Glamping is the elevated or luxe version of camping. Both allow you to immerse yourself in nature. But, the main difference is the glam. So what puts the glam in glamping?
The glam in glamping is in the form of amenities. A glamping site is usually kitted out with a comfy bed and soft blankets, a prepared meal, and a flushable toilet. A camping site, on the other hand, relies on what you bring or what nature provides.
So, how do you glam up your camping amenities for your set-up to be considered glamping? Read up to understand the difference between glamping and camping better.
What Is Glamping?
Glamping is a combination of the words “glamour” and “camping.” It is an elevated or more luxurious version of camping. However, the meaning of “elevated” or “luxurious” varies from person to person.
Thus, one person could call a set-up with a tent, a mini-projector, and a subscription to Netflix in the middle of a forest glamping; but another person might not. To other people, glamping is a glass tent under the aurora borealis in one of the Northern countries. Still, others might consider an RV or camper van parked at a cliffside with a beautiful view glamping.
At its core, glamping is just camping with some comfortable amenities. Comfort simply varies depending on who you’re talking to. But, in general, some of the criteria for something to be considered glamping are as follows:
- A ready-to-go set-up. If you arrive at your campsite, and there’s no need to set up a tent, then that’s glamping. Sometimes, food is already included here. Some glamping providers offer free breakfast. For some people, the hotel-style food is what puts glam in glamping.
- Space. Your glamping home is not limited to fitting one to two sleeping bags. Instead, there is space for other activities and even amenities. This means that your home for the night has a bathroom and sometimes a small kitchen or dining space.
- Amenities and connection. Glamping homes offer charging outlets and “real” toilets. Some glamping providers even provide cosy blankets and linen for your bed. It would feel like a home elsewhere, like a hotel but stand-alone.
- Set up in nature. Of course, the camping aspect still has to be there, so your glamping home—which could be a yurt, teepee, safari tent, canvas bell tent, or a glass or wooden cabin—has to be set up in nature. This provides a welcome contrast to a home sweet home in the middle of untamed nature.
Because of the openness in the definition of glamping, people have categorized it into three main types.
- Normal Glamping
Amenities in a normal glamping set-up includes a huge bed (double or queen-size), a nice breakfast, a charging station, and a communal bathroom.
- City Glamping
City glamping trades natural grass and wildlife with astroturf and a cityscape. Clever glamping providers have started offering people the opportunity to “camp out” on rooftops.
- Experience-Based Glamping
This creates a cosy accommodation in the middle of a unique landscape. Some examples of experience-based glamping are setting up a luxury tent in the middle of an open range zoo, sleeping in a glass pod under the aurora borealis, or living in a luxury bush camp overlooking a reef. Those that offer a unique and quirky experience once you’re out of your cosy bedroom fall under experience-based glamping.
What’s The Difference Between Camping And Glamping?
The main difference between camping and glamping is the amenities. Let’s go over them one by one.
- What amenities does glamping have that camping doesn’t?
At its core, camping is as simple as a tent and a sleeping bag. A burner, flint, and a fishing rod can be thrown in as well for camping. Glamping, on the other hand, involves a comfy shelter, which means a cosy bed and double the size of a normal camping tent. Sometimes, free prepared breakfast is also thrown in for glamping.
Camping also involves heeding nature’s call in nature itself, while glamping means having a “real” toilet. In the same way, camping means bathing in rivers or whatever body of water is nearby. Meanwhile, glamping has a proper shower with running water.
Air conditioning when camping is also done the natural way. When it’s hot, throw in some dry twigs to your bonfire to keep you toasty. But in glamping, air conditioning is only a press of a button away.
- Does glamping have electricity?
Yes! Most—if not all—glamping providers give their guests access to electricity.
Most people consider camping glamping when there’s connectivity, not only having Wi-Fi but also a charging station.
- Is a DIY set-up considered glamping?
Camping has a reputation for being a low-budget, DIY adventure, but glamping can be the same.
Because there are already many glamping providers, some people think that going glamping means arriving at your destination with the tent and amenities already prepared. That’s not always the case. In fact, you can DIY glamping.
To glam up your camping arrangements, some of the things you can do are to pack a comfy bed—like an air mattress or a bunch of comforters—and create your comfort zone. Bring a small desk, a small projector, a generator, or some home decors—like fairy lights or plastic flowers.
Conversely, if you have an RV or camper van, just drive up the best view you could find, and that could still be considered glamping. That’s still a cut above a tent and sleeping mats after all.
Why Go Glamping?
People choose glamping over camping, for one, because it’s easy and accessible. Even though you don’t have a tent or portable cookware, you don’t need to worry. If you want to arrive at a beautiful destination without having to worry about anything, then you’ll love glamping.
