Is this the year you stop sleeping on the ground and give glamping a try? Glamping is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to enjoy the outdoors. Think of it as luxury camping — you can spend the day hiking, kayaking, or watching wildlife, and come back to a real bed, along with other luxuries, each night. With glamping vacations, you don’t need to invest in expensive camping gear, sleep in the dirt, or wonder if your tent will keep you warm and dry. This is the magic of glamping.
If you’re still unsure about glamping, and whether or not it’s for you, this guide may convince you. Read on to discover everything you need to know about luxury camping, including glamping tips and important glamping essentials.
What is Glamping?
Glamping is certainly a modern buzzword, coined in the year 2005, and added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016, but what is glamping?
The term “glamping” is a combination of the words glamour and camping, and is generally used to describe lodging that immerses campers in the outdoors while providing them with the comforts of home. From yurts and ti-pis, to cabins and treehouses, glamping is a new way for outdoor lovers to live luxuriously in the outdoors.
Glamping Tips: Choosing Your Glamping Experience
If you’re planning a vacation based on an outdoor experience or adventure, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a glamping opportunity nearby. Luxury camping is available in America’s National Parks, national forests, and on private land, and glamping is growing by leaps and bounds across the world, from the Caribbean to the plains of Africa. Here are some of the most popular listing sites for glamping tents, cabins, and treehouses in the US and around the world.
Glamping Hub – Glamping Hub is a comprehensive listing site with properties on six continents in more than 80 countries. Glampers can search based on location or type of accommodation, including campervans, yurts, tipis, and tents.
Glamping.com -Glamping.com is a huge listing site for one-of-a-kind glamping properties across the globe. On glamping.com, you can refine your search based on country, property type, and experience, whether you’re looking for a desert lodge or a seaside cabin.
Hipcamp – Hipcamp is a unique platform dedicated to matching landowner hosts with campers across the United States. Not all listings are glamping properties — some are campsites on undeveloped land, but you can search based on the location and the type of property you’re looking for.
What to Look for When Choosing Your Glamping Property
All glamping rentals are not created equal, and it’s important to read each listing carefully so you know what you’re getting for your money. Find out exactly what is included and what isn’t. Many properties will include a wood stove (for heat), linens, cookware, and cleaning supplies, while other properties are more bare bones. You should also check for extra costs that may be tacked on, such as housekeeping, pet, or activity fees.
Types of Glamping Accommodations
Glamping Tents – The most iconic glamping structure is the canvas bell tent. It’s big enough for a bed, a few chairs, and sometimes a wood stove, but you have to do your cooking and washing outside or in a main bathhouse. Safari tents are bigger and often divided into multiple rooms with more headspace.
Yurts – Yurts originated in Mongolia. They are round, wooden-framed structures with a domed roof and fabric walls. Luxurious yurts can have electricity, kitchens, bathrooms, and sleeping lofts, while more rustic yurts provide a bed and other essentials for camp life. Lots of state and national parks are using yurts to expand their accommodation options for campers.
Tipis – Tipis are closer to traditional tents than other glamping structures. They are usually small, which makes them easy to heat and cool. They will often include a bed and a few other pieces of furniture.
Treehouses – The sky’s the limit when it comes to glamping treehouses. Some are so elaborate that you scarcely feel like you’re camping at all. They may have several rooms, plumbing, electricity, and full kitchens. Or, they may not.
Camping Cabins and Tiny Homes – Camping cabins have been around since before glamping was even a thing. They often include wooden bunks and some source of heat for winter use. Tiny homes will usually have all the comforts of home, just in a really small package.
Glamping Tips: What to Pack
While luxury camping isn’t as gear intensive as regular camping, there are still some glamping essentials you won’t want to be without.
- Headlamps – one for each member of your family, with extra batteries.
- Bedding and towels – Often you will need to bring your own bed linens, towels, and wash cloths. Check with the glamping facility if you aren’t sure.
- Cooking gear – Again, what you need will depend on your accommodations. Is there a kitchen? If not you will need gear for cooking – a camp stove, pots and pans, a cutting board and knife, plates, bowls, mugs, and cutlery.
- A cooler with ice – Unless your rental has a refrigerator.
- A lantern. We love the Lander Cairn for its bright light and mobile charger!
- Clothes suitable for outdoor adventures – Pack raincoats, boots, and warm socks, just in case.
- Toiletries and a first aid kit.
- Cleaning supplies – dish soap, washcloths, towels, trash bags.
- Sunscreen and bug spray.
- Food and drink – Plan your meals ahead of time, and don’t forget snacks, condiments, spices, and cooking oil.
What you Think You’ll Need, but Probably Won’t
It can be tempting to overpack when you head out on your glamping adventure. Remember, the point is to make your trip easier and more luxurious than camping. Always check your listing to see what is included with your stay, but the following thing probably won’t be necessary:
- Sleeping Pads
- Sleeping Bags
- Camp Chairs
- Saw and/or hatchet
What You Don’t Think You Need, but Probably Do
These little necessities are often forgotten, but they’ll be useful on your next glamping trip:
- French press or portable coffee maker
- Aluminum foil and zip-top baggies
- Newspaper and matches for starting your fire
- Games and toys for rainy days indoors
Glamping is such a unique and fun way to embark on outdoor adventures — all the magic of camping combined with the luxuries of home. Is Glamping your type of camping?