Five must-see cities in Andalusia, Spain

By Eleanor Stanesby

Each year on February 28, the southern region of Spa
in, which is called Andalusia, celebrates el Día de Andalucía, or Andalusia Day, which is in honor of the day Andalusia officially became an autonomous community back in 1980.

Flag of Andalusia. Photo from Wikipedia.

Glamping Hub is proud of the fact that we not only have an office based in Seville, the capital of Andalusia, but also that our CEO is from here! To celebrate this regional holiday, we'd like to show you five of our favorite cities in the beautiful southern region of Spain.

Where to visit

1. Seville

As previously mentioned, Seville is the capital of Andalusia and definitely not one to miss on your travels in southern Spain. Rich with history and culture, Seville holds the largest Gothic church in the world, with its bell tower, La Giralda, giving arguably the best views of this stunning city.

Photo from Henrique Ferreira on Unsplash..

You can't go to Seville and not try the amazing local tapas, overwhelmed for choice as you meander the many small streets, each with buildings of their own unique character.

Photo from Johan Mouchet on Unsplash.

The Plaza de España, originally built for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo, is now one of the most-visited attractions in all of Spain. Rent a small boat and row the canal that lines the building to experience a different perspective of the incredible architecture.

Photo from Alev Takil on Unsplash.

2.Cádiz

Cádiz is the perfect pick for those who love to be at or near the beach, especially on those hot summer days! Known as the oldest inhabited city in the whole of Europe and home to the Spanish Navy, the city boasts over 100 watch towers, due to the fact that it is almost entirely surrounded by water. When here, be sure to visit the Cadiz Cathedral—it took 116 years to build, which can be seen throughout the changes in the style of architecture.

Photo from Flickr.

If seafood is your thing, you cannot leave here without eating it! No matter if from one of the local fish markets or a restaurant, the quality of the seafood here is bound to impress.

If you happen to be here during the Carnival of Cádiz, you're in for an additional treat. Music can be heard from all around the city, and exuberant costumes are worn in celebration—basically just one big fiesta!

Photo from Flickr.

3. Córdoba

Córdoba was one of the most important Roman cities during the Middle Ages and is known best in present day for its courtyards home to stunning and vibrant flowers and plants, all beautifully displayed. In fact, there is a local celebration each year in May called the Patios de Córdoba, where the city's courtyards, most of which belong to people's private homes, are put on display—proudly showing off one of the city's claims to fame.

Photo from Flickr.

The Mezquita of Córdoba is truly stunning, both in its physical design and the history and culture behind it. Built in the 10th century, the structure was first a mosque that was later turned into a cathedral—making a visit to this historical monument is well worth the entry price.

Photo from Wikipedia.

4.Granada

Referred to as Spain's "Moorish Jewel," Granada is one of the most-visited cities in Spain by tourists from all around the world. A trip to the majestic Alhambra, a former palace and fortress that will make your jaw drop, is in order—especially when coupled with the Sierra Nevada mountains as the backdrop.

Photo from Mariano Colombotto on Unsplash.

Catching the sunset at the Mirador de San Nicolas is a favorite among tourists and locals alike—one that typically includes a flamenco treet performance of flamenco as background music while the sun goes down. Meanwhile, the Alcaicería holds the Great Bazaar in Granada, where, since the 15th century, stalls have sold vibrant clothing and souvenirs, allowing its patrons to feel the city's intrinsic connection with northern Africa and Moorish culture.

Photo from Flickr.

5. Málaga

Málaga is a diverse city, from the incredible modernization of Spain's oldest operating port to the charming streets of the old town. While in the city, you have to visit the Alcazaba, a Moorish palace and fortress from the 11th century, which sits up on the hillside and holds secret courtyards and stunning views of the city and ocean.

Photo from Hiveminer.

Alternatively, you can immediately head to any one of the many fantastic beaches on the Costa del Sol, i.e., the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With 15 beaches within the city limits, you'll have plenty of options to choose from, including the Playa de Guadalmar and the Playa del Campo de Golf-San Julián, which is popular with the area's kite-surfers.

Photo from Spain-Holiday.com.

Eager to see more of Andalusia? Check out our complete collection of glamping accomodations across the south of Spain!

What's Mardi Gras and where to celebrate it in the U.S.

By Mikaela Amundson

Mardi Gras is almost here and that means its time for costumes, beads, and a lot of celebration! We're here to give you some great background on this enormous party and some glamping sites perfect to head away to if you want to be close to the action and have an unforgettable experience this year.

A brief history

Mardi Gras in the U.S. dates back to 1703, when the tradition was brought to what is now Mobile, Alabama, by French explorers sent by Louis XIV to defend the then territory of Louisiana in the New World. They held the first organized Mardi Gras celebration there in Louisiana, starting a tradition that endures to this day.

When the capital of the territory moved to Biloxi and, later to New Orleans, the traditions spread and stuck. While today Mardi Gras is celebrated primarily in Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, and parts of Texas, the spirit of the holiday has spread all over the U.S. and can be found just about everywhere.

When to celebrate

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday and is the culmination of the celebration of Epiphany, or the holiday honoring the Magi, 12 days after Christmas. It occurs the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

Lent is a religious period marked with repentance, somberness, and giving up habits or pleasures to prepare for the dark Good Friday and subsequent happy Easter Sunday in the Christian tradition. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last day to party it up with food, drink, music, and dancing before Lent begins.

