5 ways glamping can help you do a digital detox

By Alexis Vega

From 1992, when the first smartphone was developed, and 2007, when the first iPhone hit the market, to today's plethora of options when it comes to mobile devices of all kinds, there has been a noticeable uptrend—starting in the early 2000s—in our consumption of social media, our app usage, and our need for the latest and greatest in new technology. We live connected to our devices, and we are constantly worried about being up-to-date about what is happening online at all times—so much so that we sometimes neglect our real lives. It's hard to acknowledge that we might be losing control and that we have reached a point in which our internet addiction might be affecting our mental health.

How are social media and the internet affecting mental health?

In a recent study, the University of Michigan found that the use of social media may “reflect and amplify the levels of narcissism." Further research conducted by the University of California concluded that the use of phones and laptops disrupts sleep cycles, which leads to sleep disorders.

It doesn't stop there, however; spending so much time on our devices has more of an impact on our brains than we think. So much so, in fact, that we've come up with new buzzwords, practices, and trends to help us modify our dependence or cut it out entirely.

More and more people are consciously disconnecting from social media and technology to do what is now widely known as a "digital detox." It has become so common that designated digital detox retreats, hotels, and camps are popping up and rapidly gaining popularity. With getaways specifically designed to help you disconnect from your mobile devices on the rise, why not try going technology-free on your next glamping adventure?

What are the benefits of a glamping digital detox?

Glamping is all about being outdoors in a natural setting. With thousands of secluded accommodations in nature—without having to sacrifice any amenities—the last thing you'll want to do is go online. Here are some ways glamping is ideal for a digital detox.

1. It brings you closer to nature

There is no place in the world where you can find more peace than in nature. Switch off from social media and enjoy the feeling. It is proven that nature has a positive impact on our well-being. Nature heals, it reduces anger, fear, stress, and anxiety.

2. The human connection has a stronger signal

When in the wild, who needs Wi-Fi? Time spent in nature improves the personal and human connection you have with yourself, your friends and family, and fellow travelers you meet along the way. Without the distraction of your smartphone, you naturally will make space to engage with others, strengthen your bonds with people and nature, and interact with your surrounding environment.

3. A good night's sleep is guaranteed

Looking at a screen before bedtime tricks your brain into thinking it needs to stay awake, and it prevents melatonin from being released. Without any devices around, all you need to worry about is gazing at the stars above as you fall asleep—guaranteeing you a wonderful night of rest and relaxation!

4. Re-learn how to live in the moment

Checking your social media, email, and other apps takes up so much of our time—so much so that a break from checking them will make you realize just how much time you were wasting refreshing your screen. You'll naturally start to pay better attention to what is going on around you at any given moment and start to pick up sights, scents, sounds, and sensations you were previously ignoring.

5. Enjoy time for personal growth

Without the need to check your phone every two seconds, you'll be able to focus on you—allowing yourself to have new experiences and try new things. Try your hand at an outdoor activity that you've never done before, like stand-up paddleboarding. Challenge yourself to finish two books over the course of a week. Make a new recipe for the first time. The world is your oyster, and you owe it to yourself to have space and time for personal growth.


Can't head out on a trip right now? Create an outdoor glamping experience in your backyard with this fun party idea. Make sure you have everyone leave their cell phones in a bowl at the door for the perfect day of disconnecting!

Stand-up paddleboarding: Where and how

By Eleanor Stanesby

Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, is one of the fastest growing water sports around the world. People are swapping out their kayaks—the former reigning champ—and trying their hand at this balance-testing activity. The origin of stand-up paddleboarding is traced back to Hawaii, where it was originally used for more practical reasons, such as traveling distances or fishing.

The sport has now become recreational, thanks to local surfers who invented the sport as a way to still get out on the ocean when the waves got low in summertime. They also realized that stand-up paddleboarding was much quicker and easier to learn than surfing—therefore making it available to a much broader audience and allowing its popularity to skyrocket.

Get ready to learn everything you need to know about how to stand-up paddleboard—and where the best places to do it are!

Photo courtesy of Seabreeze.

Where to go

If you're planning a trip or a vacation near the water soon—be that an ocean, a river, or a lake—you're in the right place to give stand-up paddleboarding a go. When weather permits, it's the perfect, fun-filled activity to include on any trip's itinerary, in addition to being a great full body workout once you've mastered it!

The perks of this water sport don't stop there, though. While stand-up paddleboarding, you're bound to be surrounded by a stunning natural environment, all while floating along a tranquil lake or sparkling river and having the utmost fun with this serene, yet challenging, activity.

