What is Glamping Camping?

With rising interests in the outdoors and sustainable travel, many have flocked to luxury camping, or glamping for a serene getaway. Continue reading to discover every ‘how to’ and answer all “what is glamping?” questions.

What is Glamping? 

Glamping refers to a luxurious style of camping that diminishes all sensations of  “roughing it”. Luxury camping provides the ultimate sense of comfort while still experiencing nature in full. Glamping most often alludes to luxury tent camping, but the options for unique accommodations are broad. 

What is the Difference Between Camping and Glamping? 

what is glamping
canvas tent in the night sky

The separation between yourself and the outside world while camping is thin, perhaps only as thin as your tent lining. Your Tetris-packed car full of miscellaneous REI supplies is a true testament to your ‘Into The Wild’ campaign. Camping is strictly BYO everything. 

Glamping, however, requires little sacrifice in exchange for an equally rich elemental reward. Think in terms of details; electricity, water, bathrooms, etc. Essentially, it is a hybrid experience with all of nature’s harmony and less rustic backcountry. Glamping can still vary in terms of accommodations, but even those who might never consider traditional camping may still see glamping as a vacation. 

How to Glamp 

How to Choose a Destination 

Booking a glampsite is no harder than booking a campsite. The holy grail of reservations, Rec.gov, makes glamping easy. Many popular campgrounds and national parks offer simple glamping accommodations with no hassle. 

Glamping Hub is the ultimate resource for those looking to specifically glamp. They’ve been curating glampsites since 2013, so you can expect a wide variety of options complete with reviews from previous visitors. 

Looking for something a little unique? The Hipcamp app offers custom yurts, treehouse stays, and tiny homes for a niche glamping experience. Use this site for the busy season, as there’s bound to be availability for a lesser-known, private site. Here are other free apps to use for finding campsites.   

What to Expect 

geodesic glamping dome overlooking green mountains
geodesic glamping dome in Caminho da Casa do Guarda, Portugal

Glamping is a low-maintenance opportunity to vacation in the natural world. If you’ve ever camped, you’ll find yourself with much less required preparation and no searching for your supplies in the dark. Glampsites vary but are typically defined by a sturdy shelter, provided sleep situation, kitchenette, and electricity. Here’s what to expect:  

  •  A good night’s rest on comfortable beds–goodbye sleeping bags! Your shelter will far exceed the dimensions of a typical camping tent, making your nightly routine look not so different from the one at home. 

  • Access to water and food. Whereas backcountry camping leaves you completely on your own, glamping sites often water either on tap or nearby. And, while you’re still expected to bring your own food, glamping makes any last-minute needs accessible with a local store or a short drive into town.

  • Bathrooms. These will look and feel much nicer than public camping bathrooms, which are known to be a gamble. Luxury camping means you can still take hot showers and always have access to a toilet. 

How to Pack

Packing for a glamping trip is dependent on what you want to make of it. Your stay might be cozy enough to want to hang around and enjoy slow living with a view. Or, just consider it a cozy place to turn in for the night after a day of outdoor adventures. Use this guide to keep your packing sustainable and easy. 

Either way, be prepared with clothes you don’t mind facing the elements in. No, you don’t need to splurge on new technical clothes, but your Sunday best won’t exactly suffice either. 

Your food supply is up to you. Though food is really the only thing you need to bring yourself, glamping often provides a mini kitchen or a space to cook in. This makes cooking and clean-up a breeze compared to a traditional camp setup.

 Extra supplies are always a good idea. Although you’ll know what you have access to before you arrive, glamping is, after all, still camping (kind of). This means an extra blanket or two, flashlights, and emergency kits might come in clutch. 

Luxury Tent Camping Options 

what is glamping
woman sitting outside of canvas tent

Any glamping experience is centered around the accommodation, and there’s a wide variety to choose from. Here are 3 most popular glamping tent options you’ll surely encounter when booking your stay:

The Canvas Tent 

This is the most popular way to glamp, as you’ve undoubtedly seen photos of these picturesque tents. Thick canvas with four walls and wooden beams provide a spacious, and warm place to spend the night. Often, these are decked out with aesthetic bedding and furniture, making them hardly feel like a tent at all. 

Geodesic Domes

geodesic glamping domes in the desert
geodesic domes in the desert

The eye-catching and seemingly extraterrestrial geodesic dome sites create a unique stay for anyone. They arguably provide the highest level of comfort, as they have the capacity to offer almost all necessary amenities. You’ll often come across these tents in unlikely destinations, but their protective structure and stargazing views will keep you exceptionally comfortable. 

All-inclusive Tent Sites

Traditional campers or first-timers may want to check out camping resorts and all-inclusive sites. These offer all the perks of indulging in off-grid life but supply all of the amenities on site. So, you’ll be able to cook, take a long shower, and have access to power just outside of your tent.  

Best Luxury Camping Destinations

what is glamping
Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona

Big Sky, Montana

Located just outside of Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky offers the perfect views for anyone wanting to sip their morning coffee by the fire pit after a night in their heated tent. 

Sebago Lake, Maine

Enjoy the ideal summer glamping trip on the East Coast complete with every outdoor activity imaginable. Southern Maine’s crystal waters and vintage camp feels will make you want to roast s’mores by the fire before heading into your luxury tent. 

Big Sur, California

With the perfect combination of mountains and sea, Big Sur offers the perfect coastal redwood glamping experience. California’s mild climate makes this the perfect destination even in late fall and early spring. 

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona’s high energy and magnetic views create the ultimate nature reset. As a popular outdoor destination, the options for glamping are extensive, so you’ll be able to curate a personalized trip alongside amazing hikes and scenery.   

Joshua Tree, California

As the ideal location for desert lovers, this park will capture anyone’s attention with its diverse flora and granite monoliths. The unique options for glamping make for a perfect night of listening to the coyotes while stargazing from the comfort of your tent. Check out more Southern California favorites here to explore after Joshua Tree. 

Final Thoughts on Glamping Camping

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or an outdoor amateur, glamping is a restful getaway that will inspire your connection with the natural world without renouncing any comfort. The popularity of booking websites allows for a seamless and personalized experience with a diverse choice of accommodations. Head to Cabana for more travel inspiration and trip planning.  

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