Affordable family vacations for summer break

By Eric Wright

With summer well on its way and temperatures heating up, it's time to plan that well-deserved summer getaway with the family. Whether you're looking for your next camping trip in New York or heading to the West Coast for some Californian sunshine, these unique getaways are sure to inspire you to stay somewhere out of the ordinary this year. At less than $160 dollars a night, these rentals are sure to keep the kids—and your wallet!—happy.

1. Coastal Cabin on Herron Island, Washington

From $148.17 a night, this stunning retreat offers up to six guests a vacation full of peace and quiet on a secluded island—and the opportunity for some quality family time spent out on the calm waters with a canoe or kayak. With a beautifully-decorated interior, elegant bedrooms, and a sprawling deck with gorgeous views that overlook Puget Sound, a vacation here will leave the whole gang feeling relaxed, rested, and rejuvenated.

2. Cabin Rental in the Mojave Desert, California

From $154.48 a night, this charming cabin rests on two private acres in Joshua Tree National Park and is ideal for four glampers to enjoy a summer getaway full of awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets. The location also offers some of the best conditions to stargaze, warm cup of cocoa in hand. After days spent getting to know the local wildlife in nearby Eureka Peak and Quail Mountain, what could be better than slipping into your very own clawfoot bathtub?

3. Charming Cabin near Woodstock, New York

From $134.82 a night, this classic cabin rental near Woodstock, New York, is the epitome of a tranquil vacation surrounded by nature. With space for just two glampers, the pet-friendly retreat is the perfect place for a bonding opportunity while exploring the lake on the provided canoe, toasting s'mores around the fire pit, and grilling up some tasty snacks on the barbecue.

4. Luxury Cottage in Texas

From $138.42 a night, this adorable cottage sleeps up to six guests, making it the perfect choice for a Texan-style vacation with a twist. Located just outside of Bandera, glampers can spend the day exploring the cowboy capital of the world before retiring to their home-away-from-home for a few colds drinks out on the lovely deck and a soothing dip in the private hot tub.

5. Rustic Cabin near Mount Hood, Oregon

From $97.11 a night, this fairytale cabin, built all the way back in 1927, is an ideal choice for four glampers looking to discover the Oregon wilderness. Guests will love waking up to the sunlight streaming in, the peaceful sounds of the forest all around, and the charming decor found throughout the cabin. Discover all that Mt. Hood National Forest has to offer during the day before heading back to the cabin for some well-earned chill-out time in the private hot tub. With pets allowed, your trusty pooch will be thanking you for this vacation, too!

6. Camping Tent near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

From $122.35 a night, this cozy tent rental in the woodlands of Tennessee makes for a great mother-daughter retreat. In the morning, the sounds of the forest make the deck a peaceful place to sit back and reflect with a coffee before another great day of hiking, cycling, or whitewater rafting. This rental really is the perfect choice for those looking for an off-the-grid vacation in a beautiful setting.

7. Log Cabin near Zion National Park, Utah

From $75.05 a night, this is the classic log cabin getaway. Soaring ceilings, expansive windows, plush seating, and a roaring fireplace make the living area a fabulous spot to kick back after a day out in one of the several national parks that dot the landscape. With enough space to sleep six guests, the whole family will be talking about this Utah summer vacation for years to come.

8. Vacation Rental near East Vail, Colorado

From $132.14 a night, this vacation rental can sleep up to eight guests—ideal for larger families to enjoy a holiday surrounded by the majestic mountains of Colorado. The kids will love the loft area, where they can have their own space while parents enjoy an evening around the fireplace, cold drink in hand. The balcony just off the living room is also a peaceful spot to relax in the evening while listening to the sounds of Mother Nature.

9. Dome Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia

From $154.77 a night, this luxury dome offers a one-of-a-kind retreat in Georgia. Sleeping up to five guests, the interior of this unique structure boasts some fantastic touches, such as charming wooden furniture, rustic decor, and luxurious bedding. After spending some quality time as a family up in the Appalachian Mountains, you can return to your stunning accommodation and rustle up some burgers on the barbecue before having a relaxing soak in the outdoor tub.

10. Tipi and Vintage Camper near Lake Michigan

From $129.20 a night, this rental consists of both a tipi and a vintage camper, accommodating three guests comfortably. The luxury tipi comes with a queen-size bed and gorgeous Indian rugs, while the vintage camper, located just a few steps away is ideal for the kids. An outdoor shower, comfy seating, a fire pit, and a barbecue complete the exterior set up—ensuring nights are spent together around the fire, chatting late into the evening about each day's adventures on and around Lake Michigan.


For more ideas for a budget-friendly getaway for the whole family, check out our collections and continue browsing on Glamping Hub!

Top places to book for a unique Memorial Day

By Jackie Dreyer

Each year on the last Monday in May, we take the time in the U.S. to celebrate Memorial Day in honor of those who have passed while serving the country. Many people take the opportunity to pack up and have a relaxing holiday weekend away—a wonderful way to spend some quality time with family and friends.

If you haven't booked your Memorial Day getaway yet, check out some of our guests' top choices from last year that still have availability for this year!

California

Petaluma

This unique property near downtown Petaluma, California, with multiple Airstream rentals has availability May 24-27.

Idyllwild


This charming cabin rental—complete with a large deck and private hot tub—near Idyllwild, California, has availability May 24-27.

Colorado

Steamboat Springs

This cozy log cabin near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, features views of views of Hahns Peak and has availability May 24-27.

