If your idea of a great camping trip includes French press coffee, you're ready for some upscale glamping. Glamor camping, or glamping, is a camping trip with style and amenities. Think of a well-stocked RV in the middle of the wilderness. One of the hottest methods of glamping today is to take a trip by houseboat. These floating condos can range in size from cozy models that hold up to four people to luxury models that entertain a family of a dozen or more.

Photo by sandy_ via Flickr

Average Houseboat Amenities

If it comes in a vacation rental condo, you're likely to find it in a modern houseboat. The kitchens generally include full-sized appliances, plus a large table and chairs. Bedrooms include regular beds, plus smaller bunk beds for kids to enjoy. Living rooms are stocked with stereo systems and large televisions with DVD players. You'll find barbecue grills, outdoor lounge furniture, and even, in some models, built-in hot tubs. Houseboats come fully stocked except for personal items such as food, sunscreen and toiletries. These floating vacation homes have everything you need for a week's relaxing drift on the water.

Photo by Wickerfurniture via Flickr

Getting Around

The main reason for getting a houseboat instead of a condo is to move from place to place on the water. Why stick with one beach when you can visit a new one each day, all from the back of your floating condo? Even if you've never driven a boat before, all houseboat rental agencies will give you lessons before you take off on your vacation, and modern houseboats are surprisingly easy to drive. Depending on the area in which you're floating, you may need to get a local boater license. If it's required in their jurisdiction, owners won't hand over the keys until you show your license is up to date.

Where to Go

Houseboats offer a fun vacation in any body of water, but as long as you're going on an adventure, you might as well have some spectacular scenery to go along with it. Consider docking at Catalina Island to enjoy a day ziplining or simply relaxing on the Island's beautiful beaches

If you'd rather enjoy the warmer side of vacationing, spend a sunny week in winter cruising through the Florida Keys. The laid-back lifestyle of this string of islands fits perfectly with vacations. January and February holds the perfect weather here: sunny, clear and not too hot.


Photo of Houseboat Row by Flickr user Florida Keys--Public Libraries

Teach the kids some history while enjoying fantastic scenery by houseboating along the Erie Canal. Spanning from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Erie in the Great Lakes, the Erie canal offers 230 miles of sightseeing, restaurants, wineries and family activities. Travel the entire length of the canal or just cover a small portion in a few days. You'll find wildlife refuges and wild nightlife, depending on what part of the canal you traverse.

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