What does it mean to go glamping?
To go glamping means luxury bedding, lighting, upgraded cooking equipment, electronics, running water, and any other luxury you wouldn’t expect when doing traditional camping. Glamping is simply a play on the words glamorous and camping and simply means camping with luxury items that you would not have with regular camping. So to go glamping you would have luxurious such as electricity and in turn internet, air conditioning or television.
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What exactly is glamping?
According to Wikipedia [<< link to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glamping ], glamping is a portmanteau of glamorous and camping and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not typically associated with “traditional” camping.
In simpler terms, glamping itself is a combination of the words glamorous and camping that refers to non-traditional camping with some pretty stellar amenities. Let’s go over some of the most important amenities associated with glamping.
What’s the difference between glamping and camping?
There are, obviously, many differences between glamping and camping. However, some may be more important to you, personally, than others. Knowing the main differences between glamping and camping can help you in making the right decision for you, or your family’s, next camping experience.
Here’s a list of the few main differences that may make-or-break your decision.
What do you stay in when glamping?
While camping, you’re most likely going to stay in, you guessed it, a tent! Sometimes, tents come with the added benefit of an openable top so that you can stargaze while you drift off to sleep, which is incredible. However, they aren’t really apt to protect you from the thousands of bugs and wildlife around (so you better pack a good amount of citronella candles).
Glamping, on the other hand, offers a more sophisticated way to enjoy the great outdoors.
Glamping offers several types of accommodations.
- luxury tents
This doesn’t just mean safety from waking up with a dozen mosquito bites on your ankles, either. This means access to fresh water, a bathroom (complete with shower), and basic electricity and, sometimes, even cable!
Though it’s not really camping when you just stay in all weekend watching the Food Network, now is it?
This also brings me to my next difference.
What do you eat when glamping?
If you’re anything like my family, you probably go camping for a week and eat nothing but shish-kabobs and canned beans. I don’t mind shish-kabobs, honestly, but they definitely aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
If you choose glamping instead, you get the added benefit of eating whatever you want (and I mean anything ). You have access to a fridge, stove, freezer, microwave, coffee pot and anything else that you’d find in a typical, everyday kitchen!
This means you don’t necessarily need to “special shop” for easy food to make. Get frisky while glamping and bake some wild cookies! Because, why not?
Alternately, some glamping resorts actually have food service. You can order room service or visit their local food bar. Depending on what package you get, it might also be free of charge! Now, isn’t that nice?
Where you sleep while glamping?
If you’re going to go camping, a sleeping bag is sure to be on your list. It’s a necessity unless you want to sleep on the grass with bugs as your companions all night.
Alternately, glampers get the privilege of sleeping in a cozy, full-size bed (or larger depending on where you go and what you prefer). Glamping is really more like staying at a nice hotel than in the wilderness.
I wonder why they don’t call it glam-go outside if you want, or don’t, but at least you can say you went camping?
If you’re one of the lucky campers, you’ve got yourself one of those electric heaters that run on batteries (which, hopefully, you brought enough to last the whole weekend because those suckers go fast !).
If you’re like me, you probably just hope that the weather holds up and that rainstorm the weather guy (who’s always right) predicted was going to hit your campsite blows over. It didn’t. Now you have pneumonia.
Glampers don’t need to worry about the weather. They have the technology!
Is a snowstorm blowing through this weekend? Crank up the heat and settle in for a long movie marathon (I recommend Harry Potter or Star Wars). Drought? Not a problem. Not only do they have running water, but they also have access to this neat thing called A/C.
However, let’s hope they make sure to pack enough shorts and sunscreen.
I don’t know about you, but I love the sound of crickets as I go to sleep. I find their songs relaxing and pretty. However, some people aren’t so keen on keeping raccoons for company. That’s ok, too. That’s also probably a reason glamping exists.
Glampers get to socialize with other, like-minded glampers. Mainly because they’re probably only 60 – 100 feet away. This is a nice touch because you get the feel of seclusion, but you don’t necessarily need to be secluded the entire time.
Everyone needs some alone time. Sometimes, we think we need more time away from our fellow humans than we think. Glamping eliminates the ‘cabin fever’ experience by providing a safe environment for seclusion or socializing. That way, you don’t have to choose just one.
Your game plan
Sometimes, people go camping to do nothing but look at the stars and live simply for a while. That’s one of the many things that I love about camping. Some people will plan tentative activities, but these are usually dependent on a multitude of factors working in their favor (such as the weather, area, and supplies).
