The idea of a vacation spent communing with nature without cell phones, laptops or other electronic distractions can be appealing. The idea of a simple, inexpensive way to see beautiful locations is appealing as well. The thought of wet tents and leaky air mattresses? Not so much. There are alternatives that let you live the dream without ever having to pitch a tent. You can get away from it all without giving it all up!
- Try a treehouse! Treehouse resorts are a thing. You can rent treehouses around the world as an affordable alternative to camping. A good example is Treehouse Point, just 30 minutes outside of Seattle. The resort offers adults six unique, exquisite treehouses as well as a lodge with rooms and event facilities. Each treehouse has electricity, a small fridge with water and comfy beds. Bathrooms and showers are well-appointed and fully stocked but they are on the ground. Looking for a family experience? Consider the six level Lapa’s Nest Treehouse nestled in the rainforest of Costa Rica and close to the beach. You’ll have a chance to see monkeys on their level along with exotic birds and reptiles. There are four bedrooms, a functional kitchen and a funky outdoor shower.
- Give Airbnb a look. You may be familiar with the concept of “tiny houses” from various television shows. Through Airbnb, you can experience tiny living on a night-by-night basis in some spectacular locations. A favorite tiny destination is the Hale Moana tiny house in Maui. With ocean views, a tiny kitchen, tiny outside deck and private outdoor shower, you get the best of Hawaii at a fraction of the cost! Other tiny options offered by Airbnb include a writer’s cabin in Stockholm, Sweden, a garden house in Normandy, France, and a Bow Top Roma Wagon in Cornwall, England.
- Are you ready for Hipcamp? In 2013, as a way for private landowners to offer camping opportunities on their land, Hipcamp has expanded beyond its California roots and spread across the US. Yeah, we’re not talking about camping here. But, on Hipcamp, you can find some unique opportunities to stay in yurts, cabins and even a geodesic dome. Looking for a getaway in northwest California? Look no further than Rainbow Cabin at Oz Farm in Manchester. The cozy cabin features huge windows, a wood stove, and two double beds. There is an outhouse. A full kitchen is on site in a separate building. There is hiking on the property as well as a river complete with a few fabulous swimming holes.
Thanks to the internet and people’s ingenuity, camping doesn’t have to mean a soggy tent and burnt hotdogs – unless you want it to. It’s easier than ever for people to share what is unique and fun in their world to others around the world. And, you can plan it all on your smart phone. As with any new adventure, take time to read descriptions and reviews thoroughly. On private properties, owner set the rules. Some owners work hard to provide quiet, secure getaways. Others are a little looser, encouraging party-like atmospheres. Take note of each property’s policies regarding things like pets, smoking, alcohol and quiet hours before booking. Most owners would much rather answer additional questions before your visit than have you leave a negative review after your stay.
Take advantage of these fun, easy ways to experience nature and try something new!