Glamping 101: Should I camp or should I glamp?

The ice has thawed. Cabin fever is driving you nuts and the great outdoors is calling out to you. You pack your bags and head out with your camping gear, excited about all the nature activities you can enjoy, until you step into an icky puddle. Surprise! Spring may be here, but some of Elsa’s minions are still hanging around. Don’t let the hassles put a damper on your camping plans. If you don’t feel like roughing it, it’s time to try glamping: that outdoor activity that puts the glam in camping.

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Coined from camping and glam, glamping is a leveled up version of the good old camping we’re all familiar with. Glamping allows you to experience all the wonderful things about nature without sacrificing our creature comforts and little luxuries. It’s not exactly a new thing, but with more companies offering glamping packages, it has become a very popular vacation option among the more nature-inclined.

Glamping differs from camping in many ways. When you camp, you carry your own tent, then pitch it when you come to the campground. When you glamp, a serviced accommodation awaits you at your camp spot, all warmed up and readied to let you put your feet up as soon as you get there. When you camp, you gather kindling to build a fire. Over at glamp camp, not only is a fire readied for you, chances are, your accommodation has built-in heating, too. Ready to sleep on the cold, hard ground in your sleeping bag? If you’re glamping instead of camping, you get to sleep in a bed, complete with pillows and a blanket.

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But before you throw a ruckus about how fake glamping is, consider its similarities with old school camping. With glamping, you sleep with nature at your doorstep, much like a traditional camp. You get to hike, explore, and swim, much like you would at camp. And depending on your glamping provider, you can experience the same outdoorsy activities you would at a regular camp.

With all this talk of luxury, one may think that glamping is an expensive proposition, but it’s not. A lot of tour providers offer different packages and activities at various price points. You can easily choose one that fits your budget, at a location you’d like to stay in. You don’t even have to limit yourself to local glamping experiences because glamping sites are set up all around the world.

In an interview with Fodors, Glamp Hub founder David Troya pointed out that one can go glamping for as low as $50 a night to as much as $2,500. While staying in a small teepee in North America can be a very different experience to staying in a safari lodge in South Africa, one can expect to have a well-rounded experience that’s planned and prepared for you.

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Troya suggests doing your own research before embarking on a glamping trip. The first step is to figure out where you want to go. Do you want to stay local, or do you have your eyes set on an exotic foreign location? After you narrow that down, you’ll need to set your budget, then research on the glampsites in the area. Choose accommodations that suit your needs. Would you prefer staying in a yurt or is an airstream more your thing? Despite the glamorous image of glamping, not all glamping tours are luxurious, so do your research and ask the right questions to know what you’re getting. Visit sites like Glamp Hub, Glamping.com, and Tripadvisor to study your options.

Glamping takes the roughing it aspect away from camping, allowing guests to focus on experiencing the place and the activities, instead of worrying about things and errands left undone. Some people go camping exactly to live a bare bones, nature-centric experience. But for people who can’t live away from their creature comforts, glamping offers them a way to experience nature on their own terms.