Host Spotlight: Franny and Fenton

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 Franny and Fenton and their picturesque villa near Jimena de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain.

Franny, Fenton, and their two children at their glamping retreat.
Keep on reading to hear more about their property below!

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

Franny:

We had our first child in London, and we realized it was no place for our baby, Bamboo, so we footed it to Spain, a place I knew well, and Fenton had gotten to know through me. We got married here, we have long-time friends living here, and it felt right. When we arrived, the doors to this this amazing finca (country estate) in the Andalusian hillside opened for us, and we jumped at the opportunity to take it on.

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

Fenton:

I have always worked in hospitality. Restaurant managing to retreat hosting, I have always welcomed strangers in some way and made them feel at home! I've always been drawn to this type of work. Running retreats in London with Franny was the bigger step into this field, as we knew we wanted to host retreats in a beautiful location, but in order for us to make our mark, we knew that having our own venue from which to do so would be ideal.

Franny:

I have always loved hosting at home, and I think opening a venue to the public that is as beautiful as this one was the icing on the cake!

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

Franny:

We are the only finca for miles around. All you can see are rolling hills of avocados, oranges, and olive groves, as well as farm animals. Set in a natural park known for its birds of prey, it's a fantastic place to be outdoors exploring the wildlife. At night with no light pollution, you can marvel at the stars to your heart's content. I strongly recommend a visit around the full moon. It's AMAZING.

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

Franny:

The design. Designed on a Argentinan finca mixed with the terraces of an Indian palace, the outside it something special for Andalusia. But so the interior—full of hand-picked, antique furniture and artwork that inspire each room to be something different.

No room looks the same. No room tells the same story. The owner is an art collector, and some very special pieces can be seen on the walls. There are antique doors made into four-meter-long tables that you know you wouldn't see anywhere else.

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

Franny:

We love welcoming new people and seeing their faces upon arrival. Especially when they've been traveling for the better part of the day! We always hope our guests arrive during the daytime, so they can see the views. We've been told, however, that their stays have actually been more special when they arrive at night and see the house lit up so cozy, only to wake up in the morning to breathtaking views!

The challenge is to make sure everything keeps running smoothly. We are fully booked for most of the year, with little time to do major maintenance. Thankfully, our dream team, Miguel and Vanessa, who live on-site, keep everything ticking by, looking good, and smelling better! Generally speaking, post-wedding clean-up tends to require the most effort from everyone.

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

Franny:

Our first wedding! A group of 20 stayed with us from America. They were so approachable, and Fenton was in charge of making sure everything ran smoothly for them. It was an April wedding, so the weather wasn't guaranteed, but it was the most beautiful ceremony for 40 people—held looking over the hills and sunset, followed by dinner and drinks under the tent on the lower terrace. It was a special one for us to host, such a powerful intimate wedding, especially as our first, and to have Fenton be such a huge part of it.

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

Franny:

Views, peace, and Fenton. (This isn't a joke—everyone falls in love with him!)

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

Franny:

We offer retreats, Reiki, massage, yoga, personal training, sound healing, weddings, horse riding, clay making...all sorts of things! It's fantastic! We also do in-house catering, everything from traditional asados, or barbecues, to vegan food. We cater to our guests. If they want a boat ride at 11 a.m., followed by an afternoon of massages and a huge paella on the bottom terrace, we can do it all!

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

Fenton:

It would have to be the Dalai Lama! In the past, we have had a few lamas come and visit the land, and they have said it is a sacred place. For me to have the Dalai Lama come so I could meet him and host him would be truly a blessing. I would sneak my daughters up there, too, so they could meet him!

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

Franny:

In 2020, we hope to launch a Kickstarter to start raising funds to turn the stables and the goat house into an extra accommodation. They would serve as overflow for weddings, but as their own thing, they'd also be the perfect place for retreats, artist retreats, or family holidays. The view from there are just as beautiful, and the gardens offer the ideal location for an asado by the lake!

True to the cause, we are adding in some luxury glamping tents, containers, and caravans, too! Sleeping in a luxury tent with views of the lake is sort of a must on our land—we just haven't done it yet!

We are also coming to the end of the second year of weddings, and this year has seen our best yet! In October, we'll be doing a big push and exposé on getting married here. One bride even rode in on a horse this year!


Curious to know more about Fenton, Franny, and their incredible glamping site? Book their villa or attend one of their Reiki retreats—the choice is yours!

Host Spotlight: Casey

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 Casey, Stacie, and Ella and their unique unique treehouses near Deep Creek Lake in Bittinger, Maryland.

The host, Casey, his wife, Stacie, and their daughter, Ella, in front of one of their treehouses.
Keep reading to see what Casey has to say about their property below!

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

We are a faith-filled family with a love for travel and nature-centered adventure. We wanted to do something that would bring families together in a unique setting...a treehouse! Since we spend so much time in nature, we thought treehouses would be an awesome business adventure. Treehouses bring out the kid in everyone! Being in nature, surrounded by peaceful woods, and high in a tree is an amazing place to be.

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

I'm a sales consultant for a pharmaceutical company, and my wife, Stacie, was a middle school teacher for 10 years prior to becoming Ella's home-school teacher. We are attracted to glamping because of the opportunity to enjoy nature in a unique way without sacrificing comfort.

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

They are majestic structures that offer a unique vantage point that not everyone gets to experience. It's a new perspective on nature and the surrounding forest, being perched in a luxury treehouse, which is fully furnished with full utilities.

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

The serenity of the property itself. This peaceful and tranquil forest is a great place to relax and unwind.

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

We love hearing stories of families reconnecting and friends spending time together and celebrating life. Our biggest challenge was learning the hospitality industry and having guests who don't respect or take care of your property.

