Glamping: Not Your Typical Nylon Tent

Glamping is now a thing—a specific form of travel. Not exactly camping—but glamorous camping. And the options here in the USA are limitless.

Glamping, a portmanteau of “glamorous” and “camping,” offers a luxurious twist on traditional camping, combining the beauty of nature with the comforts of modern amenities. It’s an appealing option for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing convenience or comfort. Here’s how to plan a fun, easy, low-cost glamping trip.

What You Need for Glamping

  1. Shelter: Unlike traditional camping tents, glamping accommodations can range from large, comfortable tents and yurts to cabins and treehouses. Many glamping sites provide these setups, but if you’re going the DIY route, opt for a spacious tent with good ventilation, like a bell tent or a canvas safari tent.
  2. Comfortable Bedding: Invest in a good-quality air mattress or camping cot with plenty of bedding. Bring soft pillows, cozy blankets, and even a duvet to make your sleeping area feel more like home.
  3. Furniture and Decor: Portable camping furniture, such as folding chairs and tables, is essential. To enhance the ambiance, bring along fairy lights, lanterns, rugs, and perhaps some decorative cushions.
  4. Cooking Supplies: A portable stove or grill, cookware, utensils, and a cooler for food and drinks are necessary. Consider easy-to-prepare meals and pack non-perishable snacks to keep things simple.
  5. Hygiene Essentials: Pack toiletries, a portable shower if your site doesn’t provide one, and biodegradable soap. Some glamping sites offer full bathrooms, but it’s always good to be prepared.

Where to Go Glamping

  1. National and State Parks: Many parks have glamping facilities or allow you to set up a luxurious campsite. Check out places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Great Smoky Mountains for beautiful scenery and well-maintained facilities.
  2. Private Glamping Sites: Websites like Glamping Hub and Airbnb list various unique glamping accommodations worldwide, from treehouses in Costa Rica to yurts in the Colorado Rockies.
  3. Local Campgrounds: Some local campgrounds have upgraded sites or cabins that offer a glamping experience. These can be more affordable and closer to home.

Making Glamping Fun, Easy, and Low-Cost

  1. Plan Activities: Incorporate activities like hiking, fishing, or stargazing to make your trip enjoyable. Bring along board games, books, or a portable projector for movie nights under the stars.
  2. Keep It Simple: Don’t overpack or complicate your plans. The essence of glamping is to enjoy nature with added comfort. Focus on a few key items that enhance your experience rather than bringing everything.
  3. DIY Glamping: If professional glamping sites are out of your budget, create your own glamping experience at a regular campsite. Use items you already have, like household blankets and pillows, and repurpose them for your outdoor adventure.
  4. Group Glamping: Sharing the experience with friends or family can make it more fun and affordable. Split the cost of larger glamping tents or accommodations and communal supplies.
  5. Off-Season Travel: Glamping during the off-season can save money. Many sites offer lower rates during less popular times of the year, allowing you to enjoy the same luxurious experience at a fraction of the cost.

By carefully selecting your location, planning smartly, and focusing on comfort and enjoyment, glamping can be a memorable and budget-friendly way to experience the great outdoors.

Glamping Gear You Can’t Go Without

If you’re planning to hit the road and have some glamping adventures, make sure you’re prepared. Here are some of our top choices to ensure you’re camping—we mean glamping—in comfort!

Enhance your glamping retreat with the BougeRV Fiberglass 100-Watt Solar Panel. Lightweight and durable, it offers eco-friendly power for your luxury camping needs without sacrificing style or comfort.

Use code AFF20 to get 20% off Solar Panels!

Lounge in style with The Shore Thing from Sunflow. The chair features three reclining positions, simple backpack straps for easy portability, vibrant colors & patterns, and accessorized with a double-folding sun shade for protection.

At a sporting event or at the campground, always have a seat handy with this Personalized Black Camping Chair. Featuring a convenient carrying bag, this lightweight chair features any name, so your chair will never get mixed up or lost.
Get $5 off orders over $25 with code PMALL5D (valid 6/16-6/30).