Breckenridge

This stunning A-frame cabin in Breckenridge, Colorado, has availability May 24-27.


New York

Granville

There are four yurts at this glamping property in Granville in Upstate New York, and there is availability in one of the 20-foot yurts, in the 24-foot yurt, and the 30-foot yurt for May 24-27.

Honeoye

This woodland cabin rental in the Finger Lakes region of Honeoye, New York, has availability for May 24-27. (Don't forget to ask about their other cabins and tipi, too!)

Texas

Wimberley

This unique cabin rental by Cypress Creek in Wimberley, Texas, has its own swimming pool and hot tub, and has availability May 25-26.

Round Top

This spacious cottage rental near Lake Fayette in Round Top, Texas, has availability May 24-27—and a swimming pool, too!

Washington

Bainbridge Island

This luxury tipi rental on Bainbridge Island in Washington State has availability May 25-27.

Longview

This simple, creekside cabin rental in Longview, Washington, has availability May 26-27.

Oregon

Coos Bay


This retro-style vacation rental in Coos Bay, Oregon, has availability May 26-27 and will help you get both your woodlands and waterfront fix.

Lakeview

This rustic cabin rental in the Warner Mountains of Lakeview, Oregon, has availability May 24-27.


For even more Memorial Day options, keep browsing on Glamping Hub!

Travel Guide: California's wine regions

By Eric Wright

Over 200 years ago, Franciscan missionaries, led by Spanish priest Saint Junípero Serra, started the first Roman Catholic mission to California—Mission San Diego de Alcalá—and the future of The Golden State was altered forever. Along with planting palm trees to provide palm fronds for Palm Sunday, wine was needed for communion, leading to the first sustained vineyard. Serra went on to found a further eight California missions earning himself the nickname "Father of California Wine."

Although wine production continued to steadily grow in the region, marketing became a problem for Southern California winemakers during the mid-1900s until a blind tasting competition was held in Paris in 1976. The panel of French wine experts selected three of the Californian Chardonnays in the top four, shocking the wine community and effectively opening up the U.S wine market to the world.

Nowadays, California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world, with thousands of vineyards shipping up to 250 million cases throughout the globe annually. The winding country roads and elegant wineries attract visitors from all over the world—providing a getaway full of good food, quaint towns, and of course, fine wines!

Before you go and good to know

Getting there and around

Whether you're heading up north to check out the vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Mendocino Anderson Valley or making your way south in search of Paso Robles and Santa Barbara, San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK), and Sacramento (SMF) airports all offer a great central starting point to explore California's wine regions.

Most visitors to the area rent a car at the airport upon arrival, and with the charming country lanes and great year-round weather, cruising around with the windows down and a favorite tune on the stereo is sure to be a highlight in this idyllic region.

Culture

Events

Apart from world-renowned wines, California's wine country is full of rich history, imaginative artistry, and unforgettable aerial exploits. Napa Valley's centuries-old settlements offer a fascinating afternoon while the plazas in town showcase curious Napa ARTwalk exhibitions. During June, the Country Summer Music Festival boasts some of the countries best musicians, while the Beerfest fundraiser in Santa Rosa provides a mouthwatering respite for the lager lovers in the group.

For a truly magical experience, rising up through the clouds over the stunningly beautiful meadows and valleys in a hot air balloon will make for the perfect end to the vacation.

Food and drink

With literally thousands of options for wine tasting in the region, it's important to keep those stomachs full and content while roadtripping through the scenic meadows. The customary cheese board may leave you feeling a bit peckish, so a visit to a high-end Michelin star restaurant or a traditional farm-to-table experience may be on the cards.

Some highlights in the area include Kenzo Napa, a sushi restaurant in Napa that is led by three-Michelin-starred chef Hiroyuki Kanda; Guiso Latin Fusion in Healdsburg with its Caribbean and Salvadorian mix; St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Santa Rosa with its multi-course small dishes and wine pairings; and Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton that offers locally-sourced farm-to-table meals.

Places to visit

1. Anderson Valley in Mendocino

With over 90 wineries, an incredible variety of grapes, and sustainable eco-friendly and organic practices, the progressive winemakers and tasting rooms of Mendocino County offer a less crowded and more wallet-friendly alternative to the more well-known Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Just a two-hour drive north of San Fransisco on Highway 101 through Sonoma County and forested hillsides will lead you to Anderson Valley, famous for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Alsace varieties of Pinot Gris and Riesling.

One of the premier spots to savor refined Pinot Noirs is Goldeneye Winery in Philo, which offers seated wine tastings from just $15, as well as more personalized experiences, such as elevated tasting sessions, bubbles and caviar, and a guided wine tour of the estate.

The friendly, small-town atmosphere in the area means that visitors can often expect to find themselves chatting with the founder of the winery while enjoying a wine tasting for as little as $5! One such family-owned winery is Foursight Wines in Booneville, which the Charles family has owned since 1943. Other stops include Balo Vineyards with its relaxed atmosphere; Drew Family Cellars tasting rooms; and the father-and-son-run Baxter Winery that boasts a reputable Pinot Noir.

2. Napa Valley

Generally regarded as one of the premier winemaking regions in the world, Napa Valley's fertile soil and pleasant year-round weather allow for top-quality wine grapes to thrive here. Commercial wine production in the area dates all the way back to the 1800s, although it wasn't until the results of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 that the area's fine wines received global recognition.