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

Our most memorable guest experience was receiving a video from a guest who surprised her son and daughter with a trip to the treehouses! Seeing the kids excitement reminded us why we built them.

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

Cozy, enchanted, and amazing.

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

Guests receive an opportunity to sleep among the treetops, experience childlike joy, and engage in tons of other adventures and activities in the Deep Creek Lake area.

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

We'd love for a child who has dreamed about staying in a treehouse, but hasn't ever had the opportunity, to stay here. This is the inspiration for our next treehouse to be built in 2020, "The Daydreamer," which will be ADA-compliant.

Casey and his daughter, Ella, walking through the fall leaves at their treehouse glamping site.

Heading to Maryland? Book a glamping stay at one of Casey's incredible treehouses! Whether you're a group of 5 or a group of 6, he's got just the place.

A guide to solo glamping

By Eric Wright

Traveling alone can seem like a daunting prospect for many people; however, it can leave you with one of the most liberating and rewarding feelings you've ever had. Being totally self-reliant allows you to truly discover how capable, strong, and independent you are and opens you up a world full of new places to explore and new friends to make.

That being said, there are some essential things to remember while planning the solo trip of a lifetime. We've compiled a guide to solo glamping to make sure you feel empowered and ready to explore. It's time to stop wondering about the planet we live on and get out and wander!

Before you go and good to know

While traveling alone really is an eye-opening experience that everyone should try at least once, there is a lot of information to bear in mind for you to be able to make the most of your time away and stay safe while doing so. Here are some of the key things to think about before your solo glamping getaway.

  • Know your destination. When you arrive, you need to know the precise location of your glamping retreat, so a general overview of the surrounding area and geography are a must. There's no need to waste any precious vacation time getting lost when time can be better spent elsewhere!
  • Stay in touch. When traveling alone, it's important to keep in contact with loved ones or friends. Not only will they be pleased to hear about your adventures, but they are also a lifeline should you have any issues while away.
  • Take charge! Traveling alone means there's nobody to turn to when you need to read a map, ask for directions, or make the day's itinerary. It's up to you to be proactive, smile, and ask for help or advice when the need arises.
  • Set a budget, and try to stick to it. Saving up for a solo glamping trip can take time, so while you're planning the trip, make a budget for each day based on the activities you want to do.
  • Save your pennies before you leave. Post-holiday blues are bad enough without worrying about how to pay back the money you spent on your trip. You'll thank yourself later for guaranteeing you have a healthy account balance before you set off.

What to pack

Where you're heading on your glamping adventure will largely determine what essential items you should bring. Whether you're exploring vast deserts or remote mountainsides, here are some ideas for key things to bring along:

  • An up-to-date map of the area. Although mobile devices are of great help while navigating, you never know when the battery might die, so take a paper map along, too.
  • A compass. Without a compass, that paper map is going to be difficult to use, especially when hiking deep in the forest. Pack a handy compass—and make sure you learn how to use it before heading out!
  • A cell phone with a long-lasting cell battery. A phone with great battery longevity can be a life-saver for whenever you have a signal.
  • Extra food and water. It's not uncommon for people to stray a little from the main path while exploring, so staying hydrated and extra snacks are essential when hiking.
  • A fire striker or waterproof matches. Fire-making materials can be a godsend up in the mountains, but just like that handy-dandy compass, it's critical to learn how to use these items before your trip starts.
  • Other handy things to remember include a flashlight, sunscreen, a Swiss Army knife, a blanket, and, of course, an enthralling book!

How to stay safe

When you're traveling without a friend or partner by your side, it's normal to worry about feeling potentially more vulnerable to accidents or situations out in the wilderness, as well as about pesky thieves and scam artists when closer to a town or city. Ease your mind by taking note of the following tips!

Be sure to check the weather before you head out on a hike, and prepare yourself with the correct apparel, including a sturdy pair of hiking boots and a waterproof jacket for those wet days. When you hike alone, make sure you stay connected by leaving your itinerary with friends, family, or even the local forest service. Other simple, yet potentially life-saving, bits of advice include always having a first aid kit on you, following park rules, and being flexible to head back on a hike when the weather takes a turn for the worst.

For your own personal safety when in a town or city, make sure you stick to well-lit public areas, especially at night; don't flash any expensive jewelry, including watches; and be careful when handling cash, whether taking it out of your wallet or getting money from an ATM.

Getting around

Whether you're changing continents on your solo getaway or heading to your native country's most famous natural attraction, there are some tips for traveling alone that you'll want to bear in mind.

  • Get walking! There's no better way to understand the way of life of a destination than by wandering its trails, streets, and winding lanes. Make sure you stop off at local cafés and restaurants to get to know the residents and have a well-earned cold one!
  • Do your research. When flying in, be sure to look up the taxi prices from the airport before you arrive to avoid any greedy drivers.
  • Use local transport. Using the local means of travel can be a great way to get a feel for a place. When traveling to non-English speaking countries, make note of the bus, train, or tram times before you arrive. Believe us, your wallet will thank you!
  • Take a tour. Taking a tour is an easy way to get to know the area and will provide the perfect opportunity to get to know fellow travelers.
  • Stick to the trails! When out on an epic hike, don't overextend yourself and get lost in rough terrain. Stick to the paths set out in the hiking maps; after all, they're tried and tested!

Where to go

Below, you'll find some of the most eye-opening and exhilarating solo glamping experiences around the globe. From gazing at the distant stars and galaxies while sitting on a remote dune in the Sahara Desert to exploring vast underwater worlds, we have your unique solo trip covered.

Rejuvenate at a yoga retreat

Tapping into your inner self is a journey best made alone and a solo glamping escape to a calm and quiet yoga retreat is sure to leave you feeling rested and rejuvenated. With several bespoke hideaways to choose from, a health and mindfulness getaway is the perfect opportunity to focus on yourself and cleanse both body and soul.

