If the last year has given you a new-found appreciation for the outdoors, then you may be looking to explore further via glamping in 2021. Sleeping amidst nature in the countryside is both calming and exhilarating, and taking out the hassle of set up, it can be rather luxurious too.
LLM – Luxury Lifestyle Magazine spoke to the experts at Glamping Hub and here’s everything you need to know if you’re a first-timer glamper.
First of all, what is glamping?
Glamping (glam-camping) is camping but with the comforts and luxuries of a home or hotel. There’s no set up so you need not worry about tools, erecting a tent, starting a fire, or digging a toilet hole. Simply turn up and enjoy the best things about the experience – being outdoors doesn’t mean compromising on comfort. “Glamping is a chance to experience adventure and freedom,” explains Olivia Grafton from Glamping Hub. “In wake of the pandemic, we’ve seen a record breaking increase in bookings on the previous year. Users are turning to glamping as a safer means of travel, especially since most properties are secluded and with private facilities.”
What kind of accommodation can you choose from?
Each booking is unique that it really is a matter of browsing to find something that sparks interest within your chosen destination. At Glamping Hub, there are over 30 different types of accommodation and over 26,000 rentals to choose from worldwide. These include cabins, domes, villas, safari tents, tree houses and even private islands, so there really is an option for every budget.
How do I book?
It works like many short-term rental providers but with more focus on connection and communication. Simply, pop in your destination (with or without filters), dates, and select a property. You can then submit the request as well as ask the host any questions. Bookings are usually confirmed within 24-48 hours, when you’ll receive full details of your stay. Often the host will also send an additional information pack along with the opportunity to organize excursions or activities in the area.
What happens upon arrival?
“Each scenario is different. However, in most cases you’ll be greeted by a warm friendly host who wants to share the magic of their undiscovered paradise,” adds Grafton. “Almost all properties come with more than just the basic amenities so guests can truly relax, and enjoy their stay without having to fill their suitcases with sleeping bags and basic necessities. 90% of our guests leave four and five out of five-star ratings, so we know that once people experience glamping, they fall in love with the simplicity of it and quickly book their next adventure.”
What luxury amenities and services can we expect?
Take this gorgeous safari tent at the Wahwahtaysee Resort in Texas for example. All 650 square foot tents include a king sized bed, queen sleeper sofa, AC and heating, shower and spa bath tub (carrying Aveda products), deck, outdoor shower, YETI Hondo chairs and even a golf cart to use during your stay. There’s also a fully equipped kitchenette, but good news if you don’t want to cook, you can hire out a private chef at $110 per person for a three-course meal or $180 per person for a four course meal.
What kind of activities can we enjoy out in the wilderness?
What’s on offer varies according to accommodation. “The most popular are hiking, mountain biking or cycling, kayaking, wildlife watching, and yoga, but there’s also river rafting, horse riding, zip-lining surfing and paddle boarding,” concludes Grafton. Let’s not forget low-key activities such as s’mores by the campfire, a good book and mindful meditation.
Finally, what are the packing essentials for our first glamping experience?
1. Winter essentials
Even out in the desert, temperatures dip, so it’s vital to bring layers. Ridge Merino’s Convict Merino Wool Hoodie is lightweight, breathable, and wicks moisture from the skin so it doesn’t smell after outdoor activity. On top of that, you’ll want something padded and water resistant, something like a Serran’s Green Waxed Jacket, a trendier yet more practical Barbour jacket. Finally, bring a good pair of boots from an adventure specialist such as REI Co Op.
2. Summer essentials
Aside from the obvious (sunscreen), you’ll need something for the lakes or rivers. Solstice Watersports utilises inflatable drop stitch technology to create products that function like rigid marine equipment, but are inflatable. The love seat and loungers are pure luxury on water. For eyewear, JINS will change the lives of spectacle wearers forever. The Japanese team’s genius ‘Switch’ frames combine prescription lenses with snap on sunglasses. They’re lightweight and flexible yet durable, and an absolute essential for outside.
3. Pamper essentials
If your glamping rental comes with a bath (lucky you), then consider pamper goodies. Obakki’s and Macklin’s candles and soaps smell sumptuous but also natural in that they heighten the experience of the environment. If you’re a little bit extra (as we are) then bring an organic diffuser from Daylesford. The British favourite was founded by Carole Bamford, a pioneer in organic farming and retail. Farmshop locations include Gloucestershire and London, plus an online store.
4. Beverage essentials
Water and PG tips are for camping. Wine and hot chocolate are for glamping. For wine, pack something light and refreshing such as the Pazo Señorans from Rias Baixas. It goes deliciously with skewers fresh off the campfire or a decadent cheeseboard. As for hot chocolate, Café Direct has a rich, yet easy to make, selection.
5. Exploring essentials
We’ve tried a bunch of repellents and Ben’s 30 Tick and Insect Repellent is the one that actually works. The 30% DEET bug spray lasts the whole hike. Carry a medical kit that won’t slow you down, such as the Ultralight Watertight .7 Medical Kit (weighing 5.8 ounces). It’s waterproof so you can hike in the rain, ski or canoe without the treatments getting wet. Finally, carry it all in a lightweight daypack. Swedish brand Fjällräven make gear specifically for the outdoors. The Vardag 16 is made from hardwearing G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco S with lining in recycled nylon and simple, robust details. It’s one of those packs you’ll underestimate until you put it through the wilderness.
6. Entertainment essentials
Switch headphones for ear buds so the wires don’t tangle while you hike. Motorola VerveBuds 100 True Wireless Earbuds have a modern look and are affordable, meaning no stress if you drop one down a hill. You’ll obviously want to bring your beloved laptop to watch movies on, so make sure to invest something ultra stylish yet functional to protect it. Fabrik918 has the fashion-forward laptop companion; the 5L bags are minimalist, zipped, padded and finished with sleek European leather and a microsuede lining. It’ll upgrade just about any look as if you’d just stepped off the Paris runway (via the woods).
7. Resting essentials
Whilst glamping rentals have luxury bedding you’ll still want to bring a few essentials when out exploring. A portable pillow like the HEST camping and travel pillow fits snug in a hammock, car seat, and in your bag. Tarpestry blankets are festival chic and ideal for glamping since they’re weather resistant, easy to clean, and even UV-resistant, so can be hung up as shade if the sun is blazing. Finally, there’s nothing more comfortable than a pair of yoga bottoms (which double up as nightwear). Buddha Pants are unisex yoga harem pants, which scrunch up super tiny, and are seriously bliss.
Images courtesy of Glamping Hub