Whoever coined the word ‘glamping’ was a genius! It could be said that there are two types of people: those who wouldn’t dream of camping outdoors and those who would do it in a heartbeat if they could have all the comforts of a luxury hotel room. And so, ‘glamping’ was born because canny entrepreneurs identified an opportunity to cater to the latter type. Grateful comfort-seekers are delighted to indulge in ‘glamorous camping’ and once they’ve tried it, many continue glamping around the world.
So what is glamping, really?
The term (and the concept) gained considerable credibility when it was added to the Oxford Dictionary. There, it is defined as "A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping". You still might have to visit a bathroom outside of your immediate quarters but it certainly won’t be an unappealing, primitive contraption.
Glamping enthusiasts are a fairly new breed of traveler. Just like cruise-lovers who spend several weeks per year at sea, glampers tend to be so entranced with their favourite holiday style that they wouldn’t dream of booking a hotel! Going glamping around the world gives them a new perspective, a way to see fascinating places from the ground up. Make no mistake, however, they are not compromising on a thing. If you’ve never considered glamping as a genuine holiday option, we’re about to persuade you otherwise.
1. Glamping puts you in a prime location
There are some places where a hotel simply wouldn’t be a possibility so it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to stay there. Glamping sites can be set up in remote, unusual and temporary locations. Imagine being able to experience the nomadic lifestyle of the Moroccan Berbers, if only for a few days, and ride camels through the Agafay desert. Or, picture yourself in a safari tent right on the water’s edge in Turkey where you can dive off the wooden porch and into the Mediterranean Sea. Just check first for any travel advisories at the place you are travelling to.
2. You get to stay in an exotic, fun or whimsical structure
You wouldn’t believe the kinds of accommodation – we simply can’t say ‘tent’ – you can stay in when you go glamping around the world! How do you like the idea of a treehouse, or an authentic American Indian tepee? You can even glamp in an Airstream trailer with its own little patio or a traditional yurt with a hole in the top so you can see the stars at night.
3. Glamping can be very eco-friendly
Sometimes, in order for tourism operators to be allowed to set up glampsites, they need to prove that they won’t cause detriment to the site so they ensure their environmental footprint isn’t significant. Unlike regular camping, disposable products are not used as staff take care of washing reusable items. Also, since electricity, running water and gas supplies are not always connected in glamping sites, less energy is consumed. The very fact that glamping, by its nature, utilises a temporary setting means it doesn’t cause any permanent changes to the site, or interfere with the surroundings.
4. You can afford to stay longer in luxury accommodation
Glamping is at least a few steps up from camping, as accommodation, comfort and facilities go. The really luxurious glamping destinations give you many of the beautiful benefits of a five-star hotel, but without the five-star price. So, you can stay longer, without compromising on the number of stars you prefer. Some even call glamping "billion-star accommodation".
5. Glamping lets you experience completely different things
If your holidays usually consist of laying on a beach, shopping in markets, wandering through foreign city streets or visiting museums and art galleries, glamping can introduce you to a whole new world of experiences. Think of picking fruit in a generations-old orchard in Spain after spending the night in a plush dome with little round windows. Lord of the Rings fans will squeal with delight to be able to stay in a hobbit-style earth house in New Zealand, just 45 minutes from the actual Hobbit movie set. You can even stay in a human nest, a woven wood-art structure in Big Sur, California.
6. You get to switch off from technology when you go glamping
No need to panic, everything will be ok! Mostly, glamping takes you places where electricity is scarce or non-existent, and Wi-Fi may be unheard of. Consider it a wonderful chance to connect with the real world and remember how it feels not to have to check your phone every five minutes.
7. Your glamping hosts will spoil you
Glamping tour operators usually have only a small number of guests to serve so you can count on there being a great staff-to-guest ratio. Your cooking, cleaning, transportation to and from the site, activities and housekeeping will all be taken care of so all you have to do is relax and be as adventurous or as lazy as you want.
8. Your glamping trip comes with knowledgeable tour guides
Better than a hotel concierge, your glamping tour operator knows all the answers to your questions because he or she discovered everything long before you arrived. They know the history of the site and its surroundings, the best places to hike, where to find the most romantic hideaway, how to spot the local wildlife, which bazaar merchant has the best pottery and the perfect viewing spots for sunrise or sunset.
Have we convinced you to try glamping for your next holiday experience? It’s truly something special and you might find yourself becoming an enthusiast too. You could start by trying glamping closer to home, in a region near where you live. That way, you can get away from home but not be so far that it’s out of your comfort zone. Be adventurous … life is too short for doing the same things over and over again. You deserve to discover new horizons. You won’t even have to do without a comfy bed!