Whether it's life coaching, a detox, or a wellness program you're looking for, glamping getaways, like these secluded yurts in California and cozy tree houses in Tennessee, will have you ready to say goodbye to the stresses of city life and namast-hey to peace and tranquility!

Stargaze in the Sahara Desert

Sometimes it takes getting lost to really find ourselves, and there aren't many more remote areas in the world than the soft dunes of the Sahara. Spanning almost 10 million square miles, this alien-like landscape can really put life into perspective.

A scenic seven-hour drive from the hustle and bustle of the winding streets of Marrakesh, nightfall in the immense desert at one of these fabulous tents is as revitalizing as it is thought-provoking. Tour companies like Tour Radar offer a wide range of trips for solo travelers, including camel treks, day tours to the ancient city of Ait Benhaddou (as seen in Indiana Jones), and even sandboarding lessons!

Explore the beauty and culture of northern Spain

Spain offers a divine mix of rich culture and tradition as well as breathtaking scenery, making it a fantastic spot to enjoy both peaceful solitude and fascinating history while traveling alone.

The northern region of Galicia, in particular, is home to incredible hot springs, rugged coastlines, and winding bike paths up in the rolling hills and mountains. The soft sands of Rodas Beach in the remote Cíes Islands also has a reputation as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world—making it a hard destination to beat for glampers looking to really get away from it all.

One of the best things about a solo trip is being to indulge yourself fully, so after a day spent soaking up the local charm, what could be better than your own personal oasis up in the trees, complete with a private hot tub?

Embrace your inner cowboy in Nevada

Make your solo glamping getaway to the Wild West, and plan a stay at a dude ranch in The Silver State. At an hour's drive from Las Vegas, you'll feel far from the beaten path, and days spent horseback riding, taking part in old-school cattle drives, and watching some world-class rodeo are sure to get your pulse racing.

The Mojave Desert is a wonder in and of itself, and wannabe cowboys will love the epic backdrop of real-life Americana. After sipping a cold one at the world-famous Pioneer Salon, glampers can return to their own tiny house in the desert for a night of uninterrupted stargazing.

Go on a safari in Africa

The lower Zambezi region of Zambia is renowned all over the world as one of the best places for big game viewing. Those adventurous enough to make the solo trip will be rewarded with breathtaking mornings watching the majestic Big Five roaming the vast plains of Africa—a great way to take some much needed time for some real inner reflexion.

Solo travelers can join a guided safari walk or even opt to view these magical creatures from the water with a fabulous canoe safari from Victoria Falls River Safari. After an action-packed day close to Mother Earth, a night of quiet contemplation from your private luxurious bathtub at this exotic safari escape cannot be beat.

Hike the epic Lost Lake Trail in Alaska

Generally regarded as one of the most stunning hiking routes in all of US, the 13.8-mile Lost Lake Trail offers incredibly diverse scenery of rolling meadows, mirror-like lakes, and soaring snow-covered mountaintops, and All Trails offer plenty of detailed maps and advice for visitors. Relatively easy to traverse on foot, this is the ideal daytime experience for solo hikers.

As the glittering Northern Lights make their appearance come nightfall, you'll be able to enjoy them from your cozy glamping accommodation, like one of these luxury canvas tents—an absolute must on your next Alaskan adventure!

Try adventure travel in Croatia

Perched on the Adriatic coast, the Velebit range is a UNESCO-protected World Biosphere Reserve and runs 145 kilometers through northern Croatia. In recent years, the steep cliffs and deep canyons have seen an influx of travelers looking for an extreme sports fan's paradise.

Companies like Adventure Driven Vacations offer some life-changing trips between February and November, which guarantee an adrenaline-pumping time! Their hair-raising tours and packages include bachelor skydiving, big wall climbing, and aerobatic flight experiences. Returning to a tranquil tipi engulfed by magical mountains is then the ideal respite after a day up in the clouds.

Road trip on the Great Ocean Road in Australia

Just a 90-minute drive from the center of Melbourne, the 249-mile stretch of road from Torquay to Nelson offers some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the southern hemisphere. Unmissable highlights along the way include the 12 Apostles, towering limestone stacks that rise majestically from the ocean; the gorgeous Bay of Islands, with its diverse ecosystem; and the quaint fishing village of Port Fairy, which is ideal for an afternoon bite.

With this enchanting gypsy wagon along the coastline, we've got your accommodation covered. Just make sure you have a playlist ready for your Australian road trip of a lifetime!

Scuba-dive in Belize

If endless ocean and relaxing beaches are your idea of a great solo trip, you've found the perfect option with a snorkeling vacation on one of Belize's beautiful islands. As the only English-speaking country in Central America, the region is easy to navigate alone; has an authentic Caribbean feel; and is full of ancient Mayan ruins, like those found at the Orange Walk District in the northwest.

Visitors looking to discover the fascinating underwater world of pristine reefs and coral, as well as get up close to the local clientele of spotted eagle rays and large southern stingrays can head off on a tour from SeaHorse Dive Shop. Once evening rolls around, there's nowhere better to sit back, ponder the day's adventures, and sip a cold beer than this elevated cabin right on the water.


Dying to delve into another travel guide? Check out what other countries, regions, and events we've covered for you already!

Host Spotlight: Tim and Helene

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 Tim and Helene and their romantic yurt near Yosemite National Park in Oakhurst, California.

The hosts, Helene and Tim.
Keep reading to see what Tim has to say about their property below!

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

Helene and I met on Cinco de Mayo in 2015. A local brew pub owner was having a party and invited me to join in the festivities. As the party was winding down and the sun nearing the horizon, I noticed Helene off by herself. Her son had invited her last minute, though I insist she crashed the party just to meet me! It was also rumored that the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight was going to be shown as a surprise, and Helene likes a good boxing match.

