Blogger Spotlight: Lauren enjoys serenity near Santa Fe, New Mexico

By Jessica Armstrong

Just outside of Santa Fe, glampers and friends will find these charming casitas waiting to give guests a unique experience in nature. Lauren Monitz can give you the full "Down Lo" on her stay at this gorgeous property and all the glitz, glam, and nature that came along with the visit.

From nights spent under the stars and getting to know neighboring guests to day trips to Santa Fe, Lauren was a big fan of her glamping getaway and you will be, too. Find out more about what makes these casitas so special as Lauren recalls her stay below!

Lifestyle blogger, Lauren Monitz, poses in front of her casita rental.

Lifestyle blogger, Lauren Monitz, first arrives at her casita rental, ready to explore.

What was your initial reaction upon arriving to your glamping spot?

“This is camping?” It’s a massive, beautiful compound.

What are the three words you would use to describe your getaway?

Serene, rustic, and eco-friendly.

The two-person casita, beautifully decorated with string lights.

The stunning casita is beautifully decorated, adding a little charm and delight to Lauren's glamping experience.

What activities did you most enjoy while glamping at your destination?

Getting to meet the chickens!

What are your tips for new glampers and beginners?

Glamping is a good way to ease yourself into camping. While most properties have some sort of technology to stay connected (TV and/or Wi-Fi), try disconnecting. It can feel really good to get off the grid for a bit and forge real connections without any distractions.

 The fully-furnished and stunningly decorated master bedroom overlooks the surrounding fields.

The cozy master bedroom invites guests to enjoy a full night's rest, after which they can wake up to the beautiful Santa Fe sunrise.

What are your five go-to’s for your glamping stay?

Take advantage of the peace and quiet of the ranch, but explore the area, too. You’re only 20 minutes from the art and history of downtown Santa Fe. The hosts are amazing chefs; get to know their culinary skills by hanging out in the kitchen.

Get to know the other guests. The ranch house is meant to be a shared community space—you may just leave with a new best friend. The property is huge, and there are plenty of places for hiking or biking, but you could just as easily park it in the hammock all day. And don’t forget about the hot tub!

Private pond perfect for relaxing by is found in the rental's backyard.

The private backyard is the perfect place to relax and escape the southern heat.

Can you share with us the top five items you always make sure to pack for a camping or glamping getaway?

  1. A headlamp, because it can get really dark.
  2. Layers, because you never know how cold it can get.
  3. Snacks, because you may be far from food options, and you don't want to get hangry!
  4. Yoga pants for comfort.
  5. Cards, board games, or music for entertainment.

What is your biggest piece of advice for planning steps before booking a trip?

Be open-minded with dates and destinations. Search by types of accommodations (like tree houses or caves) for a unique getaway.

Gorgeous dusk view from the casita rental.

Gorgeous views of the vast landscape surround the casita and stretch as far as the eye can see.

Where are you looking to glamp next and why?

I would love to do a safari in Africa and wake up next to the animals. Hakuna matata.

What was your most memorable moment from your glamping stay?

The nighttime—the skies get impossibly dark and the quiet envelops you. It’s the soundest sleep I’ve had in awhile.

Lauren enjoying the stunning sunset view.

Lauren ends her exquisite glamping experience, day-dreaming about the next adventure.

Find your perfect New Mexico getaway here!


Follow along with Lauren and see where her adventures will take her next on her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Blogger Spotlight: Emily goes to Breckenridge, Colorado

By Jessica Armstrong

This winter, it's time to cozy up in a spacious cabin, and there's no destination more perfect than Breckenridge, Colorado. A trip to one of these extraordinary cabins is a real gift, and now that travel pro and fashion blogger Emily of Baily Lamb has visited for a getaway, she can give you the real inside scoop.

From snuggling up by the fire and lounging in the hot tub to and exploring the charming town of Breckenridge, you can see why Emily loved her glamping stay, and we can bet this will not be the last. Check out her getaway below, and start planning your very own trip!

Emily relaxes by the cozy fireplace.

It's time to kick back and relax in this beautiful mountain getaway near Breckenridge, Colorado—let lifestyle blogger Emily show you how it's done!

What time of year is your favorite to glamp and spend time in the outdoors, and why?

My favorite time to go glamping is in the fall. The foliage and changing leaf colors are so beautiful that they create this magical ambiance. I also love how the air is crisp for walks or hiking—it’s a perfect time!

This mountain gtaway is tucked in the alpine forests of Colorado overlooking the Rocky Mountains.

The stunning accommodation can house up to 13 guests—although there's nothing wrong with wanting the whole place to yourself.

What are your glamping how-to's?

Always research fun things to do where you are going glamping before you leave for your trip, like interesting hikes or scenery that you want to see and experience while there. This way, you can make sure not to miss out on anything fun the place to has to offer. Always pack thick socks, which will prevent blisters, and the knee high boots.

What are the three words you would use to describe this glamping rental?

Warm, cozy, and luxurious.

A beautifully furnished and spacious living room paired with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.

The decor and structure really puts the glam in glamping.

Where are your favorite places to travel in the fall?

Some place with foliage or mountains.