Next, glamping sites have complete amenities. Let’s face it. The conveniences of toilets and electricity are hard to leave behind.
So, what kind of people go glamping?
People usually go glamping because they want to spend time in nature—the way you do when you go camping. However, these people also don’t want to get down and dirty with setting up the tent, fishing for their own food, or heeding nature’s call in the bushes. And, to be frank, who’s to blame them?
People who choose glamping over camping are also probably those who don’t have experience camping yet but want to try it.
It is after all very attractive to sleep on a comfy bed in a very nice and natural environment or view.
When Is The Best Time To Go Glamping?
The best time to go glamping really depends on where you want to go or what you want to do. For instance, the Truffle Lodge in Tasmania is luxury glamping at its finest since the aurora australis can be seen there in autumn or April. Conversely, you might want to avoid glamping grounds in Daintree in the summer because mosquitoes are more active.
But, let’s talk about seasons. What season is it best to go glamping? Here are some things to consider:
Spring is a nice season since the breeze is still cool. If you pick a glamping spot in which flowers bloom in spring, then best to get a booking or start packing for a spring glamping experience.
Summer could be a hit and miss for glampers. Sometimes the weather is nice and sunny, but it is also the season of rain and thunderstorms.
Like spring, autumn is also a good season to go glamping since the weather is cool. If you go to a camping ground or do backyard camping, you’ll find the weather more mild than in the dead of winter, but not too hot and steamy either.
Winter might come as a surprise here. If your glamping accommodation is not a simple tent, then this would be a unique experience. Sure, you might spend most of your time tucked in your cosy blankets, but keeping warm around the campfire can be special too – or spend a special winter holiday somewhere snowy.
Is Glamping Expensive?
Glamping is known to be costly, particularly compared to regular camping. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience, glamping can be just as expensive – if not more so – than staying in a hotel or lodge.
Even if you do DIY glamping, it will set you back a few hundred dollars (if not thousands) for a nice, spacious tent. Nonetheless, that is a good investment if you want to do DIY glamping long-term. If you keep reusing the tent you invested in, then that will save you a lot. Things that you decorate your campsite with, like blankets and pillows, can simply come from home, so that will save you more.
What Can You Do While Glamping?
Some glamping providers have tours and activities prepared, like stargazing, fishing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, and others. Others have stuff lying around for you to pick up, such as BBQ, board games, vinyls, etc.
If you’re the one in charge of glamping activities, here are some suggestions:
- Tell campfire stories or scary ones while making smores.
- Bring cards or board games and play.
- Take it up a notch and do a scavenger hunt.
- Watch animals or do birdwatching.
- Relax and stargaze at your own pace.
- Take photos.
- Watch movies or a series.
Why Go Camping?
There are many reasons to go camping, especially in Australia, but it can be summed up in one word: nature. The Australian environment is so diverse that it’s a great experience to explore it through camping.
When you immerse yourself in remote camping locations or beautiful nature, you get peace and quiet. You get time to unwind and relax.
There’s also a scientific basis for why you get to relax and sleep better when camping. There’s melatonin-friendly yellow light outdoors that’s a welcome change from the artificial blue light you usually see at home or work. Melatonin can help adjust your sleep cycle to its natural alignment.
You also get Vitamin D from the sun when you go camping.
If you have active pursuits in mind, such as hiking or biking, while camping, then that’s an added benefit to go camping.
Relatively, camping is also a cheap vacation alternative.
If you’re going camping with your family and friends, it’s also a great bonding experience. Don’t have a portable stove? That’s okay. Everyone in the group can volunteer to provide essentials.
When Is The Best Time To Go Camping?
Similar to glamping, the best time to go camping depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. In addition to that, what you bring also matters. For instance, if you don’t have a sturdy tent that can withstand the winds or cold temperatures, then it’s not great to travel in winter, spring, or autumn.
Say you have decent camping gear, let’s talk about location and climate for camping.
In the Southern States, like Victoria and Tasmania, it’s good to go camping from October to April (spring, summer, autumn).
Coastal regions offer a perfect camping spot from December to February (summer).
Avoid tropical states, such as Northern Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Northern Queensland, from November to March because it’s the wet season. Visit them from April to October instead (winter, spring).
Likewise, the outback in Central Australia is also best from April to October (winter, spring).
Is Camping Cheap?
If you already have the tools—tent, sleeping bag, utility knife, portable stove—then camping can be cheap. Camping is also not costly if you like to keep your stuff to the bare minimum. For instance, if you don’t mind gathering dry wood or twigs to make a fire, then that would save you money on a burner. Some people say that camping becomes cheaper the more you do it.