From that evening forward, we connected and did not look back. Helene had just landed a job managing a wine bar, which she loved. I had worked in L.A. making TV commercials for years, which allowed me to live five hours from the city when not working—a nice balance with nature.

A month into our relationship, Helene was diagnosed with cancer, and everything changed abruptly. When faced with life-threatening challenges, the importance of living each and every day to its fullest potential becomes vividly apparent. Sink or swim. Well, Helene beat the cancer, but she had lost her job in the process.

We decided that we wanted to control our destiny more than in the past. We realized that's not really possible, so we decided to say "steer our destiny in the right direction" instead! The idea to create a short-term rental came into play. With the help of a good friend, Thor, who is an architect, and Shelter Design Yurts, our dream took form. It took Helene and I a year to build it—a crew of two! Helene now has her own schedule. She also makes mine. So we said, Glamping Hub, here we come!

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

Helene has lived in our town for 46 years! She has been in the hospitality industry for the majority of that time. "From slinging burgers to pouring $400 bottles of wine, making people happy is what makes me happy," Helene says to me with a smile. It felt like a natural progression really…the only difference is there was no time card to punch!

I have made commercials in L.A. for over 20 years. I was fortunate to grow up here in Oakhurst! I needed to get out and see the world when I was younger, but it is always nice to come home. With our new opportunity here now, we are loving the freedom and the ability to meet people from all over the world!

Helene, with the couple's dog, Bru.

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

Well, first and foremost, Yosemite National Park is in our back yard! There is really nothing that says camping, or glamping, more than our wonderful national parks. When we first began formulating ideas about our future, we asked ourselves a few questions. What can we do that is healthy, rewarding, and close to home? It had to be artistic, make us proud, and have little or no environmental impact if it we here on our property. It had to fit in and embrace nature seamlessly.

A view of Shuteye Peak, a nearby mountain from which the hosts drew inspiration for the name of their glamping site.

We knew we were going to be working with a budget, and we knew we were going in it alone. We were going to be the two-man crew that got it all done! We went about finding the location to build on, much like we do when finding a camping site. It has to be aesthetically pleasing! Morning sun is a must, with afternoon shade and a view of the sunset when toasting friends, new and old! We love our creation. We absolutely enjoy sharing it with our guests. The wildlife, deer, birds and fresh smells just put a final touch on the perfect theme.

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

To be terribly honest, if it weren't for Helene, it would not be the same. She really has a passion for this and aims to make everything wonderful for our guests. Having said that, we have four distinct seasons. Each has their unique place.

Spring is drenched in greens and new growth. Flowers abound. Life emerges with a quiet roar. Summer has endless blue skies, with sleepy warm afternoons. Ahh, dream of high mountain tops, meadows full of flowers, and breathtaking falls as the snow thaws.

Fall is when it all winds down, and colors glow bright orange, yellow, and red in the evening light. It's certainly a pleasing visual pallet desired by most nature lovers! And, finally, winter. A quiet time of year here...listen for the first drops of rain. Smell the fire, and feel its warmth in the early evening. Nothing like it! We love the fire pit and star-filled nights. S'mores, anyone?

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

We love meeting new interesting people. We get many couples that are adventuring out into the wilds of Yosemite and then returning to relax at the end of the day in our peaceful yurt. It's the best of both worlds! As far as the challenges, I'd say keeping our guests happy and making sure everything is as good as we can make it for them. Bru, our yellow lab puppy who is turning into a mischievous dog, loves playing with our guests. The biggest challenge is to get your shoe back!

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

The wedding proposals are awesome and unexpected. One time, a gentleman from Singapore asked me if I would take photos hidden out of sight while he proposed! So I hid behind a tree and watched a life together unfold as he went down on one knee. I was so nervous! She said yes, and the rest is history.

Another couple stayed in our yurt and forwarded photos of their two hands together facing the ceiling of the yurt with a pretty engagement ring on—super fun! It has been a great celebration place for many birthdays, honeymoons and anniversaries, too. We are so happy and proud of that!

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

Magical, romantic, and peaceful.

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

We have had such a wonderful experience with all of our Glamping Hub guests. I think that people drawn to nature are the people we want to attract. We have had only the best things to say about our guests from all over the world. We are proud to be a part of the Glamping Hub family. Another good barometer is the awesome reviews our guest have given us!

Chetan, a guest we had from the U.K. last year, said, "Helene and Timothy have created an amazing, beautiful and blissfully peaceful space from which to explore Yosemite and surrounding areas. We loved the original art on the walls, the incredibly comfortable bed (best of our whole trip) and the little kitchenette. Thanks you so much, we'll be recommending your place to everyone!"

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

If only Anthony Bourdain, David Bowie, and my sister, Constance, were still with us! What a party that would be. Helene says we need some music, so B.B. King and John Lee Hooker! I bet the sound would be great in a yurt.

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

We're constantly making the yurt space better; we listen and learn from our guests. We're going to add another cool glamping site on our six acres—a tipi that is equally as secluded and special, which will be ready to book in 2020. It'll even have an outdoor shower! Thanks so much for letting us share our place with you.

Two happy guests who loved their stay at Tim and Helene's yurt.

Ready to head to California? Go experience the magic of Tim and Helene's glamping site firsthand!

Host Spotlight: Karen and Jon

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 Karen and Jon and their beautiful ranch with these luxury tents near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The hosts, Karen and Jon, relaxing on the front porch of their home at the ranch.
Keep reading to see what Karen has to say about their property below!

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

Our glamping site arose from a need of where to put all the family and friends that were coming to visit us at our new property in Westcliffe. We had built a small, 700-square-foot home and needed a place for them to sleep.