Today, some 5 million people visit the over 400 wineries every year, allowing vacationers to sip some award-winning wines while soaking in the stunning vineyard views and vibrant sunshine. Whether its fruity Merlots, full-bodied Cabernets, or superior Chardonnays you're looking for, the tasting rooms at Darioush Winery, Chateau Montelena, V.Sattui Winery, Luna Vineyards, and Andretti Winery offer an eclectic mix of celebrity-run wineries, modern estates, and grand châteaus—all while serving some of the best wines found anywhere in the world.

With the valley floor spanning just five miles across and 30 miles at its longest point, Napa Valley is actually one of the smallest winemaking regions, in addition to being one of the most famous, making it the ideal day trip. When touring the gorgeous estates and vineyards, be sure to try a glass of the renowned king of Napa, the prized Cabernet Sauvignon!

3. Sonoma Valley

Less than an hour's drive from Napa, Sonoma Valley is home to over 80 wineries and picture-perfect vineyards that sprawl over 10,000 acres of land. Heralded as the birthplace of California's commercial wine industry in the 1850s, visitors to this fabulous spot can experience a wine-tasting afternoon at Gundlach Bundschu, the state's oldest continuously family-run winery that was founded back in 1858.

The Carneros wine region in the south abounds with top-notch Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while Syrah and regional white varietals, such as Roussanne and Marsanne, are also becoming popular in the quaint tasting rooms. Traveling on past the Boyes Hot Springs puts you in the mountainous terrain of Glen Ellen, where old-vine Zinfandel has been grown since the 1850s.

A visit to Sonoma wouldn't be complete without a trip to Buena Vista Winery, the oldest commercial winery in California founded in 1857. Other top stops in the area include Ravenswood Winery with its superb Zinfandel; Benziger Winery with its stunning setting in an impressive volcanic bowl; and the picturesque, 16,000-square-foot Ledson Winery inspired by French Normandy.

Those looking for some small town charm shouldn't miss the chance to wander the adorable streets of Healdsburg, with its eclectic shops, buzzing art galleries, and top-notch restaurants and bars. Set between three of the premier wine-growing regions in the area—the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley—Healdsburg makes for the perfect Sonoma Valley pit stop.

4. Santa Cruz Mountains

Encompassing approximately 480,000 acres and 1,300 acres of wine grapes, the majestic ridges and coastal mountains of Santa Cruz create the ideal microclimate for world-class wine production. An iconic drive from San Fransisco along an epic 50-mile stretch of towering peaks and endless ocean will lead you to this special terrain that is home to over 70 wineries.

Santa Cruz itself is a charming coastal town, surrounded by soaring redwoods and full of stylish boutiques and eateries. The city even enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year! Winding country roads make their way up from the coast to the mountainous wine region, where Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir tastings can be enjoyed at former mill, Storrs Winery, or Pelican Ranch, which has some of the best Burgundy and Rhone-style varietals in the area.

These quiet hillsides are dotted with small vineyards just waiting to be explored like Ridge Vineyards, generally regarded as one of the best in the area; the MJA Vineyards Tasting Room, with its racy selection of wines, such as "Still Horny," "French Kiss," and "Sweet Thang"; and Storrs Winery & Vineyards, which offers Pinot Noir varietals, including Dijon and Pommard, as well as French varietals like Burgundy.

With so many tasting rooms and vineyards to discover in this unique region, it's advisable to allow a few days to truly soak up the mellow atmosphere of the mountainous wine country, as well as the boho-chic vibe and stunning coastline of the city of Santa Cruz.

5. Paso Robles

Home to more than 200 wineries, the enchanting area of Paso Robles is easily accessible from both Los Angeles and San Francisco via the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. The area abounds with wines made from grapes originally grown in Rhône, France, including Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Picpoul Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne, with Cabernet Sauvignon increasingly gaining in popularity. The optimal grape-growing conditions found here are thanks to the best day-to-night temperature swing in California, which brings with it a long growing season, unique microclimates, and a variety of soil types.

Wine aficionados are spoiled for choice with the selection of tasting rooms to explore, and the expansive river valley floodplains and boundless slopes offer brilliant driving conditions. One of the top winemakers to visit is Justin Winery, with its 25 vintages, including Isosceles—owner Justin Baldwin's interpretation of a big Bordeaux,, which was named in the top 10 wines on the planet in 2000 by Wine Spectator.

Other unmissable stops include the gorgeous Bianchi Winery, California's Zinfandel Champion in 2014; the romantic Villa San Juliette, owned by American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe; Halter Ranch, with its sustainably farmed Rhône and Bordeaux wines; and Eberle Winery and its incredible wine cave!

The town of Paso Robles town itself has a laid-back atmosphere, with a strong wild west soul. After some quality wine tasting during the day, visitors can head over to the Vina Robles Amphitheater for some live music; dine at some farm-to-table restaurants, such as Thomas Hill Organics; or crack open a cold one at BarrelHouse Brewing Co. while listening to local bands.

6. Santa Barbara

The unique geography and mild climate of Santa Barbara's wine country make the Santa Ynez and Santa Maria Valleys two of the most beautiful wine producing regions in the world. The perfect location of "America's Riviera" means that visitors can enjoy the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail, all while having world-class surfing and stunning coastlines at just 30 minutes away.

