Glamping in Glacier National Park with Trek Travel

By Amber Woolley

Glacier National Park, which forms part of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, was established on May 11, 1910, and is located in northwestern Montana. Glacier is home to dramatic mountain peaks and stunning 400-foot waterfalls, as well as boasts more than 1 million acres and over 130 named lakes—making it an absolute must on your outdoor bucket list.

The history of the glacier area dates back over 8,000 years, making it rich in both natural and human history. In more recent times, the park was home to many Native American tribes, and during the 18th and 19th century, the Blackfeet Tribe controlled access to the area. Today, the National Park has more than 2 million visitors per year—in fact, in 2015, Glacier celebrated its 100 millionth visitor.

Glamping in Glacier with Trek Travel

Stretching over miles and miles of pristine terrain, visiting all of Glacier National Park seems daunting, but if done the right way, all of the sites become easily accessible. Trek Travel, an international bicycle tour company, is dedicated to making adventures in nature possible—all while exploring on wheels.

Truly experiencing the magic of the park is made all the better while glamping, which is why Trek Travel is hosting a biking event from August 14 to 17 at these amazing safari tents located just outside of the park's entrance! Included in the Trek Travel experience are guided tours of the must-see natural landmarks, along with a three-night glamping stay.

All of the comforts of home are included, such as a fresh linens, a cozy king-size bed, a wood-burning stove, and a private bathoom. Cycling under the sun and sleeping beneath the stars perfectly blends an adventurous outdoor experience with a luxurious glamping excursion.

Seasons of Glacier

There is no "best time" to visit Glacier National Park; however, the season depends on the preference of the traveler. From snowy winters to fragrant, blooming summers, Glacier shines throughout the entire year. The most popular time to visit is during the summer when days are long and warm—with an average temperature of a pleasant 75 degrees Fahrenheit—allowing the perfect amount of time to make the most of park.

Fall is also another stunning time to visit the park, with its ornamental foliage displays, and tends to be a quieter time for tourists. During fall, wildlife is usually more active, too, so if you are on the look out for a mountain goat, or grizzly bear, sighting, this is the best time to observe.

To ensure a fair weather forecast, safe cycling conditions, and agreeable glamping weather, August is an ideal time to embark on a bike tour through the park. The trip is tailored so bikers of all levels are welcome to attend, so those who would prefer a less strenuous ride and those who would are more advanced can all be accommodated. There is even an electric bicycle option available! Bicycles are provided and adjusted for comfort by professional guides, so trekkers will be in the best hands during their entire tour of the park.

Itinerary of Trek Travel excursion

Your Trek Travel adventure will begin as soon as you arrive at Glacier National Park. First, you will enjoy a steady ride from Whitefish toward Columbia Falls, where you will make your way the glamping site you'll call home base for three nights. The next day, you will tackle a gravel ride at the Flathead River, where you'll experience miles and miles of impressive landscapes.

On the third day with Trek Travel, you will discover one of the United States' most scenic roadways, Going-to-the-Sun Road, which will certainly be an unforgettable experience. Finally, on the fourth and final day, trekkers will take a tranquil cycle back to Lake McDonald, where the trip will come to an end.

Non-riding activities

On most Trek Travel trips, non-riding options are available for riders who want to take the afternoon off or for travel companions who want to take a break. Some non-riding options on this trip include:

  • whitewater rafting on the Flathead River followed by a riverside barbecue;
  • various outdoor activities that can be arranged, such as fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, paddle-boarding; and
  • day trips to explore Whitefish and its many galleries and shops.

Other ways to see Glacier National Park

Cycling is certainly an amazing way to see the park, but there are other activities, such as hiking and rafting, that should not be looked over. Since Glacier National Park has over a million acres of land and it may seem a little overwhelming to decide how you are going to see everything, we've put together a few other suggestions we don't want you to miss.

Whitewater rafting

A must when visiting Glacier National Park is making the most of water-based activities. The Middle Fork and North Fork of the Flathead River, which combined cover 219 miles, offer the perfect spot for some whitewater rafting. The rafting season runs from May to September and features activities suitable for a range of ages.

Historic boat tour

The National Park is renowned for its large and stunning lakes, and a great way to experience the history and natural beauty of the area is by taking a boat tour. Choose from a variety of different lakes, all of which tell a unique story.

Scenic hiking tour

Another enjoyable way to learn about the National Park's history is to take a guided hiking tour. With experience, knowledge, and safety at the forefront, this is a great activity for the whole family. There is no need to worry about planning your hike; there are many companies that will make sure you see the best of the best. (Check out Glacier Guides for a variety of packages.)

When planning your trip to Glacier National Park and wondering what to pack, it's important for you to be prepared for all types of weather and activities. During the summer, you can expect warm days and cooler, breezy nights. Snow is also possible all year round, especially at higher elevations. Much of the cycling gear will be included with your trip, thanks to Trek Travel, so be sure to check the list on their website before packing!


For more information about the Trek Travel excursion to Glacier National Park, check out their website and reserve your spot today!

A look into Holi festival

By Amber Woolley

Holi festival is almost upon us, and we're here to clue you in on everything you need to know about this beautiful and colorful Hindu springtime celebration. Also known as the "Festival of Color," Holi is usually celebrated in India and Nepal, with millions of Hindus coming together on the last full moon day of the lunar month, which this year falls on March 20-21.