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

I'm an architect, and my husband is a hunting outfitter, so we were familiar with large canvas tent type accommodations from his outfitting business before we started our glamping site. What drew us to glamping were the luxury tents that we had seen online when I was trying to find inspiration for the timber framing of our tents.

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

Our accommodation fits the definition of glamping in that it truly is luxury camping in canvas tents with heavy timber frames. The ensuite full bathroom in each tent takes the luxury to a whole new level! Meanwhile, the barn-style kitchen and living space, which also form part of the accommodation, bring the ranching aspect to glamping.

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

The most special thing about our property is the incredible mountain views. The property sits right at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Watching our 30 horses grazing on the grass with the mountain views behind them makes it even more special.

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

What we love most about running our glamping site is that we have met the most incredible people! We've made some amazing friends along the way. Some of the challenges we have faced have been helping guests learn how to start a fire. Starting fires in the wood-burning stoves in the tents has been a real challenge for some of our guests, so one of the things we've done to help our guests stay warm all night is change the wood-burning stoves in the tents to gas stoves. Now, they can still have a beautiful fire, but stay warm and toasty all night! Guests still have several wood-burning fireplaces in the gathering areas that they can roast marshmallows on.

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

Our most memorable guest experience to date was a family that came from the East Coast that stayed for a week. Seeing how they were blown away by the views and how much they enjoyed having the horses around made us appreciate where we live even more.

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

Incredible, amazing, and unforgettable.

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

Our guests experience incredible mountain views in a remote setting with quiet evenings, incredible stars at night and unspoiled mountain views and scenery.

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

Kenny Chesney. We love him and his music!

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

We're adding a barn on the property that will have an amazing barn loft made of heavy timber, which guests will be able to rent for weddings, family reunions, and gatherings. We're also making the glamping tents available year-round for our guests starting this fall/winter.


Interested to know more about Karen, Jon, and their incredible glamping site? Check out the feature Colorado Homes Magazine did about this couple and their unique property. And make sure you go experience it firsthand, too!

5 ways glamping can help you do a digital detox

By Alexis Vega

From 1992, when the first smartphone was developed, and 2007, when the first iPhone hit the market, to today's plethora of options when it comes to mobile devices of all kinds, there has been a noticeable uptrend—starting in the early 2000s—in our consumption of social media, our app usage, and our need for the latest and greatest in new technology. We live connected to our devices, and we are constantly worried about being up-to-date about what is happening online at all times—so much so that we sometimes neglect our real lives. It's hard to acknowledge that we might be losing control and that we have reached a point in which our internet addiction might be affecting our mental health.

How are social media and the internet affecting mental health?

In a recent study, the University of Michigan found that the use of social media may “reflect and amplify the levels of narcissism." Further research conducted by the University of California concluded that the use of phones and laptops disrupts sleep cycles, which leads to sleep disorders.

It doesn't stop there, however; spending so much time on our devices has more of an impact on our brains than we think. So much so, in fact, that we've come up with new buzzwords, practices, and trends to help us modify our dependence or cut it out entirely.

More and more people are consciously disconnecting from social media and technology to do what is now widely known as a "digital detox." It has become so common that designated digital detox retreats, hotels, and camps are popping up and rapidly gaining popularity. With getaways specifically designed to help you disconnect from your mobile devices on the rise, why not try going technology-free on your next glamping adventure?

What are the benefits of a glamping digital detox?

Glamping is all about being outdoors in a natural setting. With thousands of secluded accommodations in nature—without having to sacrifice any amenities—the last thing you'll want to do is go online. Here are some ways glamping is ideal for a digital detox.

1. It brings you closer to nature

There is no place in the world where you can find more peace than in nature. Switch off from social media and enjoy the feeling. It is proven that nature has a positive impact on our well-being. Nature heals, it reduces anger, fear, stress, and anxiety.

2. The human connection has a stronger signal

When in the wild, who needs Wi-Fi? Time spent in nature improves the personal and human connection you have with yourself, your friends and family, and fellow travelers you meet along the way. Without the distraction of your smartphone, you naturally will make space to engage with others, strengthen your bonds with people and nature, and interact with your surrounding environment.

3. A good night's sleep is guaranteed

Looking at a screen before bedtime tricks your brain into thinking it needs to stay awake, and it prevents melatonin from being released. Without any devices around, all you need to worry about is gazing at the stars above as you fall asleep—guaranteeing you a wonderful night of rest and relaxation!

4. Re-learn how to live in the moment

Checking your social media, email, and other apps takes up so much of our time—so much so that a break from checking them will make you realize just how much time you were wasting refreshing your screen. You'll naturally start to pay better attention to what is going on around you at any given moment and start to pick up sights, scents, sounds, and sensations you were previously ignoring.

5. Enjoy time for personal growth

Without the need to check your phone every two seconds, you'll be able to focus on you—allowing yourself to have new experiences and try new things. Try your hand at an outdoor activity that you've never done before, like stand-up paddleboarding. Challenge yourself to finish two books over the course of a week. Make a new recipe for the first time. The world is your oyster, and you owe it to yourself to have space and time for personal growth.


Can't head out on a trip right now? Create an outdoor glamping experience in your backyard with this fun party idea. Make sure you have everyone leave their cell phones in a bowl at the door for the perfect day of disconnecting!

All the Labor Day cookout recipes you'll need

By Eric Wright

With Labor Day weekend rapidly approaching, it's time to start planning that annual family cookout—filled with mouth-watering food—and avoid a half-baked spread! Even though summer may be coming to an end and the kids are thinking about heading back to school, there's still time for one big backyard barbecue and all that's left to do is to organize the legendary menu. Without further ado, lettuce begin!

From Southern-style mains and grilled sides to tasty starters and vegetarian options, make your Labor Day weekend 2019 one to remember with these delectable recipes.

1. Steakhouse burgers

A delicious steakhouse burger recipe from Once Upon a Chef.

