If you've ever wondered what is glamping, exactly, then you've come to the right place. This guide runs through the ins and outs of glamorous camping, with a few hints on the hottest places to snag your own unforgettable safari tent or pod, along with insights into what sort of accommodation you can look forward to.

How is glamping different to camping?

Any attempt to define glamping should start with showing precisely what's different between this style of outdoorsy escape and the one that it came from – camping. In fact, you can get a pretty good idea of a glamping definition just by outlining the things that elevate it above the simple tent pitch and sleeping bag.

There's a roof over your head – sort of

You won't need to wrestle with awkward poles and pegs when it comes to glamping. That's because these luxury tents are almost always already set up and waiting for your arrival. There's also a whole load of glamping escapes that aren't tents at all, but rather wood-framed cabins and pods built with local materials.

Glamping comes with extras

There's a chance you'll enjoy a few luxurious features during a glamping stay. Although they're out in the wilds and put jaw-dropping natural settings right on the doorstep, these pads can come with steaming hot tubs, some with their own Finnish saunas, and others with panoramic deck spaces with flame-grilling BBQs.

What does glamping mean? Glamping means style

Another thing that takes the definition of glamping to all new heights is its undeniable style. There's rarely a glamourous campsite that doesn't have a unique blend of creative architecture and interesting interiors. Little cubby holes where you can curl up and read meet hammock-swinging patios and enchanting cottage-style kitchens to create vacation rentals that are always something to write home about.

Hot glamping destinations

Ready the hiking boots, have the BBQ foods at hand, and unfurl the campfire guitar – it's time to get a-planning that glamping escape. If you've asked "what is glamping?" then you should know that it's first and foremost a chance to get out to the wilder corners of the country. Here are some of the hottest spots to seek out your yurt, tentalow, or tepee in the US today.

The draws of California

Ah, California. If there ever was a place that really played to the definition of glamping, this is surely it. A wild land that runs from cacti-sprouting deserts to carved alpine peaks, it's got pretty much every sort of terrain you could ask for when pitching the tent in the great outdoors. From Joshua Tree National Park to the chiseled peaks of Yosemite, it's also laced with intriguing glamp-grounds that are certainly worth considering.

What is glamping in Texas like?

Texas is a state well-suited to the glamping trend. For starters, it's huge. Ranging from the Gulf Coast to the wild deserts along the Mexican border to the Great Plains of Oklahoma, it's got all sorts of environments up its sleeve. And it's darn fun for al fresco living, offering BBQ briskets and smoked meats, and some seriously amazing stargazing to boot.

New York – Upstate especially

The millions of city slickers that call the Big Apple home have helped to drive a real penchant for glamourous camping in the Empire State. Many of them now choose to mosey up the Hudson Valley and into the wooded clefts of the Adirondack Mountains to find rustic stays that promise an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Cue all sorts of glamping pods, cabins, tents, and shacks.

The different types of glamping

Sometimes it can be hard to pin down an exact glamping definition because there are so many stays that fit into this category of accommodation. From wood-clad cabins in the forests of Appalachia to wagons on Texan farms to metallic, retro RVs that ride the Californian highways, there's all sorts of interesting and unforgettable vacation rentals to discover.

The classic glamping pod

The glamping pod might just be the thing that started the trend of glamorous camping. These are essentially cabins, only with more basic features than your classic vacation space. They are usually made of organic materials and real wood, come with compact interiors that are just about big enough to fit a bed, and sit in rural locations with a big focus on al fresco living.

Yurts and tepees – redefining the glamping meaning

The influence of other cultures both near and far has transformed the glamping definition. It's now possible to find Native American tepees, safari tentalows that look plucked from the African savannahs, and even Mongolian-styled yurts that could easily be perched on rolling steppes in Central Asia.

Glamping can be mobile, too

These days, it's possible to get glamping stays that aren't anchored in one place. Vintage VW surf vans circa 1969 mingle with Winnebago trucks and boxcars on rusting rails, creating a whole sub-class of the glamping definition that's to do with keeping moving all the time.