Who would have thought that in the 21st century, experiencing the great outdoors will become a truly luxurious experience? If traditional camping is far from being your cup of tea, meet its cousin – glamping.
For those not familiar with the term, basically, it’s a glamorous way to experience camping, with all of the necessary amenities and comforts of your home environment. Glamping allows you to dive into all that nature has to offer without compromising the luxuries of your stay. Read ahead if you want to know how the term came to be and where the best spots are for “glamping out” in the United States.
Even though the actual term “glamping” peaked only in 2007, the idea of it has existed since the 6th century. Thanks to the Native American nomadic culture and their constant moving around, we had discovered the most common accommodation for glamping before it was even a thing. Teepee camps became popular due to how easy they were to build and take apart while withstanding the weather conditions. Nowadays, they are obviously way sturdier and more comfortable. Otherwise, you wouldn’t find yurts among the most commonly used luxury camping housing.
The first time glamping happened, as close to the term as we know it, was probably around the 16th century in Scotland. Noblemen and royalty started putting together “luxury camping sites” for their families, bringing furnishings from their own palaces along with them. From then on, aristocrats from all over Western and Eastern Europe would travel into the middle of nowhere, but take everything they could with them, in order to have the most pleasurable camping trip. During their travels, they wanted to unwind from life in the palace and connect with nature without having to leave the luxuries of royal living behind.
No wonder, the first use of “glamping” in the 20th-21st century included a posh way to travel, or mockingly describe someone, who refuses to camp without daily access to the comforts of modern life. As things changed, so too did the understanding of glamorous camping: at this point, it is much more about the destination and not the camping process as it is. By the year 2016, the term that was made fun of for so long has received a place in modern dictionaries. These days, the glam traveling industry is flourishing like never before.
If not for the worldwide “glamping” obsession that happened over the past decade or so, the term would have remained a mocking collision of “glamorous” and “camping,” meaning an improved traveling experience for wanderlust obsessed hippies. Nomads all over the world got so invested in the idea of comfortable wanderings that by 2016 “glamping” already had over six sarcastic descriptions on Urban Dictionary and became a real deal in the Merriam-Webster dictionary!
Scout camps and hiking is undoubtedly fun, especially when you’re 10. But as you grow older, it gets harder to trade the nice cozy beds and snug blankets, air conditioning, and hot showers for inflatable beds and a sleeping bag. Still, both ways to experience mother nature are wonderful when you break each of them down. Make sure not to mistake one for another, or you might end up very confused. To help you out, here’s a handy list of things that make glamping a little different from its predecessor.
When you choose a more luxurious way of traveling, you are probably going to be staying in an RV, yurt, or a dwelling of a sort with all the comforts of home.
During glamping, chances are your tent or an RV has its own toilet with all of the necessities needed for a comfortable experience. Elsewise you could use the nearest stall on the campground.
This is probably the most significant point for all who are concerned about their wellbeing during their time in the middle of nature.
There is no limit to your imagination when it comes to cooking during camping. You can bring a grill grate and pre-made foods along, or go fishing with a DIY spear and cook your fresh catch, over the fire, with smores for dessert.
When you’re out camping, you will have to either boil your water to bring it to a drinkable state or find a spring with clear water, which isn’t always a feasible option. Those who choose a more glam type of experience have less trouble accessing running water. Most of the time, you will find onsite filtered water in glamping tents and other dwellings or there will be coolers made for camping with various drinks and snacks.
We’ve all heard many horror stories about bears, wolves, or, arguably, the scariest of them, possums roaming around campsites, trying to find something to eat. When you’re out experiencing the great outdoors, you can’t entirely wildlife-proof yourself, even when you’re glamping. Although, chances of meeting someone furry and hungry are much slimmer when you’re in an igloo or an RV and not in a safari tent.
If you’ve gone camping at least once in your life, you may have experienced placing a tent, not in the most desirable environment. When it is you, a sleeping bag and a canvas tent, lots of things might happen that could compromise your camping experience. The least desirable outcome is your tent breaking and you have to go home way earlier than you actually planned to.
Glamping allows for a safer and more reassuring experience. It doesn’t matter whether your home, for the time being, is a yurt, a tipi, a pod, or a traditional glamping tent, these types of accommodation usually promise you a much more joyous stay. Plus, if you happen to have a glass dome above you, imagine the beautiful pictures you could take when it’s raining!