For many Americans, a juicy burger straight off the grill is the epitome of Labor Day celebrations, and these tender steakhouse morsels are sure to impress. The main ingredient and star of the show here is the 85% lean ground beef, which gets mixed with bread, salt, pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and scallions before hitting the flames. Whether you like your burgers medium-rare or well done, these patties are always packed full of flavor.

2. Spicy buffalo wings and buffalo sauce

A juicy buffalo wing recipe from A Fork's Tale.

If you're looking to sink your teeth into something hot and spicy this Labor Day, you've just found a match made in heaven. These spicy buffalo wings only take around 35 minutes to make, and you can add as many red hot chili flakes to the sauce to get that perfect level of heat. Hungering guests at your summer cookout will be raving about your recipe for months!

3. Corn wheels with hot honey butter

A corn wheel recipe from Good Housekeeping.

The sweet taste of corn wheels dripping in hot honey butter makes them the real side star of any Labor Day cookout with family and friends. With simple ingredients, like unsalted butter, honey, Kosher salt, habanero hot sauce, and, of course, the all-important ears of corn, neighbors and friends alike will be a-maized by the rich flavor.

4. Bacon jalapeño cheese dog

A bacon jalapeño cheese dog recipe from Hungry Doug.

Thick-cut bacon, premium cheddar cheese, spicy jalapeños, and sizzling hot dogs create the heavenly bacon and jalapeño cheese dog, which is sure to be a massive hit at any Labor Day party. Super simple to make and ready in only 30 minutes, you know what they say, "Sun's out, hot dog buns out!"

5. Creamy potato salad

A great potato salad recipe from Inspired Taste.

A large, creamy bowl of potato salad is a must-have on the menu come Labor Day, and with this recipe, you'll have even the pickiest eaters praising your cooking. All you'll need is celery, pickles, sweet red onion, hard-boiled eggs, fresh herbs, and regular household condiments to create this ap-peal-ing side dish—all in just over 30 minutes.

6. Veggie skewers

An easy veggie skewer recipe from The Forked Spoon.

Grilled veggie skewers are an ideal complement to any main dish served on Labor Day, and with a wide range of fresh ingredients, like zucchini, red onion, and bell peppers, and a dash of garlic sauce, it's a super healthy addition, too! The ingredients all have the same cooking time of around 10 minutes, making these perfectly charred skewers an instant hit.

7. Kansas City ribs

Photo courtesy of Kevin is Cooking.

A couple of racks of Kansas City ribs sitting on the table just dripping in a sweet, yet spicy, rub are going to have your friends coming back for seconds and thirds! The thick, sweet, and tangy sauce takes around 50 minutes to make, and once applied to the baby back or spare ribs, the only thing left to do is to grab a cold one and wait for the smoker to do its work.

8. Baileys s'mores

How can you resist these Baileys s'mores from All Recipes?

If sweet treats are your thing, here's the inside scoop on the perfect dessert—this delicious Baileys s'mores recipe. A ridiculously easy dessert to make, yet irresistibly tasty, all you need in the kitchen are graham crackers, large and mini-marshmallows, chocolate sauce, and, of course, that all-important bottle of Baileys Irish Cream.


Looking for somewhere to get away for Labor Day weekend? Look no further! We've even got some more recipe ideas for you, too.

How to prepare for low season and boost your bookings

By Fred Jéquier

For guests fortunate enough to be able to pick and choose when they're going on vacation, it's becoming increasingly more common to opt for a trip outside of high season, as low-season travel comes with its own rewards. With cheaper flights and little to no crowds at popular destinations, it's hardly surprising that off-season is becoming the time to indulge in a getaway. This is great news for hosts, but we've got five more tips to help you further prepare for low season and ensure you get a boost in bookings.

Whether you own a ski chalet in Colorado or a beach hut overlooking the ocean in Hawaii, let us help you get your accommodation the exposure it deserves, no matter what time of year it is.

1. Rethink your demographic

No matter if your vacation rental is overlooking the ocean or set deep in the heart of the mountains, peak seasons tend to fall around school vacations. Marketing your rental is relatively easy during that time frame, as you can really sell the idyllic family getaway to entice guests to book. Once school starts again, however, you need to think about who is going to be planning their trip and how you can get involved in off-season tourism.

Your target market will likely shift to those who don't have parental responsibilities, such as single people, young couples, couples who don't have children, and those whose kids have flown the coop. This gives you a wide spectrum of people to market to, and you can even try and make your rental appealing for weekend group getaways, encouraging college or school reunions.

2. Adjust your rates accordingly

Photo courtesy of Upwork.

One of the benefits of heading on an off-season trip is that the cost of getting from Point A to Point B becomes significantly cheaper. Major airlines launch all kinds of promotions and discounts to encourage people to head out on a trip, even though most of them are already back to school pick-ups and full days at the office. By lowering your prices during this period of time, you can tap into this demographic that could be swayed by a reduced rate. You'll have guests lining up for a memorable getaway at your accommodation in no time!

3. Minimize your minimum night stay

While your goal is to ensure that your booking calendar is as full as possible throughout the year, guests are looking for a bargain to ensure they end up with the best off-season vacation possible. During low season, you may want to consider changing your minimum night stay to encourage more bookings. You could even go one step further by offering deals for multiple-night stays! Why not offer three nights for the price of two or encourage a week-long stay by giving guests one of the nights for free?

4. Update your unique aspects for all seasons

Depending on your location, your peak season could be in either summer or winter. Nevertheless, you've more than likely got some photos and information in your listing that show potential guests some of the more popular activities for a vacation during high season. To get off-season travelers knocking on your door, you should add some tips and advice about activities, festivals, and events unique to your area for low season, too.

