Camping is a great bonding experience for the family especially during Christmastime. You get to spend time together, share stories by the campfire, go hiking, and enjoy everything nature has to offer. However, it can be difficult to enjoy it when you’re so used to urban city living and working toilets.
Don’t worry, though, because if you’re not game for hard-core camping activities such as sleeping in the middle of the woods, you can still make your Christmas camping a reality by going glamping.
What is Glamping?
Glamping is a growing trend practised by people who want to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing the comforts of city dwelling. These include working toilets, warm and fresh meals, and having a spectacular view of the untamed wild life whilst lying leisurely on a mattress bed. It’s a great way to enjoy all the perks of camping without the nitty gritty. Glamping spots have ready-built tents for occupancy. They also offer various facilities from toilets and kitchens to pools and spas. They’re now basically a more outdoorsy type of resort. You won’t need to bring lots of gear and equipment because they can provide most of them. All you have to do is pack the essentials like food and clothes. Everything else can be made available for you. If you’re interested in glamping on Christmas, here are a few tips and ideas you can try to make your trip memorable. Who knows, you may have so much fun that it can turn into an annual Christmas tradition.
1. Decide on your camp setting
Before you even think about what you’re going to eat and what you’re going to do, you must first choose how you’re setting camp. Will you rent a tent, cabin, lodge, or caravan? Do you prefer to stay close to home and set up a tent in the backyard? Renting accommodation such as a ready-set tent is a good step to bringing yourself out of the confines of the city, safely and comfortably. However, it can be quite expensive, particularly during the holiday season. Meanwhile, renting a caravan is preferable if you don’t want to stay in one place. With a caravan, you can explore more tourist destinations without having to worry about available accommodation. For first time glampers and those on a tight budget, the most reasonable alternative is setting up camp in your backyard or garden. It’s an affordable option that allows you to be near the kitchen and bathroom. That way, if you ever run out of snacks, you can cook or order in.
2. Pick the right location
If you do decide to take your glamping adventure away from home, first consider the type of facilities the campsites have and what activities they offer. Having a beautiful view is not enough when you have nothing to do and nowhere else to go. Check out the popular glamping spots in Australia. There’s the Karijini Eco Retreat at Karijini National Park. They have pools and eco-friendly suites which can accommodate entire families. Another recommended spot is St. Jerome Hotel which has nice open suites overlooking the great outdoors. This is ideal for a more intimate Christmas glamping for couples. You better decide fast on where you’re booking because these prime glamping spots are expected to be swamped during the holidays.
3. Check for available parking
When going on a trip, having your own car is more convenient than commuting, especially if you’re bringing the whole family. However, finding available parking spaces can be stressful and time-consuming. Those renting out accommodation may not have this problem as most establishments have spaces reserved for their customers. But if you’re taking a caravan, it’s an entirely different story. You can’t just park anywhere with a caravan. It’s illegal in most streets and towns to park cars overnight with the intention of sleeping in them. Before you finalise your glamping itinerary, check if your destination has approved caravan parking lots. Prepare cash, as the average rate for these parking lots is $40.
4. Create a checklist
After you’ve decided on the “how” and the “where” of your glamping trip, the next thing you should consider is a checklist of all the things you would need. The list should include camping gear, food, clothes, hygiene products, and an emergency kit. Make a list for all of them, then check each item off as you pack. This way, you won’t forget anything important and you will be better prepared to deal with emergency situations.
5. Pack lots of clothes
Unless you’re glamping at home, you won’t find a washing machine in the middle of the woods to wash your dirty clothes. Expect to get dirty and pack lots of clean clothes. Kids in particular would need to change clothes a lot because they can get dusty and muddy whilst playing outdoors. Bring plenty of socks to wear to bed. Your feet will thank you.
6. Have energy back-up
Not every glamping location provides electricity in their tents and eco suites, so you may want to bring your own portable generator. With your own generator, you can recharge your devices and stay connected wherever you go. Alternatively, if you want an eco-friendlier source of energy, 160 watt solar panels are the way to go. Unlike portable generators, solar panels are capable of operating silently and storing more energy. It’s no wonder why they’re growing in popularity in Australia.
7. Be careful when making a fire pit
You can’t camp without a campfire—it’s a tradition. Where else would you cook marshmallows and sit around as you share horror stories about the woods? Unfortunately, not all glamping sites allow campfires. Only a select few have designated areas for that and even they implement strict rules about starting fires. Look them up first to make sure you won’t violate any law. Better yet, make a fire-free campfire by laying down stones in a circular formation. Pile a pair of logs in the middle and wrap them up with fairy lights. Voila! You have a pretty and safe campfire.