The following are some of our favorite destinations:

Oahu, Hawaii

Photo courtesy ofISLE.

What better place to learn how to stand-up paddleboard than in the birthplace of the sport? Oahu, Hawaii, is known for it's epic big wave surfing, but in the summer when the waves are calmer, this is the perfect destination for both beginners and pros. Not only famous for it's epic water sports, the tranquil, clear waters; white, sandy beaches; and soaring temperatures are also a huge bonus when heading to this beautiful island.

British Columbia, Canada

Photo courtesy of Tripaneer.

British Columbia, Canada, is filled with reflective lakes and meandering rivers, and these peaceful waters make this the ideal place for SUP beginners. The possibilities are endless for diverse stand-up paddleboarding and sightseeing while here—and the incredible views will leave you in awe while doing so, too!

Portugal

Photo courtesy of Portugal Sport.

It's not hard to see why stand-up paddle boarding is so popular in Portugal, with its 1,793 kilometers of coastline to explore. You can explore the caves in the Algarve, or head to Luiz Saldanha Marine Park to go paddleboarding in an aquarium-like setting. With crystal clear waters and up to 70 meters of visibility, this spot is totally unique.

The need-to-know

Paddleboarding in Hawaii from Turtle Bay Resort.

Getting a feel for stand-up paddleboarding should only take 30 minutes or less, depending on how good your balance is. For first-timers, it's recommended to find calm waters and head out with a friend, in order to increase your chances of succeeding while learning this new skill.

Equipment

Minimal equipment is required, and it all can be rented from a water sports shop. The three main items are:

  • A paddleboard
  • A paddle
  • A life jacket

Techniques

Once you have your equipment, you can head to the water to start this adventure. Simply put, it's all about balance—using strength from your core to keep you upright and centered while on the water. The three most important parts of learning this water sport are: how to stand up properly, how how to balance while paddling, and how to fall.

Someone learning how to stand up on the paddleboard.
Photo courtesy of REI.

Trying to stand-up immediately as you get on the board is most likely going to end in disaster. Climb on the board while using your knees to balance, and head out into deeper water, away from the shallow shores. Once you feel comfortable, you can then begin to stand, one foot at a time. Plant your feet where your knees were and place the paddle horizontal along the board to anchor your balance.

Someone successfully standing on the paddleboard.
Photo courtesy of REI.

Once you're standing, you must rely on your core balance to keep you from falling. Your feet should be hip-width apart, and your weight should be evenly distributed. Keep your gaze on the horizon and avoid staring at your feet; this will help you keep your balance and avoid falling into the water.

What to do if you fall

Learning a new skill is always a challenge and will come with its wins and failures during the learning process. Falling is all a part of the fun when learning how to stand-up paddleboard; however, knowing how to fall correctly is important in order to avoid getting injured.

Pro Tips:

  • Fall to the side to avoid the board.
  • Try to fall flat to avoid hitting your head.
  • Hold onto your paddle.

You'll be paddling off into the sunset and off to your next scenic trip in no time!


Paddle off into the sunset and onto your next scenic trip! Here's some inspiration on where to head—and some other adventure sports you can give a shot.

Where to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

By Mikaela Amundson

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong

It's been 50 years since the United States put a man on the moon and this month of July will mark some extraordinary events for history and astronomy lovers alike! Five decades after the "Eagle" landed, mankind still looks to the sky in awe like they have for thousands of years. We love any excuse to get outside and bask in the awesomeness of nature, so let's honor this momentous leap that was taken in 1969 and where the space frontier will take us next!

Keep reading to find out where to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, walks on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969,
in a photograph taken by Neil Armstrong.
Photo courtesy of History HD.

U.S. celebrations

Alabama

At the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, otherwise known as “Rocket City," the whole area is celebrating its integral role in developing and building the Saturn launch vehicles for the Apollo Moon mission. There will be a whole week of events, including music performances, moon landing reenactments, and even an attempt to break a Guinness World Record by launching 5,000 model rockets simultaneously.

Photo courtasy of Nasa on Unsplash.

Washington, D.C.

D.C. is home to world-class museums, and the National Air and Space Museum is no exception. Their celebration of Apollo 50 will feature special, hands-on exhibits, an outdoor festival, and a chance to see Neil Armstrong's suit on display for the first time in 13 years.