The rolling hills of Santa Barbara wine country can be found nestled between two epic mountain ranges, rising up to 3,400 feet, and the most popular wines made here include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc. Within the Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyard spans over 900 acres and is renowned for its top class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while the 77,000 acres of the Santa Ynez Valley are known for their Bordeaux blends, Rhône blends, and Zinfandels, as well as a crisp Sauvignon Blanc at Brander Vineyard, which offers tastings seven days a week.

Some other highlights in the area include Presqu'ile Winery, located in the north, with its beautiful tasting rooms and sweeping view; Municipal Winemakers, which offers a casual, beach vibe; Brander Vineyard and its ongoing quest for the perfect Sauvignon blanc; and Rusack Vineyards, a boutique vinyeard with seemingly endless fields of gorgeous vines amid the natural beauty of Ballard Canyon.


Debating where to stay in California's Wine Country? Let us help you out—click here!

Host Spotlight: Julia K.

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 Julia, who manages this vintage travel trailer near Los Angeles, California.

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

When my husband, Michael, and I bought our property in 2011, I realized the potential to develop a "trailer zone" near the rather forlorn and abandoned wood interior office trailer from 1963 that was near the shipping container. Both were left on the northern half of our acre by the former owner. We had to do a lot of cleaning and junk removal, but it became a nice alternative bedroom and art supplies storage unit.

The open land and framework nearby inspired me to build out and get another trailer for a nice guest area. In 2016, I found one for sale in New Orleans, so we went out there and bought her. Michael and the seller brought her back and up the hill, where she now permanently resides.

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

I grew up camping quite a bit with my family across the U.S., always car camping to visit relatives between California and Maine. I also have extensive backpacking experience in the Sierra Nevada and Vancouver Island. As adults, we have both traveled widely internationally and love the excitement of wild places. We both enjoy adventuring, hiking and freelance employment—me in the fashion industry and Michael as owner of Seaman Battens.

The popularity of restoration and ownership vintage trailers, as well as glamping in them, is widespread. We want to offer a similar experience in a highly collectible trailer for future guests who are still dreaming about, or working on their trailers, as well as those who are searching for a totally unforgettable stay.

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

In every way! Our 1954 Spartan Manor trailer and 1963 vintage office trailer are extremely collectible and both quite rare. The site itself is spectacular, and somehow the short steep road is just right to get a feeling of remoteness and distance from everyday life.

The trailer zone is fully outfitted for luxurious relaxation, with numerous lounging options and trails nearby for exploring. It offers guests privacy, open air, nature at the doorstep, and civilized amenities, such as shade, comfortable furniture, a well-equipped kitchen, and a bathroom with hot shower.

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

It has to be the view. Or Bella, our beautiful dog. The first we have gotten used to, the latter we adore, and our guests love her, too. Hiking with Bella off-leash is a great experience; just watching her leap like a gazelle and enjoy life reminds us to try that, too.

The trailer zone is special because it is self-contained and grants a feeling of serenity and privacy. Inside our house, we also get that.

In the springtime, the green, grassy hillsides and valley below are so stunning. 900 feet below us, at the valley level, we even have a water view! The ecology pond inside the nature preserve is designed to hold enough water through the dry season for the wild animals.


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

I really enjoyed building it and choosing all the materials—designing with recycled, repurposed, and reclaimed items found or sourced online. I learned that if you look long enough, you do find the great stuff!

We love to share our home and the trailer zone with friends, family, and guests. On a first visit, it is always really gratifying to see people's reactions to what we have achieved through the development of our property.

We are expecting to have some upkeep; because of the age of the trailer, some furnishings and materials might need to be repaired or replaced. We will continue to restore the trailer and protect her from getting damaged. Encouraging guests to be easy on the old girl is important.

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

We had a couple here during the painted ladies butterfly migration. I think they planned to leave for the day, but they ended up lounging, relaxing and watching thousands of butterflies drift by on their journey to Oregon. It really was an amazing sight to see them floating by, five feet above the ground and in a straight line over obstacles. The guests even mentioned it in their review!

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

Unique, hiking, and view.

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

The trailer is completely furnished with custom-made and designer-sourced, one-of-a-kind items—right down to the plates and silverware. We stock fresh English muffins, eggs, and butter; and snacks, breakfast drinks, and condiments are supplied. Guests sleep in an extremely comfortable bed, dressed with high-end, super soft, 100% cotton linens.

We offer all guests a guided hiking experience nearby on the private trails, and we take Bella, too. The guests just love watching her antics! We also offer them to come visit our house, which is just 50 yards away; we want to make sure they know that we are there in case of any problems or questions.


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

We would love to meet Yvon Chouinard. He is strong, admirable, and smart—a true leader and lover of nature and of life.

"He is widely recognized for his unique corporate style and philosophy, and his visionary environmental leadership." - Doug Bruns

"Yvon Chouinard has come to embody something near-mythic: a life lived hard-on-the-edge, perfectly and gracefully." - Doug Stanton

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

The building phase did finally end after more than two years since bringing the Spartan Manor to Chatsworth. We always set up the outdoor bed, outdoor umbrellas, and all the extra outdoor furnishings on May 1. We would like to focus on providing positive, unique guest experiences and to meet fun and respectful guests who think it our property is as special as we do.


To book an unforgettable stay with your special someone at Julia's vintage travel trailer in California, click here!

Photo credit goes to both Sibylle Allgaier and Ethan Abitz. Video credit goes to Ethan Abitz.

Host Spotlight: Mina and Rich

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 Mina and Rich, who manage this stunning tipi rental in the Catskills of Upstate New York.