Local groups, known as Mystic Societies or Krewes, organize parades, masked balls, and parties that are super unique. With good food, dancing, costumes, and beads, this celebration is a must-see. In recent years, more Mardi Gras celebrations are discouraging single-use plastic and glitter (a harmful micro-plastic for marine life) in an effort to become more environmentally conscious.

Where to celebrate

If you're looking to get in on this legendary party, heading to Mobile, Alabama, or New Orleans, Louisiana, is a no-brainer, but if you want to make this trip something a little more unique, a glamping site nearby would be the perfect getaway! Look below for some sites that put you close enough to the celebrations, but far enough away so you can sneak away from the crowds when you're done for the night.

Mobile, Alabama:

This tucked away tent has access to gorgeous beaches, a nature preserve, and great trails for hiking and biking. After heading into Mobile for the celebrations on Tuesday, enjoy a few more days on the gulf for a well-rounded vacation.

30 minutes outside of Mobile, you'll find this cottage on the coast of Mobile Bay, with everything you need for a comfortable stay. With everything from Wi-Fi, a king-size bed, and a screened-in porch, this accommodation is the perfect comfortable spot to settle into before donning your costumes and heading to the parade!

New Orleans, Louisiana:

This perfectly cozy A-frame cabin sits on an incredible private 53-acre lake, surrounded by gorgeous wildlife, marshes, ponds, and forests. Just a 40-minute drive into the city of New Orleans, this little nature getaway is perfect for couples looking to experience a little bit of everything in the bayou.

This massive lakeside rental will make you want to get every friend you know and head down to NOLA. Located on Lake Pontchartrain and 45 minutes away from this city, this 20-person accommodation will be the perfect place to host the whole gang for a relaxing get away before heading into the city for a very memorable Mardi Gras.


Don't let the party stop here! Be sure to check out our collections of accommodations near New Orleans and Mobile for even more Mardi Gras-worthy options.

GH Tips: How to make the perfect listing

By Eric Wright

A listing is so much more than a few words and a handful of photos. In order to create the perfect listing—and get your accommodation the attention it deserves and the bookings you want—we've gathered our insider knowledge to maximize your rental's potential and make it shine among its competitors. The following handy tips are an easy way to ensure your property will make it to the top of every Glamping Hub user's list.

1. Photos are everything

We've all heard the common phrase that "a picture is worth a thousand words," and this idiom couldn't be truer when it comes to giving your listing the best chance of getting attention from guests, and ultimately, bookings.

The image is the first thing that will draw a guest's eye, and for this reason, they need to be bright, clear, full of color, and capture the uniqueness of your accommodation. We realize that paying a professional photographer can be pricey, but don't underestimate the power of a smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera! You'd be amazed at the high quality, clean, and attractive images you can produce with the click of a button.

The best photos contain plenty of natural light (open those windows and doors!), have a wide angle that allow the guest to be able to imagine themselves at your rental, and, of course, have an outstanding exterior picture that sums up the property.

2. Catchy titles

In general, a listing with a clear and attractive title will gain a higher click-through rate from potential guests. It's a matter of succinctly summing up the property, while showing off your accommodation's best features. If you've got it, flaunt it! If you have a pristine pool with mountain views or a hot tub under the stars, we need to make sure potential guests know right off the bat.

3. Location, location, location

While guests looking for their next getaway will most likely have already searched for the city or area that they want to stay, using a popular tourist destination in the title and within the text can give that extra push to get more page views and bookings.

With hundreds of millions of visitors flocking to national parks in the U.S. each year, using these popular spots in the title is a great way to attract fellow nature lovers. Is your property within walking distance to a gorgeous beach or an epic peak in the mountains? We need to say so to ensure guests know the best attractions in the area right away.

4. Clear and up-to-date descriptions

Glamping Hub guests are usually outdoor explorers looking to take a unique vacation in a one-of-a-kind accommodation, and for that reason, having an appealing description of the property is a must. If your tree house has a deck high up in the branches with sprawling views of the mountains, guests need to be told! At the same time, over-exaggerating the quality can be counterproductive for a more rustic rental.

Ensuring the listing is up-to-date in terms of local attractions and events can also be key. If there's a new music festival in the area or an adventure center that has recently opened up, potential guests will thank you for letting them know about it.

5. Good reviews

One of the most important parts of a listing is the reviews from past guests. Looking at an accommodation with no reviews can make guests hesitant, so good reviews are a way that for them to connect to the property on a more personal level. Reviews allow guests to put more trust into the rental and significantly increase the likelihood of them booking.

For this reason, it's absolutely crucial for hosts to make sure guests have a memorable and comfortable stay to ensure those attractive reviews build up and further improve the quality of the listing.

6. Be a proactive host

For this last one, we're going to remove your accommodation from the equation and focus solely on you. Being a proactive host is equally as important as having quality photos and an accurate description on your listing.

The most basic first step is the importance of having your profile filled out correctly, in particular, your payout information. Without this, even interested guests won't be able to book your amazing accommodation.

Moreover, be sure that your calendars are synced and to review your rates regularly, so guests are always seeing the most accurate prices available. Our Support team is also ready to help with both of these tasks whenever you should need it!