What was the best surprise you found at your glamping site?

THe best surprise was the location—I had no idea how beautiful the mountain views were! Also, the glamping site had everything necessary to have a relaxing and worry-free trip. The hot tub overlooking the mountains was my favorite surprise.

View of the Rocky Mountains from the glamping accommodation.

Wake up every morning to the breathtaking site of America's longest mountain range.

Tell us about one of your favorite camping/glamping trips.

One of my favorite glamping trips was my recent trip to Breckenridge, Colorado. I have never been to the Rocky Mountains and being there for the first time was an amazing experience.

Emily enjoys a hot bath in the luxurious designed master bath.

Emily takes advantage of the luxurious lifestyle while still feeling connected to nature.

What is your biggest piece of advice about traveling in groups?

It’s important to find a glamping site that offers a variety of activities that everyone will enjoy so the whole group feels included.

Chicly furnished dining area suitable for all 13 guests that the cabin can accommodate.

The cabin is accommodating for families, friends, and groups of all sizes.

What glamping site are you looking to visit next?

I would love to visit Canada next.

What was your favorite part about your glamping site and the stay?

For someone who comes from a big city, my favorite part was being in the nature and the mountains, as well as the overall feeling of relaxation just from being away from the everyday, busy city lifestyle. The cabin was very cozy with beautiful mountain views, so I loved that it felt very secluded in the mountains, but yet still close enough to the town.

Stunning views of the Rocky Mountains can be viewed from the cabin's private, outdoor hot tub.

There's nothing quite like relaxing in a hot tub in the midst of autumn surrounded by snow covered mountains. It's as unique as it gets.

To enjoy your very own glamping getaway in Colorado, find your perfect accommodation here!


Travel with Baily Lamb on all her upcoming trips by checking out her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Blogger Spotlight: Nikki and her gal pals glamp in Georgia

By Jessica Armstrong

Any glamping gals looking for the perfect girl's getaway need to check out the trip that Nikki of Nikki Free Style and her ladies went on to Georgia. At this perfect cabin rental, the women not only had an unforgettable stay, but also found a new home-away -from-home.

Nikki enjoying a glass of wine on the cabin's front patio.

Take a page from Nikki Free's book, and treat yourself to a birthday gift like no other—a glamping weekend!

Not only did they turn the glamping notch up ten-fold, but they also got a chance to really reconnect and show us all what glamping truly is all about. If you need some tips on where to glamp this season, Nikki can tell you, having gone from beginner to expert by the end of her stay at this gorgeous cabin. Check out her tips below!

What is your favorite season to glamp and why?

Fall is my favorite season to glamp, as the temperatures are so accommodating, and the colors of the season are so inspiring that it makes being outside a joy.

Luxury cabin overlooking Georgia's Chattahoochee Natinoal Forest.

This stunning wooden cabin is nestled in the Chattahoochee National Forest of Northern Georgia.

Tell us the how-to's of glamping with your gal pals?

The secret to my success of traveling with my girlfriends, whether it is glamping or cruising or flying to our destination, is understanding the art of compromise. Not everyone likes the same things, and that’s ok. That’s what makes the experience so unique, because you learn or try something new every time, and we always end up even more connected than before.

Nikki and her friends ready for their glamping retreat.

In a cabin this size, Nikki was able to celebrate her birthday weekend with all of her closest friends.

For a group trip, how did you find the accommodation? Did it fit your group's needs?

The home is so very spacious and has so many little treasures for everyone to enjoy together or separately. For instance, the backyard fire pit was often a place we all would sneak off too to call home, check emails or just to take away from all the excitement in the house. Also, the fully-screened sun room was the destination for a couple of us each morning to get some fresh air without having to go outdoors.

The basement with it open windows and space was also a place of solitude when necessary, and there was a fully-carpeted secret room behind the bookcase in one bedroom, complete with bean bags and blankets!

What are the three words you would use to describe this glamping rental?

Fabulous, comfortable, and accommodating.

Nikki enjoying the luxury cabin's master bath.

Nikki found that her glamping getaway offered the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation.

Where are your favorite places to travel in the fall?

My favorite places to travel in the fall are the mountains in Georgia and Tennessee. You actually feel fall driving through these areas of the country—the colors are vibrate and awe-inspiring.

What was the best surprise you found at your glamping site?

That the townspeople were so friendly, helpful, and genuinely excited that we choose to visit and play in Clayton, Georgia. Our time in the small rural town was an extremely pleasant visit.

Stunning sunset view from the cabin's front deck.

The luxury cabin is perfectly situated for guests to enjoy breathtaking views all trip long.

Tell us about one of your favorite glamping trips.

This was my first glamping trip ever, so it is definitely my favorite. I can’t wait to do it again! In fact, because of this trip, I have friends and women who regularly follow my blog asking me to organize another glamping trip, because they want to share in the experience.

What is your biggest piece of advice about traveling in big groups?

Compromise is golden. Again, not everyone is going to want to dine, spa, beach, shop the same, and that’s ok. Plan a few group activities in advance (and pay for those excursions prior to arrival), but don’t sweat the small stuff if people want to venture out on their own or in smaller groups. After all, it’s a vacation!

