The two biggest costs of any trip are usually transportation and accommodation, with accommodation usually proving the hardest budget item to budge. In most places worth traveling to, housing costs can be forced down only so far. A time-tested way of cutting costs is to camp instead of staying in a hotel, but for many the idea of roughing it does not fit into their picture of a relaxing vacation. That is where glamping, or “glamor camping,” comes into play. This option combines the virtues of camping with a good dose of cushy luxury, and usually at a good price to boot.
At a glamping resort, guests usually stay in semi-permanent tents, yurts, or tipis, and very rarely bungalows. These are semi-permanent, tastefully appointed, and comfy. While most glamping resorts stick with the basic conditions of camping for their accommodations (no electricity in the tent or open air accommodations, for example), glamping is by no means roughing it.
A good way to get a feel for glamping is to take a look at some of the places that offer it. These three glamping sites are in the United States:
Sinya: Located near Lone Man Creek in Texas in the hill country, this eco-lodge uses permanent structures with electricity rather than tents. Even with all its energy-efficient and environmentally friendly touches, a place like Sinya pushes the definition of glamping, but still sits within it for one important reason: the bungalows are all open air. There are windows, and the walls are made of wood, but the roof is made of waterproof fabric. It is a great place to go for hiking, fishing, or a quiet outdoor retreat.
Treebones Resort: This resort offers Mongolian-style yurts as accommodations. Placed near the Big Sur coastline of California, all the yurts have a view of the ocean. While staying in a yurt might seem rough compared to a bungalow, think again. These yurts have wood floors, queen-sized beds, and hot and cold running water. The resort has its own pool, sushi bar, and hot tub. All of that comes at $155/per night with breakfast included. What the Treebones offers certainly qualifies as sleeping in a tent, but it is nothing remotely resembling “roughing it.”
Glamping is an accommodations format that is steadily gaining momentum in rural areas and places of natural beauty. There are over two dozen glamping sites in Britain alone, and more are popping up around the world all the time. There is even a Glamping option on Palolem Beach in Goa. Anyone looking to put an outdoor spin on their next trip, or simply to save a buck while not cutting back on creature comforts, would do well to look at glamping as an option.
Sources: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2007-03-06-glamorous-camping_N.htm; http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-glamping.htm;