Your interactions with guests are another critical component, and high responsiveness to guest inquiries and booking requests will not only boost your income, but ensure that guests leave you positive reviews.

P.S. Activate instant book

With the upcoming introduction of the new host dashboard on Glamping Hub, navigating your booking inquiries and requests will be way more user-friendly. What's more, this new dashboard will allow you to easily activate the instant book feature.

Why activate this, you ask? The ability to book an accommodation instantly has proven to be extremely attractive to today's travelers, completely eliminating the wait time between requesting to book and confirmation from the host. At the end of the day, this means more revenue for you and less hassle for both you and your guests.


If you're a Glamping Hub host—or looking to be—stay tuned for more amazing blog content written just for you. While you're here, don't forget to check out our incredible Hosts of the Month this month in Washington and Colorado, too!

Starting the new year in Sri Lanka

By Caroline Picken

I started the new year airbound somewhere over the Arabian Sea, with my plane landing in Colombo, Sri Lanka, bright and early on January 1. Whenever I take a long holiday, I like to revert back to my “backpacking days” and really hop around a country. I enjoy this type of travel philosophy and truly believe its the best way to see a country and all it has to offer.

Having thoroughly researched all of the top spots to see—and discovering some gems along the way—my friend and I decided to head straight to Sri Lanka’s tea country, where we were to spend two nights in a tree house. This particular accommodation was the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, and it is built in a live pine tree that is suspended 30 feet above the ground...glamping in its purest form! While laying in bed, the structure moved and creaked, so it definitely is not for the faint of heart, but stepping out onto the balcony, the view of the surrounding valley was spectacular, making it all more than worth it.

On our first evening, we ate from a local roadside spot, and three curries and some fried Asian delights later, the bill came to approximately $2.80. (It was going to be a great two weeks.) We then headed further inland towards Kandy, a highly polluted but bustling city. After a quick pit stop, we headed north to the Knuckles Mountain Range and the Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge, where our luxury safari tents were.

In between the tree house and these tents, I can easily say they are the top two most unique accommodations I've ever stayed at in my life. Each safari tent had every five-star amenity you could ask for—topped off with a mesmerizing view of the aforementioned mountains—all while being nestled amid a working tea plantation. It was the perfect place for some relaxation.

Hailed as one of the most beautiful train rides in the world, we headed south from Kandy to Ella on the famous blue train. Getting tickets was slightly tricky; they sell out months in advance, but thanks to a local tout, we managed to secure our seats. The train snacks were delectable! The locals would dangle out of the window or run along the tracks with fried goodies, and they would hand them to you in someone's old math homework papers.

Ella is a unique city; it reminded me of the yogi vibe that Ubud, Bali, has. Everyone is trying to be very zen, but it just doesn't quite fit. We did a beautiful hike at dawn up Little Adam's Peak, but we quickly decided it was time to move one.

Our next destination was Yala National Park, where you can do a half-day safari for less than 30 euros, where you get to see elephants and leopards, the lords of the jungle. A driver's commitment is key when going on safari, and our guy was definitely the MVP. He found an elephant 25 minutes after picking us up—all before dawn! I absolutely love animals, so seeing a herd of wild elephants playing in the dust was a real highlight.


Finally, it was time for the beach. For our last week, we decided to hop between beach towns on the southwest coast. We found three boutique hotels that offered eco-chic rooms with easy access to the beach, which was important to us for viewing the mesmerizing sunsets in this part of the world.

We stayed in a Swedish-owned boutique hotel that was like nowhere I've ever stayed before. If it were on Glamping Hub, I'd categorize it as a “room in the wild.” The concrete, three-story structure is just off the main road, but it overlooks the beach and Taprobane Island. Every last detail has been considered here, from the design of the rooms and the hipster magazines scattered about to the local products left for guests to enjoy. Meanwhile, at night, you could sip on a local cocktail while looking out over the beach of Weligama. This place officially confirmed for me that Swedish people have the best taste in home decor!

Sri Lanka has many nicknames: Ceylon, the Pearl of the Orient, and the Teardrop of India. For me, the exquisite nature, vast wildlife, and the people make it one of the most enchanting and unique places in southeast Asia. From tea plantations, 100-foot waterfalls, and temples in the north to magical sunsets, secret beaches, and the colonial city of Galle in the south, the diversity of Sri Lanka's landscape and its myriad of cultures made every day a new adventure, and I would highly recommend adding this pearl of an island to your bucket list.


To see everything we have to offer in Sri Lanka, keep exploring on Glamping Hub! For more on Caroline's adventures, be sure to check out her blog on Costa Rica, too.

Our favorite dog-friendly trails in Banff

By Fred Jéquier

When heading out on a glamping adventure to somewhere like Banff in Alberta, Canada—with its trails galore, forests to explore, and lakes to navigate—many of us would relish the opportunity to share the experience with the four-legged members of our families. We've all been on vacations when, much to their indignation, we couldn't take our beloved canine pals, but by taking your dog to Banff, they'll stop hounding you to include them in your getaway plans.

Keep on reading to find out where you should stay and our favorite trails to hike in this beautiful corner of Canada!

Finding the perfect pad

Before you can set off on a hike with your dog, you first have to pick out that perfect, pet-friendly accommodation. With some wonderful options to choose from for your trip, you can grab those leashes, stock up on treats, and give your furry companion the vacation they deserve!