The Festival of Color.
Photo sourced from Visittrivalley.

The history of Holi

Holi first originated in the Indian subcontinent, but it has since spread to other parts of Asia and is becoming more popular around the rest of the world. It's roots lie, however, in the story of Hiranyakashipu, the ancient Indian king "who was like a demon" and wanted to get revenge on Lord Vishnu for killing his brother. When Hiranyakashipu's son, Prahalad, who worshipped Lord Vishnu, would not obey his father, and the king decided he must be killed.

Hiranyakashipu had a sister, Holika, who was said to be immune to fire, and he asked her to sit with Prahalad on her lap so he would burn to death. Much to the king's surprise, however, Holika burned to death, while Prahalad, who all the while had been repeating Lord Vishnu's name, survived without nary a scratch. Thus, to this day, Holika's demise represents the burning of all that is bad. (For the complete story, check out Maps of India!)

The story behind Holi.
Photo sourced from scoopwhoop.

Holi rituals and traditions

A few days before the festival, people usually start collecting wood for a big fire at the major crossroad in the city. On the eve of Holi, Holika Dahan takes place, which is the lighting of a bonfire to represent the burning of Holika and the victory of good over evil.

Celebration of Holika Dahan.

The next day is when the main celebration takes place, which is a party with lots of colors called Dhuleti. This jubilant festival sees thousands of people cover each other in a rainbow of colored powders to celebrate the beginning of spring.

The colors used are very symbolic in Hinduism. Red indicates both sensuality and purity, while saffron—the most sacred color in Hinduism—represents fire and purity, relating back to how impurities are burned by, or eliminated with, fire. Additionally, green represents life and happiness.

Everyone then takes to the streets to dance and sing and in the evenings, and friends and families will gather together for food and further celebration.

Reasons behind Holi

The main reason people celebrate Holi festival is to bring in the new season: spring. Hindus, however, have additional reasons for celebration. They believe it is the only day where the Gods look away—the only day they can get rid of any evil and/or sins before starting anew. The colored powders signify the sins, and when the powders are washed off at the end of the day, this signifies a clean and pure start to the new season.

Where to spend Holi

Holi is celebrated pretty much all over India, albeit with slight variations, so wherever you go, it will be a bright and vibrant ceremony. Here are some suggestions if you would like to travel to a popular and well-known destination for your Holi experience.

Vrindavan and Mathura

The throwing of colors in Vrindavan.
Photo sourced from indiaraju.

Mathura and Vrindavan are immensely popular throughout the country and attract thousands of people from all over the world. Vrindavan is a holy town in northern India and is where Lord Krishna spent his childhood, while Mathura is the birthplace of Krishna.

The tradition of throwing colors is also said to come from the love story of Lord Krishna and his wife Radha. A Holi show, therefore, takes place in Mathura every year—a week before the festival commences. This takes place from the Dwarkadhish temple to the Holi Gate, where the festival is marked.

Goa

If you want to be at the heart of one of the biggest festivities, you must visit Goa. The festival is called Shigmotsav, and it is spread over a fortnight. The main Goa beaches will turn colorful, and parades and performances will be held throughout the city for five days, which is a great experience for both locals and tourists.

What to wear

As you are attending a festival where you are going to get covered in water and color, it is important to wear something old and something you don't mind getting ruined. It is recommended you wear white, so the color shows up more, and you begin the day as a blank canvas. Our top tip? Cover your body in oil. You will have a better chance of washing the paint off at the end of the day.


Interested in visiting India? Find out more about where to stay here!

Top spring vacation destinations for 2019

By Eric Wright

As the Earth rattles through space on another epic orbit at nearly a million kilometers an hour and the northern hemisphere begins to warm up, spring brings with it a time of rebirth, regrowth, and revitalization.

While the birds return, the flowers start to bloom, and newly-born animals take their first steps, spring is also the perfect opportunity for us to head out into the glittering wilderness and enjoy the milder climate. These fabulous vacation destinations are the perfect way to inspire you to take that first big trip of the year in spring 2019.

Europe

1. Slovenia

If astonishingly clear lakes and seemingly impossible mountain paths indulge your senses, the pristine beauty of Slovenia's Alps is the place to head this spring.

Triglav National Park is quickly becoming a prime tourist destination, and it's no wonder why. With the majestic peaks rising up to 2,864 meters, the area is full of incredible views and mirror-like lakes, making it ideal for both a relaxing escape and outdoor sports alike. Lake Bled, which lies in the the heart of the park, offers the perfect spot to wind down after a day in the mountains and take a romantic boat trip to the fairy-tale church located at the center of the iconic waters.

Returning to your whimsical tent secluded in the forest and taking a dip in the bubbling waters of the hot tub will leave you feeling at true peace with this alluring area of the world.

2. Greece, Crete

Steeped in ancient history and Greek mythology, Crete, Greece's largest island, is famous for its fine sand beaches, rising mountain ranges, and captivating archaeological museums.

With the astonishingly beautiful coastal areas of the Balos Lagoon, the iconic pink sand of Elafonisi Island, and the Neolithic city of Knossos dating back to 7000 B.C., it's no surprise that this enthralling island is regarded as the birthplace of Zeus.