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

In 2014, my partner and I decided to leave the big city for life in the country, a dream we both had long before we met each other and, a dream that I believe brought us together. We loved living in the Catskills so much that we decided to start building structures outside of our home so that more of our friends can come enjoy the beauty of one of the oldest farming communities in upstate New York.

At the time, we weren't familiar with the concept of glamping; we just both loved the idea of tipi camping and decided to give it a go. Finding the best spot on our 10-acre property took longer than I care to admit, but a year and a half later, we had the tipi of our dreams, and we decided to open it up to guests.

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

Rich and I are both artists and makers, and we enjoy the challenge of things we've never done before. We love traveling and collecting inspiration from other cultures and incorporating that into our lives.

Before moving to the country, I worked for a heritage fashion company, and Rich worked a set builder for photo shoots. We both knew we could do more—we just needed the space to explore our talents and put them to good use. What better place than the country?

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

We do all the work—you have all the fun! Our tipi is equipped with all the comforts one might need to enjoy their time away in nature; there's no need to rough it to enjoy sleeping under the stars and getting lulled to sleep by the babbling brook. We provide beautiful wool blankets, custom-made furniture, cut firewood, and a small kitchenette.

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

Its hard to pick just one. Our wildflower field is often inhabited by fireflies at night—a sight to behold and one you will not soon forget. The tipi is located in Meeker Hollow, one of the best places for stargazing in the state of New York.

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

One of my favorite things is to see the transformation our guests go through while staying here. After a night in the tipi, I love seeing my guests emerge from the forest with wide eyes and smiling faces, excited to go out and explore the sights.

We love teaching them about how a tipi works and watch them get excited about starting an open fire inside the tipi and maintaining it to stay warm on chilly nights.
We also love connecting our guests with our local farms and markets and supporting our local community.

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

So many of them! From kids being excited about every little thing in the forest to grumpy adults that were dragged by their partners to a tipi in the forest that turned to sworn campers overnight, we enjoy seeing how our guests use our property and how it transforms them.

We love all our guests and their courage and curiosity, but there is one that really made our day by gifting us a beautiful painting of our tipi and property. You could really tell from the painting that the experience moved them, and that means so much to us.

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

Relaxing, peaceful, and magical.

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

We designed the tipi and chose the location very carefully with privacy and tranquility in mind—500 feet from the farm house and nestled between a creek, maple trees, and a wildflower field. The tipi is equipped with everything one might need for a perfect country getaway: handcut firewood for bonfires, a long list of local activities to enjoy while you're here, and a hammock for lazy afternoons by the stream. During summer months, you can tour our organic garden and pick your own greens.

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

John Burroughs, without a doubt. He was an American naturalist and nature essayist born not far from our farmhouse. I'd love to learn about our land from someone that spent his life writing about it.

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

Yes, we are constantly growing! This year, we are building a new glamping site that we hope to have available by the end of summer.


To book an unforgettable stay with your special someone at Mina and Richa's tipi in Upstate New York, click here!

Our last-minute Mother's Day gift guide

By Mikaela Amundson

Mother's Day is almost upon us so that means you should be planning the breakfast in bed, the cards, and, of course, the gift. We're sure you show your mom love every day, but this is an opportunity to shower the important women in your life with a little extra gratitude—moms, grandmas, aunts, honorary moms, “framily” (as my mom and I call it), and more!

Check out our last-minute gift guide below to get inspired and pick out the perfect present for the special ladies in your life.

Flowers for her

Delivery

A bouquet of flowers from Flora Queen, which delivers to over 100 countries in as little as one day, means no matter where mom is, she'll have a beautiful bouquet in her honor. Tulips are a classic Mother’s Day choice, but we love something more unexpected, like this rose and lily combo—or even a potted bromelia plant for something that will really last.

Something else with flowers

If you want to get mom some flowers that will stand the test of time, we love the idea of a floral print silk scarf. This one comes in four gorgeous floral patterns—perfect for spicing up her spring and summer looks. Alternatively, you can also go for a floral journal or some floral sneakers depending on what your mom will use the most.

Self-care Sunday


At-home facial

If your mom recently found out about Instagram and won't stop talking about her favorite influencer of late, get her something that's totally #instagoals, like a trendy Gua Sha facial tool. Your mom deserves a great self-care gift that doubles as a like-garnering post for her feed. This one comes with three different shapes to try, as well as a handy guide. Pair it with a face mask or a facial serum for the perfect Mother's Day self-care package.

Subscription box

There's nothing better than a gift that continues throughout the year, so a subscription box that gets delivered to mom on a regular basis is a perfect choice for this year's Mother's Day gift. This cruelty-free, vegan, and non-toxic makeup subscription from Petit Vour.

If your mom is not a budding beauty guru, that's quite alright; you can find subscription boxes for almost any interest or hobby. Some of our favorites include a book of the month box for the avid reader, a perfume subscription for the mom who likes to switch up her scents, and a wine subscription box. Yes, that's right. Wine.

Wares for mom

Customizable jewelry

Get her a twist on the classic locket with this customizable, and very chic, brass pendant, in which you can include a heartfelt note that she can keep with her long after Mother's Day celebrations have ended. You can round out the gift by pairing it with this hammered brass ring and bracelet for a set she'll wear forever.

Eco-friendly starter pack

Gifts that are practical, stylish, and eco-friendly are really the whole package. If your mom is looking to upgrade her eco-game from old tote bags for grocery shopping to becoming a zero-waste guru, we think eco-friendly starter kits, like this one from Package Free Shop, are the perfect jumping off point!

