Camping vacations

How camping changed its image to take advantage of the staycation surge

Camping vacations have been enjoyed for generations by low-income families and friends wishing to ‘get away from it all. But over the last three years, we’ve seen new interest in camping from a wider section of society. In 2022, various campsites, RV hire companies, and outdoor organizations recorded a surge in visitors and customers. 

Camping’s resurgence may seem like it happened overnight, but the signs have been evident for much of the last decade. Firstly, the traditional campsites offered a short stay for tents and RVs. These have been available for many years and have mostly stayed the same. Then there was the arrival of what is known as ‘glamping,’ a word used for a more luxurious and stylish form of camping in the great outdoors.

People were after home comforts in the wilderness, using smartphones to stream movies, message friends, and bet at the top sportsbooks online. It wasn’t as harsh and rugged as ‘old school’ or ‘proper’ camping but offered the same enjoyment, fun, and opportunity to relax as a group, far from the hustle and bustle of modern city living.

Glamping allowed sites to attract a new breed of customers. Campers who wanted to be away from their offices and work to spend time in the peace and tranquility of nature with friends and family. But they weren’t willing to ‘rough it’ with sub-standard showers and toilet facilities. 


Lockdown hurt families

The wheels were already in motion with plans to modernize camping and how the country views it. Campsites and rural areas of the nation worked hard to rebrand the camping vacation experience while re-educating potential users. The goal was to change the reputation of being cheap and cheerful to a modern, affordable bonding experience for the entire family.

They were doing a fine job of it as well, and we saw numbers grow until the pandemic hit in 2020. With most businesses closed during the lockdown, the summer of 2020 was challenging for families. They could not go abroad on holiday and couldn’t have a ‘staycation’ either, with the shutters pulled down and locked on hotels to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

Things started to ease in that respect later in the year when summer was almost over. In many states, the lockdown lasted for more than a year. Families stuck at home and in desperate need of a break faced the worst-case scenario. Spending months indoors with no sport, limited outdoor activities, and all businesses closed. Those without a garden struggled to get enough fresh air, exercise, and natural sunlight. 

With families locked down inside flats and tiny homes, it would be a matter of time before tensions grew to uncontrollable levels. People needed encouragement for the future, a reason to be excited about life again. They turned to the only vacation option open to them – camping. And why not? 

go camping

Why you should go camping in 2023

Now that we appear to be over the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and airports are back inviting customers through customs and onto the plains, there was a danger that people would turn their back on camping staycations now they had served their purpose. Who wants to spend a week in a leaky tent showering in shared toilets when you could spend seven days on the beach?

On paper, it was a no contest, and travel agents prepared themselves for the inevitable mad rush to go abroad in the summer of 2022. But it never came. More people choose to holiday at home rather than jet off to sunnier climates. The vacation industry and the habits of consumers have gone back a hundred years.

Fancy giving it a go and swapping your foreign holiday lazing on the beach for a camping trip with friends and family? If you have never tried camping – and a surprising number of people never have – the benefits will surprise you. We detail our favorite reasons to go camping and explain how a short trip could benefit you physically and mentally.

No international travel is required; it isn’t nearly as expensive as going abroad and offers the chance to exercise, eat less and talk more. The art of conversation was making a comeback. What’s not to love? But let’s look at the benefits in a bit more detail.


A staycation is much less expensive than international travel, making it a better option for families. While seven days in a foreign country for a family of four could come in at thousands of dollars, the same time spent camping could cost less than $100. 

You don’t require much other than a tent, sleeping bag, torches, and food. Most campsites offer fresh running water, toilet, and shower facilities. If you are visiting with a young family, you could camp within walking distance of a small town. That will help you cope with any essentials you may have forgotten.

Better for the environment

Cutting out air travel won’t just save you cash; it’ll help save the planet. The more families who choose a staycation over a foreign holiday, the better for air quality. 

Do your bit for mother nature by investigating the many hidden gems in your home nation. You won’t be disappointed. When camping, please be respectful and leave no damage to the land or trace that you were ever there. Leave the area exactly how you’d like to find it next year.

Health and wellbeing

You must not underestimate the benefit of spending time outdoors with loved ones or alone on your physical and mental health. Even if the whole idea of sleeping under the stars doesn’t fill you with excitement, what have you got to lose?

Start small and spend one or two nights camping before aiming for any longer. If visiting a campsite, you’ll meet friendly staff who can help with everything you need. You’ll also meet new, like-minded people and families. 

A break from the kids using technology, social media, and tablets can’t be wrong. Go for it. Why not find out what all the fuss is about in 2023? It could be the year you fall in love with camping.

Last Updated on February 21, 2023

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