1. Dog house or dog palace?

This cabin with incredible mountain views will certainly give you paws for thought. It's not just pet-friendly, but it is perfect for a large family vacation, or even a group getaway. Set just outside of Calgary, Alberta, you and your dog can be hiking through Banff National Park together in under an hour.

2. A Golden opportunity

Another great location for you and your pet to relax after a busy day of exploring the forest and discovering new scents is Golden, British Columbia. Just over an hour's drive from Lake Louise, this fabulous cabin will leave even the smartest retriever thinking it's too far-fetched to be true! Glampers can kayak, and puppies can paddle while enjoying the comforts of this charming woodland cabin.

3. "Choose your own adventure" glamping

For a more rustic experience, glampers can opt for a cozy accommodation like this retro campervan, whose homebase is just south of Calgary, Alberta. Perfect for couples and hounds alike, the campervan set up by the hosts wherever guests would like, including any of the many campsites near Banff National Park. While the campervan must stay in one place, you and your canine companion most certainly don't have to and will be able to easily take advantage of the National Park's many trails together.

Pet-Friendly Trails

Now that you've found the ideal spot to stay with your four-legged friend, you can start to think about what you want to do in Banff National Park. You want to see as much as you can, while ensuring that your pet has an equally memorable time exploring the park. The perfect solution? There are plenty of different trail options available, varying in length, location, and difficulty.

1. Mistaya Canyon

This trail may be on the short side for the more seasoned explorer, but it's not to be sniffed at! Suitable for hikers of all skill levels and located about five kilometers south of Saskatchewan Crossing, the Mistaya Canyon Trail is a scenic hike. Just over a kilometer long, it features mesmerizing rock formations, rushing water, and several beautiful waterfalls.

2. Tunnel Mountain Trail

The Tunnel Mountain Trail is just under four kilometers long, starting on the edge of the town of Banff itself. There are some steep parts to walk up, but neither you nor your dog will find it too ruff, as there is time for you to catch your breath and bring a halt to any puffing and panting as the trail levels out in sections. When you get to the top, the climb will absolutely have been worth it. The views of Banff, and the surrounding mountains and forest are breathtaking!

3. Skoki Mountain Loop Trail

If you are hoping to unleash your inner hardcore trekker, this trail is the ideal choice. Nearly 40 kilometers in length, this looped trail features stunning views of Banff National Park and a lake that is perfect for enjoying on any particularly warm days. The Skoki Mountain Loop Trail is sure to be a great day out for both you and your right-hound man. Don't be surprised if any younger pups expect a helping paw to get to the finish line!

Park Rules

It's important to remember that those wagging tails lapping up their vacation time won't be the only members of the animal kingdom in the area. The National Park is home to a host of wildlife, and this means there are certain rules that dogs and their humans need to adhere to. Here are just a few important ones to remember, but glampers should also check out Alberta Animal Health Source for a more in-depth look at the rules.

1. Leashes

Dogs will need to stay on their leash while enjoying their day of hiking. With animals, such as black bears, cougars, and bison, living in the park, you'll want to make sure your pup stays close by. To give them a bit more freedom, the leash can be up to three meters long, so they can still have a sniff around.

2. Meeting the residents

If you do come across any of the local wildlife, such as elk or deer, give them a wide berth, especially during calving season. Sadly, these otherwise majestic creatures can't tell the difference between a friendly wagging tail saying "Hello!" and a wolf or coyote with less friendly intentions, so they won't be welcoming to any canine visitors.

3. Sunny days = hot cars

It's vital to remember not to leave your furry friend in the car, especially on a hot day. Besides, you wouldn't want to take your dog all that way just to leave them waiting for you while you enjoy the National Park, would you? Even if you're just popping into the shop on the way back to your accommodation, try to take your buddy along. They may enjoy having a look at a new town just as much as you.


For more information about Banff National Park, check out our in-depth travel guide, filled with information, tips, and ideas, for your glamping adventure in Alberta, Canada!

How to pack for a camping trip with your dog

By Eric Wright

Spending time exploring vast national parks and the great outdoors is an ideal way to bond and create long-lasting memories with your furry best friend, but we all know that packing for a camping trip can be tough—especially when the trusty pooch is tagging along for the ride. The checklist can seem overwhelming at times, so here are some essential items to make sure you and your pup have an unforgettable time and stay safe out in the wild.

1. 20-foot cable leash and stake

Whether Fido is a dependable, free-roaming spirit or a little hard to keep under control, having a long leash and a reliable stake is crucial for owners and their pets to make the most of the scenic landscape. Once that epic peak has been conquered, take some much-needed rest while your four-legged pal has a nap, safe in the knowledge he's not going to be running off on an impromptu quest to meet more of the locals!

2. An ID tag

With the incredibly inquisitive nature of our canine companions, one of the most critical items to remember, the ID tag, is the last line of defense if the unthinkable happens and your pooch does wander off. Make sure to provide all relevant contact details so you can be reunited if your furry friend decides to explore a bit by himself.

3. Dog backpack

Photo courtesy of Ruffwear.

Hiking in the mountains can be exhausting, so why not make your companion work a little for his supper? These handy dog backpacks allow pets to pick up some of the slack and help their owners have a more relaxing day out. The packs come in a selection of sizes, from dainty Chihuahua varieties to heavy-duty Saint Bernard ones, and remembering to pack one of these on your next getaway will be a weight off your shoulders—literally.