What could be better after a day spent walking in the footsteps of the Olympian gods than retiring to your own beachfront paradise to watch the sun make its descent over the vast Aegean Sea? By the beard of Zeus, make Crete your next adventure!

3. Portugal

Generally accepted as one of the best value destinations in Western Europe, the breathtakingly beautiful coastline of the Algarve in the south of Portugal is a beach lover's dream.

In contrast to its Spanish neighbor, the charming coastal towns of Lagos, Portimão, Praia da Marinha, and Carvoeiro offer a more rugged territory, full of jaw-dropping cliffs, hidden coves, and, of course, spectacular golden beaches. The foodies in the group will love having their pick of freshly-caught seafood and traditional Portuguese delicacies in the inviting bars and restaurants.

4. Catalonia, Spain

Those looking to combine a beach getaway with a location brimming with culture and tradition need look no further than the Catalan region of northeastern Spain. Tarragona's Costa Dorada, or Golden Coast, with its 15 kilometers of sandy coastline, offers the chance for lazy beach days at sites like El Miracle, L'Arrabassada, and Playa Larga.

Meanwhile, just an hour's drive up the coast will lead visitors to the winding streets and Gothic cathedrals of Barcelona. Antoni Gaudí's fascinating Sagrada Família and Park Güell are sure to evoke your creative side, while the feisty Catalan culture is an experience in and of itself.

Africa

Morocco

There's nowhere quite like the barren terrain of an alien-esque landscape to put life's tribulations into perspective, and Morocco during springtime is just the place to clear your mind and remember what's really important.

Exploring the endless deserts of the Agafay and Sahara by camel, traversing the steep cliffs and canyons of the soaring Atlas mountains, and soaking up the rich history of the ancient city of Aït Benhaddou are voyages that will be remembered a lifetime over.

If sleeping in an enchanting tent under a crystal clear sky sparkling full of distant stars and galaxies is your thing, don't miss out this spring, as, after all, the sands of time wait for no man or woman!

North America

1. Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is a prime location for those who are looking for a relaxing getaway full of water sports and picturesque sunsets. The area comes to life in the spring, and the opportunities for jet skiing, fishing, waterskiing, and parasailing are endless.

Booking a chartered tour will bring you close to the brimming sea life in the area, with many tour companies offering dolphin and whale watching cruises to get up close to these magnificent aquatic beasts.

The many pristine golf courses, historic buildings, and museums also offer a way to soak up some culture and mix with the locals. With a charming Southern getaway just a few blocks from the beach, pool days will also be on this South Carolina vacation's agenda.

2. Texas Hill Country

Full of great vineyards, small-town charm, and enchanting natural attractions, the wide-open views and gorgeous hills of Texas allow visitors to leave their city stresses behind and enjoy a fun-filled family getaway.

Garner State Park located in Concan, offers 1,774 acres of rolling hills, making it ideal for a day of hiking or kayaking on the winding waters of the Frio River. Evenings can be spent at the award-winning wineries of Fall Creek Vineyards in Tow, which also boast picture-perfect vistas.

When evening rolls in, there's nothing better than heading back to your own magical tree house nestled high up among the sights and sounds of the surrounding wilderness.

3. Vancouver Island

Located off Canada's Pacific Coast, the mild temperatures of Vancouver Island make it an ideal spring destination for nature lovers, beach-goers, and food connoisseurs alike. Port Hardy, found in the northern part of the island, is a haven for whale watching, salmon fishing, and kayaking, as it boasts a wild terrain of forests, lakes, and misty mountains.

After some exploration, get your taste buds tingling at one the “boat-to-table” food events held during Feast Tofino from May 3-5, where renowned chefs use local ingredients to make dishes that pay homage to the region and its famous fisheries.

At the end of your day out and about, retire to this unique cottage for a cozy evening curled up around the fireplace, cold drink in hand.

4. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee need no introduction and its endless mountains make an exceptional place to take in the resurging beauty and color that springtime kindly brings with it. As temperatures rise and the frosty ground thaws, trekking through the entrancing terrain offers beautiful awakening wildflowers, powerful waterfalls, and a wide variety of wildlife.

The friendly towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge also hold a number of spring events, ranging from arts and crafts shows, wine tasting weekends, and even trout tournaments.

With views like this from your very own private hot tub back at the cabin, a getaway in the Great Smokies is one heck of a catch this spring.

5. Southern California

Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat surrounded by the soaring mountains of the San Jacinto or a week of wild partying in the Colorado Desert, Southern California makes a fantastic spring getaway.

Easily accessible from Los Angeles, families will love the nature trails, diverse desert wildlife, and one-of-a-kind stargazing opportunities in Joshua Tree National Park. Alternatively, the party animals out there can make the annual homage to the Colorado Desert for the hipness, bohemian outfits, and popular music of one of America's most famous festivals—Coachella.

Be it recovering after a week of dancing the night away or just a quiet family retreat, this stunning cabin is the perfect spring respite.


For more spring travel inspiration, be sure to check out our collections on family-friendly spring getaways on the East Coast, spring break escapes in Washington State, and more on Glamping Hub!

