As my boyfriend and I prepare to embark upon an 8-day road trip through Scotland, many people have asked me why we’ve chosen to camp during our stay instead of booking into hotels.
Camping is something I absolutely love to do, yet is something that still causes so many people to turn their noses up.
While it’s true that camping doesn’t offer the luxury and convenience of staying in a hotel, there are so many brilliant reasons to pack up your tent and go. Here are just five:
Camping is one of the cheapest types of accommodation
If, like me, you’re constantly looking for ways to travel on a budget, then camping is definitely something to consider.
Campsites offering basic facilities will often charge less than £20 per pitch, per night, which is much lower than the price you’d pay to stay in a budget hotel. In some places (such as Scotland), you can even wild camp for free, which is certainly appealing to me and my empty purse.
If you don’t already have camping equipment, this is where the costs can begin to add up. But, if you can borrow a tent, sleeping bag and torch from a friend, you’re pretty much good to go!
When it comes to purchasing new camping equipment, make sure you invest in the good stuff. It’ll last longer and will serve you much more reliably during your trip, meaning you won’t have to patch up your tent with sellotape mid-holiday.
Camping encourages you to switch off
There’s nothing like sitting in a field with no phone signal and no access to the internet to force you to switch off!
For those of us who work with computers – and then come home and spend the night in front of the TV – finding time away from screens can be difficult. However, camping makes this all too easy.
Without signal, you won’t be tempted to check Instagram first thing in the morning, or to take a peek at your work emails to make sure the office hasn’t crashed without you there.
You also won’t need to decide between a thousand things to watch on Netflix, or decide which recipe book to cook dinner from.
Without the overwhelming number of choices we usually have, you can simply unzip your tent, take a breathe of fresh air and enjoy being off grid for a while.
Camping offers a range of health benefits
You might not realise it, but sleeping under the stars actually has a range of important health benefits.
First and foremost, escaping the city and going camping for a few days can be a huge stress relief. When you’re camping, nobody – not even your boss – expects you to be easily contactable at all hours of the day, so you can simply switch off your phone and forget about all the distractions and responsibilities of day-to-day life.
Secondly, the fresh air will do you good! It’s important to get outside and connect with nature regularly, and there’s no better way to do that then to set up home in a field for a while.
If you’re blessed with good weather, you’ll also benefit from exposure to sunlight and increased levels of vitamin D.
Another brilliant health benefit of camping is that is often encourages you get active. Campsites are often located in woodland areas and near the coast, giving you plenty of opportunities to go hiking, swimming, surfing, or whatever you please.
Camping encourages you to spend quality time with your loved ones
Whether you’re planning a trip with a new boyfriend or a long weekend away with the family, going camping is a great way to make sure you actually spend quality time together.
Often, campsites have very basic facilities, with nothing more than a shower block and a water tap; there won’t be a television you can curl up in front of or a bath tub you can hide in to avoid helping out with the washing up.
Instead, you’ll be forced (in a good way!) to spend time with the people who matter.
Setting up a tent and a couple of camping chairs in the middle of nowhere gives you the chance to put down your phone and actually spend good, quality time with your mum, dad, sister, brother, best friend, cousin or whoever you’ve brought along with you.
You don’t want to be left with absolutely nothing to do though, so make sure you take a packet of cards or set of travel-size board games with you!
Camping gives you the opportunity to explore some of the world’s most beautiful places
One of – if not the – greatest benefits of camping is undoubtedly the fact that you get to sleep up close and personal with some of the most beautiful places on the planet – especially when you go wild camping.
Wild camping gives you the opportunity to set up home under the stars in some of the world’s quietest, most un-touched corners, and if you’re a nature junkie like I am, this is truly, truly special.
I have a whole bucket list of places I want to visit and hotels I want to stay in, but most of all, I have a long list of destinations I’d love to camp in. If you have any recommendations, please don’t hesitate to let me know!