Surprise Your Flock With a Glamping Hen Party

When you think of a hen party (that would be bachelorette party to Americans), does a glitzy location like Las Vegas or New York City come to mind? Been there done that? Why not get creative with a glamping weekend in the great outdoors that the hens will be talking about for years to come?

A glamping hen party marries (pardon the pun) the beautiful outdoors with creative accommodations for a fun weekend of bonding with your favorite gal pals. Adding essentials like hot tubs, glasses of bubbly, someone else to cook and spa treatments takes the weekend from ho-hum to unforgettable.

If you’re the hen planning the party for the rest of the flock, here’s a list of questions to ask of your glamping destination:

Heather Katsoulis smores
Who does the cooking? The answer to that question depends on your budget.

Luxury glamping at Paws Up Resort in Greenough, Montana, includes all meals. Hens will want to pack cowgirl dress-up clothes for dinner at the resort’s fine dining restaurant, Pomp. At Fireside Resort in Jackson, Wyoming, camp butlers will cook your meal over the campfire, upon request. Although luxury yurt stays at Wellspring Ranch on California’s Central Coast include breakfast; at night, hens will giggle over wine as they cook dinner in the outdoor kitchen.

paws up cowgirl roundup
What will we do?

Too much time gossiping around the campfire is not a good thing. Choose your glamping spot with everyone’s interests in mind. Active hens will enjoy hiking or horseback riding followed by bar hopping in the local town. And, of course, everyone needs a spa day. Is there one on the property or close by?

wellspring ranch yurt
What about a packing list?

By all means, include packing suggestions in the hen party invitation. Alert your guests to any special equipment like hiking shoes or warm clothes to wear around the campfire at night. And, just because this is a glamping hen party, doesn’t mean that the flock can’t dress up, so plan a special night for all the hens to put their bling on.

lastonein bandanas
What extras will add the spice to the party?

It’s the small extras that make a party into a special occasion. Give each guest a goodie bag made from a red check bandanna (or color that’s appropriate for the bride). What’s inside? A flashlight, bag of trail mix tied with a colorful straw bow, plastic champagne glass for sipping bubbly around the campfire and a S’more kit for a gooey dessert.

And you thought Vegas was the only place to celebrate with the hens.

Image Credits: Nina Hale, Heather Katsoulis, The Resort at Paws Up, Wellspring Ranch, Lastonein.

Glamping Gone Wild: When is it Too Much?

Glamping is a spreading phenomenon, and as it grows so do the ways in which people decide to “glamp.” And with anything that becomes wildly popular, at some point, someone somewhere will be annoyed, ruffled, or otherwise offended.

In a Glamping News article published in early Spring of 2014 called “Festival Glamping,” we reported the growing trend of festivals that offer glamping accommodations. The article listed festivals ranging from the Wakarusa Music Festival in Arkansas to the Alt Fest in Northamptonshire, England. Already in the Fall of 2014 there are many more, like the Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire, England and Beyond the Valley Music Festival in Australia, with yet another one in particular causing a stir.

Wilderness Fest tents

The Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire, England now offers everything from “canvas yurts to cosy gypsy caravans,” and bathrooms, hot showers and exclusive bar…just to make your visit to the Wilderness, that little bit more luxurious… you can wonder into the wider woodland, a private nature reserve, if the wild calls.” Certainly glamping at a fest called the “Wilderness Festival” seems appropriate.

Beyond The Valley

In Australia (where fest goers are referred to as “punters”) the brand new Beyond the Valley Festival (a music fest featuring indie rock, alternative, hip-hop and more) offers glamping straight out of the gate.

beyond the valley treats

They claim to take glamping “to a whole new level” at what it calls their Lux Campsite, with “fully furnished hotel style tents with amenities ranging from refillable “eskis” (Esky is an Australian brand of cooler) and wine chillers, toiletries, 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and access to luxury showers and a make-up and beauty parlour.” And if that’s not enough to satisfy anyone, it also comes with “a full buffet breakfast, daily housekeeping, and access to the event’s much-talked-about hangover spa,” and an “option to “pimp your tent” with a portable jacuzzi.”

