Gone are the days when camping meant grappling with an uncooperative tent at midnight and waking up to an audience of insects.
In 2016, glamping is in and insects are out.
Glamorous camping (or glamping) combines the excitement of a rugged outdoor adventure with the creature comforts of a luxury retreat.
Below we dive into this new dimension of adventure travel, explore the most serene destinations in the world, and share some tips on how to get the most out of your glamping experience.
Recreational camping has been a favourite Western pastime for over 100 years. It’s believed that British traveller, Thomas Hiram Holding, popularised the activity and brought it to the masses. He even wrote the first ever Camper’s Handbook in 1908.
Today, camping is big business, with thousands of outdoor adventurers sleeping at caravan parks and campgrounds across Australia and New Zealand each year.
It seems everybody wants a piece of the open sky, the wind in the trees and marshmallows over the fire. However, not everybody wants to rough it like Thomas Holding did. Some people prefer a hot shower and an online movie over a half-inflated mattress and an old sleeping bag.
The idea that camping can be comfortable, even luxurious, is a modern chapter in the colourful history of the camping movement. Internet users began to search for the term ‘glamping’ online in early 2007, and by 2010 it was a certified hit.
According to GlampingHub.com, tree houses, tipis, caves, cabins, cabooses, cottages and camper vans are all popular accommodation options for the camper who wants more relaxation than rough sleeping.
Even the humble tent can now be fitted out with a double bed, bath and the all important internet connection. Glampers don’t need to handle organising this themselves, of course. They simply book the tent like they would a hotel room online.
While luxuries like these may seem at odds to the essence of camping, one thing remains - getting out of the office and into the great outdoors. Glamping just makes it all a little more… comfortable.
Nature doesn’t stop
However, it’s important to remember that if you embark on a glamping experience, you don’t become immune to the risks involved in a traditional camping holiday. Accommodation options like tree houses, tipis, caves and wood cabins still present dangers, no matter how luxurious they are inside.
Some of our most expensive claims have come from unsuspecting outdoor travellers who have been bitten by snakes and spiders while camping. Spiders and snakes won’t leave you respectfully alone just because you’ve paid more than the everyday camper down the river.
One of our unlucky customers was bitten by a rattlesnake in the US, requiring immediate hospitalisation and an expensive anti-venom. Thankfully, they made a full recovery.
If you’ll be spending time outdoors, research native animals and plan accordingly. Wearing long pants, sturdy enclosed shoes and long sleeve shirts will offer some basic protection from insects and snakes. However, a well-stocked first aid kit is essential for any camping or glamping experience.
Remember, you may have the most comfortable tent in the area, but nature doesn’t stop because of it.
Best glamping destinations and where to find them
Setting up your own luxury tipi is time consuming, cumbersome and costly. So where can glampers go to find the ready-made 5-star outdoor adventure of their dreams?
GlampingHub.com has thousands of glamping alternatives across the globe, which can be booked like any other hotel booking site. From expensive and remote wood cabins to unique tree houses nestled in the canopy, travellers can find all types of camping experiences.
We recommend reading reviews for accommodations that interest you, and deciding whether they are your style or not. It’s easy to be overcome by dazzling images of fitted-out caves and unique tipis, however remember that some of these properties are quite remote and even physically demanding.
For example, this tree house, nestled in the mountains of Julian, California, may appear like a serene outdoor escape, but even reaching the front door requires a considerable hike.
Take all the precautions you would with a regular outdoor holiday, and keep in mind that isolation can be peaceful but leaves you vulnerable should anything unexpected occur.
Don’t forget to plan for the seasons
You might be tucked away inside a cosy wood cabin, but that comfort can become claustrophobic when you discover you’ve been snowed in.
In April, 2016, an ambitious camper from Florida became stranded in Utah after a snowstorm. Having run out of food, he and his pet dog were thankfully rescued by volunteers after three days of being stuck in the snow.
If you’re planning an overseas camping or glamping holiday, keep the weather at front of mind and always respect the seasons.
There are a number of simple precautions you can take to keep on top of changes in the weather. However, the best way to avoid a sticky situation like the Florida camper is to do your research. Monsoons, bushfires, snow storms and lightning strikes all occur at certain times of the year.
Avoid inclement weather as best you can, even if you’ll be relaxing in a luxury cabin.
Glamping and security
It’s unlikely you’ll find a tipi that includes a personal guard to stand at the entrance around-the-clock. Again, glamping accommodations are often remote, so leaving your more expensive items at home is recommended to avoid theft.
As with any camping adventure, it’s likely you’ll spend a lot of time exploring the natural beauty around you (even if your luxury cabin includes a WIFI connection).
Remember, we can cover you for the unexpected but not for the unattended. Our policy won’t cover you if you leave your heavy bag under a tree while you continue your hike up the trail. For more detailed information on what we can cover and what we can’t, read our article on the golden rules of travel insurance here.
If you have any questions about your glamping holiday and our TravelCare policy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.