4. First aid kit

With seemingly endless mountains, rivers, and lakes on the agenda for most camping trips, there's the outside chance of your pup getting himself in a sticky situation. Make sure you're ready for any potential hiccups by preparing some essential medical supplies, including bandages for any scrapes, hydrogen peroxide (in case anything toxic is ingested), antibiotic ointment, and tick medication.

5. Portable dog bowl

Photo courtesy of Ruffwear.

One of the most basic items for our pets is their bowl, and on a camping trip, less is more in terms of space. These useful bowls are collapsible, sealable, and small—making them a vital piece of equipment to take on those long treks. Be sure to pack some of your pup's favorite treats to reward them for their hard work on that adrenaline-pumping hike in the peaks.

6. Dog sleeping bag

If your pup's used to some of the finer things in life, you may want to pack one of these water-resistant sleeping bags to keep little Baxter happy and warm after a day out exploring. The handy bedding comes in a range of sizes to suit any dog and affords some of those creature comforts of home, even while on a wild adventure in the mountains.

7. Collar light

Photo courtesy of K9 of Mine.

Exploring new terrain and discovering natural wonders is top of the list a lot of camping trips and after sundown, keeping an eye on what the pooch is up to can be difficult, especially if your pet has a dark coat. These cheap and simple LED collars are the perfect solution to avoid any unnecessary night-time panic.

8. Dog coat

Whether your pet's fur is shaggy and long or short and straight, as dusk approaches and temperatures drop off, Fido may be feeling a tad on the chilly side. These trendy, weatherproof, and waterproof coats offer a simple way for pets to stay toasty warm even on cold winter nights, as well as temporarily turning your pooch into an enviable fashionista!


For more tips on traveling with your dog, keep on reading, with a guest post by Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends.

Top winter glamping sites in the U.K.

By Eleanor Stanesby

Camping in the middle of winter in the U.K. is one thing that we're not sure we can get behind, but glamping? Well, now, that's a different story entirely. Not having to worry about cold nights laying on the ground in a pop-up tent? Sign us up!

We've compiled our top glamping sites for a winter getaway in the U.K.—everything from luxury pods and tree houses to classic cottages. It's easy to enjoy the beautiful rolling hills and forests from the comfort of one of these cozy accommodations. Braving the chilly weather has never sounded so appealing!

1. Luxurious, Adults-Only Tree House in Devon

Don't let the description of this tree house fool you into thinking you'll be cold during your stay. This elevated accommodation is equipped with a wood-burning stove to keep the whole place toasty come nightfall—and we haven't even told you about the big, luxurious bathtub yet. Talk about a five-star experience!

We'll leave you with this...just imagine stepping out on the balcony for a morning coffee amid the smell of the crisp morning dew and surrounded by the trees, listening to nothing but the natural sounds of the local wildlife. Sounds likes the perfect way to start the day to us.

2. Eco-Pod on Derbyshire Farm

A getaway in a pod is a favorite of the British public, something different from your typical caravan or hotel stay. This eco-pod is a unique way to experience the countryside—in fact, that's all that surrounds this perfect pod.

Built to endure all aspects of English weather, thanks to its insulation, cladding, and fire pit, this pod is a sure winner for a winter break. Each morning, you'll get to wake up in a comfy bed with perfectly placed French doors to see a breathtaking view of the surroundings from the minute you open your eyes.

3. Unique Cottage at Adventure Park in Scotland

This unique cottage, which is located among the mountains that surround Loch Tay in Scotland, has a rustic wooden appearance on the outside, with a modern twist on the inside. This cottage is equipped with all you could ever need for a nature-based getaway and keeps you close to the beautiful natural surroundings—while also allowing you to enjoy them from the comfort of the accommodation's many windows.

4. Romantic Pod Farm Getaway in Essex

This romantic pod is equipped with all the necessities for an ideal winter holiday. From under floor heating, a fire pit, and a log fired hot tub - If you can brave the chill before getting in. Located in a county speckled with picturesque villages and towns you can explore for the perfect relaxing day. The pod is also dog friendly, so bring your dog for all the more fun!

5. Warm and Inviting Holiday Yurt in Wales

You'll never get bored on holiday at this yurt rental in Wales, from its convenient location near the River Dee to the on-site recreational barn filled with games and entertainment options. Located in the beautiful countryside of a small village, you'll find a market town nearby that is filled with pubs for you to enjoy, should you so desire. A trip to see the serene waters of the aforementioned river is also a must, where a horse-drawn canal trip comes highly recommended.

6. Stone Cottage with Wood-Fired Hot Tub in Wales

The rustic feel of this stone cottage is perfect for the winter. Tucked away in the rural village of Felindre in Wales, you'll get to enjoy strolling along any one of the number of nearby trails, all of which boast beautiful landscapes and the peaceful sounds of local fauna. On those cozy relaxing nights in, this cottage is equipped with an AGA range cooker to heat the whole space—the snow is no match for this countryside accommodation!

7. Modern Country Cottage in North Cumbria

This modern cottage in North Cumbria, England, is surrounded by eight acres of private land for the perfect weekend escape from your busy life. You can enjoy the peaceful grounds, venture to the nearby Carlisle Castle, or go off to explore the Lake District. Underfloor heating and a fireplace are sure to keep you warm at night, while the home cinema keeps you plenty entertained. The lounge gives you a perfect 180-degree view of the grounds through its large glass walls—the perfect place to be sat as the sun sets!

