Going on a road trip across Europe and looking for budget but comfortable accommodation?
Do you like living in nature and waking up to the singing of birds?
Traveling with children and dreaming that they breathe fresh air and run on the grass?
For our compatriots, this way of living is still unusual, but among practical Europeans, who have long appreciated its advantages, it is very popular. Like Amirikans who mostly like Oregon Coast Camping.
So what is camping?
Camping is a fenced area in a green place, with all the necessary infrastructure and conditions for parking tents, campers and trailers.
In most European countries, the so-called "wild" camping is prohibited, that is, you can only camp in specially designated places (campsites).
- search using GPS coordinates of campsites. This information is imported into the car navigator, making it easy to find the campsite in the area;
- search in the Internet using any sites;
- search using special campground catalogs. They are sold in European bookstores, usually an update is released every year.
- search through catalogs and brochures, which can be taken from tourist information centers;
When traveling with a tent (not with a camper or trailer), reservation is not required to take a seat. Even in the height of the high season, there is usually a tent site in popular tourist destinations.
However, confirmation of accommodation booking may be required for the embassy when obtaining a Schengen visa. In this case, it is necessary to contact the campsite directly (for example, by e-mail) and clarify whether it is possible to book a place by making a prepayment by credit card. Not all campsites reserve places in advance and accept credit cards, so it is better to check this point in advance.
The price of camping is usually formed from the following components:
- payment for a place, depending on whether it is a tent, camper or trailer. Some campsites have places of different classes
- bigger / smaller, with or without a view, the prices for which are different. The size of the tent can also play a role;
- payment for each adult;
- payment for children. On this point, each campsite has its own subtleties, but children under 1-2 years old, as a rule, stay for free.
- payment for electricity. Sometimes it is included in the cost of the place, and sometimes it is paid separately. It can be fixed (1.5 - 3 euros per day) or by counter.
- tourist tax. Most often it is included in the default cost, but sometimes it is singled out separately;
- payment for animals.
The cost of living may include the use of hot showers (as, for example, in most campsites in Austria and Italy, but in some countries there are also paid ones), kitchens, a swimming pool, a playground and other delights of civilization.
For reference: a night in an Austrian or German camp for a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) costs an average of 20-25 euros if the camping is regular, and 30-35 euros if it is located in a popular tourist destination, or has increased stardom. In Italy, it is more expensive: when located on the coast or near a lake, you should focus on 40-50 euros per day.
Sanitary facilities at the campsite When you arrive at the campsite, the first thing you do is get to the reception. Here you can find out about all the conditions and cost of living, and you also need to register by filling out a special form indicating your passport data.
Reception workers usually speak at least a little English, but in cases where this is not the case, they can quite realistically explain themselves using international methods.
In large campsites, the reception can be open around the clock, but in most campsites it closes in the evening. If the gate is still open, then you can enter and stand at the chosen place, and register the next day.
Most often you can choose the place yourself, but sometimes they are distributed at the reception.
The territory is organized differently everywhere: in some campsites pitches are of the same standard size and mobile homes and tents stand side by side; in others, a separate area with larger areas is allocated for trailers and campers, and smaller areas for cars and tents.
In the campsite, it is customary not to interfere with each other and to respect personal space. For example, you shouldn't walk around busy sites or gaze at your neighbors.
The ability to connect to the mains is a must in any European camping. This is done through a special shield designed for several sites (therefore, it is highly desirable to have a cable at least 25-30 meters long and extension cords).
Some campsites use conventional Euro sockets, but IP44 2P + E sockets designed for campers and trailers are also widely used. In such cases, an adapter is required to connect. Sometimes it can be rented at the reception (about 1 euro per day, a deposit of 10 euros) or bought in shops at campsites for the same 10 euros.
Each campsite has one or more sanitary blocks (depending on the size of the territory).
The sanitary block contains toilets and showers. Opening hours - round the clock, hot water is always available.
As a rule, the sanitary blocks have all the necessary little things: liquid soap, paper towels, toilet paper. Some campsites have hairdryers.
For children, there are often separate adapted bathrooms and showers with miniature plumbing and fun coloring. The smallest inhabitants are not forgotten either: for their convenience, parents can use folding changing tables and small baths.
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