What glamping site are you looking to visit next?

I would love to visit a glamping site in Montana or Utah and stay in a tent or yurt; I just think it would be an awesome experience.

Panoramic mountain view from the glamping site.

The surrounding wilderness and mountain scenery are essential for the perfect glamping experience.

What was your favorite part about your glamping site and the stay?

The host, Lisa Klein, was so accommodating and a pleasure to work with. I really felt like she truly wanted us to enjoy our stay at her home. I must also say that working with Glamping Hub's Head of PR, Jessica, to find the perfect accommodations for my glamping girls trip in celebration of my "Forty-Fine & Fabulous" birthday was a pleasure.

The entire experience from logging on to GlampingHub.com to our stay at this beautiful cabin was smooth sailing. I couldn’t have chosen a better group of people to work with. I am a forever fan!

Nikki and her friends trekking in style through the glampsite.

Nikki and her friends truly embraced the glamour part of glamping.

Don't forget—you can plan your very own Georgia Getaway with Glamping Hub today!


Follow along with Nikki and her gal pals on her blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Kickstart your New Year

By Elizabeth Young

The holidays have come and gone, leaving the prospects of a new year ahead. 2018 holds 365 days of promise and adventure, during which you could travel to a new country, meet someone special, get a new job (or maybe a promotion!), join a gym...the possibilities are endless. With the whole year ahead of you, it's easy to procrastinate, thinking you have time to check things off your bucket list.

A holiday wreath with a New Year's message.

Here at Glamping Hub, we want to help you fit as much fun and adventure into 2018 as possible. A little bit of time spent outside is good for the body, mind, and soul, and we do our best to make sure you have the most memorable outdoor experience possible.

Kickstart your new year and make a splash as you enter 2018 with one of these glamping getaways. From the beaches of Australia and the peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the forests of Galicia, Spain, we have selected for you some of our favorite accommodations worldwide to start the year off with a bang.

Visit the Land Down Under

As the Northern Hemisphere bunkers down for the cold of winter, the Southern Hemisphere enters the summer season. If you're planning a warm-weather vacation, consider Australia, home to the Great Barrier Reef, the Sunshine Coast, and hundreds of kilometers of stunning beaches. Take a look at some of our favorite rentals below.

Beach Cabin in Tasmania

A view from outside of the beach cabin in Tasmania.

It's hard to beat the views from this modern beach cabin.

With room for six guests and an unbeatable waterfront location, this beach cabin on Tasmania's Bruny Island is perfect for a trip with family or friends.

Two-Person Dome in Western Australia

A view from the outside of the dome in Western Australia.

Enjoy the peace and quiet of the woodlands when you book this luxury dome.

Ideal for a romantic getaway, this one-of-a-kind dome has plenty of room for a couple to relax and enjoy the fresh air here in Yelverton, Western Australia.

Luxury Glamping Tent in New South Wales

luxury-tent-in-new-south-wales

Visit New South Wales in style from the comfort of this luxury glamping tent.

If you've never been glamping before, this is a good place to start. With an ensuite bathroom and all the comforts of home, this luxury tent provides comfort, design, and an unbeatable outdoor location in New South Wales.

Snowy Getaways in the Rocky Mountains

Start your new year off with a vacation to the Rocky Mountains, and enjoy the fresh powder at mountain resorts like Breckenridge, Colorado; Deer Valley, Utah; or Whitefish, Montana.

Log Cabin with Hot Tub in Breckenridge, Colorado

A view from the hot tub at the log cabin in Breckenridge.

There's nothing better than ending a day on the slopes relaxing in your private hot tub.

If you're looking for a more traditional winter vacation, the mountains of Breckenridge, Colorado, offer alpine fun for all ages and abilities. Whether your an amateur skier or just learning to snowboard, you'll find trails perfect for you. What could be better than relaxing tired muscles in the hot tub with a view of the mountain?

Luxury Villa in Park City, Utah

An outside shot of the luxury villa in Park City.

Ski or snowboard at a different resort everyday from this villa rental located between Park City, Deer Valley, and Alta Ski Resorts.

This luxury villa is where style and design meet comfort, with all the amenities you could possibly want in a vacation rental. Plus, you'll have easy access to some of Utah's top ski resorts, from Park City and Deer Valley to Snowbird and Alta, when you rent this accommodation.

Gorgeous Winter Getaway on Whitefish Mountain

whitefish-mountain-montana-ski-vacation-rental

Find yourself directly on the slopes of Whitefish Mountain in Montana when you rent this gorgeous winter getaway.

Ski-in, ski-out access, a private hot tub, plenty of space for six guests—what more could you want? This tree house-style cabin has all the comforts of home and then some.

The Best of the Iberian Peninsula

If you don't want to go to the beach and you're not so into the snow, may we suggest Spain and the Iberian Peninsula? Get ready for a temperate climate, almost-year-round sunshine, and a warm and inviting culture.

Eco-Friendly Tree House in Galicia, Spain

A view from outside of one of the tree houses in Galicia.

Go out on a limb, literally, for your next vacation in Galicia, Spain.