Host Spotlight: Robert

By Jackie Dreyer

Editor's note: Each month, we'd like to introduce you to one of our wonderful Glamping Hub hosts and what inspired them to create a glamping site. This month, we have Robert, who manages a unique glamping site on the western edge of Zion National Park in Utah.

1. What is the story behind you starting your glamping site?

I've always loved nature. Living at the edge of Zion National Park gives me access to 146,000 acres of wilderness at all times. The property is in the heart of hiking and climbing country, and its very remote and beautiful—nestled in its own valley surrounded by the red rock of Zion.

I'm an artist, writer, and filmmaker for PBS, as well as Channel 4 in England, and now, I have opened my home to offer people the unusual experience of solitude and silence in this age of noise and distraction.

2. What did you do before becoming a glamping host? What drew you to glamping?

Glamping was the best way to share the natural beauty of where I live, next to Zion National Park. I am an artist with an unbounded enthusiasm for nature and its healing beauty. Glamping is my way of sharing. Through the films I've made for PBS and the books I written, I've shared this love, and now, through glamping, I can share it directly with others.

3. In your opinion, how does your accommodation fit the definition of glamping?

If glamping is providing a unique outdoor experience close to nature, our accommodations provide that without giving up the basics: a good bed, a shower, and a kitchen. Yet, you are still at the heart of the artichoke of Zion National Park's wilderness. Here, you don't have to drive nor hike with anyone else, as you do in other areas of the park.

4. What is the most special thing about your property?

The most special aspect is our location at the wild western edge of Zion National Park. People visiting actually have the experience they desire—visiting the southwest without the crowds.

5. What do you love the most about running a glamping site? What are some of the challenges you face?

The guests are the most interesting aspect of running a glamping site. What do they want to do? How can I help? These are the greatest pleasures for me. My greatest challenge is getting people to know our property is here.

6. Tell us about your most memorable guest experience to date.

A family of four from Venezuela wanted to do a diverse number of activities while they stayed here. They wanted to hike, bike ride, paddle on the reservoir, horseback ride, and relax!! Working out their schedule and seeing them smile made them my most memorable guests.

7. Which three words are most commonly used in guest feedback about your accommodation?

The three most common words in guest feedback are: unique, unexpected, and comfortable.

8. Tell us about the experience you provide for guests visiting your glamping site.

I provide as much, or as little, guidance as guests want. There are numerous outdoor activities available to them right on the property including hiking, climbing, biking. The most popular experience, though, is relaxing in our quiet, beautiful valley. Our property is a very private place.

9. If you could have anybody stay at your accommodation, who would it be and why?

I like families, because they are a mixture of ages, and it's a pleasure introducing them to nature in ways they've not experienced before.

10. Are there any upcoming additions/changes to your glamping site you would like to share with us?

2019 is my second season. I am adding an area for yoga practice and a full-bodied outdoor shower. I have also extended my connections to include more available experts to lead outdoor activities. I have been recognized as a beautiful venue for smaller weddings, as well.


To experience all the southwest has to offer, book a life-changing stay in Zion National Park at Robert's suite or guest house. Coming with a group? You can even book the whole property!

Camping with kids: What to pack, where to go, and what to do

By Eleanor Stanesby

If you've decided it's time to take a camping trip this year and completely disconnect in the beautiful outdoors, you've come to the right place. It's time to pry all electronic devices away from the clutching grips of the kids and achieve the quality family time that you've been hoping for!

With no phones or Internet to distract you from the serene views or wildlife, this is the best way to truly take in the natural wonders that the world has to offer. We're here to give you some tips on how to get the most out of your camping (or glamping!) trip—giving you and the kids some memorable adventures in nature you'll never forget.

What to pack

Packing for a camping trip with kids takes a lot of planning ahead, which usually involves a lengthy checklist to help keep you on track. There are the obvious things that all camping trips need, including appropriate clothing, snacks, and more, but we don't want you to forget other items that will ensure the kids are entertained and safe, ultimately making the trip easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

Check out this essentials list to ensure the trip goes of without a hitch:

  1. S'mores ingredients: Make the ultimate camping trip treat with a few simple ingredients that are easily packed: graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars. The kids will love hunting for sticks to roast the marshmallows on!

  2. Outdoor games: A bat and ball or water games will provide some healthy family competition.

  3. Card games: Before bedding down for the night, play some family card games for a relaxing finish to an adventurous day.

Those essentials give you the entertainment factor of the trip, but keeping safe is also important. A trip to the emergency room should never be on the agenda, so be sure to pack the following, too.

  1. First aid kit

  2. Sun screen

  3. Wet wipes

During outdoor adventures kids are bound to fall over and graze their knee, possibly get sunburned, and are definitely are going to get muddy. These three crucial items will keep you prepared for all possibilities.

Where to go

When choosing where to go, there's one crucial thing to keep in mind: there should be places for the kids to explore or take part in activities. Kids love to have something to do or focus on, and watching them discover a new piece of nature or wildlife or achieve something in the outdoors is sure to be one of their favorite memories—and definitely yours.

National parks

For an ambitious camping trip head to a national park, where waking up surrounded by diverse natural wonders is a unique experience in and of itself. Most national parks boast millions of acres of land to curiously explore, and with something different to discover every day, the kids will never get bored.