If summer is your high season, let people now about your local harvest festival in the fall or annual Christmas market in winter. Alternatively, if winter is when guests come flocking, make sure you're telling potential guests about the nearest summer fair or outdoor movie series. Additionally, seasonal photos that show how amazing it would be to enjoy a trip to your rental, regardless of the time of year, will also attract more booking requests during the off season.

5. Reassure with reviews

Reviews go a long way in encouraging other people to book a stay. Prospective guests appreciate the chance to read an honest, individual description about someone's time at your accommodation. It's important, however, to make sure you get reviews from guests during both low and high seasons. Even a couple of sentences from a guest that stays with you in the off season may be enough to give a future guest the reassurance they need that your place is perfect for their getaway, no matter what month it is.


Find out firsthand how our Glamping Hub hosts make sure guests come back time and again in our Host Spotlight blog series!

Endless summer: Year-round warm-weather destinations

By Arran Wallace

With the June solstice firmly behind us, summer is gradually drawing to a close. The nights are getting longer, and the weather is getting colder, causing many of us to daydream of a summer that never ends. Wouldn't that be lovely? Imagine it—warm weather in December instead of bracing yourself against whipping winds, sub-zero temperatures, and heavy snowstorms. While it's not possible to bring the warm beach weather of the Caribbean to a Midwest winter, you can escape the cold and snow.

Head out to one of these warm vacation spots from November through February, as these places boast year-round warm temperatures and sunny weather!

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Fundadores Park on Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Photo courtesy of MissTourist.com

In Mexico, the Riviera Maya can be found on the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean, and is a popular location for both locals and tourists. The region boasts a low tropical climate, with mean annual temperatures ranging from 75 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and the jungles and beaches one expects from the Caribbean.

Popular activities include swimming with dolphins, jet skiing, and scuba diving, as you might expect, but the region is also home to some incredibly preserved Mayan ruins. History buffs and culture vultures will love a visit to Tulum on the coast or Chichen Itza, which is two hours inland. The area is serviced by the Cancún International Airport, with many direct flights from the U.S.

Central Valley, Costa Rica

One of the many waterfalls in La Paz Waterfall Gardens in Costa Rica.
Photo courtesy of Costa Rica Guide.

Costa Rica's Central Valley, where the capital of San José is, has a tropical wet and dry climate, and average temperatures vary very little, with averages of 71 degrees Fahrenheit in October and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in April. The result is an incredibly fertile terrain, teeming with lush jungles, winding rivers, and impressive volcanoes, making it one of the best vacation spots for trekking and adventure.

Visitors can explore the rainforests and mountains by hiking, rafting, zip-lining, and taking an aerial tram above the tree canopy. Meanwhile, the city of San José offers a variety of urban and cultural activities. This is likely the first port of call for most visitors, with the Juan Santamaría International Airport just 12 miles west.

Santa Barbara, California

Tall palm trees in Santa Barbara, California.
Photo courtesy of The Blonde Abroad.

As you might expect from southern California, temperatures in Santa Barbara are pleasant throughout the whole year. Even during winter, from November to March, temperatures can climb up into the 60s in the afternoon—the perfect, warm, beach weather for barefoot walks on the sand, albeit perhaps a little too brisk for a dip in the sea for all but the very brave!

During the summer, visitors can rent out paddleboards, kayaks, and bikes to explore Butterfly Beach and the harbor. Visiting in winter, you can avoid the crowds and go shopping on State Street or visit the bohemian Funk Zone, with its art galleries and boutiques. Once you work up an appetite, there are dozens of unique eateries to satisfy your cravings, including everything from Japanese to Mexican cuisine.

Canary Islands, Spain

The incredible Mount Teide, an active volcano on Tenerife, one of Spain's Canary Islands.
Photo courtesy of Rough Guides.

Spain's Canary Islands, located off the western coast of Morocco, have a subtropical and desert climate, which is regulated by the ocean winds, The end result is mild temperatures all year round, with a low of 65 degrees Fahrenheit in January and a high of 76 degrees Fahrenheit in August—making these islands one of the best beach vacations in Europe at any time of the year.

There are seven islands in total, and all boast sublime beaches and the opportunity go scuba diving, whale watching, and sky diving for a unique view of the islands. On the island of Tenerife, though, is where you will find Teide National Park and Mount Teide, Earth's third tallest volcanic structure.

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Photo courtesy of Adventurous Kate.

The coolest and wettest entry in our list, nor strictly a land of endless summer, Stellenbosch still boasts warm weather in December, January, and February, due to its location in the southern hemisphere. Located to the east of Cape Town in South Africa, Stellenbosch is famous for being the main wine region of South Africa, and as such, visitors flock from all around the world to visit the vineyards and wineries to sample their wares.

Don't like wine? Not to worry! There are two nature reserves nearby, Jonkershoek and Jan Marais, both of which offer hiking and mountain biking routes, as well as fantastic spots for games with the family or romantic picnics. The more adventurous will enjoy Pete's Adventure Farm, where you can go ATVing, do some horseback riding, or try your hand at archery. Giraffe House is home to—you guessed it—giraffes and other animals, making it a great option for a day out with the family.

Bangkok, Thailand

Chatuchak Market, one of the largest in the world, located in Bangkok, Thailand.
Photo courtesy of The Crazy Tourist .

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is one of the best vacation spots in winter, boasting average temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit in these months. In fact, the temperature barely changes all year, and its seasons can be divided into three—hot, rainy, and cool—although their cool is our hot! The city itself is famous for its incredible nightlife, fantastic street food, and as a base to explore the beaches on the Gulf of Thailand, where you can go whale watching and scuba diving.

