Three Ways to Go Luxury Camping (AKA Glamping)

BY: Rashawn Mitchner | Mar 7, 2018

Some people love camping as a way to unplug from it all and enjoy the outdoors. To others, it's a bug-filled nightmare cursed with poor cell-phone reception. So where's the middle ground between sleeping in a hotel and sleeping, well, on the ground? Luxury camping! Read on as we break down three outdoorsy lodging options that blend luxurious comforts with the wonders of nature.

Glamping | Ruggedness Ranking: Medium


Think of it as extreme luxury camping. Glamping tents typically have canvas walls and raised wooden platforms, offering more space, headroom, and protection from the soggy ground than a traditional tent. The "glam" in the name testifies to the amenities—you'll have an actual bed, plus furniture and even lighting.

Pro: You won't have to assemble your own tent.

Con: You may need to bring flip-flops for your walk to the community bathrooms.

Where to stay: At River Dance Lodge in Kooskia, Idaho, you can freshen up in a claw-foot bathtub and bask in the warmth of a wood stove.

What to pack:

  • Bug spray—you're still basically outside

  • Comfy pajamas, since you won't be cocooned in a sleeping bag

  • Practical yet stylish accessories, like a slouchy beanie, to keep things glam

RVing | Ruggedness Ranking: Medium-Low


If you don't immediately think of opulence when you hear "RVing," you probably haven't seen the right one yet. Of the three kinds of RVs, class A is the closest you'll get to staying in a house; they come with bathrooms, kitchens, and sleeping areas. Skip the class B vehicles, as they're essentially tricked-out vans. If a class A RV seems too unwieldy, you may want to consider a class C RV—they offer a compromise between the size, drivability, and amenities of the first two. Getting your own RV could run you more than a hundred grand; fortunately, you can rent one for far less.

Pro: Since RVs are mobile, you can see more sights on your trip.

Con: Indoor plumbing comes at a price: emptying the holding tanks.

Where to stay: In addition to RV sites with water and electric hookups, Cape Cod's Peters Pond RV Resort features a pool and sports courts.

What to pack:

  • A hammock so you can escape sharing close quarters with your travel buddies

  • A portable grill for cooking up burgers and hot dogs

  • A roadside emergency kit for peace of mind

Cabin Rentals | Ruggedness Ranking: Low


This is the ideal option for people who like the great outdoors, provided that it stays outdoors. Typically, the most rugged thing about a cabin is all the woodsy decor—so if there's a storm, you can watch raindrops drip off the leaves through your cabin's windows, while you stay warm and dry. But take note: if it's called a "camping cabin," it may basically be a sturdy tent—you'll have beds and maybe electricity, but no water or bathrooms. Make your cabin rental reservations wisely.

Pro: You can gather around a fireplace instead of hauling wood for a campfire.

Con: Does it really count as "roughing it" when you have WiFi and a full kitchen?

Where to stay: Elk Springs Resort's cabins give you all the luxuries of home (plus extras like saunas and pool tables) amid the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

What to pack:

  • A camera to take on hikes and gather photographic evidence that you went outside

  • Fishing gear so you can catch and cook your own dinner

  • Board games to keep the whole crew entertained


Guide Staff Writer
BY: Rashawn Mitchner