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European Camping Guide

Camping in Amsterdam

Camping in Amsterdam

Europeans love camping holidays - a fact that surprises many international visitors when they first visit this part of the world! And for holidaymakers, especially those with families, it offers a fantastic mix of fun, outdoor and activity-packed holiday potential, for minimal cost outlay.

When you`re looking for camping grounds, you`ll find plenty of choice - and the sites are usually located close to main city attractions, beach resorts, or areas of visitor interest. There are camping sites in all European countries, often fairly close to the main cities, rather than the backwaters found in North America. To help find the campsite that suits your trip, look for the various camping annual guides and websites that offer plenty of guidance, rates, booking availability and tips. You`ll find too that many of the larger sites are open year round, such as the ones in Mediterranean Europe, with close access to indoor activities if the weather isn`t good enough for all-day outdoor adventure! Look for traveller reviews on genuinely unbiased, visitor-led websites, or speak to personal contacts for their recommendations - this is often the best way to find great campsites, especially the smaller ones which tend to spend less on advertising.

Pricing can be confusing for first-timers, so be aware that you`ll pay separate charges at most campsites for things such as the tent, the number of people in your party and any vehicles you`re bringing with you. Prices will generally be at least half compared to a cheap hostel however and there are usually options to upgrade to caravans, eco `pods` and other interesting cheap outdoor accommodations on the bigger campsites - cabins in Bruges, huge former wine casks in Budapest and tent `hostels` in Venice have all been spotted! Motorhomes can be ideal for off-season stays when their rates are at their best and offering respite from any bad weather - particularly if in northern Europe. You`ll find too that a lot of European campsites have restaurants attached to them, selling hearty and budget-friendly food, as well as facilities for cooking. Other facilities will include internet access and laundry. There will usually be a hand-washing option as minimum, along with some coin! -operated machines for bigger sites and tumble dryers. Microfibre clothes, towels and other equipment can be very useful for speedy drying where washing lines aren`t available, or permitted - some camp sites do have fairly stringent guest rules, so it`s worth getting a copy of these before booking!

Think carefully about how you plan to use your time when camping. Some places - such as Scotland - still allow wild camping in parts, where there will be no facilities to hand, but plenty of gorgeous, outdoor space and a true sense of freedom. Others will have on-site discos, kids clubs and organised entertainments, as well as useful extras such as shuttle buses to main attractions, car parks and plenty of hot showers - such as Eurocamp San Vito / Cisano Holiday Park. It`s often possible to find good deals on the family friendly camping holiday parks, especially if you book well in advance, or carry out price comparisons either online or through the services of a travel agent.

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