Glamping – Camping Without the Overhead
I’ve slept in some pretty unordinary places: a tipi on a wild horse ranch, an igloo at the base of the Swiss Alps, a canvas-roofed hut in the middle of the desert, a treehouse on a farm near Yosemite National Park. I’m asked all the time how to find these places and how to plan these trips. The answer is simple— surf the web.
I’m into experiences similar to camping but without the overhead. Some call it Glamping (Glamorous Camping.) I like to call it ‘simplifying my life.’ Camping allows you to unplug, get in touch with nature, and unwind in some of the world’s most beautiful places. But if you’re not an avid camper, accumulating the right gear alone can be reason enough to deter you.
Glamping in the USA
My favorite source for an upgraded camping experience is Hipcamp, a startup founded by Alyssa Ravasio, who simply wanted to build technology that would help people get outside and reconnect with nature.
Hipcamp is only U.S.-based right now and since I’ve recently moved to Switzerland, I started using the international platforms GlampingHub and Airbnb instead. It takes more digging, but by manipulating the filters you can find unique places to camp as well.
Traveling this way can be relatively inexpensive (the listings below are $120 or less per night for two guests) and unconventional. If you’re tempted to see a country for more than what it’s known for, you can opt for the yurt in the countryside rather than the overpriced apartment with a balcony view of a well-known landmark. For your next Eurotrip, here are some European glamping inspirations.
Glamping in Europe
These gorgeous pod houses are located on a Swiss family’s organic farm and can accommodate up to eight guests, with 2-3 guests in each pod. It’s known for its cleanliness and the walkable trails through the woods and meadows. If you’re coming from Zürich you can rent a pair of e-bikes and take the four-hour bike ride along Zurich Lake to the remote municipality of Ganterschwil. The host Silvia speaks Swiss German, a dialect found in the German-speaking parts of Switzerland (about 65% of the country). Knowing a few key German words will help, though the two languages are not entirely the same.
Cost: $102 per night for 2 guests
The Unterkircher Hütte in Oberwöllan, Austria encourages you to unplug and rediscover your joy in life. Teresa and Stefan are superhosts as well and can accommodate up to four guests in their cozy, mountain hut. There is no WiFi, which may be exactly what you’re looking for. The hut is surrounded by the stunning Nockberge mountains, where you’ll find a variety of hiking trails at your disposal. The closest big city is Villach, a 30-minute drive. According to their page, Teresa and Stefan speak German, English and Sign Language.
Cost: $84 per night for 2 guests
Here’s an opportunity to explore the coast of Italy without the overwhelming tourist crowds. Paolo, another superhost, can accommodate you and two friends for an ideal southern Italy getaway. There’s a pool and jacuzzi, internet access, and a barbecue. This location is great for exploring the Puglia region and the beach is a mere fifteen-minute drive. This is as glamping as glamping gets. Paolo speaks Italian and English.
Cost: $120 per night for 2 guests
The Huts at Camp Korita are a force to be reckoned with. The camp is divided into three thematic sections: auto camping, eco-camping, and glamping. There are twelve different listings, so bring your partner or your entire family. This superhost camp is located in the heart of Triglav National Park. The views are insane and the opportunities for adventure are endless. Come for the hiking, fishing, rock climbing, biking, bridge jumping, or all of the above.
Cost: $58 per night for 2 guests (more hut options are available at a higher cost)
The Language of Glamping
Do you want to learn German, Swiss German, or Italian? Pimsleur uses a scientifically proven set of principles designed to take a learner directly to the heart of a language. People all over the world are using Pimsleur to start speaking, understanding and reading new languages quickly and easily. If this sounds up your alley, you can give Pimsleur a try for free.