Glamping, or glamorous camping, combines the best elements of traditional camping with the luxuries of modern life.
Unlike traditional camping, which usually involves little more than sleeping outdoors in a tent and cooking on an open fire, glamping allows you to enjoy all the great outdoors has to offer in style and comfort.
Whether you opt for a posh yurt or a cabin with all the bells and whistles, glamping can be a great way to spend time in nature without having to sacrifice any of life’s comforts.
What Is Glamping?
Glamping is the combination of 2 words. Glamourous + Camping = Glamping
To explain it a little further, glamping is the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of an outdoor vacation, without having to give up the luxuries you might expect in a hotel, or a similar vacation rental.
Or, to put it another way, imagine waking up in the middle of nature – the skies are clear from pollution and there isn’t a sound to be heard – apart from perhaps the birds. And, you’re in a comfortable, luxurious bed?
Typical glamping accommodations also have a certain special magic about them – think incredible tree houses that you can sleep in!
Glamping, as a word, was added to the English Oxford Dictionary in 2016.
“A form of camping that involves accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping”
What Is the Difference Between Camping and Glamping?
As much as we know about the benefits of outdoor life, some of the extras that can come with camping, such as damp sleeping bags, leaking tents and a general feeling of being uncomfortable – let’s face it, camping isn’t for everyone.
Glamping is camping with an upgrade. And quite a luxurious upgrade at that.
The main differences between camping and glamping include;
- real beds
- spaced out accommodations for enhanced peace and quiet (although this isn’t always the case, so check this out before you go!)
- your accommodation is ready and waiting for you on arrival – no more setting up a tent after a long drive.
- private facilities (bathroom, kitchen) – but not everywhere, some are still shared
- no need to bring anything other than your personal belongings with you
The Glamping Trend
Although the trend we know as ‘glamping’ has only been in our travel vocabularies this century, this form of living has in fact been around for many more years. For example, yurts were the primary homes of warriors in Mongolia from the 4th to the 6th century AD.
Related: What is a yurt?
Modern day glamping has grown from its birth in 2005 from luxury tents, and expanded to all sorts of unique dwellings, with the only limits being the designer’s imagination.
What Are the Benefits Of Glamping?
Anything that encourages people to spend more time in fresh air, surrounded by nature is going to be a good thing.
For those that won’t entertain the idea of traditional camping, glamping is their opportunity to reap the rewards of an outdoor stay.
Most glamping sites are located in quiet, away from it all destinations. Whether they are in the middle of a tranquil forest, or set within acres of lush green fields, with unspoiled views – one thing you can be sure of is the ability to switch off.
Glamping is suited to everyone – from couples searching for a romantic weekend break (think luxury tent with hot tub) – to groups and families looking to spend quality time together without life’s daily interruptions.
There are many different kinds of accommodation types that come under the umbrella of glamping. Of course there are no hard and fast rules, but if you are booking a glamping break you would expect it to be at a minimum;
- located in a natural setting
- be at a certain level of ‘luxury’
Typical glamping accommodations include;
- safari tents
- shepherds huts
- gypsy wagons
- airstream trailers
- bell tents
- glamping pods
- floating cabins
- tiny homes
- converted vehicles
What Facilities Can I Expect?
The level of luxury and the facilities on offer can vary widely. Always double check what is included in your glamping break, expect some or all of the following;
- real beds
- bathroom facilities (some are private, some are shared)
- cooking facilities (as above)
- wood burning stove
- bbq and outdoor furniture
- hot tub
- on site activities (these vary depending on where you are)
- off grid/on grid (there are many off grid glamp sites giving you the opportunity to completely switch off!)
How Much Does It Cost To Glamp?
The cost of a glamping break varies considerably. A 1 night stay could start as low as $50 for very basic accommodation, all the way up to the dizzy heights of $1,000 plus.
How much you pay will largely depend on:
- the location
- accommodation type
- amenities on offer and level of luxury
If a glamping break may seem a little on the expensive side, something to consider is the cost of going camping with all your own gear – how much would this set you back?
Not to mention some of the glamping experiences are not ones you can easily replicate yourself (unless you are lucky enough to build a tree house in your own backyard!)
Where Can I Go Glamping?
Glamping is a global movement – you can pretty much pick any country in the world and find an opportunity to book a glamping trip there.
The UK and USA seem to have the highest number of glamping accommodations, but other countries are growing quickly.
Related: Glamping in the USA
Once you have decided on a country or area, most glamping sites are set in peaceful and away from it all locations.
Many farms and campgrounds have adapted to the glamping trend and added luxury accommodations to their offerings.
You can find coastal glamping destinations with views you will fall in love with, or spots in the middle of a lush green forest.
Although glamping sites are often found within quiet surroundings, that’s not to say they are in the middle of nowhere with no sign of civilisation.
Many have plenty of enjoyable activities either on site or within easy reach – part of the allure of glamping are the unique experiences you get to enjoy alongside the accommodation.
What Do You Do On A Glamping Break?
Well, aside from having fun, you can do as little or as much as you want to. Some people use a glamping experience to simply switch off and chill out.
Spend time with loved ones around an open fire, toasting marshmallows, or, reading a book by candlelight.
If you like to combine a bit of action with your vacations you can opt to stay somewhere with some onsite activities. Some destinations include courses (woodcraft, arts, cooking etc), swimming pools and other outdoor activities. And if they aren’t available onsite, they are often in the surrounding area.
Do Glamping Tents Have Toilets?
Some locations have private toilets, whereas others have shared facilities, much like a campsite.