8. Beautiful Cabin on Organic Farm in West Wales

Farm stays aren't just for the summertime, and this eco-friendly cabin for hire in West Wales is the perfect example. Come wintertime, guests will love the underfloor heating and the wood-burning fireplace to help them warm up after a day exploring the walking trails amid the serene countryside that surrounds this property.

9. Pet-Friendly Cottage in Northumberland

Situated in Northumberland—the northernmost town in all of England—this pet-friendly cottage rental can easily accommodate family, friends, and dogs for the ideal winter holiday. For a fun trip close to the accommodation, you can visit Alnwick Castle, widely known as one of Britain's most iconic castles, as well as where a number of scenes from the Harry Potter films were shot.

10. Tree House Hideaway in Wiltshire, England

This tree house is surrounded by organic pastures, streams, and historic oak trees that paint the perfect backdrop for this idyllic getaway. It accommodates up to six guests with its luxurious, three-level floor plan. While staying at this property, you can take advantage of the surrounding land, as well as day trips to the nearby town, all of which is sure to keep you entertained!

11. BEAUTIFUL COTTAGE RENTAL, NORWICH

Perfect for a small family looking for a cozy holiday, this cottage is located on a working farmland, and the on-site scenic walks are second to none through the woodland areas of the countryside. The cottage also comes fully equipped with everything you'll need to cook meals for the whole family and enjoy a relaxing night in.

12. UNIQUE ECO-POD IN ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

This pod is nothing short of a dream come true—all while being eco-friendly! Solar-powered fairy lights illuminate this pod from the inside out, while the wood-fired hot tub allows you to comfortably kick back after a day spent exploring the surrounding wildflower meadows and coppice woodlands. Striving to have zero CO2 emissions, this glamping site is sure to be the most environmentally-friendly place you've ever stayed!


Ready for a winter getaway in the U.K.? Click on the the links above to book your favorite of these accommodations now!

Travel Guide: Banff National Park

By Amber Woolley

Banff National Park is home to sensational mountains, vast, white glaciers, stunning alpine meadows, and an abundance of wildlife. Located in Alberta in the Rocky Mountains, this is Canada's first-ever National Park, and it's quite amazing. From a quaint peaceful town with plenty of restaurants and boutiques to an array of outdoor activities, Banff is one place that is never short on adventure. Since this breathtaking place has so much to offer, we don't want you to miss out on any opportunities, so we've created a travel guide to make your trip even more spectacular.

Good to know before you go

Getting there and around

If you are flying in, Calgary, in Alberta, is the main city and the easiest way to get to Banff National Park. Calgary International Airport (YYC) is 88 miles from the charming town of Banff, which will take you approximately 1.5 hours to reach by car. You can also get to Banff and Lake Louise by the readily-available local bus services for around $71 per person.

If you want to travel to Banff by direct train and fancy traveling in style, it is recommended you take the Rocky Mountaineer—where you can uncover this hidden world of unparalleled beauty and experience incredible views of the Canadian Rockies.

The best way to get around Banff National Park is to drive your own car or rent one from a car rental service. It is also important you pick up a park pass, which can be purchased upon entry to the park or in advance online.

For those wanting a truly relaxing getaway where they can focus solely on the incredible scenery, public transport runs throughout the park, making travel from one beautiful spot to the next completely stress-free. Roam is a regular hybrid bus service and you can find out more information here.

Useful Facts

Popular spots you don't want to miss

Every destination in Banff National Park is beautiful and it is sometimes difficult to know where to start. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started.

Upper Hot Springs

Banff Upper Hot Springs
Photo sourced from Banff and Lake Louise.

First, we'll begin with the discovery that led to the development of Banff National Park: the hot springs. These were discovered in 1883 by three railway workers looking for healing and wellness. The Upper Hot Springs are one of nine naturally occurring hot springs at Banff. You will experience a striking and scenic backdrop while unwinding in steamy, hot mineral water—sure to be a highlight of your vacation!

Bow Falls

Another popular destination that can't be missed is Bow Falls, which is within walking distance from Banff. The stunning waterfall is shallow, but wide, and is caused by the change of course in the Bow River. Enjoy the view, take a picnic, or hike along the trail by the side of the falls.

Banff Gondola

Fancy a thrill? The Banff Gondola is a must! Experience a 360-degree, bird's eye view of six scenic mountain ranges from 7,486 feet above sea level! This scenic cableway ride will provide beautiful mountain vistas in every direction and will take you up to the summit of Sulphur Mountain.

Trip savvy: Activities on a budget

Visiting Banff doesn't have to be a costly trip; being in the heart of Canada's most renowned park is sufficient enough! Banff National Park is not short of low-cost and free activities that you should definitely take advantage of.

Wildlife viewing

When you step into Banff National Park, the chances are very high that you'll catch a glimpse of a grizzly bear, a mountain goat, or one of the many amazing bird species in the area. Wildlife viewing is also a perfect and exciting activity that can be done with the whole family and is completely free.