Other attractions in the city include the fascinating Grand Palace and nearby, the Wat Pho Buddhist Temple, which is home to a 46-meter-long, gold-plated, reclining Buddha statue. The best way to get around is by taking a "sky train," where you can see Bangkok from a height in the comfort of an air-conditioned carriage. If possible, try to visit between April 13-15, when Songkran, or Thai New Year's, is celebrated. The whole city breaks out into a huge water fight! It's not just a way to keep cool, even though it definitely helps; the tradition comes from the Buddhist belief that this will wash away any sins and bad luck.

Dahab, Egypt

Relax by the pool overlooking the sea in Castle Zaman in Dahab, Egypt.
Photo courtesy of Castle Zaman.

Dahab, Egypt, is located on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula and has a hot desert climate. Tempered by the winds coming in off the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea, the city ends up having nice weather year-round. October is a great time to visit, as, by then, the highest temperatures have passed, and the town begins to cool. A whole world away from the chaos of downtown Cairo and the pyramids, Dahab is a mellow beach town on the backpacker trail and is famous for being one of the best diving spots in Africa.

In addition to scuba diving, you can also explore the land surrounding the town on horseback or by camel, giving you an insight into the local Bedouin culture, as they gallop through the desert canyons to drink traditional tea at an oasis. The area is also home to St. Catherine's Monastery, which was built upon the spot where Moses was said to have encountered the burning bush. As if that weren't enough, the monastery is found at the foot of Mount Sinai, the 7,497-foot mountain where the Ten Commandments were received by Moses.


Feeling inspired? Keep exploring on Glamping Hub to find where you're going to extend your summer!

Stand-up paddleboarding: Where and how

By Eleanor Stanesby

Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, is one of the fastest growing water sports around the world. People are swapping out their kayaks—the former reigning champ—and trying their hand at this balance-testing activity. The origin of stand-up paddleboarding is traced back to Hawaii, where it was originally used for more practical reasons, such as traveling distances or fishing.

The sport has now become recreational, thanks to local surfers who invented the sport as a way to still get out on the ocean when the waves got low in summertime. They also realized that stand-up paddleboarding was much quicker and easier to learn than surfing—therefore making it available to a much broader audience and allowing its popularity to skyrocket.

Get ready to learn everything you need to know about how to stand-up paddleboard—and where the best places to do it are!

Photo courtesy of Seabreeze.

Where to go

If you're planning a trip or a vacation near the water soon—be that an ocean, a river, or a lake—you're in the right place to give stand-up paddleboarding a go. When weather permits, it's the perfect, fun-filled activity to include on any trip's itinerary, in addition to being a great full body workout once you've mastered it!

The perks of this water sport don't stop there, though. While stand-up paddleboarding, you're bound to be surrounded by a stunning natural environment, all while floating along a tranquil lake or sparkling river and having the utmost fun with this serene, yet challenging, activity.

The following are some of our favorite destinations:

Oahu, Hawaii

Photo courtesy ofISLE.

What better place to learn how to stand-up paddleboard than in the birthplace of the sport? Oahu, Hawaii, is known for it's epic big wave surfing, but in the summer when the waves are calmer, this is the perfect destination for both beginners and pros. Not only famous for it's epic water sports, the tranquil, clear waters; white, sandy beaches; and soaring temperatures are also a huge bonus when heading to this beautiful island.

British Columbia, Canada

Photo courtesy of Tripaneer.

British Columbia, Canada, is filled with reflective lakes and meandering rivers, and these peaceful waters make this the ideal place for SUP beginners. The possibilities are endless for diverse stand-up paddleboarding and sightseeing while here—and the incredible views will leave you in awe while doing so, too!

Portugal

Photo courtesy of Portugal Sport.

It's not hard to see why stand-up paddle boarding is so popular in Portugal, with its 1,793 kilometers of coastline to explore. You can explore the caves in the Algarve, or head to Luiz Saldanha Marine Park to go paddleboarding in an aquarium-like setting. With crystal clear waters and up to 70 meters of visibility, this spot is totally unique.

The need-to-know

Paddleboarding in Hawaii from Turtle Bay Resort.

Getting a feel for stand-up paddleboarding should only take 30 minutes or less, depending on how good your balance is. For first-timers, it's recommended to find calm waters and head out with a friend, in order to increase your chances of succeeding while learning this new skill.

Equipment

Minimal equipment is required, and it all can be rented from a water sports shop. The three main items are:

  • A paddleboard
  • A paddle
  • A life jacket

Techniques

Once you have your equipment, you can head to the water to start this adventure. Simply put, it's all about balance—using strength from your core to keep you upright and centered while on the water. The three most important parts of learning this water sport are: how to stand up properly, how how to balance while paddling, and how to fall.

Someone learning how to stand up on the paddleboard.
Photo courtesy of REI.

Trying to stand-up immediately as you get on the board is most likely going to end in disaster. Climb on the board while using your knees to balance, and head out into deeper water, away from the shallow shores. Once you feel comfortable, you can then begin to stand, one foot at a time. Plant your feet where your knees were and place the paddle horizontal along the board to anchor your balance.

Someone successfully standing on the paddleboard.
Photo courtesy of REI.

Once you're standing, you must rely on your core balance to keep you from falling. Your feet should be hip-width apart, and your weight should be evenly distributed. Keep your gaze on the horizon and avoid staring at your feet; this will help you keep your balance and avoid falling into the water.

What to do if you fall

Learning a new skill is always a challenge and will come with its wins and failures during the learning process. Falling is all a part of the fun when learning how to stand-up paddleboard; however, knowing how to fall correctly is important in order to avoid getting injured.

Pro Tips:

  • Fall to the side to avoid the board.
  • Try to fall flat to avoid hitting your head.
  • Hold onto your paddle.

You'll be paddling off into the sunset and off to your next scenic trip in no time!


Paddle off into the sunset and onto your next scenic trip! Here's some inspiration on where to head—and some other adventure sports you can give a shot.