What’s better than camping? Glamping. This latest craze takes the best parts of camping and combines them with luxury, style, and wanderlust. Read on to learn all about these unique accommodations and how you can make it a fantastic family retreat.
What Is Glamping?
The word “glamping” is a combination of the words “glamourous” and “camping.” It takes the best parts of camping–beautiful vistas and remote locations with luxury travel. Cabins, yurts, tiny homes, and treehouses across the country give you seclusion without sacrificing too many modern conveniences.
No hard and fast rule indicates when camping transitions to “glamping.” It’s all relative to what you consider luxury. For one person, anything more than a small tent, sleeping bag, and campfire is “glamping.” It may mean a furnished cabin in a complex with a lodge and a swimming pool for others. It’s all about your idea of what makes a first-class camping experience. That might be a tent, treehouse, cabin, bungalow, cottage, camper, van, or airstream.
Glamping will typically run you a much larger bill than a regular campsite. Depending on the size and amenities, most glamping sites will run anywhere from $150-350 per night (roughly). It’s all about what kind of experience you’re looking for.
Best Ideas for Glamping
1. Create a Lounge Space
When I camped and hiked for two straight weeks, I possessed a comical lack of seating. Didn’t even pack a lightweight camp chair. It was just logs, tree stumps, and dirt for me. But when you’re glamping, you shouldn’t compromise on seating. If your indoor space is large enough, set up an area outside of your cot, bed, or sleeping bag where you can unwind. This could be around a campfire. But it could also be inside your tent or cabin.
2. Create a Space for Dining
One of the great experiences while glamping should be luxurious food. But it should also be the memories you make with the people with whom you share a meal. Set up a space with a separate table from your living area where you can eat, talk, and enjoy a meal. It also helps keep the wildlife at bay if you eat in one place that’s easily cleaned up. Don’t forget to bring cookware, eating utensils, dishware, and dishwashing supplies!
3. Bring Games
Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation set up a flatscreen TV with video games and reality TV at his disposal when he went “camping.” I would argue that the spirit of glamping is not re-creating the home experience. Instead, create a space where you can be comfortable and make memories outside of Wi-Fi, TVs, laptops, and smartphones. Bring a deck of cards or your family’s favorite board games. Better yet, buy a new board game or two that everyone can learn together! Set up yard games like badminton, corn hole, or ladder toss around your glamping site so the whole family can participate!
4. Spruce up Your Space With Decor
It’s all about setting the mood. Try hanging some LED lanterns or solar string lights around the glamping site. Add fresh wildflowers in a vase on the dining table or poofy pillows in the lounge area. You could even add rugs to the floor to add some color, texture, and warmth. Anything that creates a cozy vibe at your glamping area can take a barebones campsite to an instagrammable accommodation.
5. Cook a Gourmet Meal
There’s nothing quite like camp-style food. Something about a fire-cooked or grilled meal really hits the spot. When glamping, it’s all about creating a luxury experience in a camp-style environment. You even could create and serve some themed cocktails to make it a little more snazzy. For some people, food is the main event. Here are some ideas for gourmet meals that you can make to step up your glamping game:
Where Are the Best Places to Go Glamping?
The glamping market continues to grow every year as more and more people seek solace from the busy grind of everyday life and work. For a good reason! Fresh air, exercise, and nature all have wonderful effects on mental and physical health. Although we can’t pinpoint the glamping spots that are near you, here are some of our East Coast favorites.
Just five miles from sought-out Chimney Rock is the Luxury Glamping Dome, a unique North Carolina retreat that delivers a stylish interior in a secluded setting.
Located at the border of Georgia and Tennessee, Treetop Hideaways is one of the most luxurious and sustainable treehouse accommodations. The two treehouses made with beautiful reclaimed wood offer the ultimate glamping experience. Both are complete with climate control, heated floors, and ultra-fast internet– a luxury nature resort in the sky.
Adrenaline junkies won’t find a better spot for glamping in Virginia than the Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Resort Tipis and its treetop adventure park. Test your limits on the high-rope courses and ziplines on this 60-obstacle aerial course. When the sun goes down, dive into your swanky Tipi tents, including a spacious living area and nearby campfire area.
Last fall, I had the wonderful experience of traveling to Yosemite National Park in California. Camping sites are in such high demand that booking occurs years in advance. Luckily, we found lodging in Curry Village. Although these were just rudimentary cabins, to me, it was glamping. We had a bed, sheets, pillows, lockers, and a bedside table. The bear box was a big plus, too! We had a great time because we went during the off-season; no air conditioner was necessary. We didn’t even have any neighbors for at least 50 feet! If you’re looking for something with a little more glitz and convenience, check out AutoCamp accommodations in Yosemite.
Many national parks have options like this one in Acadia National Park or this one in Zion National Park. Before you pick a park, check out what kind of luxury camping they offer so you and your family can travel in comfort and style.
Ideas for Glamping at Home
Not all of us can go off-grid for a luxurious glamping experience. Some of us are just aspiring glampers. In that case, you have to bring the glamping to the homestead for a staycation. While you may not have some large-scale pod, even a basic tent can be tricked out to make adequate glamping accommodations.
Use a bedsheet and a projector to make a DIY open-air home movie theater under the stars. Or, set it up inside a large tent to keep the bugs at bay! Don’t forget lots of pillows for snuggling!
Try cooking your dinner over a backyard campfire, or even just your dessert (you can never go wrong with s’mores). If it’s a clear night, set up some blankets and go stargazing!
Use LED string lights to make the backyard glow! The best part about glamping in your backyard is the access to essential amenities when you need them. That includes electricity, bathrooms, water, food, fans, bug spray, and decorations. Be conscious that you’re keeping the spirit of camping, though. Try to spend quality time away from social media, work, and other distractions.
Let’s Go Glamping!
If glamping is at the top of your bucket list, you’re in luck! Whether you skip the jumbled tent poles and opt for a luxury tent or find a cabin rental far away from crowded campgrounds, glamping can be the perfect family vacation. Where will your next glamping adventure take you?