This one has all the basics: an insulated mug, a set of bamboo utensils, a stainless steel straw, and a bamboo toothbrush. Be sure to check out their other kits as well, like this one for zero-waste cleaning or this one for travel. Add in a trendy, reusable water bottle and an upcycled wristlet, like this one made from recycled billboards in NYC, and you mom will be good to step out to save the earth in style.

P.S. Don't forget that a glamping gift card also makes for a perfect Mother's Day gift! Getting out together into nature and making memories that will last forever? Priceless.


Check out some properties near you on Glamping Hub to find the perfect accommodation for your mom!

Maple syrup season in Canada: History and present day

By Fred Jéquier

With spring well underway and Lent now over, this can only mean one thing to many Canadians—maple syrup season is upon us! Many of us indulge in lashings of this amber nectar on our pancakes in the morning, or perhaps to jazz up vanilla ice cream, but the history and traditions of collecting and making this delicious treat stem way back to before Canada was even Canada.

Find out how maple syrup harvesting techniques and uses have changed, from its origin to present day.

First Nations traditions and uses

Maple water has been extracted from trees since long before the first settlers arrived. The First Nations—a predominant indigenous group who were of the first inhabitants in present-day Canada—would extract the water from trees with diagonal cuts made at the base of the tree, which was the original method of tapping. The sap would then be collected in pots, often made from birch bark.

Sap from maple trees is 97% water and only 3% sugar, so the next job was, and still is, to evaporate off as much water as possible. The First Nations people would heat rocks up in a fire, and once they were white hot, the rocks would be placed in the sap to evaporate the water. There is evidence to suggest that heating rocks in fires was a fairly common method for cooking, as well as heating up water or sap, for the First Nations people.

Photo from Walking by the Way .

They had a very holistic view on life, meaning they would use what nature provided them for their day-to-day needs. This was no different when it came to their uses for maple water. Since hot rocks can't maintain their heat indefinitely, it meant that maple water wouldn't evaporate down to what we all now know as maple syrup.

In fact, historian Pierre Rheaume, a researcher on the history of maple, suggests that what the First Nations people were actually producing was a more concentrated maple water, not a syrup. This maple concentrate had different uses to ours, as well. It was used as a tonic, and surprisingly, an eyewash, as their houses were often filled with smoke that dried out their eyes, and maple water was used as a remedy.

The first settlers

When the French first arrived in the eastern part of the country—in what would become Quebec, where 80% of the world's maple syrup is still produced, and Nova Scotia—the First Nations people were already well-versed in harvesting maple water.

In the mid-16th century, the French explorer Jacques Cartier was the first European to map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas." He saw the First Nations people extracting maple water and became intrigued. On trying it for the first time, Cartier and his men described the sap as similar to a fine wine (which may not be the best indictment of the vintage they had on their voyage to the New World).

Photo from The Canadiana Project.

The early economy of the first settlers in Canada was primarily based on the fur trade. The French would send envoys to boost trade by learning about the customs and languages of the First Nations people. Similarly, the First Nations people were equally inquisitive about the settlers' equipment, including iron cauldrons. This led to maple water being evaporated off until only a red sugar was left.

This was initially a problem for the French traders, as they had been hoping for white sugar. Since white was primarily associated with purity, the traders believed that white sugar would taste better. This red sugar, however, which became known as "country sugar," gained popularity in France and made its way onto the market—and into European kitchens.

Tapping the trees

By the early 19th century, new and more effective ways to harvest sap were being explored. This led to producers drilling a hole into the tree and adding an actual tap, which would allow sap to pour directly into buckets without doing irreparable damage to the trees—a risk of the old method. The buckets would then be carried down to cauldrons for the evaporating process. This new method, however, meant an increase in the quantity of sap, which meant a need for a more industrious operation to create sugar.

By the 1850s, sugar shacks were an established part of the harvesting process. Numerous cauldrons would be fired up, and they could hold up to 60 liters of sap. The process would take up to 24 hours, and every 60 liters of sap produced 1.5 liters of maple syrup.

During this period, it was still hard to effectively store and preserve the syrup so it was not available unless you worked in the sugar shacks. Producers were still very much in the business of making and selling maple sugar. Any leftover syrup would be kept in barrels and left in the sun to create vinegar, as it was hard to come by in Canada during this period.

The modern era

The 20th century obviously saw a rapid change in many areas of production and technology, and maple syrup wasn't left behind! Improvements were made in how it was harvested, produced, and stored. Just before the turn of the century, in 1889, the aptly-named evaporator was invented. This new method of evaporating off the water in the sap cut the process down to just four hours, allowing for even more syrup and sugar to be produced.

Sugar remained the preferred product until the 1920s, when barrels and containers became more effective at preserving the syrup. Even then, it was still only available by the gallon. By the 1950s, syrup became available in cans, which made it quickly become a commodity that could be sold in grocery stores, as well as facilitated exportation—making it even more lucrative for producers.

Photo from Seasons in the Valley .

With the increase in sales of maple syrup came the increase of demand. Producers now needed a more effective way of harvesting the sap. While the built-in taps were effective at extracting the sap, workers still had to carry buckets of it down to the shacks. In the 1970s, producers began to attach a network of tubes to the trees to siphon off the sap directly to the shacks and their evaporators. This method of tapping is still used today.

