Remember the first camping trip you ever took? The tent that leaked, the bugs, the mosquito spray, the ground that looked clear but felt covered in rocks as soon as you tried to sleep? What about that gauntlet of zippers that you had to get through in order to leave the tent at night? And don’t forget the grimy, dirty feeling you get after a full day and night outside without a shower.
But then, there are the positive sides to camping; enjoying the great outdoors, eating S’mores, getting away from society, seeing nature at its best, and gaining a sense of calm that only time away from technology and noise can give you. If you’re planning a trip abroad, camping can be an innovative and touching way to experience your time in a foreign country. If you want all the benefits of camping without its annoyances, maybe you should consider glamping.
What is Glamping?
Glamping is a more upscale form of camping that features some of the basic comforts of a hotel stay, such as a bed, in an alternative style lodging that allows you to get closer to nature. Some glamping sites may have heavy canvas teepees, while others might have cabins, tree houses, yurts or elaborately furnished tents.
The goal of glamping is to create a more environmentally sound form of lodging than a traditional hotel or resort and to allow visitors to enjoy the same types of outdoor exposure and remoteness that camping affords. Some glamping sites have spas, fireplaces, private showers and many have special environmentally friendly compositing toilets.
Finding Your Glampsite
It’s possible that you’ve never heard of glamping before, but it’s still a pretty popular choice for travelers who want something different. That’s a good thing because it means that no matter where you’re visiting in the world, you’re likely to have multiple glampsites to choose between. When deciding which is best for you, consider the following:
- The amenities: Some glampsites go all out. They have gourmet chefs, spas, televisions, fireplaces, on-site sushi bars and more. The more amenities a place has, the more the nightly fee is likely to be. Think about the amenities that mean the most to the overall quality of your trip and try to find a glampsite that has them. You may want to list your desired amenities in order of priority so that you have an easier time deciding what to sacrifice if nothing in your price range fits all your needs.
- The local activities: You probably aren’t planning a trip abroad because you want to breathe another country’s air. You’re going in order to experience new attractions, cultures, and environments. Your glampsite should have some activities that are unique to the area you’re visiting so that you get the full experience of being abroad even if you never leave the vicinity.
- Who else will be there: Some glampsites don’t allow children, and some do. Some can accommodate many guests at one time, while others might entertain just one to three guests or couples at a time. Consider which type of environment is going to offer you the most ideal experience.
Preparing for your Trip
One of the most annoying things about camping is the amount of supplies you must pack. Cookware, sleeping bags, tent, clothes, food—it can really be a downer. When glamping, you won’t generally need to worry about packing much more than you would when staying in a hotel.
- Pack appropriate clothes and shoes: Glamping may be glamorous, but it’s still not going to be comfortable to wear dress shoes and suits.
- Bring snacks: Many glampsites will provide snacks, special foods for dietary needs and may even have a microwave oven on site, but you still may want to bring some of your favorite junk foods.
- Include any necessities your glampsite doesn’t provide: This can include towels and soap
- Take a copy of your international insurance policy: Your glampsite will likely have a liability insurance policy, but you’ll also want to have international insurance to cover accidents, injuries, emergency medical transportation and other costs.
- Miscellaneous: Pack books and other items to entertain you
Glamping can provide a unique travel experience to even the most world-weary explorer. If you’re looking for a new take on a vacation to your favorite international spot, or an innovative way to explore a new location, glamping is definitely worth considering.