Where there is urban society, there is a campsite nearby to escape it. And it’s no wonder: camping is a tried-and-true recreation, beloved by people of all ages. In the U.S., it is the baseball of outdoor activities. And there’s so much more to camping than just bug spray, s’mores by the campfire and pitching a tent. It’s an environmentally-friendly way to travel with many more opportunities for unique experiences. In fact, the EPA estimates that the average hotel purchases more products in a week than 100 families purchase in an entire year!
Here are three once-in-a-lifetime trips that don’t confine to the common notion of camping, that you don’t want to miss.
Booderee National Park’s white sand beaches and crystal clear waters make it hard to remember you aren’t at a luxurious tropical island. Stemming from the aboriginal word meaning "bay of plenty," this Australian gem is located in New South Wales, a three hour drive from Sydney or Canberra. The campgrounds in Jervis Bay are highly family-friendly -- there’s even a school holiday educational program to keep kids entertained. The fees are affordable, but here’s the catch: booking a reservation can be tough given that it’s simply a magnet for eco-conscious families. You can book up to four months out and use a lottery system for the Christmas vacations period so get your plans made early.
The soul of Kenya’s tourism industry is safaris and many organized tour groups offer an unmatched opportunity to camp in one of the wildlife retreats while you stake out the “Big 5.” The varieties are endless too, from luxury and “glamping” glam camping, to private sanctuary retreats and the standard, budget-friendly tent kind. In your sleeping quarters at night, you’ll truly live the sights and sounds of the wild and, of course, the many activities in the safari experience will keep you busy by day too. Try a hot air balloon tour, which can be found in Amboseli, Maasai Mara and Lake Elementeita.
If you ever make it to the white continent, Antarctica, make it a point to go ice camping. Private trips to the most remote and least-explored country in the world are largely organized by travel companies. Quark Expeditions is one that offers polar camping expeditions in the Svalbard or the Antarctic Peninsula areas. Typically held in the summer months, you’ll be able camp under the midnight sun and check this remote place off your bucket list.