Glamping holds strong

‘Glamping’ is a growing trend that highly appeals to women. Here are some clues on what to look for if you’re looking for a glamping ground.

by Katie Breyer [via Trailerchix]

One word that keeps coming up more and more in travel articles is “glamping.” The definitions for this term vary, but all come back to a common theme – luxurious or glamorous camping. As a woman, this is alluring. I do enjoy camping and greatly appreciate the outdoors (don’t we all wish we could get out there more?!) but I have to mentally prepare myself to ‘rough it up’. Personally, I’ve never pitched a tent on my own and I could live without the bugs – I won’t try to hide those facts. But, apparently you can have it all – the fresh air, starry nights, campfires, good times, natural scenery – without having to get down and dirty.

There are some websites that are devoted to the art of glamping. I came across glampinggirl.com, which features glamping destinations, glamping news, and a glamping guide. Its even got witty photos that almost make me wonder if this whole glamorous camping thing is a joke. But the more I search the more I see that this concept is pretty popular; it’s been featured on msnbc, the Washington Post, CBS News, and BusinessWeek to name a few.
So what do these ‘glamping’ destinations have in common? Here are a few features that all seem to be must-haves in glamorous camping.

Yurts. Catherine’s Landing, an RVC Outdoor Destination in Arkansas, is owned by a company that’s known for having upscale RV campgrounds. The website doesn’t say that it’s a ‘glamping’ location directly, but the features and on-site amenities greatly appeal to women. They have yurts (something I’ve found that shows up almost always when searching for this type of camping), which are fairly rare but growing in popularity. These are basically wooden structures (some look like a tee-pee, these just look like little humble abodes) with wooden floors and beds. The coolest thing is that most or all have sky-lights, allowing you to see the stars without actually being outside! They look quite cozy and definitely trendy. Whether you’re staying in an RV or yurt, you’ll enjoy all that this ‘destination’ has to offer – a beer and wine bar, heated saline swimming pool, Wii-dia room and even a fitness center.

Exceptional or concierge service. It’s nice to have help when it’s needed, especially when you’re new to something. Also found at Catherine’s Landing are concierges that personally visit your site or camping space when called upon. They’re most helpful when you’re new to RVing because they can assist you in hooking up. They’ll also help plan your day activities if requested, informing you of local attractions and discounts and even calling transportation if you need it.

The “green” aspect. “Earth Matters” (www.earthmatterstravel.com), an outdoor resort in Hawaii, focuses on the surrounding environment to attract guests. There’s not much construction besides the yurts, and the main features are the beach, volcanoes and mountains. “Sacred Rocks Reserve” in Boulevard, Calif. received an award for their environmentally friendly initiatives, which include recycling, rescuing abandoned trees and investing in solar powered park models as accommodations. Catherine’s Landing utilizes LED lights at each site to save energy.

So, after all of that, here’s my take on it—the ‘glamping’ craze isn’t only for girly-girls. To me it all adds up to higher end camping, so why not try a few destinations? I think it’s a different kind of experience that’s doing Mother Nature a favor – just dressing her up a little.

by Katie Breyer [via Trailerchix]