What is Glamping?

Glamping. The word that has been around for a while but what is it and where did it come from? Simply put, glamping means glamorous camping or luxurious camping. It is a melding where luxury and artisan cuisine blend with your time in exotic outdoor spaces.

Although a recent phenomenon in this century, glamping has ancient roots. It has history dating as far back as the Persian Kings who took all the comforts of home to camp and battlefront, complete with Persian rugs, comfortable bedding, servants, complete with a royal menu to the present. For instance, President Roosevelt was known for his outings complete with a full cook staff and fancy fixings – a glamping experience that compares to a stay at a four-star hotel.

Glamping is not the camping of old where you toss up a tent that may or may not be waterproof when it rains; blow up an old air mattress, sleep in a sleeping bag on lumpy ground, or put up a narrow, uncomfortable army cot or cook on a camp stove out of cans and what you catch, if fishing. Glamping is an entirely different experience, that will have you missing the great outdoors rather than wishing you were back in your own bed.

In the last decade, glamping has grown into an international, multi-million-dollar industry. With glamping companies offering service on every continent and even small remote islands, glampers can enjoy an array of experiences from sleeping in the sky in treehouses to open air camping in beautiful tents in the desert.

Current Glamping Trends

Eco-friendly and luxurious innovations will bring glampers better lighting, climate control options as well as help glampers keep their devices charged and connected in the wild and more isolated places in the world. Plus, some experts see the tiny house and glamping trend merging as young couples seek less expensive and mobile housing options in beautiful places. Another interesting trend for glamping and/or housing is aqua settlements. Expanding on the houseboat idea, some innovative developers are planning luxurious, floating hostels, hotels, huts, condos, and apartments.

Glamping Fun Facts

Glamping Price Range

For the most posh of glamping experiences, a night will cost you in the range of $150 to $3,000 per night.

The Term "Glamping"

Most agree that the term “glamping” first appeared in the United Kingdom in the early 2000’s. Even though the word itself is new, the concept of luxurious tent-living is not dating as far back as the 16th century.

Celebrity Glamping

In 2012, Matthew McConaughey transformed his Texas ranch wedding into a glampground and had air conditioning units in each tent!

Glamping Types

There are a plethora of glamping options including cabins, barns, trains, cottages, towers, castles, igloos, tiny houses, floating and caravans – to name a few. Here, we will cover more of the “common” glamping types.

Eco-friendly Pods, Domes, and Cubes

Image courtesy of Whitepod

These structures feature single to multi-use rooms and are either completely round or square. Builders sometimes construct them on cliffs and outcroppings so they come equipped with panorama terraces. Some of the pods are even transparent allowing a more open view of nature. The companies who offer these type of lodging often offer upscale activities from open air, live concerts to group paddle boarding trips.

Upscale Treehouses

Photo Courtesy of Tree Hotels

These are not your childhood forts of old, but offer peace and quiet with spectacular views. Think palaces in the sky with all the amenities of a five-star hotel. Typically, wooden, these structures are accessed by ladders and occasionally a suspended bridge.

Yurts

These traditional, conical shaped Mongolia structures were built to withstand frigid winters. The structure features a low, wide, cylindrical base constructed with expandable sections of wooden latticework. With an open top, you experience a panoramic view of the sky above.

Tents

Image courtesy of Shelter Co.

Tents have long been the traditional accommodation in camping, but in glamping the tents don’t leak or sweat in the night. Created from a variety of canvas, the abodes can come in different sizes and shape. They are also easily air-conditioned or heated so you enjoy glamping anytime of the year.

Tipis

Photo Courtesy of Canopy and Stars

Smaller than Yurts, tipis are built similarly, using poles erected in a triangular fashion and wrapped with durable fabric such as canvas or cotton. Tipis also have an open top for enjoying night time views.

Vans & Campers

Photo Courtesy of Canopy and Stars

Vans and campers of old came fitted with uncomfortable, hard beds and seating, but in glamping these homes on wheels are decked out with plush, soft bedrooms. Some even include swanky multi-room arrangements with beautiful kitchens and bathrooms so that you experience memorable road trips.

Caves

Image Courtesy of Glamping Hub

These type of facilities take glampers to new levels either deep under the earth or high up on cliffs. Some cave sites come loaded with all the luxuries of electricity, Wi-Fi, beautiful bedrooms and baths; while others are primitive as you get, but still beautifully outfitted in comfort.

Top 5 - Bucket List Glamping Locations

Looking to experience an exotic vacation? First consider these Must-Haves for the Ultimate Glamping Experience. Then consider one of the 5 Top Glamping locales from around the globe:

  • Luxurious, eco-friendly accommodations
  • Privacy and quiet
  • Spectacular views
  • Natural scenery
  • Exotic locales

Floating Water Cabin
Wete, Pemba (Tanzania)

This amazing property is your own private floating island just off the shores of beautiful Pemba Island. Sunbathe on the top deck, dine on the water deck and sleep 4 meters below the surface in a beautiful underwater marine environment. The nearby exclusive glamping resort will provide you with the adventure and seclusion you’ve been craving. The resort offers a pool, luxury spa, lounge, bar and a strolling garden with exotic plants such as hibiscus, frangipani and bougainvillea. Enjoy East Africa’s finest island sanctuary.

Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel & Alpine Experience
Valais, Switzerland

Vacation in the Swiss Alps in your own ecological geodesic suite. This unique form of accommodation features the cozy comforts of a traditional hotel, nestled in a breathtaking mountain landscape. Each pod is an individual, secluded suite –  all the comforts of a fine hotel nestled in a breathtaking landscape. The nearby Restaurant Les Cerniers offers authentic mountain, traditional  and vegetarian cuisine for lunch and dinner.