Tree houses aren't just for kids and this one is a good example. This modern, eco-friendly tree house comes complete with a private hot tub for true relaxation in a quiet forest setting in Galicia.

Costa Blanca Villa Rental with a Pool

villa-rental-with-pool-in-valencia

Enjoy the sunshine and temperate climate of the Costa Blanca as you sit poolside.

This villa rental sits outside Valencia on the Costa Blanca, where you can relax alongside your own private pool with a glass of sangria.

Traditional Cave Accommodation in Granada

A view of the cave from the exterior in Granada.

Visit Granada and sleep in one of these cave rentals in the Sacramonte overlooking the city.

Granada is a special city rich in history. As it was the Moorish capital when they occupied Spain, it is filled with remnants of Islamic Spain. The Sacramonte overlooks the city, and in these hills, you can find many traditional cave dwellings of the Romani people.


Didn't find what you're looking for? Head over to our homepage for a full selection of all our rentals!

Host Spotlight: Glenys and Kevin

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 Glenys and Kevin, who manage a breathtaking castle in Nelson on the South Island of New Zealand.

A view of the exterior of the castle in winter time.

Pretend your family is the royal family at this stunning castle in Nelson, South Island, New Zealand.

1. When was the first time you heard the term glamping?

It's hard to pinpoint exactly, possibly a year or so ago, but it was such an interesting word and concept that it resonated immediately with us.

2. What inspired you to have your own glamping site?

We were approached by one of the friendly Glamping Hub team members, who saw the potential of The Mudcastle as a glamping destination, and it went from there to becoming a reality.

3. If you could describe your property or the glamping experience you offer in three words, what would they be?

Genuine, unforgettable, and inspirational.

One of the many beautiful bedrooms inside the castle.

There's no way you'll ever forget a stay at this unique castle rental.

4. What was your first glamping /camping experience?

We haven't had one yet!

5. Why would you recommend people to go glamping?

It's such a fantastic concept to stay in places where the focus is not primarily on offering cookie-cutter, standard guest experiences.

6. What should people expect when they come to your glamping site?

Our guests’ expectations do vary greatly, because they can be coming to stay for a variety of reasons. We may be hosting their wedding or a corporate retreat, and privacy, seclusion and quiet, creative, energising surroundings are important requirements. Alternatively, we may have a family or group of friends traveling together who want a base located close to all of the attractions our beautiful region has to offer.

In communicating with guests ahead of their stay, it lets us know what their expectations are—which we love!—and we do our very best to exceed them.

7. What makes your property unique?

While many glamping sites may have been custom-built by their owners, there are probably very few where the hosts have made their own building materials, too.

We've been creating The Mudcastle for nearly 28 years, making and blocklaying over 20,000 mud bricks made from the clay beneath us. We're told that it is our story that makes us unique.

The Mudcastle was a finalist on the "My House, My Castle" television show, was chosen to be featured on the television series "Extreme Homes of the World," and was recently selected as one of the "Top 10 Wedding Destinations on the Planet."

One of the gorgeous bathrooms, complete with a jetted tub, at the castle.

The aforementioned bricks aren't the only thing we're in awe of at this glamping castle.

8. What’s your favorite part about owning a glamping property?

Our favorite part is the ability to offer what we have created to groups who don't need the frills and are looking for genuine experiences and friendly, Kiwi hospitality.

9. What makes your property eco-friendly?

Like many we incorporate solar energy, we recycle, and we compost, but our biggest contribution is that The Mudcastle is constructed from the earth beneath us and local timber, and even our guest soaps are clay-based and made locally.

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What are you waiting for? You'll never find a glamping experience more unique than this castle.


Interested in a glamping escape to New Zealand? See more of what Glenys and Kevin's stunning castle can offer here for groups of up to six guests and here for groups of up to 16!

Win a Tiny House Stay: Fireside Resort at Jackson Hole

By Chloe Stein

This contest has ended—good luck to all who participated! Stay tuned for the winner's announcement, which will go live on December 11th.

The tiny house from the exterior.

Ever wondered what it would be like to "sleep tiny?"

We've teamed up with the incredible Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to give you and your glamper of choice a spectacular getaway in one of our most prized tiny houses.

Enter to win this giveaway, and you'll receive a two-night stay at the Kamp Cabin tiny house!

Want to enter? Click here, and be sure to scroll down for additional info!

The bedroom in the tiny house.
Located in Wilson, Wyoming, and just a short drive away from Yellowstone National Park, the owners of the Kamp Cabin tiny house have turned their resort into one of our top destinations in Jackson Hole—not to mention, the ultimate honeymoon destination.

Inside the tiny house.
The Kamp Cabin tiny house is certainly a romantic getaway. It's close proximity to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, however, make it the perfect weekend vacation for any adventurous duo—just take a look at it's surroundings!

Inside the tiny house.
Its top features include a sturdy wood-paneled floor, large windows which let in the morning light, and a charming fire pit for evenings under the stars.

Inside the tiny house.
But that's not it, their accommodations on site are also sustainably-built and LEED-certified cabins, all of which redefine luxury lodging as a whole.