Have you considered Yellowstone National Park in particular? Spanning Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, you can choose the perfect backdrop for your family trip. Whether it be mountains, lakes or waterfalls, you'll be spoiled for choice with all of this National Park's incredibly distinct landscapes.

Alternatively, spend a night under the towering redwood trees in Redwood National Park. Located on the coast of Northern California, there are a number of accommodations and campgrounds tucked in and around the trees, giving you a truly nature-based experience in the private and peaceful woodlands.

Lakefront stays

If your looking for a more rustic camping trip and national parks or forests don't appeal to you, a summer trip is sure to be the most successful at a local lake. You can cool off with a delightful afternoon swim or search for some adrenaline-filled water sports the kids will love trying their hand at.

Upstate New York may be your ideal camping destination if you go this route—thanks to the fact that it's home to over 7,600 freshwater lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. It even has part of two of the five Great Lakes, too! One of our family-friendly favorites is Lake George, which is located at the southeast of the famous Adirondack Mountains.

Your ideal accommodation in Lake George: this family-friendly yurt!

What to do

Another benefit to planning your camping trip ahead of time is the ability to avoid hearing the ever-dreaded, "I'm bored," during your time away. Here are some of our top tips of how to ensure you hear nothing more than "Thank you for this amazing trip!" and some gentle breathing from fast-asleep kiddos at the end of the day.

1. Involve the kids

Kids love to be involved in all aspects of a camping trip, including meal planning. Make a plan that allows them to be a part of the fun, no matter if that's helping you gril out over a fire or on the barbecue or going to pick some fresh seasonal fruit for dessert.

2. Fun and games

Brainstorm some ideas that truly immerse the kids in the surrounding nature, such as a scavenger hunt. With so many printable, ready-to-go lists available online, it's easy for you to prepare in advance, and the kids will be able to spend hours of excitement in search of every last item on their list.

3. Go on a hike

There is bound to be a hiking trail near your accommodation or camping site, from which you can spend the afternoon exploring at your family's pace. Observing the children's faces as they take in the natural wonders will be a better sight than the actual view.

4. It's the little things

It's usually the little things that get ingrained into a child's memory about their family's outdoor trips and helps them be able to recount these stories as they get older. The innate curiosity within them allows kids to get immense joy from simple things, like skimming pebbles on a lake for hours, jumping in muddy puddles, or spotting wildlife they've never seen.

While camping with kids may come with a lot of preparation, once the trip is in full swing, it will be well worth the planning, for all the smiles, memories and laughter that is sure to be had.


Continue exploring other kid-approved getaway options, starting with one of our most popular accommodation collections—family-friendly tree houses on the West Coast!

Best dog-friendly bars: Where to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your pup

By Fred Jéquier

The month of March brings with it a number of events—the beginning of Lent, the first day of spring, and the ever-festive St. Patrick's Day. Wherever you may be in the world, this festival is a chance to indulge in a pint of Guinness, dress up in green, and celebrate all the things that we love about the unique Emerald Isle.

We're not the only ones getting excited at the prospect of a full day of hanging out with our friends and enjoying a pint or two of delicious dark beer, though. Our four-legged pals are more than ready to do a puppy pub crawl with us! Before you get your green t-shirts out, and your green collars ready, it's time to find some dog-friendly pubs and bars to enjoy together. After all, Fido doesn't want to be left home alone!

Here are just a few of our favorite places to enjoy Yappy Hour with your dog on St. Patrick's Day.

USA

The Morrison in Los Angeles, California

Photo of a doggy platter at The Morrison.

Never mind a doggy bag—this fabulous bar has doggy platters! With burgers to make their humans drool, pups can rest easy in the knowledge that they can happily tuck into a burger dish of their own. At $6 for the dog-friendly menu, this is an affordable place to spend St. Patrick’s Day. From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., you can enjoy Happy Hour and choose from a wide range of beers, ales, and lagers. If you're in need of a spot to relax after a long day at work and you don't want to make your dog feel melancollie by leaving them behind, why not bring your pup down and treat them to a meal out?

Rogers Park Social in Chicago, Illinois

A street view of Rogers Park Social.

Is your dog a bit fancy or little on the pawsh side? Rogers Park Social may be perfect for your pup. While St. Patrick's Day is a popular day for the avid beer drinker, some of the more pampered pooches out there may prefer something a little less heavy. Sadly, the drinks on offer here aren't designed for Poodles and Pomeranians, so they'll have to make do with water while you enjoy a wide range of seasonal cocktails designed by the owners of this beautiful bar.

If beer is your beverage, then you're in luck! As well as the delicious cocktails on the menu, there are lots of craft beers to sample while you relax in the lounge or play a board game. When happy hour comes around at 4 p.m., be sure to give the extensive drink menu a look!

The Dog Bar in Charlotte, North Carolina

A couple of dogs enjoying St. Patrick's Day at The Dog Bar.

This human-friendly bar is the perfect spot for pups and hounds to bring their two-legged friends. The Dog Bar is ideal if you want your dog to have a bit of freedom while you "sit, stay, and drink" on St. Patrick's Day.

Dogs are allowed to run around and explore both inside and outside, where there is a covered AstroTurf that has a misting system for summer, so there won't be any hot dogs on a sweltering summer day. Your pooch will also be wonderfully warm in the winter, thanks to the outdoor heaters!

