will more than likely be active, there is a good chance you will be hungry in between meals. Be sure to pack snacks, especially if you will be taking children with you.
While the glampground will likely provide food and drinks, always make sure to have a camping water bottle on hand. It’s easy to get dehydrated while camping, and dehydration can potentially be very dangerous. Having a water bottle with you is an easy way to protect yourself.
First Aid Kit
While the glamping sites most likely have first aid supplies, it never hurts to have your own. You will be thankful you packed a camping first aid kit if someone trips on a hike.
What Do You Do While Glamping?
There are many activities you can enjoy while glamping- which ones will depend on your location. Thanks to the whole idea of glamping, any activities that are offered with or near the sites should provide any gear that you might need.
If you are glamping in a coastal town, you likely have the luxury of the ocean nearby. Look for or ask about any surfing, swimming, or skiing that might be available.
Horseback riding is something everyone should try at least once. It is hard not to connect with nature from the back of such a magnificent creature.
Chances are your glamping spot is going to be near some mountainous terrain or hiking trails. This is a great way to explore and connect with nature and your loved ones.
White Water Rafting
Some locations will offer or be near white water rafting. If you are looking for some adventure, this just might be the activity for you. Be sure, though, that you listen to any safety tips provided.
For all you sporty adventurers, there are many places that offer mountain biking. Most likely, there will be a location to rent a bike, but you may choose to carry your own if you do it often.
A unique glapming activitiy is going caving. This won’t be available at every glampground purely due to cave accessiblity, but if you can go caving, you should give it a shot. Caving is a great way to get exercise in a way you wouldn’t be able to by just normal hiking.
Many locations offer spa services, which can be beneficial for everyone. Try taking advantage of any meditation or massage therapy that the spa offers at the beginning of your stay. Washing away all the stress of daily life can help you to really settle down and enjoy your glamping experience.
Glamping is an incredible experience that everyone should try at least once. The peace of nature mix with the comfort of luxury is a great combination. Consider glamping as your next vacation or weekend getaway. It just might become your favorite source of relaxation.