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Why Glamping Should Be Your Next Girls Trip

I don't camp, I GLAMP.

Travel

If you would have asked me to go camping a few years ago, I would have politely declined – more like politely refused.


I don't like bugs, I don't do the whole sleeping on the ground thing, and I definitely don't want to share a tent with 10 people. It's just not for me… or so I thought.

Thanks to 5-star treatment from Utah Camping Company, my friends and I went "glamping" at Moosehorn and Mirror Lake in the Uinta Mountains, and it's easily in the Top 5 vacation experiences I've ever had.

Glamping (glam + camping) is the answer to the perceived inconveniences of camping (uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, no bathroom, excessive manual labor, etc.) for those of you out there like me who still want to experience the outdoors. Whether you stay in a renovated cabin, rent a luxury trailer, or opt for or an all-inclusive tent, glamping represents the best of both worlds and makes for an entirely unforgettable getaway.

The fresh air, luxury treatment, beautiful views, and ability to unplug and truly connect with my friends certainly made my first camping trip one to remember… and I'm already planning my next trip.

Here are 5 reasons "glamping" should be your next girls trip:

Luxury Treatment

We opted for a campsite delivery service, meaning that Utah Camping Co. set up our tent at our desired campsite and provided all of the supplies and equipment needed for a great time. Our luxury canvas tent comfortably fit 2 full beds (with memory foam mattresses) and 2 side tables, and came fully furnished with bedding, pillows, and rugs, breakfast and snacks, campfire supplies and seating, board games, and more! I've stayed in 4-5 star hotels with far less luxurious treatment. A tent this size would probably cost me $1800 in prime Manhattan real estate. All we had to do was bring ourselves, a few bottles of our favorite wine, and our Girls' Trip playlist, and we were good to go.

Nature Is BEAUTIFUL And The Options Are Plentiful

According to the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD), as of 2014, there were over 10,000 state park in the United States and according to the US census data from 2010, more than 95% of the land area in the USA is still classified as rural. We spend so much time, energy, and money pining to travel internationally, when many of us haven't even taken advantage of the beautiful attractions in our own country. There were moments when I would stop, look around, and be like, "Wow, I'm really on top of a mountain right now." The sun setting over the hills, sounds of the creek bubbling nearby, and the panoramic views didn't seem real. It was oddly spiritual. There are so many beautiful sights in your own state; don't miss out.

Unplug

We were so far up in the mountains, that we didn't have any phone service for the duration of our trip... and it was for the best. While many campsites are equipped with wifi and electricity, there is a level of peace and relaxation that you are able to achieve when you are not checking your email or social media feeds every 5 minutes. I feel like you are better able to self-reflect, meditate, and be fully present when you are forced to unplug. The next morning, when I woke up to journal, I noticed that I could hear my own thoughts more clearly. It was an inconvenience, turned game-changer.

Genuine Conversations

Another result of being forced to unplug and be present, my friends and I were better able to connect with one another. There is nothing like a wine + game night in the woods. The silence of the setting around you combined with the coziness of a campfire or tent is an outdoorsy twist on sleepover vibes. Whether you travel with a small intimate group, or a large squad of friends, bonding is a mandatory by-product when there is nowhere to hide or distract you from each other.

Relatively Affordable

Depending on where you go, how many people you travel with, and what level of luxury you are aiming for, you can go glamping for a weekend for less than ~$100 per person (excluding gas and food costs). Campsite rental fees can range from $0-30 and tent/cabin rates can range from $50-hundreds a night, which can then be split amongst your group (e.g. a 4 person tent with a king and 2 twin beds for $160/night). I was pleasantly surprised at the value, given the total experience and options to customize your vacation. It's easy to plan and even easier to enjoy. A great 5-star experience for those on a budget and/or looking to try something new.

Images courtesy of @UtahCampingCompany and @Queen_of_Anglin

Everyone should go at least once. Add glamping to your bucket list!

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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