A Guide to Glamping In the San Juan Islands

Luxury vacations are the top of everyone’s wish list. Who doesn’t enjoy room service, satin sheets, champagne and caviar for breakfast and all the best that life can afford? If the luxury that is a five star service is beyond your financial reach this year and the best accommodation you can hope for is a tent then never fear. There’s no reason you can’t add some luxurious touches of your own to your vacation.

Improvisation is the key and ‘glamping’ – combining camping and glamor – is the way forward for budget vacations. Of course, to avoid inclement weather, you need to ensure your destination is as rain free as possible.

Where better than the San Juan Islands, famed for its endless sunshine? Even better, the saving on accommodation leaves you with the means to hop on a whale watch tour from San Juan Island while you’re away. You know it makes sense.

So here are some simple slightly tongue-in-cheek tips to add that dash of luxury to your budget vacation.

A stylish sleeping bag
Budget doesn’t mean boring. Spice up the tent with a stylish bright sleeping bag and leave the dull colorless sleeping bags behind. Pack a couple of new pillows into the suitcase too for that added hint of ‘hotel room’.

Citronella candles
The aroma of any scented candles will enhance the ambience of the evenings and brighten up your basic lodgings. Citronella oil not only smells fresh, with its citrus aroma it will also deter random flies and insects from your tent. A two in one, cost effective insect repellent and aromatic device!

A bell tent
Cut down on hoisting heavy bags with a straightforward bell tent. They’re simple to erect and relatively easy to carry. It’ll leave room to squeeze the vital luxury items into your gear.

Sheepskin rugs
The ultimate touch of luxury to your budget vacation in the delightful San Juan Islands is a sheepskin rug (economy version of course!) Spread it out across the floor at night for a sense of sheer escapism. If you’re taking children along on your vacation they’ll love it too, just you see.

They may not be your immediate idea of luxury items but on a camping vacation earplugs are an essential to distract you from the unfamiliar noises that may interrupt your sleep. If the bird song leaves you tranquil and at peace, keep them handy for any outbreaks of off-key renditions of campfire songs, from neighboring campers not your own, naturally!

Treat Yourself
With all of the cash you’ve saved from your budget accommodation, spoil yourself with the ultimate chance to see marine life in its natural habitat; a whale watch tour from San Juan Island.

For your best chance of seeing these elegant creatures, take your vacation anytime from May through September. The gracious black and white orca whales live in pods (families) around San Juan Island.

You’ll probably hear their grunts and clicks before you actually see them, entertaining visitors with tail lobs and spy hops!

Keep your eyes open for elusive Minke whales too. These more reclusive creatures travel in groups of two or three and tend to take longer dives than the Orcas so they are often missed. Occasionally, a gray whale will come into view. At up to 50 feet long you won’t miss them.

If you can tear yourself away from the whales you’ll be beguiled by glimpses of sea lions, cormorants and seals.

The whale watch tour from San Juan Island will more than compensate for your budget vacation but if you’ve followed our tips you’ll at least enjoy a hint of luxury too.

For Ultimate Luxury – The Wine Glass Holder
Of course, the ultimate touch of luxury at the end of a blissful day on a whale watching tour from San Juan Island is a wine glass holder.

Now is the time to relax, to take in the peace and serenity of your surroundings. What better accessory than a wine glass holder? It’s the budget vacation equivalent of room service. If you ask nicely you may even persuade someone to pour it for you.

Budget doesn’t mean hardship; a few personal touches can liven up even the most basic accommodation. Choose the right destination, the endless days of the San Juan islands with the myriad distractions of beaches, forests and the must see whale watch tour from San Juan Island itself.

Most important -BOOK AHEAD. The San Juan islands are renowned for its awesome camp sites, be it right on a lake or a shoreline bluff. Don’t wait until the day before. Many sites can book up months in advance!

Throw in a touch of glamping and your budget vacation never looked so good!

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