Burning Man

Luxurious upgrades may be permissible at a music fest, but don’t expect to “pimp your tent” at Burning Man without a backlash. The organizers of the artist and community-centric festival held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada annually has a stated purpose that attendees “dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance,” departing a week later “leaving no trace.”

burning man blue

It is at this festival that, according to a report from the New York Times (A Line is Drawn in the Desert) a new group of attendees referred to as the “tech elite” of Silicon Valley, are causing a stir. Says one tech elite, “We used to have R.V.s and precooked meals… now, we have the craziest chefs in the world and people who build yurts for us.”

burning man desert

Having a “$2 million camps” built for you by “Sherpa helpers” at Burning Man obviously flies in the face of basic principles of the fest, the most obvious being that of “Radical Self-reliance,” where Burners (as attendees refer to themselves) are encouraged to “discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.”

In this case, it isn’t the glamping itself that is the point of contention, but how the tech elite have chosen to glamp. Burners might be fine with it if the tech elite set up the camp themselves and conducted themselves in the spirit of “creative cooperation and collaboration,” rather than connect their lavish R.V.s “together to create a private forted area, ensuring that no outsiders can get in,” as reported by the New York Times. Glamping won’t be an issue if the principles of the festival are adhered to.

Wilderness Final

While people should be free to do as they choose, being responsible with your glamping will prevent bad experiences for others, and avoid giving glamping a bad name. So please glamp to your heart’s content, but also be aware of how it affects others. As anyone who enjoys the great outdoors is encouraged to Tread Lightly, always remember to Glamp Responisbly.


Photo Credits: Wilderness Festival, Beyond The Valley Festival, Burning Man

Female Travelers on the Up-and-Up

Once upon a time the most well traveled women were either celebrities, socialites, royals, or leggy “air hosts” on airlines such as Braniff International Airways or Pan Am. In other words, the ladies who were placing pins around the globe were either wealthy or worked in the travel business. 

Oh, how times have changed. Today, women are piloting planes, heading up major travel corporations, and traveling at the same rate as their male counterparts. According to the Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, women are the fastest-growing segment among business travelers in the U.S. based on a 2011 report, causing travel companies to rethink their design and their approach. Enter the rise of all-women hotel floors, designer amenities, and plush robes among practicalities like privacy, safety, and connectivity. 

While there’s an ever-growing segment of women jetting from coast to coast and continent to continent for business, there’s also a dominant contingent plotting their own map coordinates for pleasure—a trend appearing way before powerhouse author Elizabeth Gilbert chronicled her soul-searching adventures in Rome, Indonesia and India in her bestselling book-come-movie, Eat Pray Love.

“I’ve been traveling for more than 25 years and much of that has been solo” says Beth Whitman, founder and editor of Wanderlust and Lipstick, a women-to-woman travel publication consistently topping best-of blog lists. “While I’ve always encountered female travelers (solo, with friends, partners, and family) around the globe, women are traveling more now because we have access to so much accurate information online that makes us feel more comfortable—even in the most remote destinations. As we’ve grown more empowered and confident in our travels, there’s now more acceptance for women to travel.”

It’s this access, aptitude, and natural-born need for connectivity (in every sense of the word) that is literally and figuratively placing women on a purchasing pedestal. Today, women influence 85% of all purchasing decisions and account for 58% of all online sales according to Skift Trends Report on The Rise of Female Business Travelers

With more influence comes more license to travel. While it used to be considered gauche for ladies to take a break from their family or work obligations, more and more women are saving a slice of their earnings for solo trips or girlfriend getaways.  

My group of girlfriends is a perfect example of this once-trend-now-reality. We’ve been venturing out on girlfriend getaways since we started working. Fourteen years later, some of us are single, some of us are married, some of us have kids, yet all of us recognize the need to escape and recharge with “the girls.” Case in point: this once- or twice-yearly trip is something that’s held so sacred, it’s booked a year in advance. 

So far, most of our trips have taken us to urban centers or beach towns. Occasionally, we’ve braved the Great Wide Open camping, though after a few brushes with torrential downpours and leaking tarps, my group is ready for glamping. When I tell them chic camping is like staying at a wildernessy five-star hotel at the intersection of “roughing it” and “the lap of luxury”, I’m not sure any of them will miss draining their bank account at Barneys.