The tiny house from the outside at nighttime.
More than all that, the Fireside Resort provides guests with an unforgettable stay—enveloped by nature and coupled with a five-star, boutique-hotel experience. Enter to win a stay at this tiny house today!

Want to win an additional prize? Head to our recent Instagram post, and tag a friend in the comments!

A special thanks to our Instagram partners: @littlesouthernwife, @ambertorrealba, @meandertheworld, @bailylamb, @timetravelblonde, @whatthedoost, and @obsessedbyportia!

Travel Guide: Pro Tips for Traveling Kiwi-Style

By Xavier Vale Buisson

Author's Note: This post was co-authored by Alexandra McGowan and Ben Clarke.

New Zealand’s evergreen pastures are sure to enchant. Being known for its relaxed atmosphere and welcoming vibe, New Zealand is the perfect place to explore the Great Outdoors. Whether you’re a travel expert or have a newfound sense of wanderlust, our knowledgeable travel guide—complete with a dusting of glamping magic—will supply all you need for a fabulous trip to New Zealand!

Mitre Peak on the South Island of New Zealand.

Good to know before you go

Guide to New Zealand customs and tourist season
Guide to New Zealand currency and slang

Getting there and around

Air New Zealand

New Zealand consists of two large islands. Both are easily accessible via airplane and have excellent infrastructure, so guests can easily travel to their unique glamping accommodation. The main international airports are Auckland, Hamilton, and Rotorua on the North Island, and Christchurch, Dunedin, and Queenstown on the South Island.

All of the main rental companies are represented at major airports, so you can get straight on the road after your flight. Younger visitors need to be wary that the rental age in New Zealand is commonly 21 and older. We strongly recommend renting a car, as it is the easiest way to explore this magnificent country and the best way to access our glorious glamping sites. You should also note that in New Zealand you drive on the left!

  • Rail travel in New Zealand tends to be more scenic than efficient, but guests will be able to get a unique perspective of the New Zealand countryside that is not available from the roads. The country’s cities are well-connected by rail, especially when compared to the U.S.
  • For a cheap and easy way of getting around, visitors can find bus fares from as cheap as $1NZD. The main companies are InterCity and StrayBus.
  • The quickest way to visit New Zealand's major cities is via plane. It takes under two hours to fly from Auckland in the North Island to Queenstown in the South.

Train Travel in Wellington.

Useful facts

Guide to population and climate of New Zealand

Culture

Food and Drink

Dairy cows grazing in the countryside.

Dairy production is extremely important to New Zealand's economy. Here are some quick facts:

  • New Zealand is the world's eighth largest dairy producer, and accounts for 3% of total world production.
  • New Zealand exports 95% of its dairy.
  • New Zealand exported $8.5bn worth of dairy products between June 2015 and June 2016.
  • There are over 5 million dairy cattle in New Zealand.

Many consider New Zealand’s lamb to be the best in the world. It is produced so efficiently that it is often cheaper after shipping than U.S. lamb, so it’s likely that you already have a taste for it. Lamb from New Zealand is grass-fed throughout its life and tends to have a more pronounced, richer flavor. In New Zealand, only animals under 12 months old can be labeled as "lamb." There are no such regulations in the U.S.

Wine in New Zealand is a young industry. In the 1960s and 1970s, many young New Zealanders traveled, lived, and worked in Europe, due to the rise of commercial airlines. This was the first time that many New Zealanders came into contact with the well-established wine cultures of Europe. For many years, New Zealand has produced what many consider to be some of the world’s best Sauvignon blanc. More recently, the country has began to develop many other types, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet/Merlot blends, Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and Syrah. Visitors can find wineries all over.

Mānuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native mānuka bush. It is commonly sold as an alternative medicine. Its advocates cite the natural antibacterial properties of honey. Although it is four times more antibacterial than standard antiseptic, there is little scientific backing for its medicinal use. Nevertheless, the Māori have used its honey and oils for centuries, and honey producers have developed a scale for rating the potency of mānuka honey called UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. Therapeutic honey starts at 10 UMF.

Mānuka honey being poured.

History and Heritage

Māori traditions.

New Zealand is a relatively new country. It was the last habitable part of the world to be discovered and settled. The first inhabitants were the Māori, who arrived from Polynesia in the 13th century. According to legend, New Zealand was discovered by captain Kupe. The first European to visit was Abel Tasman in 1642. He gave it its Dutch-sounding name, Nieuw Zeeland. It was later colonized by the British in the early 19th century. At Waitangi in 1840, over 500 Māori chiefs signed a treaty with the British Crown.

War broke out on the North Island in the 1860s and swathes of Māori land was either bought or confiscated over 20 years. The South Islands prospered, chiefly from gold. The British continued to invest in New Zealand, and railways and new towns sprang up. In 1882, the first shipment of frozen meat arrived in England, and paved the way for New Zealand as an exporter of meat and dairy products.

In 1893, New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote. State pensions and housing were also first offered in New Zealand. New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907. It contributed many troops to the ANZAC in both World Wars, as part of the British Empire, most famously at Gallipoli. New Zealand became independent in 1947. When Britain joined the EEC in 1973, New Zealand began to accelerate its export diversification, and today exports farm goods and other exports to many other countries.

