The Ultimate Happy Campers

On your next vacation, sleep under the stars—in a four-poster bed.

by - Posted on Apr 17, 2013

A spacious, well-lit tent of the type used on high-end African safaris

Camping doesn’t have to mean leaking tents, sleeping on rocks or fending off creepy-crawly critters. A growing trend known as glamping (a combination of “glamorous” and “camping”) allows one to enjoy outdoor adventure without sacrificing comfort, convenience or style.

Recently featured on television shows such as the Travel Channel’s Exposed, glamping traces its roots back to the African safaris of the early 1900s. Countless grand safaris left Nairobi, Kenya, a popular departure point, to venture into the African wilderness.

These adventurers brought many porters with them to cook dinners, cart books and champagne, draw baths, and pitch tents covering up to an acre of ground. Today, modern incarnations of this early 20th century whimsy can be found across the world.

There is no typical glamping vacation; the experience depends entirely on personal preference. Some glampers seek out destinations with structured activities such as horseback riding and game nights while others maintain the autonomy of camping, but retire nightly to a posh cabin rather than a grubby tent.

Glamping accommodations very often include heating and plumbing, and can come in many forms, such as a furnished yurt or a restored Airstream trailer. Some even feature specialized attractions.

For example, a glamping resort in Scotland has been built near Loch Ness for those hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous monster. Other glamping destinations focus on a specific theme, such as ecotourism.

Glamping also opens up options for vacationers. Activities such as winter camping or camping with small children are now viable options for those who might have never considered them before.

In September 2012 former park ranger Mary Jane Butters published a book entitled Glamping with MaryJane. It’s a go-to-guide for how to be a strong camper—with a glamourous edge. Readers can learn how to pitch a tent, create a campfire, refurbish a vintage trailer and more.

Mary Jane also spearheaded an event called International Glamping Weekend, held on the first weekend in June. The event encourages individuals to break out their hiking boots and go glamping, whether at a public campground, a private resort or even their own backyard.

To find an established glamping destination near you, visit or, comprehensive sources of glamping venues for nearly every type of excursion, from honeymoons to girls’ getaways.

View a slideshow depicting the glamping experience!

Read Dori Barrett's inspiring tale of glamorizing her vintage travel trailer!


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