A look into Holi festival

By Amber Woolley

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

The Festival of Color.
Photo sourced from Visittrivalley.

The history of Holi

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

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

The story behind Holi.
Photo sourced from scoopwhoop.

Holi rituals and traditions

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

Celebration of Holika Dahan.

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

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

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

Reasons behind Holi

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

Where to spend Holi

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

Vrindavan and Mathura

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

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

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

Goa

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

What to wear

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


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

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.

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.

Where to have the best Super Bowl party

By Mikaela Amundson

Super Bowl LIII
Rams vs. Patriots
Sunday, February 3, 2019
6:30 p.m. EST

It's almost game time.

The 2019 Super Bowl is fast approaching, and there's no better way to watch the game than to glamp with your whole squad while cheering on your team! Pack up all of your favorite snacks and drinks, and head off with the gang to any of these amazing spots to get ready for kick-off on Sunday, February 3.

Los Angeles Area:

Calling all Rams fans! Choose from some of these great cabins close to the L.A. area that are perfect for bringing all of your favorite fellow fans to. With screens, seating, and gorgeous views, these pads are the best place to go to get away from the city and focus on game time.

Lakefront Retreat for 10 Guests with Private Dock in Big Bear, California

This lakeside cabin is a great spot to sit and watch the game with plenty of comfortable seating for your whole group! The open kitchen and wet bar just off the living room will make sure food and drink are always near so you never miss a play.

Spectacular Cabin Getaway with Game Room on Big Bear Lake, California

Settle in for the game in this plush living room at this cabin on Big Bear Lake, complete with a cozy fireplace and a flat-screen TV. Get some burgers and brats going on the barbecue just outside on the porch, and you're ready to watch the action!

If you don't mind missing a bit of Maroon 5, you could even duck out to the hot tub during half-time for a quick relaxing soak—particularly necessary if you're already stressed from the first half of the game.

Luxurious Cabin with Private Hot Tub and Game Room in South Lake Tahoe, California

This cabin near Lake Tahoe, with gorgeous views and a unique indoor, gas fire pit, is the perfect place for you and your whole friend group to watch the game from. With a large, open living area and game room, this pad has seating for everyone, and there are plenty of bean bags around so everyone can just kick back and enjoy.

New England Area:

Alright, Pats fans, this section is for you! Whether you're from Boston, Burlington, Providence, or Portland, you know what what it feels like to be Super Bowl Champions and believe this year will be no different. If you need to get away from all the fanfare to focus on the game with just a select few die-hard fans, we've got a few places in the New England area that would be perfect for you.

Luxury Cabin Rental with Game Room near Stratton Mountain in Manchester, Vermont

This huge, Vermont cabin has enough beds to sleep all of your favorite hardcore fans—and more!—if you're looking to host a bigger group for the game this year. With plush seating, a cozy fireplace, and a stocked game room downstairs, this place is sure to please all of your guests on February 3. Make a weekend out of it, and pre-Super Bowl, hit the nearby ski resorts for a Saturday run out on the slopes.

Huge Cape House on the Beach near Falmouth, Massachusetts

If you're a serious New Englander, going to the Cape is second nature to you. Why not try it out a little earlier in the year for a Super Bowl Party? This beautiful beach house can sleep 10 and has room for many more on the day of, being well within driving distance of Boston and Providence, Rhode Island. With a gorgeous open-plan and spacious kitchen, this rental is perfect for entertaining and cheering on the Pats!

Spacious Luxury Log Cabin with Private Hot Tub in South Berwick, Maine

This log cabin is the perfect rustic getaway...with a flat-screen in the living room to watch the game on! With a large, cozy sofa and an enormous dining room table that seats 12 people, this cabin was made for hosting all your friends. Whip up some game-time snacks in the fully-stocked kitchen, and you're all set for kick off.

Atlanta Area:

Are you from the Atlanta area and just sick of all this Super Bowl hoopla? We get it if you don't want to deal with the increase in traffic, people, and tourists in your hometown. Why not go glamping instead? We've rounded up a few places you can sneak off to and watch the game in peace.

Magnificent Modern Cabin for Relaxing Vacation near Carters Lake, North Georgia

This well furnished cabin has a beautiful, open-plan living room and kitchen, perfect for hosting a viewing party. The huge wall-to-wall windows shed lots of light and have a beautiful view of the surrounding forest. Make a weekend out of it by enjoying the outdoor swimming pool, fishing lake, and private river!