If only by comparison to glamping, then yes, camping is cheaper.
Should I Go Camping Or Glamping?
If you enjoy nature but don’t want to do the hard work, you will love glamping. But if you’re more interested in roughing it out, you will enjoy camping.
If you want to try camping but don’t have comprehensive know-how or lack quality gear, try glamping first. But if you’re already experienced or want to try to live off the land, then you’re very welcome to go camping.
If you require assistance in setting up your tent and cooking your meals, then you should go glamping. Otherwise, if you’re skilled in erecting tents and want to try catch-and-cook, you’ll love camping.
If you want to wake up immersed in a great environment but are picky with your sleeping arrangements, go for glamping. Otherwise, if you don’t mind sleeping in a humble sleeping bag, there’s no problem with camping.
If you need to be connected all the time, you’re more suited for glamping. But if you want to disconnect for a while, then try camping.
If you have the cash to spare, you should try glamping at least once. If you’re a bit tight on the budget, it’s okay to go camping.
Both glamping and camping will give you a nice experience when you wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night. The experience will really be up to you. Only the amenities differ in glamping and camping.
Where Can I Go Glamping?
There are many glamping spots in Australia. Because of the diversity of natural beauties in the country, the glamping sites provide a great environment for your tents to be set up. Whether you want the rustic, natural, and rough vibes of traditional camping or you want the city as your skyline, there are glamping options for you.
Glamping grounds refer to locations or spaces specifically dedicated to glamping. Usually, you will find tents and common activity areas in glamping grounds, like a common toilet, kitchen, or lounge area.
Here are some examples:
- Yallingup Lodge and Spa Retreat
Location: Yallingup, Western Australia
This glamping spot offers tranquillity in the middle of a forest. There’s coffee, cocktails, champagne, a vinyl collection at the common lounge, and a swimming pool. No shoes and no kids, but pets are allowed.
- Wildman Wilderness Lodge
Location: Northern Territory
Northern Territory’s Mary River National Park is also a sight for glamping. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of wilderness inside cubes, pods, or tents. Activities at the park are also available if you’re game for something more active.
Location: Lamington, Queensland
If you ever want to experience sleeping beside the tumbling headwaters of Christmas Creek and Queensland’s ancient Lamington National Park rainforests, then this glamping experience is for you. Get fresh air, a pampering experience, and good food at Nightfall’s glamping accommodation.
- Tanja Lagoon Camp
Location: Sapphire Coast, NSW
Tanja Lagoon Camp offers a unique good morning and goodnight view at their safari tents. You will be nestled in the Mimosa Rocks National Park and have access and views of rocks, forests, and shores. Before you lie down in your luxury bed, try the activities Tanja offers first—bushwalk, canoe, kayak, stargazing, whale watching, campfire and food.
Rooftop Glamping is also known as City Glamping. Some of these glamping sites are pop-up events only, and it could be difficult to book them because of the limited time frame.
Still, here are some examples:
- St. Jerome’S – The Hotel
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
This rooftop glamping experience is the brainchild of Jerome Borazio, who is known for his bars and cafes with unique aesthetics. St Jerome’s – The Hotel has huge tents set up on a rooftop with astroturf and the Melbourne CBD cityscape right at your fingertips.
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
This isn’t camping on an RV; it’s glamping on an Airstream. Notel is clearly not an ordinary hotel as it takes glamping to a whole-nother level. Your crib is a polished pod with the must-have hotel amenities—cosy bed, WiFi—and more—Netflix via iPad Pro, a mini photo printer, a minibar, and if you’re lucky, a spa.
Backyard glamping is usually DIY and doesn’t carry the burden of packing and travelling. Here are some tips to help you get started in your backyard glamping experience:
- Set up your tent or create one with clotheslines and blanket, canvas, or tarp. Make sure you’re facing the nice side of your home or the sky so that when you lie down, it will feel like a relaxing getaway.
- Decorate your space and make it magical. You can get nice rugs, fairy lights, flowers, etc.
- Ready your grill or firepit for some chow. Skip cooking in the kitchen for a while and enjoy cooking outdoors. The smell of grilled marshmallows, veggies, or meat will surely make the atmosphere feel right.
- Prepare games for the outdoors, like nature hunt or good ol’ campfire stories.
- Stay outside. It wouldn’t feel like camping or glamping if you keep ducking in and out, so prepare to settle in!
DIY isn’t the only way to go when you want to try backyard glamping. Here are some glamping providers that will install your teepee, yurt, or canvas bell tent and help you with your backyard adventure.
- Backyard Glamping Parties
Location: Sydney and Perth
They install tents and have all the glamping party needs you want. They even have cakes and activities prepared for you, like cupcake decorating or movie binge-watching.
