Is your family itching to get into the great outdoors for a camping trip, but maybe not so enthusiastic about sleeping on the ground in a tent? Are you curious about buying or renting an RV, but not ready to take the plunge yet? Or maybe you’ve never been camping before and just want to see what the buzz is about?
If you fall into any of these categories I would recommend renting a cabin this summer. A cabin rental is the perfect choice for a classic camping experience with all of the comfort and none of the fuss. Many campgrounds offer a variety of cabins at different price points. Some are rustic and affordable but don’t offer bathrooms or kitchens, and some cost more but offer kitchens, bathrooms, and separate sleeping areas for more comfort and privacy.
Even though my family owns an RV, and loves to tent camp, we still rent cabins every single summer. We have made lasting memories during our cabin camping trips and I am confident that your family will do the same.
Here are ten reasons why we love cabin camping and recommend it to friends and family that are looking for a great vacation that won’t break the bank.
1. Cabins are a Tremendous Value for Family Vacations
Rustic cabins without bathrooms or kitchens are often more affordable than inexpensive hotel rooms in the same region. So if you want a budget-friendly vacation and are willing to use campground restrooms and showers, then this might be a great way to go. Just pack a cooler full of food and bring your trusty camp stove for cooking outside. If you are willing to spend a bit more, consider a cabin with a bathroom, kitchen, and separate sleeping areas. These types of upgraded cabins don’t necessarily cost less than a hotel room in the same area, but they often offer 2-3 times the amount of space. Some can even accommodate multiple families.
2. Cabins Are More Private than Hotel Rooms
Not only will your cabin provide more space, it will also provide more privacy than a hotel room–or an RV for that matter. After spending hundreds of nights at campgrounds over the past decade, staying at a hotel is always a jarring and claustrophobic experience for me. After all, there are other people on either side of me… and above me…and below me. Every time I hear someone else’s toilet flush, or a television blasting on the other side of a wall, I long for the comfort and privacy of a cabin.
3. Your Cabin Rental Includes both Indoor Space and Outdoor Space
When comparing a cabin rental to a hotel vacation the biggest difference is that you get indoor space and outdoor space. When I was a kid my grandfather used to let me run up and down the hallway when we stayed in a hotel room–you know–to get some of my pent-up energy out. With a cabin rental, your kids can step outside into the fresh air and play with their toys or have a game of catch. A hotel room can be a claustrophobic nightmare for our family because we have three very energetic boys. If I let them all run around in the hallway at the same time we would get kicked out of the hotel post haste. We love having outdoor space whenever possible, and cabin rentals give us that and plenty of fresh air, right outside of our front door.
4. Cabin Rentals Require Less Gear
Tent camping requires packing (and then repacking) lots and lots of camping gear if you want to be prepared. The tent itself, sleeping bags, camp chairs, and lanterns can be cumbersome and challenging to pack in an SUV or minivan that is already filled with mom, dad, and a couple of rambunctious kids. Cabin camping allows us to be light on our feet. Set up and break down goes from being a task to being a cinch. Just make sure you know what your cabin includes (and doesn’t include) before you go. There is nothing worse than showing up expecting linens and then discovering that they were not included in your rental.
5. Avoid Eating Out
Food is always a major factor in family travel. The biggest single strain of hotel travel for our family is eating out three meals a day. It gets old (and expensive!) fast. We all end up eating too much and regretting it–even our kids. We love the fact that cabin camping allows us to grocery shop and prepare tasty and healthy meals that keep us on budget–and no waiting for a table either. I also love cooking outside and I can bring my camp grill to a cabin rental–but definitely not to a hotel room!
6. Access to Campground Amenities
When you rent a cabin you also gain access to campground activities and amenities. Things like pools, playgrounds, game rooms, mini-golf courses and so much more. Sure, some hotels have pools. But not many have tie-dying, outdoor movie night, and family kickball tournaments! When it comes to family friendly amenities and activities, campgrounds win every time. Every. Single. Time.
7. Cabins are Better For Rainy Days
No one wishes for rainy days when camping. But they happen. Rainy days spent in a tent are enough to send the hardiest campers home early–and can get miserable fast. Rainy days in the RV can also be a bit challenging. But cabins offer enough room for everyone to spread out without driving each other crazy. There is lots of room for board games and plenty of comfortable seating for reading or watching movies, or just chillaxing with devices.
8. Cozy Accommodations for Kids
Some cabins also have cozy lofts and bunkhouses for kids. My three boys are always excited when we show up to a cabin and they have their own private space away from mom and dad–and trust me–we are too! And quite frankly, it allows them to be a bit messy without ruining the cute and cozy feeling of the main living area in the cabin!
There are hundreds of cabins available for rent right here on Campspot! Whether you are looking for a rustic retreat at a quiet campground in the woods, or a premium cabin with all of the fixins at a luxury RV resort–Campspot has something awesome for you.
Summer is right around the corner. I hope you give cabin camping a try and plan an epic adventure that your family will never forget!
Jeremy Puglisi is the co-host of The RV Atlas podcast and the co-author of Where Should We Camp Next? A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and Other Unique Outdoor Accommodations, and See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors, both published by Sourcebooks.