Is Glamping Going To Be The New Social Distancing Travel Trend?

Posted: Jun 24, 2020

Over the past fifteen years, glamping has gone from a hip niche in the UK to a perennially popular lodging favorite around the world. Travelers' taste for bell tents, Airstreams, eco-pods, yurts, tiny homes and treehouses has been driven by a desire for adventurous, sustainable experiences. And that extends from activities to eats all the way to your accommodations at the end of the day.
From music festivals to eco-retreats, from nature preserves to NASCAR rallies, from safari camps to urban caravan parks to heirloom farms and historic ranches, the travel industry has fully embraced the trend. And thanks the roller coaster year that's been 2020, it's not going away any time soon.

Increased bookings at glamping sites
While the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shut down the travel industry this spring– including camping and glamping – these are some of the first types of lodging to rebound as travelers look for ways to social distance while also finding a change of scenery.

Even in early March, when reopening was still months away, The Guardian reported that UK glamping sites like Canopy and Stars, and Host Unusual had already seen a surge in bookings that are up 33–45% not just from the month prior, but the year before. Though those numbers may have been dampened by the fact that England is only just now permitting campsites to reopen on July 4, that early surge hints that demand may be bigger than ever as glampers get back outside.

In the United States, early data paints a similar picture. Alyssa Ravasio, the the founder and CEO of HipCamp – a site that functions a little like AirBnB for private landowners who want to host campers – notes that many of the major glamping hubs in California, Oregon, and Colorado are still on stay-at-home orders. But in states that have a head start on opening back up, like those throughout the southeast, glampers are already eagerly booking sites.

Is glamping for me?
There are a lot of reasons why glamping is the go-to for travelers with cabin fever. For one, it doesn’t require expensive outdoor gear or any serious technical knowledge on how to set up camp, filter water, or start a fire. Even if you don't have any wilderness skills and the only backpack you own has a laptop pocket, you can still enjoy the health benefits of activities like forest bathing or simply sleeping under the stars.

By Meghan O'Dea
June 24, 2020

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