The celebrations here culminate with a late-night party called, “The Eagle Has Landed," at 10:56 p.m. on July 20 to mark Armstrong’s first step onto the moon. The D.C. celebration focuses a lot on President Kennedy's leadership and promotion of the U.S. Space Program, which makes for a great history element to this event!

Portland

At the OMSI, a.k.a. the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, they're hosting a block party for stargazers. At Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park, starting at 9 p.m. on July 20, you can see some sky highlights—Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, star clusters, and the gorgeous waning gibbous moon. This museum is always great, but it has a lot of extra special fun up its sleeve this week!

Ohio

What better place to celebrate Apollo 50 than in Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta? The Armstrong Air and Space Museum is hosting a week's worth of events, filled with celebrations of their most famous resident that include rocket launches, interactive museum exhibits, music events, a fun run, a gala, and more.

U.S. stargazing

Photo courtesy of Joshua Earle.

If you can't make it to any formal celebrations for Apollo 50, you're still in luck for a star-filled July! There is a fair amount of notable celestial activity expected throughout the month that you can read about here. Below, you'll find the ones we're most excited about!

  • July 13: Close Approach of the Moon & Jupiter
  • July 16: Partial Lunar Eclipse (North and South America can expect to see this eclipse in the dusk and night hours of July 16, while Europe, Asia, Africa, India, and Australia can expect the early morning and before dawn hours of July 17.)
  • July 21: Peak of the α–Cygnid Meteor Shower
  • July 29: Peak of the δ–Aquarid Meteor Shower
  • July 31: Peak of the Piscis Australid Meteor Shower

TV

If you can't get out to any moon events this year, be sure to check out NASA's special TV programming on Friday, July 19, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m EDT for their showing of "NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future" to celebrate. The show will be coming to you live from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with segments in Houston, Huntsville, D.C., Ohio, and Seattle. You'll see Apollo memorabilia, anniversary celebrations, and hear from Apollo astronauts. Find the stream here on NASA's Apollo anniversary events page.

Outside of the U.S.

Europe

If you're not in the U.S. for this momentous, month-long space extravaganza, don't worry! We've got you covered with a few other places around the world that are known for their incredible nighttime views.

La Palma, Canary Islands

The northernmost island of the Canary Islands' seven main islands, La Palma is known for its incredible stargazing and has been named an UNESCO Starlight Reserve, in honor of the amazing celestial views you can catch there.

Hella, Iceland

This small town in South Iceland is known for not only amazing star views, but also the Northern Lights! It's one of the southernmost viewpoints for the Aurora Borealis, making it perfect if you're not quite prepared for the arctic cold.

Tuscany, Italy

The birthplace of the telescope is another spot well known for its stargazing. See the same stars Galileo did when he first looked to the heavens, and enjoy a dazzling display out in the Tuscan countryside.

You can find more details about these places, as well as some more European stargazing locations here.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Australia

There are some great spots for viewing the stars in Australia—its low light pollution and unique southern hemisphere placement make it a premier spot for star enthusiasts.

Parkes Telescope

At the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, you'll find the telescope that was watching when Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon in 1969. This spot offers great views, interesting exhibits, and activities for the whole family to explore the stars.

Gingin Observatory

In Western Australia, visit the Gravity Discovery Centre to find this observatory, which houses the world's largest radio telescope ever built. The dark skies, guidance from expert astronomers, and accessible telescopes make this a top-notch spot.

Sydney Observatory

Back in NSW, just outside the capital city of Sydney, this observatory can be found on a hill overlooking the harbor. The Sydney Observatory houses the oldest working telescope in Australia, which was originally built to view the Transit of Venus in 1874.

For more details about Australia stargazing, check out these resources here.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Check out more properties on Glamping Hub to find the perfect stargazing escape today!

The latest trend in nature therapy: Forest bathing

By Eleanor Stanesby

When you think of bathing, water immediately comes to mind. The Japanese art form of forest bathing, however, encompasses bathing in a completely different way. Through mindfulness and the use of your five senses, this type of nature therapy allows you to soak in the natural environment around you, which in turn, can lead to amazing health benefits, both physically and mentally!

Read on to find out why this scientifically-proven form of nature therapy is trending in the Western world, with doctors, forestry commissions, and even royals getting on board!

What is forest bathing?

Originating in Japan in the 1980s, Shinrin-yoku forest therapy was invented by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and has become an essential preventative healthcare method in Japanese medicine. Shinrin-yoku translates to "taking in the forest atmosphere," or "forest bathing," as its now known in Western culture.

