A honeymoon should be the experience of a lifetime, but if a beachside Caribbean resort isn’t your thing and a luxury trip through Europe isn’t in the budget, consider glamping instead. That’s right—mix a little glamour into camping and you’ve got glamping, a hybrid term for upscale camping that offers the best of both worlds. Now an international trend, glampers around the globe are settling into renovated RVs, tiny houses, cabins, yurts, houseboats, and insulated tents to appreciate the wonders of nature without sacrificing any of the modern-day pleasures like flushing toilets, steamy showers, memory foam mattresses, and gourmet food.
The idea behind glamping has old roots. Newly-betrothed aristocrats of ancient cultures traveled to each other in comfortable caravans made of warm beddings and rugs as servants poured tea, prepared meals, and entertained them with flute music and foot massages. Americans take pride in a pioneer spirit, but President Roosevelt and other public officials laid down the glamping groundwork with elaborate outings that rivaled four-star accommodations. The glampers of today have more options than ever, choosing their level of rusticity vs. luxury according to personal budgets, risk-o-meters, and destination dreams. Accessible to newlyweds of all economic levels, a glamping trip might cost anywhere from $150 to $3000 per night.
As the idea of blending the rustic with the regal continues to gain popularity, eco-friendly operators are delivering glampers to well-lit, climate-controlled accommodations complete with wall chargers, wi-fi, and special touches. Think S’mores kits made of artisan marshmallows and chocolate, local wines, farm-to-table cuisine, and in-room souvenirs such as books and trinkets that can be added to the check-out bill.
Entrepreneurs and celebrities, Matthew McConaughey among them, are helping by building deluxe glampgrounds in some of the world’s most exotic and exciting places including Tibet, Spain, and Iceland. Some investors see the tiny house and glamping trend merging as young couples seek less expensive and minimal housing that make small sacrifices in comfort in exchange for big gains in freedom. Also expect to see floating hostels, hotels, huts, condos, and studio rentals pop up in marine communities like Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Canada’s Georgian Bay.
Today’s glampers need only transportation and a packed suitcase to begin making memories. Here’s a tip list to get you started:
- Do your research. Your honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so choose a location both you and your new spouse want to see. Rent a luxury RV and park it on a California’s Highway 1 coastline beach, reserve a furnished yurt in a Pennsylvania forest, take up residence in a Key West houseboat – pick your dream destination and adjust the budget dials to fit.
- Keep it rustic. If you want sheer glam, go for a resort instead of a glamping trip. Keep your focus on seeing nature and enjoying the outdoors. You might have to sacrifice a luxury such as room service or even Wi-fi for beautiful scenery, though depending on budget, these sacrifices aren’t necessarily ones you’ll have to make!
- Be realistic. In our era of smart technology, we forget what roughing it is really like. Be cautious about overly ambitious ideas like hiking deep into canyon country or traveling the Arctic on a dog sled. If your feet blister easily or you haven’t exposed your upper arms to sunlight since 2005, choose adventures wisely.
- Rent a car. Although ride-sharing services or public transportation might be available in your vacation spot, they probably can’t give you control over your schedule. Who wants to spend a Honeymoon day standing at a bus stop? Budget in a rental car as part of the “glam” portion of the trip.
- Find meaning. A honeymoon helps you both adjust to being married to each other, but it can be even more. Use the adventure as a chance to enrich yourselves as individuals and create shared memories as a couple. Visit museums, explore jungles, sit with locals at the downtown diner, and break open your comfort zone by zip-lining or parasailing.
- Make friends. Your glampsite likely attracted other newlyweds, so sit at the fireplace with a bottle of wine and get to know them. Long after the trip is over, you’ll remember the people you talked to more than the way your mattress felt.
Although not the traditional Honeymoon route, glamping is an exciting an interesting twist on the traditional. You might have to reshape childhood dreams – that gondola ride through Venice might now be a whitewater raft on the Mississippi, but isn’t compromise what love is all about? Now try saying “I do” to a dreamy, romantic honeymoon under the unsheltered stars.
- Yurts: These domelike structures provide shelter with strong, weather-resilient material stretched over a wood or metal frame. You’ll often find them built into panoramic mountain cliff sides or in humble campgrounds. Some yurts are transparent to allow for a more open view of nature. Many companies who manage yurts will offer tickets to local activities such as live concerts, safaris, or group paddle boarding trips.
- Treehouses: Iimagine your honeymoon nights in a luxury treehouse, marrying childlike fun with the finest amenities. These treehouses can be glammed up with nice beds, romantic lighting, bathrooms, even saunas. You’ll also enjoy peace, quiet, and perhaps some spectacular views. Not for those who fear heights, these structures are usually accessed by ladders and occasionally a suspended bridge.
- RVs: You don’t have to be retro to love an RV, and the industry is quickly modifying styles to appeal to the new generation of glamping Millennials. Maybe your grandma’s camper had uncomfortable, hard beds and seating, but the newest homes on wheels are as comfy as a night at a five-star hotel. The largest of them even include posh multi-room suites with stunning kitchens, bathrooms, and the latest smart technology.
If you aren't quite ready to go all-in, or maybe you are renewing your vows and you want to keep it more personal, you could always consider backyard DIY Glamping. Here is what you will need:
- Add Textiles. This could include plush rugs, blankets, or even a genuine hair-on cow hide rug.
- Add Cushions. Soft seating is essential to any luxury rest. Use ottomans and throw pillows to up the anti.
- Use Twinkle Lights. Hang twinkly string lights inside your tent or on your backyard trees to make it extra romantic.
- Add a mattress. You can't sleep on the hard cold ground and experience glamping at its best. You will need to add a mattress with beautiful crisp sheets. This will turn your "tenting" into glamping.
- Add Tiki torches. These exotic, island-inspired light sources will create the perfect romantic path to your backdoor.
- Don't forget camp fires. Camp fires are a must for any camping experience. Consider a tabletop charcoal grill to add to your list of must haves. As an added bonus, it will come in handy for other trips you take throughout the year.
- Keep cool. Temperature control with a table and floor fan will keep you cool and dry.
- Bring your own butler. Since you will be saving so much money by staying home, be extravagant and hire a butler or a chef for the evening. It will be a romantic experience to remember!
This post is sponsored by Bellacor. Check them out for more glamping guides and supplies for your DIY glamping honeymoon!