Imagine sleeping in a tent on a family vacation where you don’t have to pack a tent, sleeping bags, cookware or spend the night on the ground. If it sounds too dreamy to be true, you probably haven’t been glamping before.
A hybrid word of “glamorous” and “camping,” glamping takes the work out of camping, enabling you to experience a taste of luxury with walk-in tents equipped with beds. Some glamping resorts like Under Canvas® even have flushing toilets and showers inside your safari-style tent or a short walk away. If you want to sleep outdoors without sacrificing creature comforts, glamping will be one of the most memorable family vacations you’ll ever have.
Here are five reasons why you should go glamping with your family on your next national park vacation.
1. You Don’t Need Camping Gear
You have this vague recollection of where you tucked the family tent away last summer. Or was it the summer before? Either way, you’ve pulled the garage apart and it’s nowhere in sight. There’s a remote possibility you may have left it on the roof of the car at Grand Canyon National Park’s Mather Campground as you were packing up. At this point, it could be anywhere.
Leave your camping gear and the stress of finding a campsite behind when you take the family glamping near your favorite national parks instead. With glamping companies like Under Canvas sprouting luxurious camps near 10 national parks, it’s easier than ever to sleep outdoors comfortably. Interested in exploring Arches National Park? Head to Under Canvas’ Moab location. Want to see Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Head to Under Canvas’ location between Pigeon Forge, Tenn. and Gatlinburg, Tenn. When you arrive, you’ll walk into a gorgeously designed safari-style tent complete with beds, high-quality mattresses and luxurious linens. Some of the safari-style tents have in-tent flushing toilets and showers. Rechargeable in-tent lanterns illuminate your walk to the camp’s lobby or restaurant as do solar LED lights on the paths.
2. You Don’t Have to Sleep in the Same Space as Your Kids
Glamping camps offer an array of possibilities for sleeping scenarios. Depending on the age of your kids and your comfort levels, you can have them sleep in your tent or in a nearby tent.
At Under Canvas’s 10 locations, all near popular national parks, there are a number of tents you can choose from. When you step into the more affordable Safari with Three Twin Beds tent, you and the family can fall asleep together in luxurious linens with a communal bathroom steps away. But if you and your spouse would rather snuggle in a king bed, go for the Deluxe tent equipped with a king bed, additional cots for up to two children and an in-tent bathroom.
Looking for a night without the kids in the same tent? Opt for the Deluxe, Safari and Suite with an Additional Hive. The “hive” is a cute tent next to yours that is equipped with twin beds.
3. You Can Connect with Your Family Rather Than Your Device
Glamping offers families the opportunity to disconnect without having to rough it camping. When you glamp, there is no TV nor Wi-Fi in your room. And oftentimes, there is limited or no electricity. While your kids may express initial dismay in discovering this, you’ll be surprised at how quickly they immerse themselves into your family’s vacation experience without their devices.
At camps like Under Canvas, vacationing without Wi-Fi is called an “intentional inconvenience.” And it opens the door for families to share moments like going on complimentary Under Canvas guided hikes, taking a free on-site yoga class or gathering for a raucous game of Yahtzee on your private wooden deck. In the evening, you can relive the day’s adventures with each other and other guests while roasting complimentary s’mores around a communal fire pit.
4. Someone Else Can Book Your Activities
The only thing more stressful than trying to get the family packed for a national park vacation is researching and scheduling activities that will make everyone happy.
At glamping camps like Under Canvas, an experience coordinator can help you decide on-site which local activities are best for your family. Then they will make reservations for the following day.
5. You Avoid the Crowded Hotel and Campground Scene in National Parks
With more than 318 million travelers visiting national parks last year, there are a lot more people, cars and lines than you might imagine in the parks. This means getting a last-minute campsite or hotel room for a family of four without advanced reservations can be near impossible. And even if you have reservations, you’re still going to be waiting in line to use the campground bathrooms or driving around looking for an elusive parking spot near a park restaurant.
Staying at a glamping resort just outside the parks enables you to get away from the park’s crowds and have a more intimate experience with nature after you’ve taken off your hiking boots for the evening. Under Canvas’ Grand Canyon location, for instance, sits in a beautiful brush forest of juniper and pinon pine trees just 29 miles south of the South Rim. There’s parking for every guest, and many of the safari-inspired tents have their own private flush toilets and showers. But even if you opt for a more affordable tent with a communal bathroom, you’re not going to encounter the lines you do in the national park campgrounds.
The Under Canvas bonus? You don’t have to rally your family to load back into your car again to eat dinner. You can stroll to Embers Restaurant for fantastic food and conversation with other guests.
Acadia National Park
Arches National Park/Moab
Bryce Canyon National Park
Glacier National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Lake Powell/Grand Staircase National Monument
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Yellowstone National Park
Zion National Park