‘Glamorous Camping’ – The Next Big Vacation Trend?
It costs a good chunk of money, but millennials are (allegedly) embracing it – discarding cheap sleeping bags for high-quality mattresses!
Have you heard of glamping? If not, make sure you’re sitting down for this, because it’s one of the weirder trends that’s risen up in the last few years.
So, what is glamping? It means “glamorous camping.” Clever, right? It’s like regular camping, only a lot more enjoyable. Plus, you feel like a movie star when you do it. Sometimes it’s in a tent. Sometimes it involves a pull-behind camper, a log cabin, a tepee, a tree house, or any combination thereof.
The concept has technically been around since the early 1900s – think European and British travelers going on safari in Africa – but it became super popular as the millennial generation’s came of age. Things like Airbnb and music-festival-hopping are what people want to spend their money on. We’re travel-obsessed – now more than ever. And we also love any sort of experience that looks pretty on a news feed. Naturally, glamping emerged as the most hipster-ish way to spend your time outdoors (French press not included).
Here’s the thing, though: glamping is expensive.
I’ve gone to a handful of music festivals, and for the most recent one, my friends and I looked into glamping. I’m actually a big fan of camping; and naturally, I figured that glamping would be a little more expensive than regular camping – maybe $50 more – and that it would make me look like Kendall Jenner while we were at the festival. But we quickly backed off when we found out it would cost around a thousand dollars for two nights.
Think that’s crazy? A glamping situation at Coachella will run you upwards of $2,300 for two nights. For the “Lake Eldorado” tents, which are the cheapest glamping option, you get amenities like free showers, flushable toilets, a 24-hour concierge service, cots, a cooler, chairs, and a tent that looks pretty in pictures – all for a little over a year’s worth of car payments!
“Maybe that’s just Coachella!” we said. After all, Coachella is just inherently crazy expensive. But the more we looked into it, the more we saw how expensive glamping is as an overall trend.
There’s another glamping experience that you can have at the Resort at Paws Up in Montana. The cost of one night’s stay for a “one bedroom tent”? A cool $1,400, give or take.
Is anyone seriously going glamping who isn’t a professional Instagrammer?
It feels like this is one of those things that people think is real, but then we find out 10 years later that we were all being punked by Ashton Kutcher.
One of my friends did go glamping once for about $300 a night. She described it as staying “in a medium-quality hotel with a higher-than-average-quality Instagram factor.” Sounds about right. True, you swap a mattress for a sleeping bag and you get shower options (which, to be fair, are desirable at something like a music festival). But is it worth that steep price?
There’s something particularly upsetting about finding out that you can’t afford to basically sleep outside. Also, why would anyone choose to sleep in a tent and pay thousands of dollars when you could a) sleep in a tent for free, or b) sleep in a luxury hotel for a fraction of that?
Glamping is another “trend” that older generations probably use to insult millennials because it really doesn’t make much sense. This Airbnb tent is a perfect example of a “glamping opportunity” that’s about the same price as a real hotel for half the amenity worth. But it looks good on Instagram, so hey! Let’s do it.
I’m not trying to be super negative about a potentially cool experience. I’d love to dress up in cute outfit and pose in front of a fancy tent. I probably will some day, if I can. But for travel-savvy explorers, glamping is probably the least effective way of stretching your money as far as it can go.
If you’re interested in glamping, it’s worth the extra research to find a reasonable option that won’t totally break the bank. Just don’t expect to pay less than $100 per night. Glamping is, as you might guess, most popular in places like California and Montana. In other words, places that are already known for high-luxury outdoors vacations. Most of the spots hover around $200 per night. This means that it’ll cost the same as staying in a hotel, except you’ll wake up with mosquito bites in the morning. Fun!