Camping. That outdoorsy activity we all enjoy until we have to pitch the tent, use the “bathroom” (a.k.a. a hole in the ground behind a bush), cook your own meals and sleep on the ground—or try to. If this level of excitement no longer seems like fun, you may want to look into the next level of camping called glamping.
Glamping is a mash-up of two words: glamour and camping. It’s not an entirely a new concept; centuries ago, Turkish sultans used to travel with their own five-star, mobile tent cities. Their huge tents would be decked out with actual beds, expensive rugs and a staff to cook all of their meals. British and American explorers/travellers on African safaris also wanted all of their little luxuries: Persian rugs, luxurious bedding, hot bathwater and a staff to wait on them.
Fast-forward to today where glamping caters to those who want to commune with nature but want to do it without sacrificing all the mod-cons. Over the past decade, glamping has spread from Europe to North America and is becoming one of biggest trends in the travel market. It isn’t just luxury camping; it’s also a way to be eco-friendly, as most glamping accommodations are semi-permanent (tents, yurts and caravans) or are using environmentally friendly building materials (mud bricks, straw and HempCrete).
Glamping takes you away from the popular tourist areas to more exotic locations: Patagonia, Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Norway to name a few. You can stay in Airstreams, tree houses, domes, cubes, tepees, caves or train cars. Each accommodation type has different levels of luxury, but they all place nature right on your doorstep whether it’s in the mountains, on a farm, underground or over a lagoon. So for those of you who have roughed it many times over the years and feel the need to upgrade your camping style, try glamping. There are many tour operators who offer a wide variety of glamping options such as Easycamp (Israel), Ker & Downey Africa and West Coast Expeditions (Canada). There are also a multitude of websites to help you narrow down what you want and where you want to go; try www.glamping.com or glampinghub.com.