For the two-legged guests, there is a wide range of beer, liquor, and wine options to enjoy. The Dog Bar requires a $10 annual membership fee, but let's be honest, even if you take those wagging tails, there for a day, 10 bucks is a pretty good price for such a unique experience.

Yard Bar in Austin, Texas

The dog-friendly area of The Yard Bar.

Austin, Texas, is home to some of the country's most famous BBQ restaurants and a number of awesome rock and blues musicians, and now, it's also the home of this perfect, pet-friendly watering hole, too. The Yard Bar will leave it's guests, both two- and four-legged, grinning ear to floppy ear!

“Impawsible”, you say? We assure you this no tall tail! Once your pup is over four months old, they can come here and enjoy a day out in the spacious outdoor bar area—all for the bargain price of $5.50 per day! While owners tuck into some tasty food and refreshing beers, the aptly named Bark Rangers keep an eye out on the playing pups.

MUTTS Canine Cantina in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas

A dog makes the most of his day out at MUTTS Canine Cantina.

MUTTS Canine Cantina is the perfect spot to unleash your dog for a day of ruff and tumble fun with some new puppy-pals, while you get your St. Patrick's Day pawty going. As you enjoy a cool beer or a margarita in the beer garden, your dog will be having the time of their life in the one-acre dog park. This establishment throws a range of events for their clientele, including yoga classes, visits from Santa and the Easter Bunny, and a big outdoor screen for movies.

Going to the source: Ireland

There's no way we can talk about St. Paddy's Day, though, without acknowledging St. Patrick's motherland. If you're lucky enough to find yourself in this uniquely beautiful country on March 17, you're definitely going to want a pint of Guinness after exploring the coastline of Wexford, wandering the rolling hills of Kilkenny, and staring out across the Cliffs of Moher. Here are a couple of pet-friendly pubs to make the most of your time on the Emerald Isle!

MVP in Dublin, County Dublin

Photo of a dog sitting at the bar at MVP, Dublin.

With great food, and craft cocktails, this is the ideal spot to bring you dog for a fun day out in the lively city of Dublin. If you head down there on St. Patrick's day, you'll be able to catch the final day of the Women's Six Nations and then join in an Irish-themed sing-along.

The Hollywood Inn in Hollywood, County Wicklow

The beer garden at The Hollywood Inn.

Why not give your hound a sniff around the garden? The Garden of Ireland, that is! Wicklow's unsurpassable natural beauty has to be seen to be believed. Once you've finished exploring the green hills, or the lake at Glendalough, let your pup rest his or her paws at this great pub. The Hollywood Inn, just half an hour from the historic Glendalough, is a traditional Irish pub with a dog-friendly patio. It also has a great range of beers and a wonderful menu to fill you up after exploring this incredibly beautiful county.

It's time to get the pup ready for his big day out—just remember to make sure he brings his best table manners with him!

Want to make a getaway out of it? Find out the best places to take your dog here, and check out some of our amazing pet-friendly rentals on Glamping Hub!

Travel Guide: Rio de Janeiro

By Mikaela Amundson

Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant gem on the eastern coast of Brazil, drawing 2.8 million international tourists each year. With 80 kilometers of beaches, countless natural wonders, and a strong sense of culture, Rio is a dream getaway. This large metro area, with 12 million residents, is located in the southeastern part of Brazil, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, on Guanabara Bay. Surrounded by mountains, ocean, forests, and more, a visit to Rio is a nature-lover's paradise, while still allowing you to turn to the city for music, dancing, food, and festivals for an amazing cultural time.

With so much to do and see, we've created a travel guide so you can experience it all. Read on and see what's waiting for you in Rio!

A view of Rio de Janeiro and it's most iconic landmark: the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado.

Good to know before you go

Getting there and around

Galeão International Airport, otherwise known as Rio de Janeiro–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport, has international connections with 19 other countries, as well as domestic flights within Brazil. Located conveniently on the island of Galeão right in the bay, this airport is accessible and super convenient.

Within the city, buses are the main form of public transportation, along with Rio's three subway lines and 60 Bike Rio bicycle sharing stations. Public transportation in Rio is extremely affordable, with bus rides costing only $3.80 reals (BRL), or $1 USD. Rio also boasts the Santa Teresa Tram, the oldest operating electric tram in all of South America, which is a popular tourist activity.

Useful Phrases

Culture

Food and drink

What better way to see a city than to eat your way through it? Try some of the street food that Brazil is known for, like pão de queijo (cheese bread), picanha, cassava chips, and feijoada—Brazil’s national dish. Açaí, the mega-popular, millennial smoothie ingredient, originates from the Amazon and is available all over Rio, especially by the beach. Have a pastel for breakfast from the local market, commonly filled with meat, cheese, and other tasty treats. Sardines are the most popular fish in Rio and are best served grilled with lime.

Events

When you think of Rio, you immediately think of its most famous event—Carnaval. This six-day party, which culminates the day before Lent begins, is known for it's outrageous costumes, parade floats, and all-night celebrations. Rio is said to have the largest carnival celebration in the world and draws insanely large crowds.

