The Best of Australia: Camping or Glamping?

Photo of The Best of Australia: Camping or Glamping? 1/4 by Nicole Anderson
Photo of The Best of Australia: Camping or Glamping? 2/4 by Nicole Anderson

Aussies love spending time outdoors

Maybe it has something to do with the weather or the beautiful landscape. No matter what the reason is, spending several days and nights under the open skies in Australia has its perks.

1. It is a chance to explore the country

2. It recharges your body - mentally and physically

It has been scientifically proven that communing with nature can do wonders on your body. For one, it helps reduce anxiety and stress. For another, it reduces the risk of obesity and several cardiovascular diseases. For Aussies, a night spent under the stars is a much cheaper and healthier alternative to staying at luxury resorts.

3. Australia has the most interesting fauna and flora

It's widely known across the globe that Australia has some of the most amazing and wonderful wildlife. Watching these fantastic animals in their natural habitats whilst breathing in some fresh air is an absolute delight.

4. It stimulates your sense of adventure

It is every kid's dream to be a part of a thrilling adventure. In Australia, most adults never outgrow this dream. Fortunately, the country offers a wide array of possibilities to every daring soul. The best part of this is that you don't have to spend much to get the adventure you crave.

5. It's a great way to bond with your loved ones

Whether it's camping or glamping, there's no greater way to spend quality time than 'roughing it up' with your loved ones. Just imagine sitting by the bonfire and trading hearty laughs with those who matter to you the most.

Camping or Glamping: Is there any difference?

Photo of The Best of Australia: Camping or Glamping? 3/4 by Nicole Anderson

For the uninitiated, camping and glamping might sound like two interchangeable words. However, this cannot be farther from the truth. If you are not sure whether you are a camper or a glamper, then you should take note of these key differences:

1. The definition

Whilst both words pertain to immersing one's self in the wild, glamping takes it to the next level by incorporating the nice amenities and technology of the modern world with traditional camping. Glamping is a portmanteau of glamour and camping. Basically, it offers the best camping has to offer without all the hassles that come with traditional camping. There's a whole industry that caters specifically to those who like glamping instead of just camping. Experiencing the outdoors through glamping makes it easier for those who had never tried camping before.

2. Where you'll stay

3. Where you'll sleep

4. Where you'll bathe

5. Where you'll cook

Campfires are basic when you're out in the woods. However, not everyone has the necessary skills to build a great and safe fire. If you've never gone camping in your life, then bringing a kitchen kit (i.e. portable stove, oven, grill, ironware) is the most sensible thing to do. You can still enjoy the great outdoors without the fear of starvation. Besides, roasted marshmallows using a grill taste the same as ones roasted in a bonfire.

6. Where you'll store your food

Because glampers are armed with fridges connected to a powerful generator, they don't have to worry so much about food storage. Campers, on the other hand, need to calculate their food intake during the planning stage of the trip to avoid spoilage whilst on the road. This means bringing canned and dried food almost exclusively.

7. How you'll control the temperature

Campers usually rely on wearing either thick or light clothes depending on the climate. However, there are times when the heat or cold can be unbearable for anyone spending a few nights out in the wild. Therefore, most glampers would bring their own portable heater and fan to help regulate the temperature inside their tents.

Camping or Glamping: Which one is right for you?

Photo of The Best of Australia: Camping or Glamping? 4/4 by Nicole Anderson

Whilst camping sounds fantastic, not everyone is keen to try it out even when camping is almost a cultural activity already ingrained among Aussies. If you're a novice and can't decide which one to go for, then here are some factors that might help you decide:

Just because you are planning to spend a few days in the wild does not mean that you won't be spending money along the way. Aside from the gear, you'll also have to pay for campsites and various camping accessories to make your stay memorable, safe, and comfortable. You also need to consider the costs of transport, food, and drinks. You can safely assume that glamping can cost twice as much as camping. Glamping sites alone can cost from $330 to $1,400 a night. On the other hand, there are plenty of cheap camp sites all around Australia, with prices as low as $60 per night. You might want to consult your pocketbook to figure out which activity you can afford.

Availability of camping/glamping sites

Contrary to popular belief, you simply cannot pitch your tent anywhere. For safety reasons, people who'd like to go camping or glamping are encouraged to use legitimate campsites. Whilst several campsites can accommodate glampers, there are not as many as those that accept campers. In any case, it's a lot of hassle for a campsite to build and maintain semi-permanent structures like yurts in their vicinity for glampers. Most campsites are just wide-open spaces where you can set up your tent. For this reason, it's hard to find glamp sites during the peak season (i.e. summer) as they will probably be fully booked. You can still try glamping on ordinary camp sites with the use of an RV or a double tent. However, these things often take up a lot of space, so you might end up paying for more than you've bargained for.

Availability of amenities and facilities

Glamping means bringing the comforts of your home with you, regardless of whether you are in the middle of the forest, desert, or a beach. However, this goes against the very reason most Aussies choose to camp in the first place - to experience what nature has to offer by going back to basics. This means not relying on any modern convenience to live like cooking using camp fires, sleeping without the comforts of your own bed, and bathing using whatever water source available. Yet, not everyone is really cut out for this kind of outdoor challenge. If you are one of those who cannot function without a warm bed or a hot shower, you might want to consider going glamping instead.

Things that can stress you

People usually go camping to de-stress and detach themselves from the usual city humdrums. Nevertheless, if sleeping on the floor with Australia's variety of creepy crawlies makes you more stressed, then it definitely defeats the purpose of camping. Of course, you can always go halfway and bring the necessary gear to help you lower down your stress level when camping (i.e. bringing an air bed). Just be sure that you have enough space inside your tent for all your extra gear when you do so. Or you can just go glamping all the way so that you won't have to worry about where to get all the extra space.

Should you go Camping or Glamping?

As people say, the devil is in the details. Beginners would probably enjoy glamping more as it does not differ much from spending a few days at home or a resort, although it might put a damper on their adventurous spirit. Glamping is also ideal for those who want to stay comfortable, even when out in the wild. However, if budget is a big issue or if you want to detach yourself completely from modern-day conveniences, then camping is the right choice for you. Camping is also ideal for families with small kids as it kindles the children's sense of wonder and adventure.

DIY Glamping 101: How to camp in style

If you want to try glamping, yet you have limited funds to do so, you might want to try these tips on how to DIY glamp without breaking your wallet.

Find a traveling company that offers both glamping and camping

Booking an all-inclusive glamping package is fine, but if you don't have the budget for it, you can always work out the details with your chosen camping company. The nice thing about booking a site from a company that offers both glamping and camping is that you can freely discuss your options and reach a compromise of sorts.

Choose your camping gear wisely

The key to DIY glamping is to bring portable (and inflatable) everything. From kitchen utensils to air beds, you can still camp fashionably provided that you choose to purchase what should be included in your gear carefully. There are plenty of online stores like that offer a wide selection of stylish and highly functional camping gear to suit your needs. A DIY glamping gear must include the following: a spacious tent, a comfortable bed, some LED or solar-powered lights, plush sofas and pillows (all inflatable), portable stove or oven, and some decorative trimmings to make your tent feel like home. It also won't hurt to bring your own fridge, but if it's not possible, then you should consider bringing in a heavy-duty cooler to prevent food spoilage.