March 15, 2022
Today, in the age of Corona, when we tell people about our travel plans - several months in a self-built camper van through Europe - we often get incredulous looks, especially from the older generation; "The campsites are closed in many countries, aren't they?" - True. But many people don't realise that campsites don't necessarily play a big role for us - why should they? Isn't that exactly how you imagine a typical camping holiday? Touring from one campsite to the next or, ideally, spending two weeks at the same site and keeping the permanent campers company. This wishful thinking of a camping holiday no longer applies to many people today.
Pictures: Lucien Marti - More on Instagram
Sure, depending on the equipment of the camper and motorhome
...at the latest to maintain appropriate hygiene standards, you are forced to visit a place with sanitary facilities from time to time - after all, you don't want to bother your fellow travellers with unpleasant smells. But apart from that, more and more travellers are looking for the possibility to be flexible and spontaneous. The pure opposite of reservations and minimum overnight stays. And many are looking for what most campsites tend not to have; the peace, the solitude, the seclusion and the simple, very reduced life.
The trend towards minimalism does not stop at the world of camping. In a time when almost everything is available everywhere and at all times, all-inclusive and the evening entertainment programme lose their appeal and crowded places and crowds have been a horror for most people since Corona at the latest.
Camping means being close to nature, living more modestly, being more grounded and less distracted. Many share this desire for "time out in a camper". But where to go with the "new kind of camping"? The current infrastructure of most tourist regions still offers little space for the trend - parking areas are lined with prohibition signs - even if many of the areas are empty at night and a camper would not disturb anyone there.
Many potential "hosts" lack the necessary platform; a basis that creates trust on both sides, draws boundaries and provides guidelines. The fear of uninvited guests, overcrowding, piles of rubbish left behind and disturbance of the peace at night is too great. There would be too little control over what might happen if the no trespassing sign were removed.
But this is precisely where the great opportunity lies for all parties involved. The chance for a sensible use of vacant land, for flexible and available pitches and for new points of contact between the tourist areas and the campers. And the chance for a space for the new kind of camping.
Author: Melina Kiefer -More on Instagram
Images: Lucien Marti - More on Instagram