"Taking in the forest atmosphere" is the best way to explain this form of holistic medicine and what it encompasses. The idea is to truly immerse yourself in nature, to be present and engage your senses, in order to allow you to reconnect with a calm and mindful approach. Many people take hikes or treks throughout the forest; however, the concept of forest bathing requires a much slower-paced walk, quietness, and a form of meditation for you to feel its healing benefits.

A forest bathing infographic from Lifespark Weekly.

Why you should give it a try

For many years, forest bathing has been used as a form of medical treatment in Japan—so much so that it's now a part of their national health program. The proven health benefits of forest bathing have plenty of research to back them up, largely thanks to the foremost expert in forest medicine, Dr. Qing Li, who through years of research has discovered the following that it:

  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression

  • Strengthens the immune system

  • Improves cardiovascular health

  • Improves metabolic function

It's true that nature is undeniably peaceful, from the soothing sounds of birds and streams to the incredible aromas of flowers and plants, so it's not hard to see why this type of therapy has so many benefits on your mental and physical well-being. Just think about how relaxed you felt the last time you were in the middle of nature, taking in your surroundings without any distractions or disturbances. This is what forest bathing is all about!

Don't just take our word for it, though. Dr. Li has written a book on the subject called, "Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness," which will give you an in-depth look on how forest bathing can improve your overall well-being and how you can incorporate nature therapy into your daily routine.

Where to go forest bathing

Duchess of Cambridge at Chelsea flower show from Jersey Evening Post.

Talk about trendy! Even the British royals are embracing forest bathing. The Duchess of Cambridge co-designed a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where she sourced inspiration from this treatment of Japanese origin and the benefits it brings to the table.

Here are some tips for connecting with nature and getting the utmost from this form of therapy:

  • Find somewhere in nature tailored to you.

  • Engage your senses.

  • Slow down your pace.

  • Take advantage of the silence.

  • Explore with no destination.

Forest bathing is an individual experience that everyone will do and benefit from in different ways. If you need a kickstart to your own nature therapy journey, there are many programs to help guide you through your journey, no matter where you're based in the world.


Forest bathing sounds like the perfect activity to incorporate into your glamping adventure, so get ready to leave your vacation feeling extra rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever life throws your way!

Top 5 Outdoor Activities to Enjoy While Glamping

By Stephen Gillis

1. Surfing

Waking up at the crack of dawn to squeeze into a wetsuit and hit the waves is a feeling like no other. Catch the perfect wave that carries you down the coast and launches you through the pipeline. Imagine exiting the pipeline onto the beach and right onto your glamping luxury tent! Spark up the fire and grab a cold one before settling in for a comfortable night sleep to prepare you for the following day's surf. With glamping accommodations in some of the best surf spots in the world, you can be sure to get to hit the waves in style.

2. Mountain Biking

Helmet on and gear set, you are ready to navigate your way down that mountain. The trek up was grueling, but it will all be worth it as you fly down the trails with the cool breeze and spectacular views. Hit the hills of Moab, Sun Valley, Crested Butte, Brevard, and many other stunning places to mountain bike. Ride directly down to your glamping site, where you can fully relax and recover for another day of action.

3. Whitewater Rafting

Hit the rivers paddle in hand and and helmet strapped tight. Brace yourself for the thrill of whitewater rafting on some of the U.S.’s top rivers. We're talking the Colorado River, French Broad, Chattooga, Arkansas, and many more. Regardless of where you decide to embark on this water-based adventure, glamping will be within a stone's throw. Finish up the day on the whitewater by relaxing at your luxury camping site with all the desired amenities.

4. Horseback Riding

Take a ride on arguably the most majestic animal to exist—the horse. Powerful, yet gentle, and elegant, yet sturdy, a horse can make a lasting impression. Horseback riding is an experience like none other, where you can navigate rough terrain to catch a glimpse of breathtaking sunsets. You will not only build a closer connection to nature, but with the animal that is making it possible. Nothing screams glamour more than horseback riding on a beach. Stroll down the coast directly to your glamping site for an unforgettable experience.

5. Hiking

A great way to exercise and explore a new environment is to explore it by foot. You can gain a much deeper appreciation for a location by staying closer to the ground and at a slower pace. That way you can have a more intimate hike through the pure, majestic wilderness of some of America’s finest National Parks. No matter where in the US you decide to hike, glamping will be available for you to enjoy all the necessities you would expect in a 5 star hotel. Book now for a truly unforgettable experience!


Looking to plan a trip? Head over to Glamping Hub to browse our full inventory.