Glamping: Relaxing Holiday Trend or Half-hearted Cop Out?

Just in case anyone is not yet familiar with the term, ‘glamping’ basically means camping in a more luxurious fashion.

Opposed to a basic tent, you will stay in accommodation ranging from cabins and yurts to wigwams and even converted treehouses. It will have a similar feel to a hotel room with amenities such as a bed, bathroom facilities and sometimes cooking equipment.

“Is this twist on traditional camping really necessary?”

The difference is the hotel room has been lifted away from urban building surroundings and dropped into the great outdoors. But is this twist on traditional camping really necessary?

When considering glamping logically, it does appear to have some obvious advantages to camping – the main factor being the increased level of comfort you’ll experience. Sleeping bags become a distant memory for glampers who can enjoy the understated luxury of a mattress.

The ready-made nature of glamping accommodation also perhaps serves to make a more relaxing start to a holiday as it omits the struggle of pitching your own tent. Anyone who has done this will know the stress it can bring, what with the poles and endless pegging. This causes less hassle all round as the worry of cramming all your camping gear into the boot of your car is eliminated.

“A full-out glamping experience may provide you with access to hot water, WIFI, private toilet facilities and even a personal chef”

So perhaps it’s no surprise that more and more campsites are engaging with the glamping trend. You probably won’t have to travel far to find a site near you that is offering some form of it. As glamping becomes more common, different levels of luxury are developing.

For example, a full-out glamping experience may provide you with access to hot water, WIFI, private toilet facilities and even a personal chef. Whereas, your most basic level may just consist of simply an enclosed space and a bed. This range of options increases the likelihood of being able to ‘glamp’ on a tight budget.

Glamping can offer you the opportunity to be close to nature and feel utterly secluded, whilst still maintaining a connection to the wider world. A perfect choice for those who cannot be without internet access for more than a few hours.

But does glamping give you the same experience of a camping get-away? If you want to truly embrace the outdoors, surely camping is the only way to properly do this.

“The element of ‘roughing it’ is integral to a proper camping holiday”

The challenge of setting up your own little home for the coming days is such a massive part of the whole experience. When your tent is finally standing tall and robust, you will be filled with a sense of accomplishment that you just can’t get when glamping.

Similarly, the element of ‘roughing it’ is integral to a proper camping holiday. Spending the night trying to keep warm in your sleeping bag whilst listening to the howling wind and rain outside might sound like a nightmare to some, but for campers (me included) this is one of those unique feelings of cosiness that can’t be matched.

All of this is made even better by the fact you are sharing it with all the other people on site, leading to a wonderful feeling of camaraderie developing with your fellow campers.

In addition, the more luxurious levels of camping rob you of the novelty of visiting the shower blocks. The idea of walking around slightly bedraggled in a dressing gown, with wet hair and blurry eyes is not an image of glamour. But in the spirit of camping, it becomes normal to simply nod and smile to those who wander past in the same state as you at eight in the morning. When glamping, opportunities to interact with other people in this way are not available.

“Glamping just doesn’t quite capture the unique essence of camping”

Cost is also something to consider. There is much variation in glamping prices depending on how luxurious you go, but glamping ilikely to be the more expensive option as it requires you to fork out afresh each trip you make. Whereas, camping only requires the initial cost of camping gear and a small pitch fee making it much more economical in the long run.

So overall, glamping just doesn’t quite capture the unique essence of camping. The comfort benefits are no doubt appealing for those of you who may be somewhat half-hearted campers.

However, it seems that perhaps simply sticking to hotel accommodation and exploring from there gives you a very similar experience to glamping but with complete luxury for the same or even cheaper prices.

For me, glamping will never rival an old-fashioned camping holiday.

Meghan Jarvis

Featured image courtesy of Frode Bjorshol via Flickr. Image License found here. No changes made to the image.

Main Images courtesy of @trudomes, @casablancaglamping, @bubbletentcanarias, @getolo and @paperbark_camp via Instagram.

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One Comment
  • Shell Robshaw-Bryan
    24 July 2019 at 14:08
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    I love them both equally for different reasons. If it’s a stress free short break, and all I want is to relax and unwind in a beautiful place, then glamping gets my vote. If it’s a longer stay and I want to chill out with friends however, camping gets my vote. I go camping more often than I go glamping as glamping is so expensive, typically £100+ per night, compared to a campsite pitch fee of say £20 per night, but it’s nice to have the option of doing both, and for people who love the outdoors, but want a bit of comfort in luxury at the same time, glamping is a great way to get that.

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