What is glamping? Your guide to luxury in the outdoors

Glamping is a trend that’s being spotted at an increasing number of campgrounds these days. But what’s the difference between glamping and camping?

Simply put, glamping is a form of luxe-camping. It gets you into the outdoors and connects you to nature, while offering the finer things too.

Yurts, tiny homes, vintage Airstreams, treehouses, Conestoga wagons, Cabooses, Geodomes, high quality canvas tents, and a whole lot more have been transformed into outdoor oases. The key feature is they offer a unique way to immerse yourself in nature with extra amenities.

Related Unique Ways to Glamp

Types of Glamping

Glamping comes in many forms. Usually these options can be found in outdoor recreation destinations like this RV and Glamping Resort near Moab, Utah. Luxe-camping accommodations are also commonly found in and around state parks, national parks, and even in urban hideaways.

Here are the types of glamping you’ll find in the wild:


Stationary Airstreams offer an experience that merges luxury RVs with tiny houses, featuring electricity, bathrooms (usually), kitchenettes, and a retro feel. Airstream trailer hotels are becoming an accommodations category of their own, where properties arrange stationary Airstream trailers in a campground-like setting.

Emberglow Outdoor Resort in Western North Carolina is a great example of a property featuring a lovingly restored 1971 Airstream along with 20 other unique glamping options (including a double-decker British bus!).

Photo: Emberglow Outdoor Resort

Renovated vintage campers

Airstreams aren’t the only glamping campers out there – RVs from all walks of life are being lovingly restored to provide comfy camping opportunities for guests.

Camp Leconte in Gatlinburg, TN is one example featuring cute Shasta glampers. And then there’s The Sou’wester Lodge in Seaview, Washington offering majestic Spartan travel trailers (and more) for vintage camper glamping.

Pods and geodesic domes

Pods are trending for their compact footprint and dedication to energy-efficient systems. They usually come fully equipped with a homey feel and often feature glass architecture that brings the views right to your door. Pods can take a few different shapes, but they are usually an arched structure with floor to ceiling windows on either end.

Geodesic domes are another version of glamping pods that are exploding in popularity. Think of them like a futuristic igloo with hotel-like amenities and floor to ceiling windows.

Related Geodesic domes come to the the edge of Canada’s most stunning wilderness

Luxury tents

Canvas tent campgrounds offer the quintessential glamping experience. They’re simple and familiar with varying levels of amenities depending on what you need and want. Plus they’re built on platforms with beds, so no more sleepless nights on the ground.

Many glamping tents feature decks, BBQ grills, fire rings, and more to elevate the experience. Check out places like the Royal Gorge / Canon City KOA or the Ventura Ranch KOA to book an experience like this.


These round structures hearken back to the days when Mongolian nomads ruled the steppes of Central Asia. Back then, they were conveniently portable and simple. Nowadays, Yurts can reach the pinnacle of outdoor luxury by featuring ample living and sleeping areas, full kitchens and bathrooms, and even outdoor hot tubs.

One of our favorite places to stay in a Yurt is at El Cosmico Campground, a rad spot near Big Bend National Park.

A white yurt with a red door and deck sits in Marfa, Texas
A yurt at El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas. | Photo: Karuna Eberl

Tiny homes

Tiny homes are more than bastions of minimalist living, they also serve as glamping options at campgrounds around the country. That’s because they generally feature home-like amenities that can be rolled into the middle of nature.

Related This tiny house retreat helped me unplug and reconnect with what matters most

Covered wagons

These wild west road vehicles have been transformed into luxury accommodations at campgrounds across the U.S.

Glamping wagons like the ones at The Graystone Ranch in Ohio offer a secluded stay amidst 26 private acres of nature. The wagon features a full bathroom, workstation, a comfy queen bed and bunk beds for the kiddos.

Conestoga wagon glamping
Photo: The Graystone Ranch


If being one with nature is your jam, look no further than treehouse glamping. These structures have taken off and pack a plethora of amenities up in the air.

Many ‘treehouses’ feature upscale amenities, full kitchens, bathrooms, and even spacious decks with hot tubs and grills.

Related America’s Best Treehouse Hotels

Other glamping things

Old airplanes, spaceship-like structures, schoolbuses, and oh so much more are regularly transformed into quirky accommodations that pile on the amenities.

The sky really is the limit when it comes to glamping.

Related You can even sleep in a spaceship

Glamping Resorts

As glamping continues to grow in popularity, several businesses have sprung up to build properties focused on the trend. Here are a couple examples:


AutoCamp is a network of Airstream-centric glamping properties that’s situated along spectacular locales around the country.

A night at an AutoCamp location costs anywhere from $130 to more than $300 depending on the site and amenities included. The Airstreams are typically more expensive because they feature a private bathroom.

AutoCamp’s highly coveted glamping locations feature scenic backdrops near places like Yosemite National Park, Russian River Valley, Joshua Tree, and the shores of Cape Cod.

Under Canvas

Like other glamping locations, the cost per night depends on a variety of factors, but the standard tents start at $159.

Under Canvas locations are situated outside of national parks across the U.S. You can glamp just outside many national parks and other scenic destinations.