Beautifully Decorated Luxury Cabin near Lake Burton in Northern Georgia

If you like a more luxurious cabin, this accommodation near Lake Burton is perfect for you. With gorgeous hardwood inside and impeccable stonework outside, this cabin might even feel more luxe than your own home! Snuggle up by the fire for the game in front of the flat-screen TV and enjoy the beautiful view—all while knowing that you didn't have to fight any traffic or tourists to enjoy this.

Luxurious Dog-Friendly Cabin with a Hot Tub near Helen, Georgia

If you can't bear to leave your furry friend behind, this dog-friendly cabin is the place for you. The living room, kitchen, and porch are all beautiful hardwood, and the open plan is perfect for a party. If you and your fellow football fans have a competitive streak, you're sure to enjoy the pool table adjacent to the living room for some friendly competition during commercial breaks.


Keep looking on Glamping Hub to find the perfect spot for your next party! Be sure to check out our California and New England guides for even more options.

How to plan a unique Valentine's Day experience

By Eleanor Stanesby

Valentine's Day is almost upon us—a time when expectations to have the perfect day planned are at an all-time high. What's the perfect restaurant to book? Where's the most romantic place to have a cocktail or two?

Scratch all of that. Why not treat your partner to a romantic getaway, surrounded by serene nature and beauty from every angle, instead? From tree houses and cabins to luxury tents, experience a different type of Valentine's Day this year with unique accommodations that are sure to give you a weekend beyond compare.

Tips to make Valentine's Day a success

1. The gift

Finding the perfect gift can cause a lot of trouble, especially with the market saturated with generic and cliché gifts that don't quite hit the mark when it comes to expressing how you feel about your loved one. With a romantic weekend getaway, this becomes the gift—taking away a lot of the pressure that surrounds this part of the day.

2. Dining out

Valentine's Day sees many couples booking reservations to dine out at a different or expensive restaurant. The stress of finding the best place that both you and your partner will enjoy is gone with a glamping stay. The two of you can relish in the comfort of your luxurious accommodation in front of a home-cooked meal, which, let's be honest, is usually way nicer than dining out.

3. Dress to impress

Finding the best outfit for the Valentine's Day can come with a lot of money spent, as well as a lot of time wasted scrolling on the internet for an outfit that suits the occasion. While glamping, the natural surroundings allows a more relaxed approach with no expectations. Of course, if dressing up is something you particularly enjoy, a romantic getaway still allows you to do this, simply without the gaze of other couples that are also celebrating.

4. A full day of plans

A meal or drinks after work is the usual plan for many couples on February 14. However, when you make plans for the entire day—and maybe even more!—it allows you to spend more quality time with your partner, something that you may not get enough of amid the busyness of your normal, day-to-day schedule. Glamping allows you to make 100% of the time quality time, with relaxing together and enjoying one another's company being the only thing on your agenda.


Love our advice on how to get the most unique Valentine's Day plans you've ever had? Have an even better idea? Show us your unique way of celebrating Valentine's Day by sharing your photos with us on Instagram!

Our top social media posts of 2018

By Jackie Dreyer

#Travelgoals is what we aim to be, and in 2018, you all helped make that dream become a reality. Social media lends a strong helping hand when planning a trip to somewhere you've never been before. We are passionate about inspiring you with our Instagram posts, and we love the way you connet with Facebook. Keep on reading to have a peek at our most liked posts from Facebook and Instagram in 2018!

Instagram

  1. Your partner, your pup, and the perfect cabin—the ultimate glamping getaway.
  1. The impressive mountain backdrop behind this unique dome rental in Patagonia, Chile.
  1. The most secluded "pool" you've ever swam in.
  1. That time we didn't mind sweating so much.
  1. When our inner child stared up at these tree houses like the heart-eyed emoji.
  1. The minute we put Bali up at the top of our travel bucket list.
  1. Where we most imagined cozying up with a good book and a soft blanket.
  1. Exactly what you pictured when you daydreamed about getting away from it all.
  1. The desert accommodation you never knew you needed.
  1. Were you to plan a swimsuit photoshoot, it'd be here.

Facebook

  1. A dreamy getaway outside of the hustle and bustle of London.
  1. The ultimate place to view fall foliage in the U.S.
  1. Remember that desert dome on Instagram? You wanted to dive deeper.
  1. Quintessential glamping at its finest.
  1. Winter never looked so good to us—next stop, Norway!
  1. The best spot to float your worries away in France.
  1. The ultimate bathtub with a view for those of us who love a good soak.
  1. How we kept you coming back for more—from gorgeous emails to giveaways. (Sign up for our newsletter if you haven't yet!)
  1. The accommodation is great—but did you hear about the on-site food truck?!
  1. You can't get enough of this glass cabin in Iceland—and we can't either. Swoon.

