Blogger Spotlight: Chelsey & Cainan

By Jessica Armstrong

alt(photo credit: Mike Rousseau)

This summer we have partnered with a dynamic duo. Writer Chelsey Burnside and filmmaker Cainan Querido run a video production company together called Sophomore, in Toronto, Canada. Last year, they started a side project called Escape Toronto, showcasing day trips, road trips, staycations and gorgeous accommodations less than roughly three hours outside the city.

After brainstorming ideas, collaborating on some great angles, and choosing the perfect location, Chelsey and Cainan set out for a visit to these safari tents in Upstate New York to get their first glamping experience.

Now experts lusting for more adventure, they have jotted down some answers to questions that may help you glampers get some "inspo" from for your upcoming summer glamping trips.

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What are your must-haves to bring on a glamping trip?

A nice camera, a head lamp, a portable iPhone charger, travel Scrabble, First Aid Beauty face wipes, and all the SPF and antihistamines we can get our hands on.

How do your essentials differ depending on the area you’re glamping in?

We try to prepare for the best and worst weather-wise, no matter where we’re headed—as anyone who’s visited Joshua Tree National Park will tell you, temperatures can plummet from desert heat to below-zero over the course of a sunset, so warm clothing is always a necessity. And there are a few essentials we pack no matter what: for Cainan, it's an arsenal of plain black tees. For Chelsey, it's multiple hats (the struggle is real when it comes to haircare in the wilderness).

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What do you do on the days leading up to your trip?

For us, half the fun of the trip is planning what we’re going to do while we’re there: scoping out cool restaurants nearby, researching hikes, beaches and attractions, and generally getting the lay of the land before we arrive. We like to read posts by local bloggers and Instagrammers to get the inside scoop—to find the hidden gems, you have to look beyond a TripAdvisor Top 10 list.

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How do you prefer to travel to your destination and why?

We love road trips! It’s part of the reason why we started Escape Toronto last year—to show you don’t need to hop a plane to have an awesome weekend adventure. Travelling by car lets you watch as the scenery shifts from town to town, and lends a context to your destination you just can’t get from the sky.

Some of our favorite travel memories have been in those in-between moments: a deliciously greasy breakfast at an old-school diner in upstate New York or having the flexibility in our itinerary to stop by a cool museum we spot on the drive over.

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How do you research the accommodation’s amenities and features while preparing?

Google is great, but nothing beats a phone call—ask if your host is willing to have a quick chat to answer all of your questions before you arrive! Because we’re always travelling with laptops and camera equipment, we make sure to ask about charging stations, Wi-Fi, and any security features on site.

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What kinds of events and activities do you plan before you arrive at the site?

We like to check out nearby hikes and must-sees, like waterfalls, hot springs, or national parks, as well as checking local event listings for any concerts or festivals that coincide with our stay. On our most recent trip to Firelight Camps in Ithaca (which was incredible, highly recommend to anyone heading to the Finger Lakes region!), we loved tasting wine and beer from the surrounding vineyards, taking in an acoustic set by a local band by the campfire, and exploring the Cornell University campus a short drive away.

Which do you prefer: a daily itinerary or a go-with the flow game plan?

A little of both! Let’s call it a hit list with flexibility.

Check out the rest of Chelsey's and Cainan's adventures here on the Sophomore website, the Sophomore Instagram, the Escape Toronto Instagram, Chelsey's Instagram, and Cainan's Instgram.