We're finally into prime vacation season, in case you haven't noticed. And for many of us, that means lying by the beach in some tropical destination surrounded by hundreds of other tourists. That type of vacation usually comes fully equipped with expensive souvenirs, even more expensive excursions, screaming children everywhere, and lots of stress mixed in with your relaxation. It can be so intense that you might even opt to save money by entertaining yourself at home instead. (Slip 'n Slide party, anyone?) But for some, retreating to nature is the key to recharging during vacation time. That's right — we're going camping.
The definition of "camping" varies depending on who you ask. We had a pop-up camper when I was growing up, so my idea of camping includes electricity, plumbing, pools, arcades, and hundreds of campsites in one contained family campground. But people who "really" camp tend to associate the activity with pitching a tent almost anywhere, and treating nature as their home (not to mention their bathroom).
Whether you're a "glamper" like me or a true camper, these insane "campsites" will make you question all the camping you've ever done. If you've ever dreamed of hanging from a tree after a long day of exploring, or enjoying the Northern Lights from an igloo, then it's time to check out these amazing not-really-campsite campsites.
Because even if you're not one for roughing it, who says you can't enjoy the great outdoors?
Talk about living on the edge. This group of hikers decided to set up camp on the side of a mountain. So basically this is something you can do anywhere if you have the right equipment — and a whole lot of courage.
At the Waldseilgarten in Bavaria, Germany, you can really immerse yourself in nature by sleeping in a tent hanging from a tree: This campsite offers tents or platforms to sleep in. The more adventurous camper can be treated to an enclosed tent hanging from the side of a mountain. Doesn't sound too appealing to me, but to each her own.
All those treehouses you made as a kid (or attempted to make) have nothing on Treehotel. No two rooms are the same, with offerings like the above-pictured "The UFO" and "The Bird's Nest." These individual "hotel rooms" are scattered throughout the untouched wilderness, so you can explore the surrounding forest by day and retreat to your tricked-out treehouse at night. Pretty sweet deal, right? (You can check out the other coolest treehouses in the world here.)
Ever wondered what it would be like to dwell in a sewer pipe? (If you ever watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles you know you did...) Well this probably isn't exactly what you imagined. Dasparkhotel in Austria offers accommodations in these modernly furnished sewer pipes so you can enjoy the outdoors without having to actually sleep outdoors. Or, you know, worry about rats.
Igloos Under the Northern Lights
If you're a big Pinterest user, chances are you've seen this photo before and it's pinned to your "Places I'd Like to Go" board. But did you know you can actually stay here? The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort lets you enjoy the beauty of the Aurora Borealis from your very-own glass-cielinged igloo. Unless you really enjoy sleeping in way below freezing temperatures just to get a little taste of nature, this is the best way to camp out under the Northern Lights.
Ever felt like you were living in a bubble? Well, now you actually can. At the Attrap'Reves in France you can sleep under the stars ... in a tricked-out bubble room. Every bubble is equipped with a telescope and star chart so you can get a closer look at the night sky. If you've ever wanted to sleep under the stars but can't stand the thought of dealing with the open air and all that comes with it — bugs, dirt, unpredicted weather — then this is definitely a must-do.
What's even more intense than camping in tents? Camping in a teepee-like hut made out of actual dirt. The STF Kolarbyn Hotel in Sweden is the real deal — no heat, no electricity, no running water. You can truly disconnect from the world and enjoy being immersed in nature. And there's no doubt you will more than appreciate all the modern luxuries you take for granted after a night here.
Love the idea of camping but hate the idea of pitching a tent? Enter Travelpods. It's basically a hotel room you can bring anywhere. Happy glamping!