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  • Writer's pictureMadison Fournier

Is Camping a Vacation?

Have you ever thought about how your style of vacationing might be different than someone else's? Before I begin, let me give you a little of my perspective. Traveling is about the journey and experiences while vacationing is to return home refreshed and rejuvenated.

When I first met my husband the main form of vacationing I did was to Walt Disney World, cruises, Hershey Park, and local trips that at least included a hotel. My husband on the other hand, grew up camping. He was a boy scout after all so, all the outdoor adventures always intrigued him.

The very first getaway we did was camping IN A TENT in New Hampshire. We went up there for the Fourth of July in 2019. This was definitely traveling for me because the ride up there was filled with my husband being the tour guide and pointing out everything. Once we were at the campground we had to cook all our meals, use public restrooms even to shower, and again sleep outside in a TENT. But, the views and activities we did was amazing.

Since that first trip, camping has become part of our lives. We eventually bought a pop up camper, then a small travel trailer and now we currently have a medium sized travel trailer.

This past weekend we took the girls and our dogs camping locally in Connecticut. We had a gorgeous lake front site and the weather was beautiful. We made some friends with other campers so we were able to hang out with other adults.

The short weekend started with cleaning the camper, organizing all our stuff, grocery shopping, and packing everything the girls would need since they are both under two years old. Luckily my husband loves to cook so he cooked us breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and then dinner for Friday and Saturday.

We spent the weekend enjoying the view, the fresh air, and the camp fire. Camping is truly a great adventure. We love it. We are away from work and spending time with our family and making new memories.

But here is my problem with it; it's not a vacation. There is so much work to prepare for the short trips we take (since we both work full time, weekends are the easiest). Then you can never keep the camper clean. Most sites near water are always sandy. It gets stuck to your socks, the dogs and the kids. I mean we are letting the girls play outside so there is no sense in trying to keep them clean. Even taking your shoes off and keeping a vacuum handy, there's only so much you can do until you get home.

We have to cook all the meals. Our bathroom activities no longer are in a public restroom but the water for showers only stays warm for so long. If you aren't hooked up to a site with sewer then you have to also worry about filling the tanks that the toilet and shower drain to.

When we return home, we have to unload the food, do laundry, wash bedding, take extra long showers, and clean all the sand and mud we collected. This is so obvious to me that you're camping for an adventure and to travel to different places. But to my husband it is a vacation.

Now my idea of vacationing involves a hotel. You can take as long of showers as you want. You order room service or you go to restaurants. You have housekeeping to come back to a nice clean bed every day. Some hotel rooms have their own washer or dryer or you can send your clothes to be laundered. And when you return home, all you have to worry about is unpacking your suitcase.

My husband and I grew up very different. He considers my vacations to be luxurious and we can only afford to do them once or twice a year. He considers camping a cheaper vacation that we can do so many times in the spring, summer and fall.

Do you think camping can be luxurious? Do you consider it to be traveling or vacationing? When you hear vacation, what comes to mind?

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