For all the best #travelinspo for this coming year, check out our blog on Travel Trends for 2019!*

Where to take your wellness in 2019

By Jackie Dreyer

Every year, we get more and more conscious of just how important it is to take care of ourselves—both physically and mentally—and the planet we inhabit, as well as how to continually improve at doing so. For 2019, we've got a couple of superb product suggestions that will help you carry on bettering your health and wellness in the new year.

Eco-friendly products

2018 was the year we saw the world start to take a hard stance on not using plastic products, be it bags in the grocery store or straws in our drinks at restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. To start the new year out on the right foot, make way for reusable items in your house, starting easy with cloth grocery bags and stainless steel straws.

Reusable straws

The benefits of reusable straws include everything from preventing the innocent deaths of marine animals, as garbage is often thrown in the ocean and straws are often mistaken for food, to safer for human use, due to the fact that stainless steel doesn't let off harmful chemicals.

There are even specialized reusable straws available now, like the Koffie Straw, which helps keep your pearly whites glistening and stain-free while still allowing you to get your caffeine on.

Reusable water bottles

If you haven't jumped on the reusable water bottle train yet, this is another eco-friendly product that will come in handy 24/7—no matter whether you're at work, at the gym, in the car, or on a hike. There are many options on the market these day, but one of the latest is the Astrea bottle, which has a built-in filter.

What's more? It's the only bottle certified to NSF53 standards to reduce lead. The importance of not only drinking water, but drinking quality water, is entirely underestimated. Just listen to these digestion facts from MindBodyGreen!

"City water is chlorinated to remove pathogens and disinfect the water. Chlorine is a skin irritant (consider mounting a shower filter if you suffer from eczema or dry skin), pro-oxidant, and destroyer of friendly microflora and stomach acid. When our friendly microflora are wiped out, we can suffer from bloating and slower digestion, and when our stomach isn't able to produce as much stomach acid and enzymes as it should, digestion can become downright uncomfortable."

Self-care products

Self care comes in many ways, shapes, and forms—for some people, that's a face mask and a bubble bath; for others, it's a nice meal out once a week.

Massage technology

Focusing on how to externally keep our bodies happy, the rising popularity of new technology, such as the Theragun, are sure to gain even more loyal fans in 2019. This unique, hand-held massager, loved by athletes and celebrities alike, is essentially a portable chiropractor—in fact, it was created by one! Thanks to its manageable size, this is a great investment that can be used both at home and on vacation.

Vitamins

Diving inside the body, the vitamin company, Care Of blew up on social media this year, with major celebrities, like Queer Eye's hair and skin guru Jonathan Van Ness, singing the company's praises. What's so special about vitamins, you ask? At Care Of, a lot.

The company creates personalized daily vitamin packs for you based on a quiz you take, where you answer some simple questions about your goals, lifestyle, and values. They then suggest for you the perfect combination of vitamins and supplements, which you can adjust as you please, and voilà! All you have to do is sit and wait for your vitamins to arrive at your front door—perfectly formulated with the only the highest quality of ingredients to kick start your 2019 with.

Herbal medicine

With the number of products, workout classes, lifestyle changes, and more that have and will become available to use, we could write a novel or two, but we'll just leave you with one final option to look into for now, which is herbal medicine.

From blog to business, Organic Olivia rose in popularity in 2018, and we can't wait to see what she has in store for 2019. What started as her providing herbal remedies, backed up with extensive research, on her blog and social media, has turned into a full range of tinctures, probiotics, and more—all of which have an army of happy, and now healthy, clients shouting from the digital rooftops about how wonderful they now feel, thanks to these products.

For those unfamiliar with tinctures, tinctures are essentially extracts, which are made by steeping an herb in alcohol to draw out its medicinal properties. Dating as far back as to when the first alcohol was ever distilled, tinctures were first used by the ancient Egyptians but didn't become common in Europe until the 1400s. Though they waned in popularity with the rise of Western medicine, they've come back on the health and wellness scene in recent years, due to a (continuing) rise in interest in herbal and Eastern medicine.

How else will you be improving your health and wellness in 2019? Let us know on social media!


Looking for a yoga retreat or getaway to practice mindfulness at in 2019? Check out what destinations are trending here!

