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The Myth of Glamping

By: On: Thursday June 20 2019

Algonquin Park in an RV by CL-Medien / Shutterstock.com

Setting up camp somewhere far away from civilization is one of those things that sounds really good…in theory. You get to see new places, relax and unwind. Since sleeping under the stars or in a tent can be pretty rough, maybe you are thinking about turning your camping trip into a glamping trip with an RV. It’s the perfect combination of being one with nature and still having a roof over your head…right? Well, we’re here to tell you that glamping is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Simply put, there are more civilized ways to have an amazing vacation and experience the great outdoors. Did you know that you can easily find a great hotel in close proximity to Mother Nature’s finest features? All you have to do is figure out where you want to go (maybe a provincial or national park?) and you will be able to find a hotel within a short drive.

Let’s say you want to spend a few days exploring Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. There are a host of Choice hotels about 30 minutes away. Pack a lunch, and you can explore the park all day long. When the sun starts to go down and the bugs come out, hop into your car and drive back to the hotel. Restaurants will be close by, so you can have a relaxing dinner before getting a great night’s sleep and checking out a different part of the park the next day. Wash, rinse and repeat as many times as you like.

Algonquin Park by CL-Medien / Shutterstock.com

What’s So Bad About Glamping?

You might be thinking that it would just be easier to park your RV exactly where you want to be and simply stay there for a few days of glamping. Well, “easy” and “RV” don’t always go together. Here’s what day 1 of your RV glamping trip might look like.

  • Load up your RV with food, drinks and supplies (and you better not forget anything)
  • Haul or drive your RV through crowded city streets and then hit the highway
  • Find a gas station you can fit your RV or tow vehicle into and fill up (you’ll need a LOT of fuel)
  • Find your designated spot at the campground or approved spot in the park (you may have to book this several months in advance secure a good spot)
  • Get your RV properly set up far away from where you want to be, because you only booked a spot two weeks ago
  • Start preparing/cooking dinner as whiny kids/spouse are hungry
  • Time to clean up from dinner in your tiny RV kitchen, trying to remember where everything goes
  • Try not to freak out when you realize you forgot to pack dish soap as you start washing the dishes with moisturizing hand soap
  • Throw back a glass or two of wine before you try to fall asleep, completely exhausted
  • Toss and turn for a while as you realize the cost of your RV for just a couple of months (loan payments, maintenance, gas, storage, insurance, etc.) would be more than enough for a week or two at a fantastic hotel.

Photo by Dmitry Naumov / Shutterstock.com

Doesn’t that sound like a relaxing, glamorous first day of your vacation? And we didn’t even talk about the last day, when you have to do most of this all over again…along with cleaning up the RV and visiting the dreaded dump station – that’s not the smell of the great outdoors you were hoping for.

In contrast, here’s what Day 1 might look like if you simply drive to a hotel instead.

  • Pack up the vehicle with your bags and snacks
  • Pass by the gas station, as you filled up earlier in the week and you still have enough fuel to get you to the park and maybe back home again
  • Grab lunch at that restaurant you read about
  • Drive to the park for a little exploring
  • Check in to your hotel and let the kids go for a swim
  • Find the best reviewed restaurant in the area (it may even be in the hotel!) and have a relaxing night with your family
  • Fall asleep after a stress-free day on the road and wake up rested and prepared for an amazing day of exploring the park

Vacations and time away from work are supposed to be relaxing. Enjoying the outdoors is a great way to unwind, but you may find it a whole lot more relaxing if you let someone else take care of some of the details. Simply booking a hotel room takes away the stress and effort of hauling an RV along with you – and all the cooking and cleaning that comes with it.

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