There was once a time when camping conjured up images of trudging through the backcountry, backpacks slung over tired shoulders while keeping eyes peeled for bears.
Some might still argue that roughing it with tents and sleeping bags is the real way to camp, but gone are the days where that's your only option.
Now, glamping has come into the spotlight, with luxurious sites set up in beautiful places from Joshua Tree National Park to Yellowstone, Zion and beyond. It's a budding industry that's suddenly exploding and could be worth $4.8 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research.
But what is glamping, and when did it go mainstream?
In 2016, the term was added to the Oxford dictionary: "a type of camping, using tents and other kinds of accommodation, facilities, etc. that are more comfortable and expensive than those usually used for camping."
The idea behind this phenomenon is that more people can now enjoy the outdoors without first learning how to build a fire, assemble a tent or tie up a bear bag. The trend is growing at a time when camping has never been more popular.
The number of camping households in the U.S. now numbers 78.8 million, according to the 2019 North American Camping Report. In addition, the 2020 report showed that nearly four in 10 campers say they want to try glamping, with one in three prospective campers saying the same thing.
Glamping shows it's possible to access a beautiful place while enjoying a swanky stay. You'll still need bug spray but will have a much better chance of getting a good night's rest.