Location: Sydney, NSW
Get your tents, bed, doonas, pillows, bedsheets, throw, towels, bedside tables, custom-colour mood lighting, lanterns, fairy lights, floor rugs, doormat, outdoor seating, cushions, eye masks, earplugs, and even USB chargers set up by GLAMPR so that you don’t have to worry about anything. If you’re worried about cookware, they also have you covered.
- Twilight Glamping
Location: Great Ocean Road and Bellarine Peninsula, or contact them for enquiries
Twilight Glamping has different glamping packages for you and your special someone, family, or kids. Stay in a nice-sized tent with everything you need for a good night’s sleep plus more—wine, marshmallows, midnight snack. They can even set up a fire pit for you if you want.
How To Turn Camping Into Glamping
Because the line between camping and glamping is blurred at times, it is easy to turn the former into the latter. Here are some tips:
- Invest in a spacious tent
It’s not glamping unless you have a nice tent to sleep in. Get a tent that would fit you (or your family) nicely. Even a tent that could fit you when you stand up is already a good one. The general rule is to double the size you would normally buy.
If you want to add a little extra comfort, get a tent with an awning or buy a detachable awning. This will give you extra space for your boots or thongs or for your outdoor dining table and lounge chairs.
- Pack nice linens, blankets, and rugs
Create a cosy space for you to sleep in. That’s rule number two of glamping. If you want, you could invest in insulated sleeping mats or an air bed. Put the rugs underneath the bed, and the blankets are on top of the bed. Make your space inviting.
- Pick nice picnicware
Dinnerware that is nice to look at will make your camping glamorous for sure. If you don’t want to bring glass, there are still nice picnicware made of acrylic or bamboo to give you a feeling of comfort away from home when dining.
- Use your eye for design
Cohesion is what will make you look at your campsite and see an elevated space. If you plan to go bohemian, pack beddings and picnicware that are within the theme. If you relax better in monochrome, bring rugs and decors that are in the same shade.
- Decors for mood
Bring in things that would help you relax. Scented candles, fairy lights, a Bluetooth speaker are just some of the things that could help elevate your camping site.
- Food and wine
Of course, once you’re done with the hard work—setting up your camp (or glamp!)—there’s no better way to unwind than with good food and wine. You can bring in nice steak or fish in your cooler and grill them table-side and pop that champagne beside a bonfire.
If you still have space in your vehicle, you can also opt to pack a nice-sized dining table and chairs or a coffee table and cushions to sit on.
- Electricity and entertainment
A generator will be helpful to keep your fairy lights, cameras, and phones on throughout your glamping trip. Then, since you already have electricity, you can pack entertainment like a mini-projector and screen or radio. Of course, there are other options for entertainment that don’t require electricity too, like cards and board games.
Where Can I Get Glamping Supplies?
You can get glamping supplies in different places, depending on how you want to set up your glamping home.
Of course, if you want to go full DIY, the easiest and cheapest is to just pack whatever you have at home. But, I won’t leave you hanging with shop recommendations.
- Breathe Bell Tents
If you want to go camping with practicality and style, Breathe Bell Tents has you covered since they do free shipping Australia-wide. You can get huge tents and accessories such as cooler bags, floor cushions, timber carry bags, rugs, and gloves.
- REI Co-op Brand Gear & Clothing
Rei has a massive range of camping/glamping supplies from chic solo stoves, practical marshmallow/hotdog forks, hammocks, cots, insulated sleeping bags, and gears.
- Glam Xperience
Glam Xperience has a range of glamping tents—even a glamtainer or a glamping shipping container—and even furniture and accessories, such as handmade glassware, Moroccan kelims and stools, cushions and throws made from recycled Dutch army tents, and Dutch outdoor ovens and hot tubs.
- Eco Tents Australia
Eco Tents Australia sells glamping tents with a range of sizes from standard to family plus.
For your glamping essentials, you can purchase them from Botanex. They have foraging bags, utility knives, fire pit and grill, mini lanterns, solar light and charge kit, teepee tent, and more.
Is Glamping Pet Friendly?
Not all glamping sites are pet-friendly. If you want to bring your furry family member, make sure to consult with your glamping provider if you have one. If you’re doing a DIY glamping trip, most of the time, there’s no problem bringing your pet. Just make sure to clean up after them.
Is RVing Glamping?
There are no hard and fast rules. Some people consider RVing pure camping, while others consider it glamping. Ask yourself how you are using your RV? If you’re still bringing a tent with you and sleeping under the stars or outside your RV, then that’s rustic normal camping. But, if you’re sleeping inside the RV but doing most of the activities outside—like making BBQs or smores—then that could be elevated camping or glamping.