If you’re the type of person who enjoys multiple activities and staying active, without all the hassle of planning, glamping may be the better option for you. Many glamping sites offer itineraries for their glampers to participate in if they so choose. The itinerary mainly depends on the glamping site you choose to go to.
Aside from the itinerary, there are many glamping sites, such as Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Fishtail Ranch in Chama, New Mexico, offer amenities such as wraparound or large porches, spas and exploration opportunities.
What Are Some Glamping Activites
Many glamping resorts offer itineraries for their glampers to choose to participate in (or not). Depending on the glamping site, you may be able to choose from hiking, biking, scuba diving, horseback riding, zip lining, safari adventures, and more!
Choosing the right glamping site, if you decide to go with glamping over camping, is essential to facilitating a one-of-a-kind glamping experience. In other words, if you’re terrified of heights, it might not be the best idea to go to a glamping site that offers nothing but mountain hikes and zip lining.
Luckily, there are tons of lists out there to find the perfect glamping experience for you!
Top glamping sites in the US.
Moose Meadow Lodge offers uniquely themed log cabins, including themes such as the Teddy Bear Room, the Mountain View Room, and the extremely popular Tree House.
Aside from these amazingly decorated log cabins, this glampsite offers amenities such as jacuzzi spas and wraparound porches to soak in the 86 acres of breathtaking scenery (or, at least as far as you can see).
They offer activities such as trout fishing, hiking trails, and complimentary snowshoes and sleds.
Epic Private Journeys – Lake Powell, Utah and Arizona
Epic Private Journeys offers all the amenities of any other glamping resort. What makes this one unique is the itinerary.
Epic Private Journeys offers activities such as cove exploration, slot canyon exploration, gourmet meals prepared by expert chefs, and the unique opportunity to explore private islands by the lake.
Bali House and Bali Cottage – Kehena Beach, Hawaii
Bali House and Bali Cottage offer a more beach-centric approach to glamping.
Complete with 1,000 square foot cottages fully-loaded with a full-size kitchen, bathrooms, and garden spas, this glampsite demands attention.
Added to the amenities, they provide guided activities such as snorkeling, hiking, marine sanctuaries, boating, and even lava boat tours!
(Which puts this towards the top of my bucket list of must-see-before-I-die places)
Glacier Under Canvas – Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier Under Canvas is for those glampers that enjoy the luxury but still strive for the “camping experience”. Glacier Under Canvas offers the amenities of huge canvas tents complete with luxury furniture and nighttime campfires.
Aside from these wonderful features, they also offer planned activities such as hiking, biking, golfing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and fishing.
Safari West – Santa Rosa, California
Safari West is an awesome glampsite that allows you to sleep amongst giraffes, water buffalos, and even rhinos! Of course, these tents are up in the trees so you can’t actually wake up to a water buffalo chilling in your living room, but I feel like that’s close enough (at least for me).
Of course, the notable amenities include hardwood floors, full or king-sized beds, and complete bathrooms.
The activities they offer are one-of-a-kind (unless you go to Africa for a safari adventure) because they are as close to a safari adventure you can get in the United States. Some of the activities include guided safari tours, animal presentations where you can meet the animals up-close and personal, and host parties at unique locations such as the
Flamingo Landing (an airborne patio overlooking the flamingo lagoons and gazelle pasture).
Aside from all this, they also offer authentic South African-style Braai cookouts.
Silver Bullet Retreats – Central Florida
Last, but never least, is Silver Bullet Retreats. This particular glampsite is unique because it basically ‘covers’ all of Central Florida. All you have to do is pick your campsite location and they will deliver (via Airstream) your very own glamping resort!
Perfectly remodeled and decorated to suit your taste and complete with internet, TV access, a full kitchen, and outdoor furniture.
The best part? Nearby campsites offer activities! These activities may include (but are certainly not limited to) swimming, boating, trekking, fishing, kayaking, barbequing, hiking, biking, and more.
For a full list of glamping sites in the US, Canada, and Mexico, take a look at this article
How to do DIY Glamping
Diy glamping is one of the fastest growing camping categories in the world. The easiest way to DIY glamping is to buy an RV or travel trailer but there are a few other ways to accomplish this without buying a $50,000 vehicle.
Here’s what you will need to do it right
- A large tent (8 person or bigger would work)
- A source of electric (provided by the campgrounds or by a generator)
- A portable hot shower
- A portable toilet
- Portable air conditioner and/or heater
- a portable kitchen with stove and/or oven
- A portable sink
- A really nice air bed or pad.
- You can really go all out and bring a T.V. and portable satellite
- Preferably a campsite that has a water supply.
