Camping as an alternative to hostels

Before you give up on European travel because of the weak dollar, consider camping. Arthur Frommer’s recent blog reminds us about the cheaper—and oft overlooked—cousin to hotels and hostels.

Some of the perks:

* It’s inexpensive: prices range from about $17-40 per couple.
* You have two options for bunking: tent-wise, you can bring your own or often rent one there. Or else, many Euro campgrounds have bungalows for rent.
* You’re not roughing it too much: many campgrounds have a swimming pool, an on-site grocery, hot showers, washing machines, picnic tables, and often a restaurant.
* The camaraderie: there’s good potential for a laugh around the campfire with fellow travelers or vacationing Europeans.

True, you’ll have to plan ahead and pack a few essentials: tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment. But gear like this seems to be getting smaller and more compact every year, so it may not be as cumbersome as you first imagined.

And while campsites are usually more remote than the hostel in the city center, they’re often still accessible by bus or subway for those without a car. A few gems are more central—along the Seine in Paris or on a hillside overlooking Florence.

To find a European campground, check with the individual country’s national tourist office, or one of these websites:

Posted by | Comments (2)  | March 25, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

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