From preserving your food on camping adventures to keeping your beauty products cool in a stylish, mint-colored case, the portable BougeRV 12V Mini Fridge effortlessly adapts to your diverse cooling needs with its sleek design and reliable performance.

Use code AFF20 to get 20% off a colorful fridge!

Skip the rods and enter easy set-up! This tent goes up in three easy steps: take it out, inflate it, and fix the corners. The double-seam seal and sturdy zipper add extra reliability for a comfortable experience.

Experience unparalleled comfort with this queen-sized airbed, featuring a luxurious pillow top, soft flocking layer, and enhanced coil-beam construction for maximum support. 

This small glamping USB fan combines a camping lantern, hanging fan, and emergency power bank functions together. The system uses the latest brushless motor technology and ultra-thin fans to provide a large amount of airflow to take away the tent heat. 

The Ultimate Camping Kitchen features two solid bamboo countertops that provide 8.8 square feet of prep surface. The integrated nylon carrying case is durable and weather-resistant, and it includes a large wash basin for outdoor meal prep and clean-up.

This shower tent includes a zippered door panel that divides the shower tent into two separate rooms—a shower room and a changing room. Enjoy the added privacy and convenience of your camping experience.

Padded seating and a backrest offer all-day comfort in the field or around your camp. The table also has wine glass and cup holders to keep your drinks within reach.

Location, Location, Location – Resort Extravaganza!

Glamping tent and set up at Mount Maunganui

Just to set the record straight: my idea of camping is to stay at something other than a 5-star hotel on a floor that is not concierge level. So imagine my surprise when I traveled to Africa and Morocco and stayed at tented camps that provided great service, ambiance, and food. Could this experience be replicated in the United States or the United Kingdom? Are there places where you can experience nature in all its glory but not have to use an outhouse? Guess what: the answer is a resounding yes.

Glamping is now a thing—a specific form of travel. Not exactly camping—but glamorous camping. And the options in the USA are limitless. I think one of the best options for those who are looking for a 5-star luxury stay is located in Montana at the Resort at Paws Up. There, you can have a sturdy canvas tent with multiple bedrooms, air conditioning or heat, a full bathroom, and even camp butlers. They even call it “The American Safari.” And to top it off, your kids and your dog are welcome.

You can fly fish, horseback ride, and even take an ATV tour or hot air balloon ride. We enjoyed the Montana Master Chefs weekend—a real gathering of foodies for those who also want to experience the great outdoors. They also have a Montana Grillers weekend for the grill fanatics. You can arrive by direct flights from most US major cities to Missoula, Montana’s international airport, where Paws Up will pick you up and deliver you to your tent. Plus, if some want to “glamp” and others prefer a typical resort, both are offered.

For other similar experiences, try the Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, near Yellowstone, or the Dunton River Camp at Cresto Ranch, Colorado, which has views of the Rocky Mountains. What a great way to experience these national parks. In Texas, travel to the Hill Country for a weekend, where you can stay in traditional teepees or a covered wagon. If you desire to stay in an Airstream trailer, check out an AutoCamp in Santa Barbara or on the Russian River north of San Francisco. After staying there, you can decide whether you want your own Airstream to travel the nation. There are many websites (including that provide alternatives. But be careful: many are rustic, some are actually cabins, and many do not have the real luxuries that true glamping requires.

In the UK, you can find similarly glamorous locations like Oaklands Glamping & Treehouse in mid-Wales, an adult-only glampsite offering large, comfortable tents as well as the treehouse. You’ll fall asleep in Egyptian cotton sheets listening to the far-off sound of a steam train.

Or, try Kudhva in Cornwall. It’s an eco-friendly coastal retreat with architectural cabins high on wooden stilts. Floor-to-ceiling windows give you a remarkable view of the countryside. There’s also a hot tub and bar.

So why go glamping if you can stay at a resort? Perhaps it’s the adventure aspect, the sense of nature and the outdoors, and the feeling that you are returning to a more simple time (even though your cellphone may still work). Whatever your reason, it can be lots of fun, a great adventure for the entire family, and can provide you with some interesting stories and great memories. And the bonus: you can call the butler if you need some extra blankets.

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