Tents Banten
Bali, Indonesia

Vacation eco-safari style in this luxury tent featuring a soothing, natural palette of brown, cream and white. Your accommodations include a private pool, private terrace and exotic forest views. Hand-carved and inlaid wood furnishings, coffee tree branches and white shell accents create a cozy glamper’s hideaway.

Rung-Nok Dream Villa
Phuket, Thailand

Nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of Kamala in Phuket, Thailand the Rung-Nok Dream Villa’s unique woven bird’s nest design was inspired by the local Rung-Nok Clan, known for their love of luxury. This comfortable villa offers an expansive bathroom with monsoon shower and separate tub, pool with sundeck and lovely sea, rainforest and resort views.

Design Treehouses
Woodlands - Harads, Sweden

Designed by Scandinavia’s leading architects these modern treehouses are quietly nestled in the pine woods near Harads, Sweden. Each room is unique in architectural design. All furniture, lighting and fabrics are custom designed. unique tree-rooms feature a luxury tree sauna for up to twelve. Nearby activities include kayaking, horseback riding, hiking and fishing.

Your DIY Glamping Checklist

Not quite ready to take an exotic trip? More into a DIY option? Here are a few tips and fun DIYs for comfortable and stylish glamping.

BackyardGlamping_500x500

#1) Backyard Glamping

No time for travel? Set up a glamp site in your backyard. Urban dweller? Create a cozy oasis on your building’s rooftop. Arrange your tent’s opening so you have a lovely country or city view when you wake up in the morning.

Textiles-b

#2) Add Textiles

Use plush rugs, tapestries, or Mexican blankets on the floor for comfort underfoot and extra color. Add Western flair with a soft, genuine hair-on cow hide rug. A well-placed, comfy rug just outside your tent or camper door will create an outdoor room, expanding your living space.

Cushions

#3) Add Cushions

Soft seat cushions, throws and ottomans are essential to your luxe camping experience. Not only do they enhance your decor but they make your guests feel comfortable as well. Squeeze in as many cute cushions and throw pillows as you can!

Twinkle-Lights

#4) Add Twinkle Lights

For glamorous ambience use twinkly string lights. Lucy Duggar says, “Solar-powered festoon lights are my favorite.” Hang them around your campsite and inside your tent or camper for a fairy-tale touch.

Mattress

#5) Add a Mattress

If you have room, bring a mattress. Make up the bed with crisp, white sheets and a vintage quilt. You’ll feel transported to a magical, enchanted spot under the stars.

Candles

#6) Add Scented Candles

Add scented candles or incense. Your glam hideaway will smell amazing!  Jar candles look lovely. Bonus: A gust of wind won’t blow out the flame. As a fun effect, use battery candled candles along your pathway to use as a nightlight. Don’t forget a candle lantern at the entrance of your abode.

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#7) Power Source

Take along a portable power pack for your lights, fans, phone charger, curling iron or other beauty essentials.

Bed

#8) Keep Warm

Camping in cooler weather? An inflatable air mattress can get chilly at night. Add a mattress topper to stay toasty warm. Don’t forget to layer on those blankets!

Flowers

#9) Add Fresh of Faux Flowers

When creating a couple’s retreat add a vase of faux or fresh flowers for a romantic touch. During the holidays add a festive wreath or faux floral arrangement.

Chandelier

#10) Add a Chandelier

For extra glamour and glow add a lightweight chandelier or rechargeable tea lights.

Ticki-Torches

#11) Add Tiki Torches

Add island style to your poolside glampsite with exotic, lighted tiki torches or lanterns to light a pathway, picnic area or entertainment zone.

Night_batteries

#12) Bring Batteries

Take along spare batteries to keep battery-powered lights glowing.

chalkboard

#13) Personalize Your Environment

Place a chalkboard sign with a written family message at your tent’s entrance.

Curtains

#13) Add Curtains

Add white mesh curtains panels to your tent’s top and sides for an ethereal touch.

Hammock

#14) Put up a Hammock

Add a comfortable hammock for reading, star gazing or just lazing about.

Picknic

#15) Picnic

Take along a picnic basket to serve an impromptu lunch or an elegant wine and cheese nosh.

Games

#16) Bring Your Own Entertainment

For family entertainment take along a few board games, playing cards or a domino set. You can even bring music or instruments – consider a Solar powered or Bluetooth enabled player or old fashioned guitar.

Firepit

#17) Camp Fire Readiness

Campfires not allowed? Take along a tabletop charcoal grill or mini portable gas grill for easy meal prep. You can even make popcorn outdoors.

Fan

#18) Keep Cool

When you are not in a space that provides air conditioning (or you are winter glamping), keep a cool breeze going on warm nights with a table or floor fan.

Butler

#19) Bring Your Butler

Hosting an elegant outdoor gathering? Hire a private chef and butler to greet and serve your guests.

As you consider what items to bring with you as you go about your glamping trip, keep in mind what will make your experience more enjoyable as you pack. Some of these tips may be far too impracticable to haul with you on your journey. However, if it is in your backyard, go all out and even enjoy it for a few extra days. Did you go glamping? We want to hear about it! Let us know what other tips you found helpful on your journey.

Shop For Your Glamping/Camping Trip

– For more ideas for your glamping trip, be sure to check out these other ideas for purchase. –

After working more than 28 years as a news reporter, broadcast copywriter, school librarian, and emergent literacy specialist, Mary Hill works as a freelance writer and blogger. She blogs at MaryanderingCreatively.com where she writes creatively about her life as well as offers advice and insights on a range of family and parenting issues. She also loves to write poetry and share her creative photography.

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