Can’t forget one of the most important points. Considering almost everything nowadays is done online, and there is a plentiful number of nomads are freelancers that solemnly rely on Wi-Fi, it is one of the stronger benefits of luxury camping. Work from the top of the mountain at some of the best camping sites in the US. Or start writing your book from a cabin by the sapphire-colored lake. Modern glamping does make you appreciate the comforts of the 21st century to the fullest.
When camping, you’re usually constantly worried about your food supplies or clothes not being stolen by a cheeky raccoon or about your phone and power bank completely running out of charge. Glamping lets you blissfully ignore these worries: clothes are comfortable and safe in a wardrobe. There are lots of outlets to charge your phone and other devices, and whichever valuables you have are secured once the door to your “home” is locked.
This one goes to camping, as it’s much easier to access for most beginners in the nomadic world. While it is undeniably cheaper to camp out, it is certainly advised to save up a sum and try glamping at least once. Such a glamorous type of experience is widespread across the country and is offered at various prices, so you can surely find something that is just right. You will absolutely remember your first cabin or a teepee for days to come!
The luxurious idea of glamping can be a little deceiving. After all, you’re still camping, just surrounded with more comfort and class. That’s why it is vital that you are prepared for anything to come your way, as you never know what may happen in your time in the wild. Keep in mind these important essentials that you absolutely have to take with you, even if the accommodation says they can provide you with everything:
Besides these important points, you might want to pack waterproof clothing, as the weather elements may get a bit strange, no matter the time of the year. Shampoos, sunscreen, cosmetics, extra batteries – these are also some additional necessities to put down on your list. Finally, definitely don’t forget your camera under any circumstances!
Trying to find your first glamping site can get overwhelming when you don’t know what you’re really looking for. Here’s the top list of glamping accommodations to make the selection process a little easier.
A larger, way more comfortable take on your usual tent. The original glamping accommodation of royals or aristocrats with a rectangular structure, fiberglass poles, and usually a platform or hardwood flooring. It has all the amenities you need from a cozy bed to a closet, kitchen, and drinking water. The only potential downside can be little to no soundproofing, and you’re going to be pretty close to mother nature itself.
A yurt is a rounder sibling of a safari tent that has all of the benefits of its older sister, but is a little bit more windproof and has a sturdier structure to withstand the whims of nature.
Do you ever stop loving tree houses? The glamping world offers plenty of variations of this type of housing. Treehouses have a super durable wooden structure, plus there are electricity and plumbing for your comfort. Soft beds covered in fairy lights, bohemian rugs, and unbelievable sceneries make occasional little guests like squirrels absolutely bearable.
If you have pretended to be a Cherokee once or twice in your childhood, experiencing a few days in a tipi is a must. You can usually revisit your dreams on a KOA campsite, where many tipis have power and snug sleeping arrangements.
Pods are a recent and quite modern addition to glamping living arrangements. They tend to be the eco-friendliest and are built with a very minimalist looking design in mind. If you love camping in style, give a read to our thorough article about glamping pod accommodation.
Very popular amongst avid travelers, this glamping accommodation with minimal ecological footprint allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature without leaving your getaway home. You can find domes placed on the most unusual locations like tops of the mountains or oceanfront cliffs. Absolutely the best option, if you’re going Northern Lights seeing!
If living like a caveman sounds like your cup of tea and you want to try something borderline adventurous, find yourself a cave to retreat to. Today it’s easy to find a cozy underground hideout with comfy beds, bathrooms and other amenities, so you won’t have to worry about spending your nights on a cold ground. Do your research and perhaps you will come across some sites with historical meanings, like Granada caves that many used for refuge back in the day.
If you are a traveler that wants to move around and take in as many sights as possible with comfort of a home, either one of these will be a great option. Some prefer to customize one themselves, but there are lots of modern and well-equipped options out there if you don’t want the fuss.
There are thousands of things to think about before heading off to the great outdoors when you go camping. Glamping on the other hand allows you to relax and avoid the hustle of bringing lots of heavy provisions along with you. At the end of the day, traveling light makes the overall adventure just so much more pleasant. Create memories in a getaway cabin, stargaze in a spacious dome or reinvent yourself in a hidden treehouse: with glamping, you don’t have any limitations to how you travel; it is more about your fantasies and ideas that make the trip.