Enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort and convenience
You might not guess it by looking at me, but I was a Campfire Girl when I was little. I cherish my great memories of camping, singing songs around the fire and roasting hotdogs with my scout leader. Back then, I didn’t think twice about snoozing in a sleeping bag on the cold ground. When you’re eight, that sounds like a great idea. But now at the mature age of, um, 29+, my back can only take so much of sleeping under the stars. However, like many moms out there, I still want to get in touch with nature when I travel. So how can I find the comforts of home — like the necessities of heat, electricity and indoor plumbing — while enjoying the great outdoors with my husband and children?
“Glamping” is the solution I’ve been looking for! If roughing it doesn’t appeal to you like it used to, glamping might be just the thing for you as well. Glamping enables families to have an outdoor adventure while keeping everyone happy. It is glamour camping, or luxurious camping, which is right up my alley. It’s perfect for my family because we can enjoy all that nature has to offer without sacrificing comfort and convenience. Hello, comfortable bed under the stars!
I was surprised to learn how many glamping accommodations there are all over the world, from luxurious tipis to renovated railroad cars. My go-to source for glamping experiences is Glamping Hub. You can use the website to find the vacation that’s just right for you, then make your reservations right there online.
This site has a seemingly endless array of glamping options, at every price point. There are more than 7,000 rooms in more than 80 countries! My kids and I like to explore the options to find ideas for upcoming family vacation destinations. It has actually been a great tool for teaching the kids about different approaches to travel and types of structures, from yurts to tree houses. (If you’re wondering what a yurt is, read on and you’ll soon find out!)
I love that the site is organized into collections, to inspire travelers to dream up new kinds of adventure. For example, you can locate a series of listings in categories like “rustic winter retreats” or “airstream accommodations.” Of course, you also can search by location, check-in date and number of guests.
One of the things I like about glamping is that the sites often provide all the supplies you need. This really comes in handy if you’re traveling far from home. Who wants to pack and unpack a bunch of cookware on vacation?
Another advantage is that many sites are pet friendly. Our dog loves to romp outside, but we don’t always get the chance to take her with us on the road. It would be great to include her in the family fun, especially if we’re doing a lot of outdoor activities.
My family has a wish list of Glamping Hub accommodations that we hope to visit someday soon, because they’re really different from anything else we’ve done. They’re in diverse settings, from beaches to forests to mountaintops! Here’s a description of each of our favorites.
Beach Babes: The first is what I consider to be the ultimate glamping experience. What could be better than spending your vacation on a private island? This beach villa is on Melody Key, approximately 20 miles east of Key West, Florida. It can accommodate 10 people (a minimum of four must be children), which is perfect for sharing with my sister’s family and my parents. Guests have access to a pier, which my father and husband would love for fishing, plus snorkeling, jet skis, paddle boards, kayaks and a pool…plenty to do if you want to keep busy, but also many peaceful spaces for relaxing. There’s even a fire pit for making s’mores at night. For an over-the-top glamping experience, a private chef can be hired for an additional fee. Perhaps my old scout leader should look into this opportunity! It’s not the cheapest vacation, but it definitely puts the glam in glamping! How many people can say they’ve vacationed on a private island? If you’re going to save up for a trip, you might as well knock it out of the park!
Forest Find: Our second glamping choice is in the forest, a Costa Rican rainforest that is! Two hours from the San Jose International Airport and located in a refurbished vintage Boeing 727, this glamping unit is truly one of a kind. It is situated in between Manuel Antonio National Park and the Pacific Ocean, so there’s beauty to be found at every turn. The most amazing thing about this accommodation is that it’s a real airplane, nestled high in the jungle so that you feel like you’re actually flying. How cool is that? Does it count for the mile-high club? C’mon, you were thinking it, too. There are two air-conditioned bedrooms, each with a bathroom, as well as a kitchenette and an ocean-view terrace. Costa Rica has always been intriguing to me, with activities that range from jungle canopy zip lining to waterfall rappelling (said to be kid friendly and no prior experience required). There are also tours through the National Park, where experienced guides point out sloths, monkeys and exotic birds. It is a glamping experience we would never forget!
Mountain Mama: Our third choice takes us to a yurt in the mountains of Central Portugal. A yurt is a large circular tent on a wooden frame. Oh, so that’s what a yurt is! These charming spaces are brightly furnished and decorated. Unique and comfortable surroundings that call to me every time I see the photos! The yurts have private bathrooms located just outside the structures, with a shower, sink and, most importantly, toilet! A continental breakfast of hot bread and local produce is included. Not only yummy, but also saves a couple of bucks on breakfast for the family. If you want to explore the area, sack lunches and snacks are available for purchase. My family loves the outdoors, and nearby there are opportunities for horseback riding, jeep safari rides and mountain biking. Within an hour’s drive, there are Roman ruins and medieval castles to learn more about Portugal’s history and culture. I always like sneaking in some education. It totally justifies the splurge on other attractions!
These are a few of my family’s favorites. Take a look at Glamping Hub and see what you come up with. Weekly rentals aren’t the rule, so you can try glamping for just a day or two to get your feet wet with the experience. And you’ll probably be able to find sites close to home that you can easily access by car, which is ideal for a weekend getaway.
There is truly a glamping option for everyone, from nature lovers to adventure-seeking families to solo trekkers. With such a large variety of price points, locations and “glam” levels, I believe glamping is a trend that is here to stay!