Most campsites that provide RV hookups and allow tent camping will have running water and electricity hookups.
If glamping is something you want to do often and in a location of your choosing, it can be done with these items. It’s also to add your own touch with portable furniture and lighting.
You can get everything you need for under $3000 if you are pretty thrifty and go glamping anytime you like.
So, is glamping for you?
Now that you know what glamping is all about, it’s time to make a decision. Is it for you?
While glamping is an extremely enjoyable experience for many people, others may prefer spending their time in a more secluded environment and enjoying the closeness that true and traditional camping brings. This can only be accomplished by DIY glamping or camping.
It mainly depends on which type is more enjoyable and relaxing for you. Camping typically requires more planning than glamping, so if you enjoy planning a trip a week in advance instead of just packing up in a spur of the moment vacation, camping might just be your thing.
Alternately, if you’d rather spend less time planning and more time enjoying, glamping might be more your style (so long as you don’t mind the company).
Glamping has tons of amenities, features, and pros that we’ve covered.
But, are there any cons? That’s debatable.
Many people prefer glamping due to its many benefits and luxuries. However, if you’re the type of person who prefers to relax in seclusion and living simply, I’d stick with
camping or diy glamping.
Considering I couldn’t find many sources for the cons of glamping, I’ve comprised a list of my own. I’ve found three that may be a deal-breaker.
- It’s harder to “unplug”
Many people enjoy camping because it provides them with a chance to live simply, without the added annoyance of a ping every time someone comments on your picture on Facebook. Sometimes, it’s nice to just unwind without having to think about all the to-dos and need-to’s of your everyday life.
Unfortunately, with access to WiFi and television, it’s almost impossible to come completely unplugged and get that well-deserved break. With all the temptation and access to WiFi, you might end up leaving your vacation early for some crap reason (such as the fax machine at work is out of paper and you have to go get some right now ).
You’ll be regretting that as soon as you walk through the doors to the fax machine. Guaranteed.
- It’s not as secluded
If you’re like me, you probably go camping to get away from people. Glampsites are a little different, and this is a downside for me.
At a glampsite, you have neighbors, camp (glamp) directors who check-in on you to see if you need anything, and some glampsites only offer guided tours (meaning your ideas for a nice, quiet hike by yourself is out of the question because you might over -explore and get lost).
So, if you prefer being alone and doing things on your own, you may want to nix glamping or save it for an occasion when you’re not trying to get away from humanity.
- It’s more expensive
Surprise! Glamping is much more expensive than a camping trip, especially a local camping trip. Sure, your first camping trip you have to buy the tent, sleeping bags, charcoal and lighter fluid (or whatever you’re going to use for your fire), gas to get their food, drinks, cooler, stuff for activities, etc. And, this stuff does add up. However, you’re not going to buy all new stuff every time you go camping.
With glamping, you can either pay per night or buy a package. However, most glampsites cost around $60.00 a night, minimum. This doesn’t seem so expensive, however, it does add up. Especially when you get into the more luxurious glampsites, which cost up to $200.00+ a night.
Even diy glamping with electricity and water hookup will cost more than just a normal campsite.
This also usually doesn’t cover food, activities, and any other luxuries (such as a king-sized bed instead of a full).
Of course, many glampsites do offer packages which include certain amenities, activities, and luxuries that they offer. But, that’s only if you get the package, which can range anywhere from $150.00 up to $1,000.00 or more per night!
So, if you’re looking for a getaway that isn’t going to break the bank, glamping may not be your best bet.
Sure, there are glampsites that are on the fairly cheap side, but the whole point of glamping is for the luxury. So what’s the point of going glamping without the glamor?
Glamping is an enjoyable experience for most who decide to at least try it out. And, with all the luxury that comes with it, I don’t see how you could go glamping and be miserable the whole time.
Glamping may also be more enjoyable for you than camping, especially if you prefer fewer bugs and stargazing from a window seat instead of in a sleeping bag on the ground. It’s basically an overly-exciting resort that includes the perfect scenery view and an immense amount of luxuries so you can basically bring your home with you.
So, if you hate planning activities and prefer to just do activities, glamping is definitely a better option than camping, especially if you’re looking for something with exciting activities that you can’t usually do every day, like zip lining, scuba diving, or parasailing
(or maybe you can).
It may or may not be for you, but one thing’s for sure: glamping is an exciting trend that allows those who have a difficult time getting over their bug-phobia or hate shish-kabobs to enjoy the experience of camping with the luxury of feeling at home.
Either way, it’s definitely something to try, at least once, when you’ve got the time.
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