Sometimes, it really does help to know the right spot and the right time to be there. Here are some tips to optimize your chances:

1. Choose a quiet area. You have a higher chance of spotting wildlife if there are fewer tourists. A good recommendation is Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A), which is a less-traveled road. Typically, this is where you will find wolves, black bears, deer, and sheep.

2. Search at the right time. Yes, you probably guessed, this means early mornings. Animals are more likely to be feeding at lower levels. If you are not an early riser, the next optimal time is just before dusk.

3. Be respectful and keep your distance. Getting too close to animals can threaten their survival. Seeing them in their natural environment and giving them space is an important wildlife viewing tip.

Self-guided walking tours

Historic Ski Village of Banff
Photo sourced from SKI Magazine.

Do you want to discover more about Banff? A self-guided walking tour is a fun and interesting way to learn about the town's history. Download this easy PDF, which will provide you with five tours that have been optimized for mobile viewing.

Hiking

With a 1,000 miles of trails, hiking in Banff National Park is full of adventure, has some of the world's most spectacular views, and is completely free of charge. The park is perfect for those wanting an easy stroll, as well as those who desire a more ambitious hike. Plain of Six Glaciers is a rewarding hike that should definitely make it onto your bucket list. This hike has one of the most accessible trails and offers extraordinary views of the mountains surrounding Lake Louise.

Banff National Park is also dog-friendly for those traveling with their pet. The only stipulations are that your dog must be kept on a leash and under control at all times. There are, however, some trails where dogs are not allowed so be sure to check this out beforehand.

Hot tip: Check the latest trail conditions with Parks Canada before you begin your adventure.

Upcoming Events

Events in Banff National Park and Lake Louise.
Photo sourced from Banff and Lake Louise.

There are many exciting events all year round at Banff National Park, so be sure to check the calendar before you book your vacation. The following are some examples of the types of events offered:

  • Alpenglow Festival at the Banff Gondola: March 1, 2019
  • Mindfulness and Yoga Retreat at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: April 26, 2019
  • Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival - October 26-November 3, 2019

Safety

Before you depart to one of the worlds most beautiful and wild places, it is important you are all clued up on some important safety tips.

Natural Hazards

Natural hazards can be a big part of the National Park experience, but their impact can be reduced if you are well informed and prepared. If you want to read more on how to keep safe in the outdoors, visit AdventureSmart!

Driving

If driving, you must be prepared for a variety of weather conditions, even at all times of the year. At higher elevations, it may even snow during the summer. This is why it's extremely important to drive with caution at all times. A top tip is to equip your car with the essentials in case of an emergency, such as a shovel, a flashlight, a blanket, food, and water.

Mountain safety tips

  • Never hike alone.
  • Plan your trip beforehand and take a map.
  • Pack a flashlight.
  • Take extra clothes.
  • Bring a first aid kit.
  • Ensure your cell phone is fully charged.

Animal Safety

Wildlife behavior is unpredictable, and animals can get stressed when their space is invaded by humans, especially when they are trying to protect their offspring. It is important to view and photograph the animals from a sensible distance. In general, it is recommended to stay back 100 meters from bears (unless you are inside a vehicle); 30 meters from all other large species; and 200 meters from coyote, fox, or wolf dens.

Health

  • Be sure to take out comprehensive health insurance before your trip.
  • Canada has no essential vaccinations; however, as always, there are some that are recommended by the World Health Organization, such as hepatitis A and B, rabies, meningitis, and MMR.
  • Even though Canada is an industrialized country, bug bites can still spread diseases. Try to avoid bug bites, especially when you will be spending a lot of time outside and in wooded areas. It is recommended to take an insect repellent along.

Where to Stay

If you're visiting Banff National Park, it is already clear you love the outdoors and adventure. This cozy lodge is situated right in the heart of Banff National Park and has breathtaking views of Bow Lake. The lodge is located in the ideal spot to access the famous Canadian Glaciers, waterfalls, and Rocky Mountains, as well as being only a 30-minute drive from the town of Banff.

If you are looking for an authentic ski chalet, this log cabin is the perfect spot for you. With a central location that gives you access to an array of activities, guests are never far from adventure, all while knowing they have a cozy sanctuary to relax in at the end of the day.


Want to keep exploring our glamping accommodations in Canada? Check out our complete collection here!

Host Spotlight: Pam, Randy, and Merrill

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 Pam, Randy, and Merrill—a father-mother-daughter team who manage four different glamping accommodations in Carbondale, Colorado. All questions have been answered by Pam.

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

We were originally corporate city kids from Chicago. Then, 20 years ago, several life changing events took place, and we realized that life is not a dress rehearsal, and we took hold of the opportunity to head west.

We were just going to come out for vacation, and then one day, my daughter Merrill and I were introduced to our ranch, and we felt as though our dream had come true. When we bought the ranch, it was a horse boarding facility, and over the years, we have acquired more animals, and we decided to change half of our stalls into studios for creatives and entrepreneurs.

Our daughter majored in sustainability and has always had a holistic vision for our ranch, where we can have not only horses but also heritage breeds of pigs, cows, and chickens, and then have folks coming to the ranch to learn and enjoy what we have been so blessed to have.

People have been glamping in Europe for many years, but it was new to the U.S. In the mountains of Colorado, there is a lot of camping, but I, of course, loved the more glamorous part of glamping. Honestly, there are so many people that want to be able to enjoy the benefits of being out with nature and animals and quiet, but don't have the time, knowledge, physical ability, or storage for the gear, so glamping is the perfect fit.