Health benefits of maple syrup

As we saw earlier, the First Nations people would use the early form of maple syrup as a healthy tonic. This trend didn't end with them. At the time, French physicians also believed that something in maple sap had health benefits, and it was used specifically for lung problems and to alleviate pain for people with chest problems.

Between 2005 and 2010, scientists found specific chemicals in maple sap that suggest that these early uses may have had merit. Numerous chemical compounds that have links to health and wellbeing have been found in maple syrup and sap, including polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, a 2010 discovery established the process-derived chemical named Quebecol, named after the home of maple syrup. Like agave and honey, maple syrup may well have a touch of Mother Nature's healing qualities, so make the most of it the next time you have a plate of pancakes and blueberries for breakfast!


Got a hankering for maple syrup? Explore Quebec and try some locally produced maple syrup when you book a weekend getaway at one of our amazing luxury camping rentals!

The real Cinco de Mayo and where to celebrate

By Jackie Dreyer

While it may be fun to make up an extra excuse to eat tacos and drink tequila, we've been missing the point when it comes to the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo. In the U.S., the historical significance of May 5 has been largely passed over in favor of a massive spike in beer sales (in fact, in 2014, more beer was sold on Cinco de Mayo than on Super Bowl Sunday or St. Patrick's Day!), and it's time to set the record straight.

Let us teach you about the real Cinco de Mayo and where to honor this celebration in the U.S.

The facts

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexico's independence, which is actually celebrated annually on September 16. 40 years later, Cinco de Mayo came to be.

The story goes that, in 1862, Mexico found itself indebted to a number of European countries, so Napoleon III decided it was the perfect time to take advantage of Mexico's weakness and set up a monarchy in North America. Thus, French troops attacked the town of Puebla, Mexico, but General Ignacio Zaragoza was prepared.

Pleading for the help of all able-bodied men available, Mexico rallied together that May 5 and got the French to surrender, with the French suffering a loss of 500 troops, while General Zaragoza only lost less than 100 of the 2,000 men that showed up to fight that day.

From this day onwards, May 5 is recognized as a day of Mexican pride and resilience, and it has only increased in national significance over time, though it is not a national holiday in Mexico.

Extra credit reading: For an extremely thorough breakdown of important historical facts before, during, and after the Battle of Puebla, check out this article by National Geographic.

Where and how to celebrate

Mexico

Many travelers head straight to the source and go to Puebla for the most authentic Cinco de Mayo celebration. In Puebla, you'll get to enjoy colorful and joyous parades, in addition to a reenactment of the battle. As an added bonus when you're in Puebla, be sure to visit the city's beautiful and well-maintained cathedrals, which are what have turned the city into a UNESCO World Heritage Center.

Heads-up: If you're planning a trip to Mexico for Cinco de Mayo, heading anywhere other than Puebla will lead you to find people just going about their daily lives!

Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado, holds a two-day festival called "Celebrate Culture" that is put together by a local non-profit organization, NEWSED Community Development Corporation. On the morning of Cinco de Mayo, there is a large community parade, complemented by three different stages, where everyone can enjoy all different types of Hispanic music groups, as well as the well-known Hispanic Fiesta Colorado Folklorico Dancers.

Photo from Cinco de Mayo "Celebrate Culture" Festival.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California, boasts the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the U.S., starting the last weekend of April with Fiesta Broadway. At this street festival, you'll get to enjoy popular Latin American artists and nibble on authentic dishes. Fiesta Broadway, however, is just the tip of the iceberg; TripSavvy has got you covered with a full Cinco de Mayo itinerary.

If you've got time to do additional sightseeing in L.A., pepper some more historical value into your trip with a detour to El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the original Spanish and Mexican neighborhood in the city, and Olvera Street, where you'll find great restaurants, food trucks, and street vendors.

Photo from El Pueblo Historical Monument.

Extra credit reading: For more ideas on where and how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, USA Today has a great rundown from the West Coast to Washington, D.C.


No matter what time of year you decide to explore Mexico, be sure to check out our travel guide on everything you need to know before you go.

Spring cleaning: The art of decluttering

By Eleanor Stanesby

The time has come for some spring cleaning—the (often dreaded) organization of all of the papers you hid in a drawer for the past year, the items of clothing you no longer wear, and a deep clean of every part of the house. While this means focusing on the jobs that may have been neglected over winter, the goal is to make your living space feel more open and airy, paralleling the ambiance that this season brings. Meanwhile, decluttering will not only help you enhance your living space, but also your mental space, leaving you feeling satisfied and more at ease.

With these top tips, you'll be spring cleaning in no time, and you never know...you may even begin to enjoy it—or at least the end result!

1. Form a plan

Make a checklist to help you divide and conquer the house; these smaller goals will make you feel a less overwhelmed. With a big task, like spring cleaning, it can be difficult to know where to start, so writing things down can make you see things much more clearly.

If you don't want to create your own checklist, try a free, downloadable template that will help you organize your cleaning process. Want something a little more technological? There are even apps that can help you prepare!

Photo of a spring cleaning checklist from Page Flutter.

2. Stock up on supplies

Doublecheck that you have all of the cleaning supplies you'll need before you begin. There's nothing worse than getting halfway through and having to run to the store to buy replacements. It will hinder your progress and may demotivate you from wanting to continue cleaning when you get back home.

