Put together glamorous and camping and you have glamping. In this post I'm offering you the opportunity for fresh air and true relaxation with my glamping tips.
While 2021 will present more travel options for us as solo travelers, many will still have to stay near home. So why not try something different? If you're not into camping, you could try glamping.
There are two ways to glamp. You can create your own glamping experience in one of the beautiful national, state, or provincial parks or you can choose a glamping experience made for you by nature enthusiasts who have carefully crafted unique accommodation in nature.
Either way, you'll get all the comfort, luxury, and relaxation of a regular vacation.
Glamping Resorts: How to Find Yours
I first encountered glamping in Europe, long before the term was coined.
Camping is not the same in Europe as it is in North America. Now that I have the word for it, glamping is the norm.
It's life in the fresh air but not in forests. It's not rustic in the least. Elaborate restaurants and swimming pools, bars and games rooms are typical at European camp grounds. Yes, you can even order your fresh croissant for the morning each evening.
Glamping resorts are available throughout Europe and have been for a very long time. And, more recently, they have been available in North America and around the world.
The key to a great camping resort is luxury so don't think it a budget option as camping is. Depending on the location and amenities, you can spend anywhere from US$100 to US$1200 per night.
Regardless of the price, there are elements of camping in all glamping. Fresh air, friendship and fun. Glamping resorts tend to be very social places.
Here are a few options to help you find your glamping experience.
- Glamping.com is a directory of glamping resorts that promises you stunning nature mixed with modern luxury. They list locations on every continent.
- Huttopia.com was founded in 1999 by Céline and Philippe Bossanne, nature-loving campers that had the mission of reinventing nature holidays. They have locations in Europe and North America.
- GlampingHub.com is another international directory of glamping resorts. Their focus seems to be on eco-friendly accommodation and sustainability though I don't know that they vet their listings on that basis.
- Fronterra.ca is a unique glamping option located in Prince Edward County, Ontario. They offer agro-tourism experiences that include their farm and brewery. They have prospector tents with summer kitchens and ensuite bathrooms.
- UnderCanvas.com locations are in national parks, one in Canada and another seven in the US. The locations are not permanent. They are in each park on different dates. You stay in safari-style tents.
Camping Luxury: DIY Glamping Tips
I gave up my three-man tent in which I had to lie down to get dressed a couple of years ago. I now have a five man tent that is 5′ 10″ high. There's plenty of room for my double air mattress, luggage, and to stand while dressing. A bit of luxury by comparison to summers gone by.
If you, like me, would like a bit more luxury with your outdoors experience, here are some DIY glamping tips.
- Choose your tent well. As I described above, to have a tent in which you can stand comfortably makes all the difference in the world. But that's just the beginning.
- Choose a national park. These parks are typically in the most desired natural landscapes the country has to offer. Why not get the best.
- Book your campsite early. These campsites are very desirable so watch for when booking opens up and book your site early.
- Pretty up your campsite. Bunting and fairy lights can make your campsite magical.
- Get a high end air mattress. With a pump, the size of the air mattress is not an issue. Get one that lifts you high off the ground and requires less crawling in the tent.
- The thread count counts. Is a sleeping bag really necessary when you're car camping? Not at all. Luxuriate each night in proper sheets and duvet at a high thread count.
- Create a quality kitchen. Just because you're outdoors doesn't mean you need to eat off plastic plates. Dress up your table with a proper table cloth, china, silverware, napkins and a nice wine glass that's actually made of glass, to enjoy your meal.
- Plan luxurious meals. One thing I learned in Italy is that a delicious meal need not be complicated. A few fine ingredients produce a wonderful meal. My camping specialty is a rich risotto.
- Don't forget the hammock. You're going to want an afternoon nap on this luxury holiday. The hammock is the perfect location for this but don't get a rope one. Choose a proper fabric hammock for greater comfort.
- Hire a kid for cleanup. The only thing left after eating a great meal is the cleanup. There will likely be a family near by. Hire one of the kids to do your dishes after dinner: $10 for a proper cleanup, $20 if they do so in total silence.
Do you have glamping tips to share? Please leave them in the comments section below.
If straight-up camping is more your style, check out 10 Lessons Learned from a Solo Camping Trip or First Time Camping Solo: Basic Gear and Packing List.