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

I was Vice President of Advertising for Family Circle Magazine, and Randy had worked with Drexel Burnham Lambert as an investment banker. I retired when Merrill was 5, and we came to Colorado 20 years ago from outside of Chicago. We have enjoyed having people come to the ranch to board horses over the years, and we actually had a yurt that we used just for our recreation. We came to the realization that, to be able to make the ranch sustainable for future generations, we had to diversify and seek out different sources of income; therefore, glamping is the perfect activity for us.

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

We have three safari tents, a bell tent, a yurt, and a cabin. These spaces are all tucked into over 100 acres of space on our ranch. The camping aspect offers our guests a direct connection with nature, complete solitude, and an amazing place to settle down and stargaze. We also have miles of trails for private picnics, campfires for s'mores, and barbecues for brats from the ranch.

The glamorous part of the camping comes in the form of real beds, fresh linens, and family heirlooms. We offer spaces that are all beautifully appointed with antiques, and each one has a different look and feel. When we were at the Global Glamping Summit, we found beautiful bathroom tents that have a hot shower and flushing toilet.

Our guests love to just chill and grill. but we are also just 20 minutes from fine dining establishments and a Whole Foods grocery store. Our guests wake up to fresh eggs, our heritage breed bacon, and French Press coffee every morning.

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

I think most or our guests are amazed at the views, as well as the peace and quiet, all while being so close to some of the most popular destinations in the world, including Aspen, Maroon Bells, and hot springs galore.

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

We just love meeting people from all over the world and learning from them, in addition to offering hints and tips to make their trip special. We have had a very long journey with land use changes and building code and water court issues.

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

One night, we were in our barn that we use as our lodge for guests; this is where everyone gathers after a big day of exploring to relax and get to know each other. That weekend, we had a writers' group and a couple from Saudi Arabia. The conversations went from what is going to be your next novel to what do neighborhoods look like in Saudi Arabia.

The other experience was when a couple wanted to have private nuptials up in the woods, so we put a blanket in the back of our four-wheeler, and the bride, the groom, and their dog all piled in for a ride. There are just so many experiences!

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

We have four...amazing, magical, sunsets, and stars!


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

We offer our guests the opportunity to unwind, re-group, and explore. The barn is a genuine spot where folks from all cultures and backgrounds can relax, share, and learn on a beautiful working ranch. We offer horseback riding, farm tours, alpaca yoga, fiber classes, board games in the barn, and lawn games. There are hiking trails throughout the property, too.

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

I would want to show Josh Groban glamping and listen to him sing over the campfire. Randy would want to have Rupert Murdoch, so he could pick his brain.

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

Yes, we just received the approval to open our site last August, and we had an 82% occupancy rate. We have just added a darling cabin that will be open through the winter, as we are so close to world-class skiing. We will also be adding another bell tent and safari tent, which will be tucked down in a draw and will have our alpacas wandering about. Imagine waking up and having an alpaca on your front deck!

This will give us six units all together. We will be opening up the yurt in March, and the rest of the units in April. We had so much success with our alpaca yoga that we will be adding to that next summer. We are going to promote glamping weddings, workshops, family reunions with an ancestry workshop, and wine-tasting weekends, where guests can learn more about the wine industry.


To book one of Pam, Randy, and Merrill's accommodations, click here for the glamping tent, here for the yurt, here for the safari tent, or here for the cabin!

Host Spotlight: Jenna

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 Jenna, who manages this secluded tiny house in Clinton on Whidbey Island, Washington.

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

In 2013, I built a tiny house on wheels so that I could pursue my dream of living debt-free. For an entire year, I traveled the country with my tiny house in tow before settling in the Pacific Northwest. Now that I'm debt-free, I'm able to spend the majority of my time traveling. When I'm away, I like to share my tiny house with others. It's a special space, and it helped me achieve my dreams. I hope that it inspires others, too!

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

Before becoming a glamping host, I have been a blogger and videographer. I like to share stories of other people living alternatively and building incredible structures.

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

My tiny house is the definition of glamping, because it's set in the woods, with rustic and chic decor and simple, yet efficient, amenities. Outside, you can appreciate nature while roasting marshmallows over the fire pit or hiking the nearby trails; meanwhile, at the house, you can watch wildlife from the porch or enjoy stargazing out of the skylight in the bedroom loft.

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

Everything in the tiny house is customized and personalized, with innovative, space-saving furniture and efficient appliances. See how small you can go!

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

I love that I get to share my space—it's a very special home to me. My favorite thing to do is read my guest book.

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

Some of the notes in my guest book are very heartfelt. One kind note was from someone who became inspired to build her own tiny house after staying in my space. There's no better feeling than that!

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

Stylish, quirky, and magical.

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

Guests can expect to have a private oasis in the woods while staying in a quirky, small space that provides comfort and a one-of-a-kind experience.

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

I love hosting people who like new experiences that push the boundaries of the typical hotel room.

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

I'm roofing the patio/deck in a few weeks, so that my guests can enjoy sitting on the patio in all-weather conditions. I also plan on doing some landscaping in the near future, including installing a herb garden that guests will be encouraged to use and harvest for their cooking pleasure.


*For the ultimate Washington getaway, book Jenna's tiny house in Washington here!