The largest parade is held at the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí, a huge amphitheater that seats 90,000 people, all craning to see the outlandish parade floats and scores of dancers and musicians. Local neighborhood groups, which are called "samba schools," put together displays and parade down through the Sambadrome with music, dancing, and celebrations for huge cheering crowds. Outside the "samba parades," there are rowdy street fairs near Ipanema, lavish balls at Copacabana, and other parties just about everywhere you turn.

Other than Carnaval, New Year's Eve is a huge celebration at Copacabana Beach. Dressed all in white, people crowd the beaches for shows, music, dancing, and an enormous fireworks display. It also wouldn't be complete without the traditional spraying of champagne at midnight!

Religion

The majority of the population of Rio is Christian, with the larger part of that identifying as catholic, which stems from the country's Spanish and Portuguese roots. Catholicism traveled to these colonies in the early 16th century, when the city of Rio de Janeiro was established.

Places to visit

Ipanema

Voted the best city beach in the world by CNN in 2012, Ipanema is famed for more than just the woman in Frank Sinatra's legendary song. This beach has surfing, perfect sand, walking trails, and amazing sunset views—all within walking distance of the city.

Copacabana

Another location enshrined in song with local bossa nova flair, Copacabana is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Rio. It's famous, crescent-shaped beach and lovely boardwalk lined with mosaics are loved by locals and visitors alike.

Christ the Redeemer on Mount Corcovado

At almost 100 feet tall and perched atop the most visible mountain the Rio, this iconic statue has become a symbol both for the city and Brazil as a country. Accessible only by train, visiting Christ the Redeemer, named one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World," is a must-see.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Another remarkable natural feature within the city, Sugarloaf Mountain offers unbeatable views of the bay, the city, and the ocean. Named after piles of sugar cane exported out of the country in the 16th century, this peak is accessible by cable car and known as the best view in all of Rio.

Tijuca National Park

The world's first urban forest and an UNESCO Environmental Reserve, Tijuaca is the perfect place to visit for nature lovers. Offering super accessible hiking, view points, waterfalls, and wildlife, this park is an easy drive from the city and shouldn't be missed.

Outside the city

Large sprawling parks abound outside of Rio, like Juarez Frotté Municipal Park, offering waterfalls, rainforest views, and hiking—a total nature immersion for adventurous travelers.

Stay in this rainforest suite to be close to hiking trails, waterfalls, and amazing nature views.

Remote beaches are also a must-do in this area of Brazil, and Paraty-Mirim Beach is one of our favorites. With gorgeous sand, tropical fjords, and amazing lookouts, this area is a perfect spot for a getaway.

Immerse yourself in the rainforest from this amazing hut near the beach—complete with an outdoor bathtub.

Safety and essentials

Health

  • The CDC recommends typhoid, malaria, and yellow fever vaccinations for those traveling to Brazil, especially if planning to head into the forest or other natural areas.
  • Mosquitoes are common and can carry harmful diseases. When traveling out in forested areas, wear long pants and sleeves and bring along a strong insect repellent.

Visas

Brazil's visa requirements are reciprocal, so if your country requires Brazilian citizens to obtain one for your home country, then you need one to visit Brazil. U.S., Canadian, and Australian citizens need to obtain visas in advance for tourism purposes, but U.K., New Zealand, French, and German citizens do not.

Safety

  • Important emergency numbers are 190 for Police, 193 for Fire and Ambulance, and 021 for Tourist Police.
  • Tap water may be safe to drink in larger cities but is generally known to taste awful. In remote areas, the water quality is questionable. We recommend that you stick to bottled or boiled water only.
  • Be cautious of petty crime and theft. Walk with purpose and in groups, don't carry large amounts of cash, and always stay alert.

Remember to always consult your home country's travel agencies and websites for more information, too:

Rio awaits!

Armed with this guide, you're now ready to get on out there and explore Rio and the surrounding area. Whether you choose to celebrate Carnaval or go hiking in the Amazon, you're bound to have an amazing time—enjoy!




Keep exploring on Glamping Hub to find your perfect Brazilian getaway! Be sure to check out a few of our other guides here and here for even more options.

Our Support team and the new host dashboard

By Lauren Goldstein

This new dashboard has been a huge labor of love for the Support team. So many hours of thought, effort and design have gone into this new product, and our team feels that this is the first step into a more interactive, aesthetically appealing, and feature-forward platform for our hosts. We hope that this will be the first of many new features within this dashboard—each one enhancing both our guest and user experience.

Our biggest hope is that this new dashboard will give autonomy and independence to our hosts and lead them to engage more with the platform. This means that more of our time can be focused on promoting our hosts, boosting their listings, and increasing requests to all of our accommodations.

While we aspire to help our hosts become more independent, we will still always have our Support team available 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to help our hosts and guests by phone or email. We pride ourselves on being a team that can successfully solve problems with a human touch and are proud to say that most of our hosts know our team by name. We commit to continuing practices that maintain personal relationships with all of our hosts for many years to come.


Don't hesitate to contact our Support team for more information and any questions regarding the new dashboard!

Glamping Hub set to release new host dashboard

By Matt Turner

We are proud to announce the release of Glamping Hub's newly designed dashboard for hosts on our site. It’s been a long time coming, and we’ve worked hard to create an intuitive interface that will allow hosts to efficiently manage their calendars, bookings, rates, and communication with guests. This is great news for hosts, as we have added new features and a new design that is sure to make it is easier to maintain listings on Glamping Hub.