Events

A music festival.

New Zealand's music festivals take place during the peak of summer, from November to February. The two biggest music festivals happen in late December. Rhythm and Vines is situated amongst the sunny vineyards of Gisborne, the first city to see 2018, thanks to its location on the international dateline, and Rhythm and Alps is set among the picturesque peaks surrounding Wanaka on the South Island.

Rugby Sevens has been a big festival for several years in New Zealand and it's taking place in Hamilton on February 3rd-4th. The competition will involve 16 of the world's greatest sevens teams, and attendees will also be treated to live performances and competitions.

Rugby

The Marlborough Wine Festival on February 10 involves 40 wineries and an evening of great music, delicious food, and excellent wine!

For those with an adventurous palate, the Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika on March 10 is well worth visiting! There's a whole range of exotic food, including huhu grubs and bats. Enjoy cooking demonstrations, wear fancy dress, and party all night.

Matariki (Māori New Year) has had a revival in recent years and is celebrated nationwide on June 15. It is a time for remembering the dead and celebrating new life and is marked by kites, fireworks, and hot air balloons.

Fireworks

Māori religion

Traditional Māori religion has changed very little from the beliefs of their Polynesian homeland. The believe that everything, including natural elements and all living things, are connected by common descent through whakapapa. All things are thought to possess a life force (mauri). Tangaroa was the god of the ocean and ancestor of all fish, Tāne the forest and all birds, and Rongo peaceful activities, agriculture, and the ancestor of cultivated plants.

The Māori have traditionally believed that people and objects contain mana, spiritual power or essence. Society was stratified according to this belief. Tapu implies rules and prohibitions. There are two types: public and private. A person, an object, or a place that is tapu may not be touched or in some cases not even approached. Nowadays, tapu is mostly observed in matters relating to sickness, death, and burial.

Since the early 19th century, Christianity has become increasingly important amongst the Māori. Large numbers became affiliated with the Church of England and the Catholic Church. Nowadays, Christian prayer (karakia) is often the expected way to begin and end Māori public gatherings.

Māori Temple

Safety and essentials

Documentation and Customs Regulations

Let us clue you up before you set off. Our low-down on the ins and outs of documentation is sure to save you a headache at the departure gate. Be aware that documentation and visa checks are carried out before boarding the plane and make sure you have them ready to be checked.

  • For duty-free allowances, check out the New Zealand customs website here.
  • It is advisable to declare any unusual medicines. Have the medication clearly labeled with a signed and dated letter from your doctor explaining your condition.
  • Plant and animal products must be declared. Any type of food or wood product must also be declared.
  • The United States is a visa waiver country of New Zealand and therefore a visa is not required to visit for three months or less. Consult the US government's state department link for passports and visas here.

Health

  • Be sure to take out comprehensive health insurance before your trip.
  • New Zealand has no essential vaccinations; however, as always, the World Health Organization recommends that all travelers should be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, polio, and hepatitis B.
  • Do not drink untreated water from streams or lakes. Giardiasis can be passed through untreated water. That said, tap water in New Zealand is normally safe to drink.
  • Insect repellent is advisable to ward off sand flies in coastal regions.

Dangers

  • Hypothermia can be a big risk during the winter. Be sure to keep warm at high altitudes or when exposed to high winds.
  • Be aware of the ocean! Rip tides and undertows are common.
  • Occasional earthquakes do occur in New Zealand so be sure to know the protocol in such an occurrence.

For comprehensive travel advice please refer to the US Department of State website.

Places to visit

Auckland

Auckland's Skyline

As you’re most likely to end up here after your international flight, it’s well worth staying for a couple of days to explore New Zealand’s largest city. The Auckland Art Gallery is the country’s largest and is great for a cultural fix. It features over 15,000 works of art from a variety of styles and eras.

The Auckland Domain Park is the city’s oldest park, and at 185 acres, it has a bit of everything. The park has been developed around the cone of an extinct volcano, and features exquisite Winter Gardens, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Formal Gardens, and several duck ponds. The city is also home to a wide range of international restaurants and has an excellent nightlife.

For those who are more adventurous, there is a Auckland Bridge climb, and even a bungee jump.

Luxury Tent Resort and Tree House Paradise above Karioitahi Beach, New Zealand

How about renting a luxury tent or treehouse within easy reach of Auckland?

Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands

Located in the northeast of the North Island, about a three hour drive from Auckland, this archipelago consists of over 140 subtropical islands. It’s famed for its beautiful undeveloped beaches and big-game fishing. It is also an important historical site, hosting both Māori artifacts and the whaling town of Russell, the nation’s first colonial capital. It is the perfect place to go sailing, boating or fishing. You can also take up a new hobby; Paihia Dive offers an introduction to scuba diving course which ferries you out far into the bay. There are also opportunities for both dolphin watching and even swimming with dolphins. Don’t forget to check out the Hole in the Rock, an opening in a rock formation that you can sail through, tide permitting.

Deluxe Private Suite with a Hot Tub at a Bed and Breakfast in Kerikeri, New Zealand

Look over the stunning bay from this deluxe private suite with a hot tub.

