‘Glamping’ Interest Fueled by Young Travelers

Luxurious camping can provide unique outdoor experience
'Glamping' on a beach

Trekking through the great outdoors isn’t just for those who like roughing it. “Glamorous camping,” or “glamping,” is growing popular among leisure travelers, a new survey shows.

Glamping is a type of camping in which travelers stay at facilities that are more luxurious than traditional grounds. For example, “glampers” might stay in “safari-style” tents, treehouse cabins and spaces with full bathrooms and kitchens.

Kampgrounds of America, a network of public campgrounds in the U.S. and Canada, commissioned market research firm Cairn Consulting Group to research the trend. It surveyed 4,034 U.S. and Canadian households.

Nearly one-third (30%) of North American travelers said they have taken what they would consider to be a glamping trip in the past two years. Interest is most prevalent among younger travelers, with 60% of glampers being millennials (48%) and Generation Zers (12%). Millennials were defined by the survey as those born between 1981 and 1996, while Gen Zers were born between 1997 and 2001.

Gen X (those born between 1965 and 1980) accounted for 28% of glampers, while baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) accounted for 9% and mature adults (those born before 1946) made up 3% of the glamping market.

Glampers tend to be frequent travelers. In fact, 68% of glampers take seven or more trips per year.

For many, glamping is a family affair, as 45% of respondents who have glamped were part of couples with children. Twenty percent of glampers were couples without children, followed by 18% who were single without children and 16% who were single with children. The activity also has a diverse following, with 42% of glampers self-identifying as an ethnicity other than white.

When asked why they were interested in glamping, 67% of travelers said it provided a unique outdoor experience. However, 63% of respondents said glamping appealed to them because it offered services and amenities that don’t typically come with the traditional camping experience.

The largest percentage of respondents (42%) said they would prefer to stay at a cabin during a glamping experience, followed by 14% who would prefer to stay in a treehouse and 10% who would choose a portable tent-like structure called a yurt.

Many Americans are finding multiple short getaways to be preferable to one long trip. Not only can glamping offer a unique short getaway experience, but it may be a low-cost travel option if you live near a campground. If you do want to add glamping to your vacation bucket list, make sure you budget for it. Figuring out the average cost of a vacation can be a starting point. If you have to fly, you may be able to cash in travel rewards.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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