Those who travel to the USA are often nature lovers and those who enjoy wide, open scenery. One of the best ways to discover the USA up-close is by taking a camping trip!
Camping trips are very familiar to American culture. Almost every American went camping as a child, and the country has plenty on offer for everyone.
So, camping can refer to two things; first of all, we have traditional camping in tents, and then camping in RVs (recreation vehicles), caravans and trailers, or even in the most comfortable option of all: cabins or bungalows.
Of course, the most basic and rustic option is to take advantage of an open space where you can pitch your tent: bear in mind, however, that in this case you may not have access to plug sockets or taps (whereas spaces designed for RVs have both of these things). The spaces tend to have a bench and seats, with a barbecue pit by the side. They don’t always have bathrooms or showers, so try to ensure you can specify this before choosing your spot.
Whether you decide to take a tent or an RV (which you can rent through many websites), campsites are divided into public and private structures. On this website, Camping USA, you’ll find a list of campsites grouped according to their type, along with extensive relevant information.
Public campsites are certainly the cheapest, and also include State Parks and National Parks, which can vary greatly in price depending on the services on offer (wifi, hot water, showers, electricity, etc.). If you’d like to camp in a national park, be aware that places are limited, so you should always book in advance. The websites reserveamerica and recreation.gov give you all of the relevant information. The more primitive campsites, however, are more rustic and are designed to minimise environmental impact. They may be in good conditions, or not, which is why you should do some thorough research before booking.
Private structures tend to contain more comforts, including everything that you may need or want, including shops and occasionally spas! Again, they can accommodate various types of accomodation: tents, RVs, cabins, as well as more curious and interesting options such as teepees, yurts and treehouses. Take a look at all of the options across the country in the well-known KOA campsites (Campgrounds of America); specialists in providing excellent camping experiences combined with comfort and activities, in particular for children, to create a unique and unforgettable trip. They have over 470 facilities near major US cities and national parks.
In many sites, you can carry out a self-check-in when you arrive: you will find a pencil and a sheet of paper. You fill in the form and place the money in a little bag, which is then posted into a box. The rangers will later go to make sure that everything is in order.
An alternative for more adventurous travellers is free camping. When it comes to free camping, you should know that some states do not allow it, particularly because in some places it is easy to come across dangerous animals, such as bears, coyotes, snakes, etc.
At this point, you probably already know that, to travel to the US as a British citizen, you just need to have a valid passport and ESTA authorisation, which is quick and easy to obtain. So, backpackers and adventurers, enjoy!
Travelling to the United States? Do you have your pre-planning checklist in order? Visit our ESTA Guide for more information about obtaining your travel permit. We'd love to hear from you. Send us your comments or questions for travel assistance.