3. Play some music

No one wants to clean in silence! Music releases a chemical in the brain called dopamine, which plays a key role in keeping you motivated. An upbeat playlist is going to get you in the mood to clean and make time go much faster. If you can't find a playlist you like, you can try a podcast or the radio instead—or even just turn on the TV for some background noise to keep you company.

Photo from Best Life.

4. Learn to compartmentalize

Try not to think of everything you have yet to clean; break it down into bite-size pieces and just focus on one room at a time. Be sure to make your checklist for each room specific, as there are going to be different things you'll want to do, based on each room's contents and size. After each room is decluttered and cleaned, each one after that is going to seem so much easier, especially when you are able to look back at your progress.

5. Always declutter first

No matter which room you decide to start with, it's a must to begin with decluttering. Trying to clean around bits of paper here and random clothes there is only going to slow the process down. Try a systematic way to breakdown all of the items you find into four categories: put away, give away, storage, and trash.

Photo from Bestlifeonline.

6. Work from top to bottom

When it comes to cleaning, starting from the top of the room and working your way down is ideal. Dust falls naturally falls, so this will save you from doubling your workload and having to sweep or vacuum the floors a second time.

Our favorite cleaning tips

Photo from EllimanInsider.
  • Windows: Polishing the windows will make the room feel brighter.

  • Walls: Wipe down the walls to bring their true color back.

  • Vacuum: Move furniture, and vacuum ceilings—this household appliance will be your best friend!

  • Dust: Stock up on furniture polish to make the place shine.


Want to expand this project to the garden? Check out our tips for gardening in the most effective and sustainable way!

How Earth Day is celebrated globally

By Eric Wright

Vertebrate populations have decreased in size by 60% since 1970, 18 million acres of forests are cleared each year, and the Arctic ice melting at an alarming rate. The protection of our planet is now more important than ever, and appreciation of the natural world seems to be something that we as humans are finding hard to grasp, as we continually mistreat the most precious thing we have. It's time that we start to defend the oasis we live in, which provides our food, water, and air, and we need to learn to share our world with the all the other living creatures that inhabit it.

Earth Day was founded on April 22, 1970, as a way to increase consciousness about environmental concerns by founder Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. In 1969, after a brutal oil spill wreaked havoc in Santa Barbara, California, Senator Nelson pushed for a "national teach-in on the environment," which eventually led to events all across the U.S. and 20 million Americans taking to the streets to display support for a sustainable environment.

Since then, the global situation has continued to deteriorate, as yet more wildlife habitats are lost forever, and pollution reaches terrifying levels. It's time for us to abandon our destructive ways and take responsibility to create a planet that can be a haven for both us and the thousands of wonderful living species that we share it with. It may seem a great challenge for us today as climate change lays waste to our small blue and green planet, but Earth Day is the perfect way for us to stand together in unison for the most important thing we have—Earth, our home.

Explore with us, as we find out how Earth Day is celebrated around the globe.

1. New York, U.S.

Earth Day's main aim is to educate people about our global environmental problems, and the rally in New York offers the chance to connect with companies using green initiatives, as well as learn more about environmental campaigns and green travel. The event is one of the biggest outdoor Earth Day celebrations and takes place in Union Square—comprised of festive events, live music, and ecological food trucks, all while raising awareness of the fragile state of our environment.

The 5-kilometer, eco-friendly walking tour is a great way to discover ecology schools and state-of-the-art waste and recycling centers, while the New York Botanical Garden showcases live music performances, parades, and tours that highlight the urgency to protect the world's plant species.

2. London, U.K.

Between Tuesday, April 16, and Monday, April 29, the Neoclassical Somerset House opens its doors with a two-week program that allows the public to enjoy interactive events and large-scale installations created by some of the best artists around the world. During the program, visitors will be able to discover ways to combat climate change, promote sustainable living, and attend family workshops.

Some of this year's highlights include exhibits such as a Dystopian vision of a future without humans; a flag and audio commission on the roof exploring the voice of the natural elements; and a large scale LED installation that brings together the voices of international activists, philosophers, and poets.

3. Sydney, Australia

For Earth Day 2019, Sydney is holding an incredible 24,901-mile challenge where event organizers will find out how many times participants can run the entire length of the equator. The challenge needs 415 participants to run at least 2 miles each day in April to make the distance around the equator at least once—calling all runners, joggers, and walkers!

Sydney will also have experts in clean energy talk about how companies and technology impact the condition of the planet. These experts in clean energy and environmental entrepreneurship will share their insights into how industries have an impact on the environment on April 23 at The Podium Building on Market Street.

4. Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park in Tokyo sees over 100,000 Earth-conscious people gather each year to learn how to live more sustainably from various NPOs and speakers. Earth-conscious artists and musicians perform in the park over the weekend and visitors can find plenty of organic products and local business' explaining their respective green initiatives. One of the highlights of the celebration is the Tokyo Vegetarian Festival, which offers delicious, ecologically-sourced food.

5. Vancouver, Canada

Canada's "Party for the Planet" takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the City Hall Plaza in Surrey, where three stages offer live music and performances. For the kids, there's the Earth Day Pilgrimage to Burns Bog on Sunday, April 28, where more performers sing, dance, and drum as they walk through the gorgeous Delta Nature Reserve. This year, the free outdoor event features keynote speakers, poetry recitals, and music from the Susan Summers and the Sacred Web Singers, as well as Aline LaFlamme and the Daughters of the Drum.


Curious how you can give back this Earth Day? Hop on over to our recent post to find out where to volunteer this year!