Delicious holiday drink recipes

By Marta Gintowt

The holiday season is the perfect time for getting together, lighting up the fireplace, and sharing a warming beverage. A glass of red wine or a chilled beer will always do the trick, but why not use this time of year to get creative and try something new and festive?

Whether you are entertaining a large group of friends or are just trying to impress your partner, we have curated the perfect list of interesting and delicious holiday drink recipes, ranging from simple to complex, to try out this cozy holiday season.

Chai eggnog

Photo and recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

A Christmas cocktail that adults love and kids loathe, this special twist on the classic recipe marries chai tea and exotic spices together to create a more than memorable flavor. Either to be enjoyed without alcohol or combined with a rich whiskey or brandy, this recipe is sure to make those of all ages eggnog converts.

Spicy pomegranate Moscow mule

Photo and recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

Christmas time calls for an abundance of winter fruits, like pomegranates and any citrus of your choice, so both novice and experienced cocktail-makers, take note! The traditional Moscow mule is a drink whose popularity is steadily on the rise, due to the tangy ginger flavors and satisfying crushed ice. This spicy interpretation is bound to make a statement with the addition of sweet pomegranate and spicy jalepeños.

Blood orange and pomegranate thyme spritz

Photo and recipe from A Cozy Kitchen.

Continuing on with our love for winter fruits, those who appreciate eclectic, sophisticated flavors will adore this festive beverage. The robust essence of thyme, paired with both rich pomegranate juice and tangy blood orange soda, are refreshing, yet warming—making this a perfect entertaining aperitif.

Glögg

Recipe from The Spruce Eats.

The holidays call for traditions, whether that is getting together with the family or making classic recipes that have been passed down through generations. Mulled wine, or the stronger Swedish Glögg, is a fragrant, noted beverage that is famous around the world and can easily be made at home. Served warm, this Glögg combines wine, spices, fruit, and an optional hard spirit for that extra cozy feeling.

Grapefruit whiskey sours

Photo and recipe from Heather Cristo.

Whiskey is known for it's warming properties, hence it being one of the main ingredients in the cold-combating Hot Toddy. Extremely easy and perfect for either a cozy night in or a holiday party, whiskey sours are a definite crowd pleaser. This recipe suggests adding grapefruit soda and pink lemon wedges (rare, but gorgeous) for a pop of color and a fragrant twist.

Kahlua hot chocolate

Photo and recipe from Damn Delicious.

Once the temperature drops and winter has announced it's frigid arrival, hot chocolate is natural a go-to soul-warmer for those of all ages. This delicious, spiked hot chocolate is especially appealing to adults, due to the addition of Kahlua liquor and salted caramel, for a decadent winter evening treat.


Need some ideas on where to make these warming winter beverages this holiday season? Try them out at one of our favorite places to celebrate New Year's Eve!

Our favorite winter amenities that make glamping easy

By Marta Gintowt

Winter is one of those seasons that people either adore or loathe. When autumn comes to a close, you can hear as many whines of despair as shouts of excitement as people unpack their parkas and wrap themselves from head to toe. Biologically, we all have temperature preferences, where some prefer freezing conditions over a hot climate, but even those who are partial to the cold can admit that roughing it in December and January can be, well, a bit rough.

Some of us may head to tropical climates during our winter getaways, but many of us will stay put and take advantage of the winter wonderlands around us—discovering how the cold, the snow, and the long nights can be as magical as the summertime. This collection of our favorite winter amenities that make glamping easy are perfect for those of you who are looking to take advantage of the snowfall and wintry landscapes in total comfort.

Luxurious hot tubs

Maybe the most luxurious amenity found at a glamping property, a hot tub is something that you can look forward to enjoying all year round. A snow fall might keep some inside, but a warming hot tub can tempt anyone for a soak outdoors. Perfect for a romantic winter evening or a snowy afternoon spent relaxing and chatting, a hot tub is surely the highlight of any winter accommodation.

Healing saunas

After a long day outdoor in the cold—either skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing, a sauna is an amazing addition to a cozy glamping accommodation. Perfect for easing sore muscles and recovering from the cold, outdoor explorers can repair aches and pain that developed before the getaway, making a glamping trip healing for both soul and body.

Nostalgic fireplaces

Cozy nights in are always made better with a good company, delicious snacks, and a crackling fireplace. Reminiscent of home, you'll be able to light a fire in the evening with your loved ones while on a winter vacation that allows you to discover the luxurious simplicity that glamping is famous for.