8. Have an outdoor cinema
Besides charging your devices, you can also use the generator to power up an outdoor cinema. Power up the projector by plugging it to the generator. Point it towards a white fabric or blank canvass as a makeshift screen. Then hook up your laptop or smartphone to start watching. There are lots of fun Christmas-themed movies to choose from that’s appropriate for all ages. You can even invite your neighbouring glampers to watch a movie and make new friends during the holidays.
9. Set up a pool
Make your glamping trip more fabulous with an inflatable spa. Imagine yourself looking over the mountains and trees whilst soaking in a spa, sipping a cocktail without a care in the world. This may be easier done at home where you have your own space. But an inflatable spais so portable that you can bring it in a bag and set it up anywhere on the campsite.
10. Feed your curiosity and explore
Don’t confine yourself to the comfort of your tent. Put down your electronic devices. Go out and explore the beauty of nature instead. Take advantage of the opportunity of being outdoors and go on an adventure. Bring a pair of binoculars and a bird book. Play “I Spy” in the woods. Move, learn, and discover.
11. Prepare fun games
Outdoor activities such as hiking and bird-watching can be fun. But you can make your glamping trip even more entertaining by having Christmas games. Showcase your creativity by having a snowman decoration contest using only a roll of tissue paper. Or you can turn gift-opening, the most awaited activity during Christmas, into a challenge. Have everyone wear mittens as they race to open a tightly wrapped mystery present. You may also look up “minute to win it”[i] types of games which are easy to prepare and extremely fun for the entire family.
12. Keep the insects away
You will encounter different living creatures when you venture outdoors. Unfortunately, they include bugs, mosquitos, and insects which may sting you through the night or worse, carry diseases. Stay merry and safe whilst glamping by keeping the insects away. Arm yourself with repellents in lotion, spray, or patch form. You may also light up citronella scented candles which smell great and naturally repel mosquitos. However, beware of using them around pets. Most bug repellents made for humans contain DEET which is not suitable for dogs and cats alike. While it’s an effective repellent for us, it can be highly toxic for them. If you brought pets with you, look for bug repellent alternatives that are safe to use even around your fur babies. Or you can stay on the safer side and get an electric pest killer.
13. Make more room
Staying for a long period inside a caravan can be nightmarish if you’re claustrophobic. The indoor space is limited, so it can feel pretty crowded really quickly. But once you’ve set up camp, you can extend your space by propping up an awning room. Some designs have walls and insect nests. They will allow you to enjoy the outdoor view, have more space, and stay safe from insects.
14. Get an air mattress
To enjoy a glamping trip, you must have good company, good food, and a good night’s sleep. Because no matter how pretty the view is, if you can’t get a wink at night, everything will seem like a nightmare. Make sure you sleep soundly even when outdoors. Use an inflatable air mattress. It’s a convenient emergency bed that’s easy to set up and store. You can stuff it inside a bag and carry it around with no problem. Air mattresses are also made from a rubber-like material that’s waterproof and easy to clean. If you accidentally spilled food or stepped on it, you can just wipe the bed clean using a damp towel.
15. Smell the woods
If you’re planning on glamping at home in the comfort of your backyard, why not bring the wilderness to you instead? Embrace the pleasant scents of the outdoors by lighting up pine or rain forest scented candles. If you have an air humidifier, try out a woodsy or herb-based scented oil.
16. Get ready to be snacky
With all the excitement of being outdoors and the exhaustion from the fun activities, you’re guaranteed to feel the munchies. Be prepared and pack lots of food. You can even plan meals ahead. This way, you won’t have to bring a pile of unnecessary ingredients. If you’re not much of a cook, stick to easy meals such as hotdogs, grilled fish, and your favourite campfire snacks. It’s a fun treat everyone will love. If you don’t want to cook, picking a glamping spot with nearby restaurants and cafes is an option, too. The best way to experience a place is to eat the local cuisines. There’s no real standard to determine how you should be glamping. It’s not a test with right or wrong answers. Only you get to choose what you can and won’t do. If you’re not comfortable staying in the middle of the woods and using makeshift toilets, you don’t have to. If you have a limited budget, you can save money and try glamping in your neighbourhood. If the group can’t decide on a single destination, why not rent a caravan and allot time to visit them all? Glamping can be however you want it to be. It won’t matter how much you spend or where you go. As long as you’re with the right people, every adventure is sure to be memorable, especially during Christmastime. If you want to splurge on your Christmas glamping trip, don’t waste precious time by going to the mall. Not when you can easily find the best gear at Outbax. Visit our site now and get your glamping shopping done in minutes.