What is ‘Glamping’?

I grew up camping, but as I get older, “glamping” is definitely taking on more appeal. Don’t know the difference?

Camping is the no-frills way to get out and experience the wild. You might sleep in sleeping bags on a mat on the ground, in a tent you’ve pitched after perhaps hiking into a campsite on a trail that could be challenging to traverse. You’ll build a fire in a fire pit or power up your cookstove and make a meal that, while delicious, might also be pretty basic. Your “bathroom” could be an outhouse or a spot away from camp that you dig yourself. You may have to purify water to drink and cook and clean with; there may not be showering or bathing facilities.

“Glamping” combines the experience of the wild with a bit more glamour and comfort. In fact, Glamping.com says glamping offers travelers a way to “experience the positive aspects of camping without the ‘uncomfortable’ negatives….to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury.”

I love traditional style camping precisely because it IS so basic. Just head out somewhere, throw up a tent, roll out a bag, and look up at the sky. That can be pretty perfect.

But I’ve had a few glamping trips, too, and they were pretty great. For example, on my first trip to Africa, I went on a camping safari in Kenya. With two guides and some other campers, a few of us drove into the bush, threw up tents, slept in sleeping bags, and cooked over a fire. Our camp was surrounded by barbed wire to keep out big game like lions and cheetahs, but that was it. When we went to the outhouse, our guide came with us in case some animals were on the prowl.

The second time I went to Africa, it was definitely glamping. My family slept in clean spacious tents on actual beds that were really comfortable. In one camp, showers were attached to our tents and though they weren’t filled with hot water, the water was definitely warm enough to provide a comfortable cleanse. Our food was cooked in an outdoor kitchen and was both abundant and gourmet. Though elephants did roam around the camp, we didn’t have to worry about lions or rhinos because the compound was so well protected.

The camping trip was thrilling because it felt so edgy and dangerous. Who cares if it was grimy and the food, while filling, was a little on the plain side?

The glamping trip was wonderful because it was so comfortable but still exotic. We got very close to lots of animals and probably learned more about local cultures because we had more time to stop in villages and talk with people rather than have to scurry to find a campsite before sunset.

If you like the idea of glamping, you’ll have two major considerations: where to do it, and how to do it.

Pretty much every continent offers glamping options, and at prices that can range from less than a hundred dollars a night to ten times that much. For example, in South America, Ypora in Argentina, offers tents, solar power, safari style tents and running water, all with meals included, for $40 a night. On the other hand, the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica in Peru starts at $542 a night, along with more upscale amenities. You can see a list of glamping facilities by continent here. GoGlamping.net focuses specifically on glamping in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

As for accommodations, you’ll find a variety of exotic ways to put a roof over your head. In addition to fancy safari trips, glamping lodging includes:

  • Airstream trailers
  • Treehouses
  • Teepees
  • Huts and Cottages
  • Yurts
  • Cubes, Pods and Domes

Glamping doesn’t only have to be for you. Many locations are pet friendly. These options listed on GlampingHub.com partner with PETA and The Humane Society to make sure they offer safe and health accommodations if you want to bring your dog on your trip.

Some trips are a hybrid of camping and glamping. That’s what I got when I did a 10-day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. We had to pitch our own tents, roll out our sleeping bags, and pack everything up in the morning. Only the bravest among us dared take a bath in the fridge Colorado waters. On the other hand, we had three gourmet meals cooked for us every day, were handily and safely transported down the river, guided on fascinating canyon hikes, and concluded the trip in a lovely hotel.

In many respects, it was the best of both worlds.


natasha p
Past Member about a year ago


John B
John B2 years ago

Thanks Diana for sharing the info.

Jerome S
Jerome S2 years ago


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

George L
George L2 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Simon L
Simon L2 years ago


Jennifer F
Jennifer F2 years ago

Definitely would want to do "glamping" since I already love to camp!

Marc P.
Marc P2 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

Philippa Powers
Philippa Powers2 years ago

Have never considered glamping to be a viable option. Now I'm older and less flexible, it has gained a certain appeal.

Charmaine M.
Charmaine M2 years ago