Cozy home theaters

Being snowed in is a phenomenon that those of us who live above the 40 degrees north latitude belt are quite familiar with. If electricity is not lost during the snowstorm, snow days become synonymous with playing outdoors and then warming up while watching a movie. While glamping, a home theater can make snow day memories a sophisticated reality with a projection screen, a movie library, and comfortable lounge furniture.

Convenient ski-in/ski-out access

While skiing and snowboarding can be considered the most popular winter activities, those of you who aren't looking forward to commuting back and fourth to the mountain will appreciate the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access. Winter accommodations that are located on or near a ski slope allow you to fulfill your dreams of the perfect skiing getaway.

Crackling fire pits

A winter's night spent outdoors can be exhilarating and refreshing, perfectly spent while stargazing and snuggling under a warm blanket. While body heat and outerwear will probably suffice, a fire pit will make the atmosphere unforgettably cozy. From the warm, amber light to the fragrant burning logs, our favorite and maybe most simple winter amenity might be the one that will make the biggest impression.


Check out some of our favorite wintery cabins in the Pacific Northwest and Upstate New York with these cozy amenities!

Experience-based gifts for the whole family

By Stephen Gillis

When thinking about what to get your family for the holidays, consider gifting an experience. Experiences are the gifts that keep on giving and will be shared and reminisced for years to come around the dinner table and over cups of coffee. Unlike things, experiences get better the more you share them with others.

Create lifelong memories with those closest to you while doing something a little out of the ordinary. Here is a list of some of the best activities to do while glamping that will make great gifts for the whole family.

Yoga

Get the whole family to disconnect, de-stress, and open your minds while doing yoga on your glamping getaway.

Yoga with the whole family is a great way to expose children to lifelong healthy activities.No matter your age or experience level, yoga can be beneficial in a myriad of ways—breathing techniques for better stamina, mindfulness for clearing away stress, and stretching to ease muscle tension and soreness. See who can hold their downward-facing dog pose the longest!

Horseback riding

Horseback riding in Croatia will get you vistas you won't see anywhere else—a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Few other animals parallel the majesty of the horse. Embrace this beautiful animal with an open spirit to embark on an indelible experience with the kids. Exploring rugged terrains and gorgeous landscapes on horseback will surely fill you and your children with fond family memories and a renewed sense of enchantment.

Safari

Get ready to see rare and endangered wildlife while on a safari in Kenya.

Witness the excitement nature has to offer on a safari in Kenya. Learn about the area's wildlife and ecosystem from the safety of a vehicle at a comfortable distance. Fascination will be the primary emotion when you and your family are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe the most impressive animals on our planet.

Canoeing

Explore Washington's coast from the water with a relaxing canoe ride.

Canoeing is family bonding at its finest. Everyone must be in proper balance and rhythm to ensure you remain dry by the time you dock. Navigate the shore and have a glimpse of the coastline from a new perspective. Maybe you'll even encounter some wildlife! As long as life jackets are securely fastened and you don't find yourself without a paddle, your family will be very safe on this adventure—not to mention you will leave having completed a killer arm workout.

Zip-lining

Prepare to get a bird's eye view of the jungle while zip-lining.

Few activities are as thrilling as soaring over the jungle canopy on a zip-line. Feel the fresh, rainforest air roll over you as you zip from one platform to another. Zip-lining is a great way to push the limits of the comfort zone of your family. The feeling is exhilarating, and you will leave a more courageous person. Support one another through the course, and you're in for a spectacular moment for the whole family.

Fishing

At this villa, you'll get the chance to go fishing every day from one of the best locations.

Spending the day patiently waiting for that bite to reel in a big one will be an experience never forgotten. If you are lucky, the fruits of your labor will pay off in the form of a big fish to pose with and show off to all your friends. The virtue of patience will be the biggest lesson learned on this trip—which is a valuable lesson for guests of all ages and experience levels.

Stargazing

When you're coming from the city, stargazing is an activity that is awe-inspiring.

Get out of the city and into the countryside to take a look at the beautiful stars overhead. In the city, we often forget they even exist, but once you see them, you can't stop looking. Stargazing puts everything back into perspective, as you gain a more profound appreciation for the vast scale of the universe.

Using a telescope, you can get a closer look at the moon and other planets if you look hard enough. Try to catch a glimpse of a shooting star, and don't forget to make a wish! It will truly be a dream come true and an experience your family will be craving upon returning to the city.


For some more gift ideas or to see where else you can venture to this holiday season, keep on reading on the Glamping Hub blog!