Under Canvas is focused on luxury tents that connect you with nature in a way that doesn’t skimp on nice things. From plush beds and full bathrooms to spacious communal gathering areas, Under Canvas helps set the standard for glamping.

Glamping Tips With Kids

Many glamping locations offer a variety of draws for families. For instance, Under Canvas promotes a kid-specific experience with two beds in a simple but stylish teepee-style tent. Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine, offers unique family accommodations in covered wagons, glasshouses, and domes with access to a pool.

Family glamping locations can typically accommodate four to six people without the need for an extra room. Note that prices increase with the addition of extra beds.

Are you interested in a family glamping vacation? Here are some tips for glamping with kids:

  • Consider a location with proximity to national parks
  • Look for locations with onsite recreation
  • Plan activities through the campground
  • Pack plenty of layers and all-weather clothing
  • Don’t forget campfire snacks

Canvas tent in the woods with camp chairs on the porch and firewood.

Photo by: Ashley Rossi

What to Expect on Your Glamping Trip

Aside from comfortable digs and epic views, what else should you expect on your glamping trip?

Room prices increase when private bathrooms are included as opposed to the standard communal bathrooms.

Will you have electricity? This widely depends on the campground, location, and the types of accommodation offered. Most campgrounds will at least offer charging ports and battery-powered devices, like fans and lights.

WiFi may be offered depending on the glamping brand’s philosophy and location. For instance, Under Canvas values a completely unplugged atmosphere, while AutoCamp offers complimentary WiFi at locations that can hold a signal.

When it comes to food, most campgrounds offer on-site eateries, general stores, and fire pits. Do you want to indulge in fine dining or embrace your camping roots around a fire? The choice is yours—but note that some locations will not allow you to prepare or cook food in individual glamping accommodations because of wildlife safety concerns.

Concrete seating area filled with pillows inside a windowed canvas tent with a fire pit in the middle.

Photo by: Madeleine Balestrier

What to Pack for Glamping

Another luxury of glamping is not having to pack and lug all of your camping gear. But what should you pack when you’re not quite camping, but not staying in a hotel?

Here is a general list of what to pack for glamping:

If you decide to take advantage of the fire pit on-site, then it’s also recommended to plan accordingly with cookware, cooler, and food if your accommodations don’t provide these necessities.

Rock path leading to a canvas tent surrounded by shrub and red mountains and pink sky.

Photo by: Madeleine Balestrier

Glamping FAQs

Does glamping have electricity?

Amenities like electricity, WiFi, heating, and air conditioning are all dependent on individual glamping campgrounds and you should confirm before booking.

What do you need for a glamping trip?

Think about what you’ll need throughout your stay to make it more convenient. Some items to bring can include a headlamp or flashlight, a battery pack (if there are no charging options offered), bug repellent, a cooler with snacks and other food items, shower slippers, and campfire cookware.

How much does it cost to go glamping?

The cost of a glamping experience is based on your wants, needs, and desired location. You can find accommodations for around $100 to well over $1,000 per night. You have to decide if you want a more rustic experience with communal bathrooms and minimal amenities or an all-inclusive option with activities, spa treatments, and suites.

The best way to get the most bang for your buck is to travel during the early or off-season, prepare your own meals, and plan free activities in nature. Regardless of your budget, you will be sleeping in a comfortable bed surrounded by nature.

Photo credit: Lucija Ros via Unsplash

The United States is rife with popular locations for glamping, especially along coastlines and near national parks.


The Northeast is a quintessential destination with Acadia National Park, the rugged Atlantic coastline, and peak fall foliage. What makes it better is the plethora of glamping options across the region that allows you to wake up swathed in cozy fall colors.

Check out Sandy Pines Campground for a northeast glamping experience.


Venturing out to the Northwest is the perfect getaway when you’re looking for solace and unique accommodations tucked behind curtains of green rain forest. Check out Blue Lake Resort’s geodesic domes situated on the lakefront in central Washington state.

Night photo of lit "Waypoint" sign with string lights and people walking next to an Airstream.

Waypoint Ventura Vintage Trailer Hotel & Campground | Ventura, CA – Photo by: western


Glamping destinations and resorts are popping up all over the western U.S. Picture a day spent climbing in Yosemite National Park or hiking in Zion National Park and returning to a campsite that celebrates the outdoors and features a freshly-made king-sized bed.

Check out Waypoint Ventura Vintage Trailer Hotel & Campground or Moab RV and Glamping Resort for a couple cool spots to stay.


While other destinations throughout the U.S. close for the winter months, most Southeast locations are open all year round. Emberglow Outdoor Resort provides access to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, while Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort draws the family-fun crowd.


Similar to the West, glamping sites in the Southwest go above and beyond with relaxing amenities and access to nature.

Here are some of the most popular locations for glamping in the Southwest:

While camping might not be for everyone, the outdoors should be. Glamping helps make that space more accessible for travelers, couples, and families looking to personalize their experience with luxury, comfort, and nature.

The good news is the growing world of glamping has something for everyone to try out. Plan a luxury camping vacation today with the Roadtrippers app.