What are the new dashboard features, and how have we improved them?

Smart calendar

Our calendar system has been updated, making it more user-friendly and easier to update availability. The new display has been simplified to work better on both mobile phone and desktop versions.

New inbox

We’ve added a general inbox to the dashboard in order to organize all guest messages, so keeping track of new inquiries is much more straightforward.

Notifications

Host notification emails have been completely redesigned giving hosts much clearer details regarding booking requests, confirmations, cancellations, and any other important notifications.

Help Center

The Help Center allows hosts to quickly search for the most commonly-asked questions regarding the new dashboard. It is organized in a way that is easy for hosts to quickly find the answers they need.

Intuitive design

The overall design of the dashboard has improved drastically. It’s much more intuitive and makes it much easier to use with whatever device you're most comfortable using.


Don't hesitate to contact our Support team for more information and any questions regarding the new dashboard!

Host Spotlight: Daria

By Jackie Dreyer

Editor's note: Each month, we'd like to introduce you to one of our wonderful Glamping Hub hosts and what inspired them to create a glamping site. This month, we have Daria, who manages a gorgeous couple's retreat in Casares—a charming town in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain.

1. What is the story behind you starting your glamping site?

Meticulously designed to frame our natural setting within a stunning national park, our retreat has been created by passionate travelers with an eye for detail, a love of nature, and an innate desire to be different. Everything you see reflects the influences that have personally inspired us on our own journeys across the world.

We are not a standard hotel, but a family-run private retreat, where guests can step away from the stresses and commitments of everyday life and take time out to relax, refresh, and recharge. We pour our heart and soul into what we do. We don't sell rooms—we bring you a special one-of-a-kind experience.

Here, on our four-hectare woodland estate—complete with a unique exotic ambience—you will find a tranquil escape that's a world away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby coast. We offer absolute privacy with exceptional facilities and personalized service.

2. What did you do before becoming a glamping host? What drew you to glamping?

Before creating our retreat property, we traveled across the world, visiting over 60 countries and being inspired by the amazing exotic ambience of Asia, as well as diverse cultures, interiors, and designs. With our passion for traveling and desire to create a slice of paradise that our guests could enjoy, the idea of our retreat was born.

A photo of the host, Daria, at the retreat.

3. In your opinion, how does your accommodation fit the definition of glamping?

We offer luxurious and private accommodations within a stunning natural setting. Our suites and tents offer the perfect glamorous setting within the niche glamping market. Our guests get to enjoy private and deluxe facilities while being surrounded by the natural environment.

4. What is the most special thing about your property?

Absolute privacy and a very exotic setting that is hard to find in Europe. With a maximum of three couples on-site at any given time, this means our couples can enjoy the utmost in seclusion during a romantic and intimate time away with each other.

5. What do you love the most about running a glamping site? What are some of the challenges you face?

The main challenges faced are the weather and climate changes. Our property is located within a natural setting, with most of our facilities, like the heated infinity pool and terraces, located under open sky. It is paramount to us that our couples get to enjoy the most perfect setting and receive the top experience during their stay with us. When it starts raining with heavy winds, however, this is the biggest challenge for us and our guests, as the only thing we cannot change is the weather.

6. Tell us about your most memorable guest experience to date.

Our property is often chosen by couples for a special occasion, such as anniversaries, birthdays, and more, and we do our absolute best to ensure they will receive this pure romance experience they seek.

One of the most wonderful and special stays that we've had was last year, when a gentleman flew from the U.K. to propose to the love of his life at the retreat. She had absolutely no idea of what was happening. He secretly flew to us, and we prepare one of our stunning suites for him with a beautiful bouquet of red roses, champagne on ice, and special music.

A photo of the happily engaged guest from the host's story.

When her friends brought her to the property for "lunch," all of the staff had to hide so she wouldn't know where she was. Her friends walked her to the suite, and he came out of the suite, got down on one knee, and proposed to her. The emotions, tears of joy, and happiness...the couple cried and we cried, and it was just the most beautiful moment ever.

The fact that our couples choose and trust us with such special occasions makes us feel so proud and grateful.

7. Which three words are most commonly used in guest feedback about your accommodation?

Stunning, paradise, and "out of this world."

8. Tell us about the experience you provide for guests visiting your glamping site.

What makes our property very special is that we personally take care of our guests; we never treat them as if they were strictly clients. As such, so many of them have become our friends and a part of the retreat's family over the years. The experience is as personal as it could really get.

We personally meet our guests upon arrival, with freshly squeezed orange juice and a cool aromatic towel for them in hand. We prepare each suite before their arrival, making sure there is music softly playing when they arrive and an exotic fragrance scent throughout the room—all to provide the most luxurious experience for them.

Most of our couples enjoy personal, special complimentary extras upon arrival to make their arrival extra romantic, too!

9. If you could have anybody stay at your accommodation, who would it be and why?

We invite everyone to come experience our romantic setting.


10. Are there any upcoming additions/changes to your glamping site you would like to share with us?

We have some special and wonderful upgrades planned for this season...stay tuned!


To book an unforgettable stay with your special someone at Daria's retreat in Málaga, click here or here for the tents and here for the cabin!