Glamping – How & Where

By definition, glamping is the practice of "glamorous camping." This adventurous yet luxurious way of enjoying the great outdoors gained popularity some years back. Now that it has spread to nearly every corner of the world, your student group can get fantastic deals on glamping yourself! From Airbnb-style situations to campgrounds, resorts, and national or state parks, there are plenty of options for your group to choose from and you won't regret a single one.

So how do you go glamping? It's pretty simple. Basically it's camping without having to "endure" all of the hardships such as sleeping on the hard ground or eating nasty food cooked over a charcoal pit. With glamping, you can add luxury in the smallest of ways, starting with the food you bring, if you wish. Leave the hot dogs at home and take along some pots/pans, make a stop at the local grocery store, and cook up a delicious homemade meal.

Glamping is all about the creature comforts. Style up your basic campground experience by packing better bedding. If you have room in your car, and in your tent, you can DIY your glamping by bringing along soft bedding, pillows, and blankets that'll keep you happy and warm throughout the night. If you have an airstream, RV, or trailer then that's even better - lucky you! Many DIY glamping ideas include things like candles and open flame lanterns but just beware of campground rules before you light one up.

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Where do you go glamping?

If you're planning on DIY glamping, pretty much any campground or camping destination will work. However, if you're wanting to outsource your luxury, and rent it through a professional, there are a variety of options on a full range of prices.

The most common types of glamping include more than tents. You can stay in a cabin, tepee, yurt, farmhouse, barn, pod, eco lodge, hut, tree house, airstream, and more. The intention is to give you and your group the comforts of a hotel or inn while showcasing the beauty of camping. Many of the top glamping destinations, like the Colorado wilderness, do just that by offering spectacular views of the mountains, stars, and forests surrounding the camp.

ConTENTment Camping is an unusual but helpful business that will deliver to you and set up your rented tent in New York state parks. For a nightly fee cheaper than any New York hotel you're bound to find, you can stay in luxury. They also have locations in Texas and are always expanding.

KOA Kampgrounds may be a name you're familiar with. Their yellow signs are all over the U.S. at nearly 500 locations. If you're traveling, chances are you'll be staying somewhere near one of these delightful affordable destinations. Alongside their regular camping opportunities, you can rent cabins (sleeping 4-6), airstreams, a locomotive caboose, tepees, yurts, and wall tents at a fraction of the price of what you'd pay at a resort.

You can also rent luxury accommodations in many national and state parks. One such place is Yellowstone, where you can stay in a canvas tent, in the wide prairie, complete with padded cots, tables, and showers. There are several options, all the way up to a deluxe tent with a tepee plus extra amenities as a la carte options. Just imagine sleeping under the stars, in the wide Western frontier, where buffalo roam free (but far enough away from your tent)...That's the allure of glamping. Of being close to nature but not made uncomfortable by it.

Here are some extra options for glamping in the U.S.:

  • Hawaii - Honolulu is the single most expensive city in the U.S. so if you're planning a trip here, maybe look into cheaper lodging such as glamping. Not all glamping options are cheaper so look out, and if you don't see the affordable listings right away keep looking. There are glamping destinations on Kuai, and in the cities of Laie and Pahoa for under $100. The plus side of Hawaii is that the weather is pretty much good all year round which makes for easy camping.
  • California - As beautiful and varied as Cali is, you can imagine that there'd be a ton of glamping opportunities. From tepee camping in the southern desert to log cabins overlooking the redwood forests or the surf of Big Sur, California is a wonderland of luxury camping. But...it can get pricey, so double check before you book or look for campgrounds like KOA that offer discount options.
  • Texas - The wide expanse of space in Texas may not be as diverse in landscape as California, for example, but there are plenty of spots to park your tent. Most options are clustered around central Texas though you can find spots in the south near the Gulf or out West on the Mexican border for something a little different.

TIP: The cabins and structures of the sort are always going to be more expensive so unless you're glamping in a really cold place, you can probably do without.

The reasons for going glamping are simple: you like the allure of camping and being outdoors but you don't enjoy sleeping on the hard ground. And who does? Whether you're reluctant to go camping or someone in your group is, glamping is a good alternative to traditional pitch-a-tent camping and also to hotels when you're on a budget. Keep it in mind as an option while you're planning and have an adventure!