Top Five 2018 Experiential Travel Trends in Glamping

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Over the last decade and more, the glamourous camping or “Glamping” trend has grown up and graduated to its own category of travel. Through a host of informational sources, online search data and consumer response, the team of experts at GLAMPING​.COM have distilled their predictions on the top glamping travel trends – or continued growth interest areas – for 2018.

Here are five of GLAMPING.COM’s predictions on the hottest trends or popular interest categories, growing in the glamping world.

1. Think Outside The Tent: Unique & Unusual Glamping
Glamping began with the idea of bringing comfort and luxury to the great outdoors for a truly unique travel experience. Over the years, this trend has grown exponentially and now includes various styles of habitats and levels of luxury. Today the GLAMPING​.COM collection includes 16 types of accommodations. While 2017 was arguably “Year of the Treehouse,” and before that, Airstreams captured the attention of glampers, now Domes and an entire category dedicated to Unique & Unusual on GLAMPING​.COM, are earning the spotlight for 2018. There are currently over 50 properties that provide these unique glamping experiences – they’ve thought outside the box, tent, and more including glamping in caves, ice hotels, trains, glass towers, and planes.

Domes cater to experiential travelers who seek a unique accommodation through full immersion with nature and minimal environmental impact. Some offbeat, futuristic domes in the GLAMPING​.COM collection include amenities such as wood-​fired hot tubs and en-​suite bathrooms, while providing panoramic views of nature. They are often also suitable for the four-​season traveler, for example, in winter the Whitepod in Switzerland is like staying in a real life snow globe, with luxuries of wood burning stoves, plush bedding, full bathrooms, and views over the Alps. Other examples in “Unique & Unusual” include the Permanent Camping at Mudgee property in New South Wales, Australia — an eco-​friendly glass tower which opens up to bring the landscape inside. Another example is the Jumbo Stay in Stockholm, Sweden where guests can spend the night onboard a real jumbo jet, including a stay in the ‘Engine Room.’

Now is the time for campgrounds and parks to promote the trendy glamping sights they offer! The new AudienceSCAN survey results reported 14% of Americans camped last year and want to camp again this year.

2. Emerging 2018 Glamping Destinations: Slovenia
Nearly landlocked between Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary, Slovenia is a surprisingly popular destination for glamping. With 11 locations listed on GLAMPING​.COM, it ranks 6th in Europe on the website for the most glamping locations (UK at the highest, followed by Spain, Italy, France, Portugal). Some examples of Slovenia’s creative experiences are centered first and foremost with the natural environment in mind, and include staying on an organic family farm (producing the first organic beer in Slovenia), ethnological eco-​resorts, a luxury herbal camping experience and adventurous and romantic pier tents and treehouses. These upscale, natural and interesting architectural experiences also come at a reasonable to moderate cost from $100 — $249/​night.

Travel agents can appeal to atypical customers with these exotic experiential glamping destinations. Ad campaigns featuring snowy domes and winterscapes will appeal to the 11% of Campers planning trips to ski resorts during the next 12 months, according to AudienceSCAN data.

3. Head in the Clouds: Glamping as the Ultimate Stargazing Experience
The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse across the U.S. grabbed everyone’s attention from age 5 to 95. Budding astrologists are now planning ahead for the next solar eclipses.

South America: Chile, Argentina, Easter Island — July 2, 2019 and December 14, 2020:
In Chile, Elqui Domos is one of seven astronomic hotels worldwide and in the direct path of the July 2, 2019 total eclipse. Their unique Dome Rooms or Observatory Cabins are each ideal for stargazing while also including modern amenities and supreme comfort. In December 2020, Patagonia Camp – which was the first glamping experience in Chile – is in the direct path of the eclipse, with tremendous stargazing yurt accommodations. Plan ahead for the trip of a lifetime to Easter Island and a stay at the incomparable Explora Rapa Nui.

North America: Mexico, United States, Canada — April 8, 2024:
Twelve states will see eclipse totality in 2024, from Texas to Maine. Travelers don’t necessarily have to wait seven years to get the ultimate astrological vacation, though planning ahead will be key to availability come 2024! Stargazing experiences are abundant on GLAMPING​.COM, and with user-​friendly search filter functions for location (search by state); desired experience (farm, jungle, ocean, city, mountain, etc.); type of accommodation (tents, domes, cubes, cabins, yurts, villas, etc.); and type of traveler (family, solo, corporate group, couples, pet friendly, small children, etc.) it’s easy to find just the one for a perfect starry, starry night.

Mexico and Canada will also be eclipsed on April 8, 2024, and Toronto, Montreal, and New Brunswick in Canada will see the totality. The Ridgeback Lodge in New Brunswick, Canada has special Stargazer Domes that will amaze eclipse seekers.

TV can connect Campers with vacation ideas and glamping plans. The AudienceSCAN survey revealed 41% of Campers took action after seeing TV commercials in the past month.

4. Connecting with The Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water
Travelers connect with nature in their own ways, being near the ocean can bring peace to some, while others look for unique, grounding experiences in a cave or jaw-​dropping volcanic landscape. Pushing the limits of how travelers experience natural landscapes is what glamping can now make accessible, and comfortable. Some glamping properties that appeal to those traveling with one or more of the elements in mind include: a gentle rocking overwater in Cambodia’s Four Rivers Floating Lodge (water); a stunning panoramic view of the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica at the Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs Resort (fire); watch monkeys and birds at eyelevel from a tree canopy in the only Treehouse Lodge of its kind in Peru’s Amazon Rainforest (air); and get (under)grounded with a stay in the restored ancient caves in the village of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site in southern Italy, Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita (earth).

5. Farm Stays 2.0
Taking the farm stay /​ agrotourism movement — vacationing on a working farm, vineyard, or a working cattle ranch — to the next level with jaw dropping accommodations is what this immersive glamping experience is all about. These three types of glamping experiences are offered by over 180 properties and accommodations on GLAMPING​.COM. Passionate wine lovers will find nirvana at Entre Cielos “Wine Lofts” situated over the grapes themselves in Mendoza, at the foothills of the Andes mountains; Anglophiles can enjoy the English countryside in a Shepherd’s Hut on a small working farm in Yorkshire, UK; guests of The Resort at Paws Up and their new three-​bedroom North Bank Camp (the only one of its kind in North America) can participate with cowboys in a real cattle drive activity.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.