If you came across a gorgeous tipi camp perched by the seaside, would you broadcast your vacation find to the masses? Unlikely. Same goes for a collection of geodesic domes outfitted with crackling fires and Eames furniture. When accommodation is that awe-inspiring, we’re reluctant to share (until we want our friends to join us and the word gets out).
Glamping has been around awhile. I’d like to think cavewomen started the trend when they outfitted their plots with comfortable pelts and artifacts. Yet, ten years ago, glamping was still an indie getaway. In fact, it wasn’t even called glamping. Early adopters simply said they were “going on a chic camping excursion.” Nobody asked questions because “chic” and “camping” were rarely used in the same sentence.
Fast forward to 2014 and you’d be hard-pressed to find an in-the-know traveler who a) doesn’t know about glamping, or b) hasn’t tasted the upscale tent-life themselves.
Ever since posh pioneers and word-of-mouth built the bones of the business, I trace glamping’s indie-to-mainstream move to A-list influencers. Take Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves. When they tied the knot in an epic three-day celebration in 2012, their wedding guests were treated to one of 47 air-conditioned, Hollywood-worthy tents erected at their Austin, Texas estate. And let’s not forget when now-divorced Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds got hitched at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, a woodsy hideaway in British Columbia’s coastal rainforest. Located so far off the beaten path, the paparazzi didn’t even get wind of the star-studded glamping affair until after it happened.
Social media and our constant need for connectivity is another glamping influencer. With no escape from nonstop notifications, travelers are heading back to basecamp-style basics in search of a simpler time and some R and R. Think of it like a smartphone sabbatical. Ironically, glamping has grown in popularity due to the internet. Now the uber-connected are retreating into its out-of-the-way clutches to actually get away from it all.
For celebrated travel writer, glamper and safari enthusiast Mark Sissons, “glamping is all about enjoying the best of both worlds—a pristine wilderness experience coupled with all of the comforts of home, and then some. It’s getting back to nature without roughing it in the bush.” Think of it this way: Time-pressed, urbanites still yearn for the great wide open without the hassle of towing a U-Haul stacked with gear. With haute couture tenting, it’s all there.
Finally, like a pair of worn Levi’s, glamping is cool. But don’t take our word for it, ask Oscar-winner and glamping guy Matthew McConaughey. Or, check out why Mashable, one of the internet’s most popular news outfits, just waxed on about “11 essentials for the glampground.”
Glamping: Trend of travel mainstay? You decide.