When you think about a night in the woods with stars overhead and being one with the Earth, do you take a deep breath and feel instantly at peace? Or, do you physically shudder at the thought and desperately dream of a luxury escape instead? Either way, we get it. Camping is either a much needed break from normal life for some people, or a horrible weekend of being dirty and sleeping in a claustrophobic tent. But, here’s the deal: Even for the most tent abhorrent person, you can still get out and enjoy the great outdoors for a weekend holiday, without having to sleep on the ground!
Glamping, or glamorous camping, has fast become a buzzword for those who still want to have a camping experience, well, without the camping. While glamping might not exactly be super luxury accommodation, it will provide you with a more comfortable experience for your weekend holiday away. To help you make a decision on whether true camping or glamping is your jam, we’ve come up with a few scenarios to ask yourself what is right for you.
If dirt makes you queasy
So, you weren’t one of those kids that ran out into a mud pit and smeared it all over your body. That’s totally fine! But if you’re still anti mud, anti dirt, and anti even the possibility of either, you might want to glamp instead of camp. Camping in a tent means getting your hands dirty putting the tent stakes in, and potentially sitting around an outdoor fire. Glamping will typically be a structure you sleep in, where you can take your shoes off outside and enjoy a more permanent structured abode.
If you just want a regular toilet
This is a big one for campers versus glampers. Campers understand the possibility of having to use the woods as their loo, or if lucky, use a shared, free standing toilet that even has a door. If you don’t think you can handle this kind of situation, glamping might be more right for you. Whatever you do, make sure you research where you’ll be camping or glamping to find out what the toilet situation is. Some true campsites actually have lovely toilet facilities, and others can be pretty rough. Look it up before you go so you can make the right decision for your toilet needs.
If you’re looking for budget accommodation
The truth is, camping and glamping can both be budget accommodation friendly or conversely, a bit expensive, depending on the site and facilities that you’re after. Glamping in a holiday park, for example, will provide you with clean toilet facilities, showers, kitchen facilities and maybe even a game room or a swimming pool. This can be an excellent alternative to roughing it in the woods. Conversely, you can camp for free in plenty of areas in New Zealand, so deciding what your budget is ahead of time is a must. Remember if you’re freedom camping that there will be limited or no facilities, so keep that in mind.
If you want to be on the move
Taking a driving holiday around New Zealand? Perfect! Traveling around both islands is the best way to see the country and have a lovely time. To glamp on the move, however, can be a little difficult, especially if you’re looking for more luxury glamping. You’ll likely be limited to whatever locations there is a glamping situation available. However, you can still “camp” in comfort but be mobile if you do something like a van hire. This way, you can have all of your cooking facilities and perhaps a toilet if you upgrade to a fully contained campervan. You can also keep it super cheap because you’re still able to freedom camp with your vehicle.
Tent camping while on the move might be a little bit more work, as you’re setting up and packing your tent away every day, but is worth it if you don’t mind the extra time in the morning and evening. More people will likely be in campervans than tents, so if you’re trying to find a free spot on a busy campground, you’ll be more likely to find one in a tent.
If you’re planning a holiday with friends
Sure, setting up a tent circle on a site with all of your friends is a blast, but some people would prefer a glamping situation if you’re spending it with friends. Something like a yurt, or perhaps a cabin would be an excellent alternative. In more of a economy lodge situation, you could potentially have your own room, kitchen facilities, and a wood burning stove to keep you warm.
If you have to have a real bed
And finally, the biggest divider between the campers and the glampers out there is the necessity of a bed. The truth is that camping in a tent means you won’t be on a real bed. If you’ve got a big enough tent, you can probably fit an air mattress in it, but you’ll most definitely still be on the ground. If this is just too much for you, you’ll definitely want to consider glamping.
The truth of the matter is that if it’s only a weekend away, you will survive the experience even if you aren’t sure you will. Whether it’s a camping or glamping trip, and whether you’re terrified of getting your hands dirty or sleeping on the ground, you’ll make it out alive, we promise. Our biggest recommendation is simply to research what the situation will be like ahead of time so that you can prepare yourself. Being prepared is camping 101, and will help you through the weekend if you’re miserable. If you’ve got some of your basic necessities along with you, we’re pretty confident you’re going to have a great time, and who knows, maybe you’ll even grow to love it!