Rotorua

Rotorua Hot Springs

A geothermal town in northern New Zealand centered around Lake Rotorua, Rotorua is renowned for its effervescent mud pools, impressive geysers, and natural hot springs. The surrounding nature is also stunning. There are crystal-clear streams, encapsulating redwood forests, whitewater rivers for rafting, the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute at Te Puia, the Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, a Polynesian spa, and the Skyline Gravity Mountain Biking Park, which takes visitors to the top via gondola and allows them to cycle back down.

Peaceful and Romantic Bell Tent for Rent near Tauranga, New Zealand

Get back to nature and kick back in this peaceful, romantic bell tent.

Waiheke Island

Vineyard on Waiheke Island

Situated to the east of Auckland, the island is easily accessible by ferry. The island is home to many excellent vineyards, so you’ll definitely want someone else to transport you around. Waiheke Island Wine Tours will shuttle you to three different vineyards to sample 14 varieties of wine. Waiheke is also home to a popular arts community, beaches, forests, and olive groves. It’s also a great place to go hiking. The Headland Sculpture on the Gulf hiking trail is particularly worth seeing. We also recommend the Connells Bay Sculpture Park, which hosts nature-inspired sculptures by New Zealand artists.

Romantic Studio Rental for Two for Wine Tasting Getaway near Auckland, New Zealand

Why not treat yourself and your partner to this romantic studio rental in Waiheke Island wine country?

Queenstown

Queenstown

Queenstown has long had the reputation as the adventure capital of New Zealand, and with good reason. During the winter and spring (June to October) it is a premium skiing destination, with the Remarkables Ski Area of particular note. Other adventure activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating, and river rafting attract adrenaline junkies year-round. At 182 meters, the Shotover Canyon Swing is the world’s highest cliff jump. Queenstown also has some of New Zealand’s best dining, including burger joints, steak houses, and fine dining options.

Sunny Farm Cabin Rental with Wood-Burning Stove near Lumsden, New Zealand

Escape to the picturesque South Island countryside in this cabin rental on a farm.


Get your suitcase ready and check out more of our New Zealand glamping accommodations here!

Blogger Spotlight: Liz falls head over heels for Michigan

By Jessica Armstrong

Look out for Liz of With Wonder and Whimsy, because she has got glamping down to a T, and we can't help but want to share her style and mojo. Cozying up with her hubby in a charming Michigan cabin was just one of the things that made Liz's stay even more wonderful and whimsical.

Why Michigan you ask? Well, not only does Michigan have an abundance of one-of-a-kind glamping sites, but it is a state where one can truly experience the wonders and magic of nature all around.

Check out more of Liz's romantic stay and how her style changes with her travels and the seasons.

Liz climbs up to the cozy cabin's elevated bedroom.

Meet Liz, the lifestyle blogger keen to guide you through her whimsical glamping adventure.

What are your top must-haves when glamping in the fall?

A fringed wrap and ankle bootie are two must-haves for glamping in style. And with embellished denim being so trendy right now, a style with embroidery, patchwork, or a released hem will definitely channel that rugged romance.

How does your travel style change between seasons?

My style always turns more bohemian and eclectic during the fall. There's something about the changing leaves and cooler temperatures that makes me crave earthier colors and cozier textured fabrics.

The rustic log cabin is nestled in the evergreen woods of Ellsworth, Michigan

Nestled away in the forests of her home state, Liz found her dream getaway accommodation.

How do you plan your vacations? Around destination? Around style? Around accommodation?

When it comes to longer vacations, I definitely plan around a destination's museums, restaurants, and tourist attractions. I want to experience the arts and culture scene of a place, and I love when I can find accommodations with a folksy, locals vibe.

Two chairs on the patio which are perfect for viewing the natural surroundings.

The cabin offers perfect views of Michigan's scenic fall foliage.

Are you an overpacker or underpacker? How so?

I like to keep with a single carry-on when I travel, even for a week abroad. To do this, I stick with a focused theme and color palette, and include pieces I can mix and match in a variety of ways. I love accessorizing my looks, so packing statement jewelry doesn't take much space, but it sure adds personality to a look.

What is your favorite piece of fall apparel?

This fall, I am loving ruana wraps. They are so chic and comfortable, and they have this relaxed elegance that fits right in whether you're visiting the city or the country. Wear one with a long-sleeved tee, skinny jeans, and riding boots. Or throw one over a little black dress for an evening out.

Liz models her chic outfit in front of the equally chic cabin.

Each day (and each outfit) calls for the new adventure.

How do you advise fall glampers to plan their wardrobe?

For me, the best part about glamping is the glamor element. It's an invitation to be fashionable and practical with your wardrobe. In addition to your standard flannels, blue jeans, and boots, pack a fun beaded necklace, a cozy fringed scarf, or a colorful printed kimono. Start by packing the practical items, and round things out with more fanciful statement pieces.

Liz's pup, Georgie, enjoys the cottage's spacious living room

Georgie sure enjoyed the change of scenery at this pet-friendly cottage.

What is your favorite type of accommodation to style for?

