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Even before COVID, travelers were wrestling with how to reconcile their desire for an outdoorsy experience with a need for luxury amenities. That’s even more of an issue now, as we are all looking for ways to reconnect with nature and keep a safe distance from others, without giving up on the relaxation that we crave from our vacations. Trekking through the woods with all your gear on your back, pitching a tent, and then sleeping on the cold, hard ground is not everyone’s cup of tea. Fortunately, there is a perfect solution: Glamping. The perfect compromise between nature and luxury, glamping combines resort-like amenities and activities, with gorgeous locations and views, in places that make it easy to stay socially distanced.

two luxury tents silouhetted against a night sky full of stars in Moab Utah
Glamping with Under Canvas [photo credit: Adam Skalecki via Unsplash]

What is Glamping?

“Glamping” (a combination of “glamourous” and “camping”) is basically upscale sleeping under the stars.

Traditionally, glamping involves a canvas structure on a permanent or semi-permanent platform with power and running water. Instead of pitching a small tent, you’ll arrive at the campground to find widely spaced semi-permanent “tents” ready for you to enjoy. Inside these large rooms, you’ll find all the comforts of modern life: air conditioning, a comfy bed with luxury linens, stylish décor, wood stoves, and (very often) a private bathroom.  

[Photo credit: Espen Bierud via Unsplash]

Suitable for romantic couples, families, or even those who like to travel with their pets, glamping offers all the benefits of camping with all the luxuries of a hotel room. Glamping allows vacationers to enjoy popular national parks away from the crowds and without enduring the toll that camping can take on the body. Due to the low energy usage of the tents, it’s also a great way to travel green and care for the planet. Not only are you immersed in nature but the pull-chain showers, low-flow toilets, and solar power minimize your environmental impact.

These days glamping can refer to a traditional canvas structure, a treehouse hotel, a rustic cabin, an airstream trailer, or even a stargazing dome. No matter your glamping style, it will have direct access to the outdoors, campfires, and nature’s peaceful soundtrack.

[Photo credit: Roberto Nickson via Unsplash]

History of Glamping

Glamping isn’t as new as people may think. While huge canvas yurts and tents have been used since ancient times, the idea of luxury outdoor vacations for the aristocracy started in 16th and 17th century Scotland, France, and Turkey.

Luxury camping gathered steam around the early 1900s when wealthy Europeans and Americans wanted a taste of wild safari adventures in Africa but weren’t willing to sacrifice their home luxuries. Safari tents for the upper classes were supplied with a full set of furniture, beds, rugs, and luxury bedding. Turning their safari experience into more of a hotel-like luxury rather than “roughing it”. These elegant safari camps are still very popular today.

Flash forward to 2007 when the term glamping started gaining popularity. It began to get mainstream traction when festival-goers ( who enjoyed their outdoor events but didn’t enjoy living in a tent for weeks) saw an opportunity to improve their festival experience.

Since then, glamping has steadily become a global phenomenon with luxury campgrounds in almost every U.S. State and countries around the world. Companies like Under Canvas provide luxury facilities to those who are taking their cue from the turn-of-the-century upper classes – enjoy the great outdoors without losing the comforts of home.

[Photo credit: Andrea Davis via Unsplash]

Why Should You Try Glamping?

Wake up in your comfy king-size bed, looking straight up at the first rays of sunrise. Even from your bed, you can smell the pine needles and fresh air waiting just outside your door. No need to shimmy out of your sleeping bag or crawl on your hands and knees out the tent flap, you simply start a fresh pot of coffee on your wood stove and step out onto your patio. Enjoy the sunrise over the trees and soak up the sense of well-being. During the day, you can do morning yoga, planned activities, or hike through the beautiful national park. In the evening, make smores around the campfire, sip a chilled glass of wine, tell stories, and gaze up the stars. Best of all, before getting into your luxurious bed, you can have a nice warm shower.

Photo credit: Kyle Glenn via Unsplash]

There’s a reason luxury camping has been around for over a century. If this post has inspired you to discover it for yourself, let us know! Whether you want to enjoy the crisp cool air and stunning fall colors or catch the last breath of summer in the Southwestern desert, we’ll be happy to help find the perfect location, style, and climate for your luxury outdoor adventure.