Glamping vs. Camping - Which One Is Better?
Looking for a holiday in the great outdoors but not sure what to book? Here at Wigwam® Holidays, we’re big fans of both glamping and “traditional” camping, and believe that there’s a time and a place for both! To help you figure out which one might be a better fit for your next holiday, keep reading.
Glamping vs. Camping Cost
The first, and most obvious, thing to consider is the cost. Your first thought probably is that glamping is undoubtedly more expensive - and in many cases, you might be right. However, depending on your situation, you might be surprised to find that glamping can actually be more cost-effective.
If you’re looking to go camping for the first time, you’ll have to source a lot of gear in preparation: a tent, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, camping stove… The list goes on. This can get expensive. We always recommend people try to borrow or buy second-hand tier gear if they’re new to camping - both your wallet and the planet will thank you for doing so. If you decide camping is your thing, you can invest in better gear down the road.
On the other hand, there’s no need to buy anything new when you go glamping. Simply pack clothes, toiletries, food items, bedding and entertainment and you’re good to go! While you pay more per night for a glamping pod than you would for a tent pitch, if you need to buy a bunch of stuff you’ll barely use to go camping, glamping could work out cheaper.
All this being said, in general, glamping is more expensive than camping. At Wigwam® Holidays, most sites offer glamping pods at prices starting at around £50 a night for two adults, with prices going up to around £150 for the more luxe options.
Glamping vs. Camping Comfort Levels
Comfort is something that’s hard to put a price tag on - especially if you have any kind of mobility issues or fear that sleeping on a camping mat will leave you with a sore back the next morning.
Something like a blow-up mattress and a camping heater can make staying in a tent more comfortable, and you still get to sleep only inches from the ground with only canvas between you and the natural world, waking up to birdsong, which can be a very memorable experience.
However, glamping is the clear winner when it comes to this category. Proper beds, electricity, heated and insulated glamping pods, and even ensuite bathrooms and fully-fitted kitchenettes make everything simpler and more comfortable. For this reason, glamping might be a great first excursion for camping newbies.
It also means you can enjoy holidays outdoors even in winter, while winter camping in a tent can be a challenging (but great!) experience.
When it comes to comfort, glamping wins. However, there are ways to make camping comfier!
Glamping vs. Camping Accessibility
These days, with glamping soaring in popularity, it won’t be much harder to find a glamping site in the area you’re wishing to visit than it would be to find a traditional campsite. Apart from the cost, glamping is usually the more accessible option because of the gear and skills you need to make camping a good experience.
Pitching a tent, building a fire, and making sure your stay is warm and comfortable are all skills you need to learn for a successful camping trip. And as we already mentioned, you need a lot of stuff for traditional camping - just take a look at our camping trip packing list! These things make camping less accessible.
Glamping is better suited for novices in most situations, including if you have any disabilities. However, the higher price point per night may be a deterrent if you already own camping gear or can borrow it.
This one depends on your situation: what you own, what you know, and what’s most important to you all play a role in which is the more accessible option for you.
Glamping vs. Camping Activities
How you’re hoping to spend your days on your trip is also a factor to consider. If things associated with “authentic” outdoor living float your boat, perhaps you should choose camping, though most of these are still available to you on a glamping break.
Pitching a tent, building a fire and watching the stars while you cook on the campfire can all be enjoyable, if slightly labour-intensive, activities that can give you a real sense of accomplishment (Bear Grylls who?). Camping can make you feel closely connected to nature and offer some great new experiences that are hard to come by in your everyday life.
That being said, most of the activities you associate with a camping trip are also available to you while glamping. You can choose a site where glamping pods are situated far apart to give you more privacy, build a fire in the firepit provided to you, and end the day by retreating to your heated glamping pod for a good night’s sleep.
Hiking, fishing, mountain biking and all the other outdoor activities you might like to do while camping are also available to you should you choose glamping. And if you’d like a touch more luxury, glamping can give you that too: many of our sites offer extras like hot tubs, massages, afternoon tea, and so on. You can make your glamping trip as rustic or luxe as you’d like.
Again, this one depends! The deciding factor is what you want most out of your holiday and what you’re willing to compromise on to get it. While there are certainly ways to make camping feel more bougie (think cosy camping beds and fairy lights), glamping tends to be more versatile.
The Bottom Line
There’s a time and a place for both camping and glamping, and we’d recommend trying both a least once! At the end of the day, what the right option for you is at the moment depends on your priorities. Glamping can be a very versatile holiday, from more bare-bones wooden shelters to unbridled luxury, which makes it such a great option for almost everyone.