I love packing for a cabin getaway on the outskirts of town. I can dress up for an evening at the art gallery and wine bar. And then I can change into leggings and a wrap for a night by the fire with tea and a book. I like accommodations that give me different occasions to dress for, whether it's a morning walk through the woods, an afternoon drive to the orchard, or a sunset stroll along the beach.

How would you describe your glamping style? Chic and stylish or rustic and outdoorsy?

My glamping style is rustic-meets-romantic. I'll wear jeans and cowboy boots, but wear a pink fringed kimono and crystal beaded necklace. I'll pair a floral sun dress with ankle boots and a denim jacket or wear a tiered maxi skirt with a tied chambray shirt. It's about mixing feminine glamor with rugged bohemian elements for an eclectic effect.

Lake Michigan's glimmering beach is just a short walk from the cabin.

Keep in mind our many glampsites near lake Michigan when planning your next getaway.

To find your very own romantic Michigan getaway, get some inspiration from our fun glamping stays in the Upper and Lower Peninsulas!


Be sure to catch Liz's next vacay on her blog, Instagram, and Facebook.

Blogger Spotlight: Rachel visits British Columbia

By Jessica Armstrong

Safari tents, frozen lakes, and bears...Oh my! Majestic nature and more awaits glampers when visiting Canada for a glamping adventure.

Let Rachel of Meander the World take you on a mystical exploration through British Columbia. From kayaking over Chilko Lake to biking through local trails, Rachel found the adventure in glamping and we can't help but want to visit this safari tent heaven, too. Rachel shares details of her magical getaway below.

Enjoy this beautiful lakeside view from the safari tent cabin.

In pursuit of a new adventure, Rachel was lucky enough to stumble upon the incredibly scenic Bear Camp.

What was your initial reaction upon arriving to your glamping spot?

The initial reaction was a bit of wonder and panic of where to go first. The scent of a sweet and spicy treat wafted from the main building, which was a cozy log cabin that served as the dining hub. Beyond that was an elevated platform that housed the tents for sleeping in and overlooked the crystal clear green water of Chilko Lake, with a backdrop of pure wilderness. It was truly a gorgeous setting.

A view of the lake and safari tent cabin rentals.

One step outside the luxury tents leads to an endless path of exploration.

What are the three words you would use to describe your getaway?

So. Much. Fun.

There were so many extras included in our stay—all the food, booze, and sports equipment. The guide that showed us around was so friendly that we felt like we were staying with close friends rather than some anonymous hotel.

What activities did you most enjoy while glamping at your destination?

We started our first morning off with a paddle in a kayak along the misty river watching the sun rise over the mountain peaks. Each afternoon followed with further water explorations with other boats and SUP boards. We also checked out the local hiking trails by foot or with the mountain bikes. Not ones to sit around, we loved the ability to get out and see the abundant nature using a variety of activities.

A stunning glimpse of British Columbia's nature from the safari tent cabins.

Highlights include: paddle boarding on the reflective surface of the Tsuniah Lake...

The frosty lake in the early morning.

... kayaking through the morning mist...

A quick glimpse of a BC bear getting his breakfast.

...and of course, casual bear-spotting.

What are your tips for new glampers and beginners?

Pack a warm sweater or jacket, some cozy socks, and a tripod. The stars were out in full force during our stay, and we kept wanting to sneak out of our tents to enjoy the show. Having some warm gear nearby meant we could move easily from tent to deck without having to bring the blanket with us.

What are your five go-to’s for your glamping stay?

My main priority is going somewhere unique: a new location, a special type of house (in this case elevated wall tents), an area where being active is possible, the right time of year to experience all the best the region has to offer, and something that pops out as memorable. The location at Bear Camp in the Chilcotins covered all those needs.

Can you share with us the top five items you always make sure to pack for a camping or glamping getaway?

Cameras (something capable for night shots and action shots), warm socks, a toque (what us Canadians call a warm hat), bathing suit, and a warm jacket for the evenings.

The inside scope of the luxury tent rental.

The cherry on top of these beautifully-furnished tents are the electrical blankets that'll keep you warm in the cool Canadian air.

What is your biggest piece of advice for planning steps before booking a trip?

I’m a visual person, so I look around at the region with Google images to understand what types of things I’ll see when I’m there. I want to know if I can hike, bike, kayak or explore the area safely with a guide or on my own. I try to find out when the best time to go is for wildlife or weather. Understand the area you are going to so you can see things that would interest you rather than missing out and learning about the options after you’ve left.

Glampers will see their fair share of bears when visiting this retreat.

They don't call it Bear Camp for nothing!

Where are you looking to glamp next and why?

I love the wilderness of Western or Northern Canada and Alaska and will be definitely looking at glamping options there next. Being a local to this area, it amazes me how much glamping can add to a short break, feeling quite exotic and make a long weekend truly memorable.

What was your most memorable moment from your glamping stay?

Without a doubt, watching the sun rise among the mist of the river while searching for grizzly bears.

Glampers will not get enough of the epic views from the deck of the tent.

Sometimes the best vacations are the most unconventional.

Find your very own magical getaway in British Columbia, here.


Be sure to check out Rachel's future travels and adventures on her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.