One of the most exciting—and low-cost—ways to travel is to camp. Investing in equipment like a quality tent, a ground cover, a waterproof canopy, warm sleeping bags, a high-powered flashlight or lantern and a first aid kit. Everything else, from cooking tools to insect repellant and sunscreen, can be filled in if you already have the essentials.
Whether you’re driving a rental car or using your own, toss all of your camping equipment in a cargo hitch carrier from Vault Cargo before setting off. You’ll free up space in the car and ensure you have everything you need for a successful camping trip.
Harrachov, Czech Republic
A picturesque spot for couples or families, Harrachov’s free campsite is situated in the Krkonose Mountains near the Polish border. A natural swimming hole offers a safe place to swim while wintertime brings snow for skiing or sledding. The campsite, called TJ Jiskra Harrachov, also offers miniature golf, tennis and volleyball courts, a climbing wall and bowling. The cable car system also offers stellar views during the summer, and there are restaurants and shops nearby as well. For only a couple dollars per person per day, you can enjoy everything the area has to offer.
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is a stunning place for an outdoor adventure. Although the pricing here is a little more expensive than the others on our list, it’s worth every penny. The Northern California park is nestled among towering redwood trees along the coastline; choose between beach or forest camping. There are more than 70 miles of hiking trails in the region. Many guests enjoy trekking through Fern Canyon, where the plants climb the canyon walls, or spotting elk on the roadside.
Isle of Islay, Scotland
The Isle of Islay offers two official campsites and some other spots for roadside wild camping (which is free!). Visitors should pay a visit to Kintra Farm, a working hill farm that offers inexpensive camping in an ideal setting. The farm’s tent campsites are located in the grassy beachside dunes, an area that is never crowded. Let the sound of the waves on the sand lull you to sleep in this relaxing, authentic Scottish region. Fly a kite, put your feet in the ocean or rent a book from the farm’s library.
A couple hours east of Rio de Janeiro, CampinBrazil is an eco-friendly campground in southeastern Brazil. The site got its start when the owners of the land saw how expensive accommodations were for the 2014 World Cup tournament. The beautiful natural setting is filled with fields and jungle plants, and wildlife abounds. Owls can be found all around the property, as can dogs and horses, but the main appeal are the monkeys.
Deadwood, South Dakota
Roubaix Lake in South Dakota is nestled in the Black Hills National Forest, giving visitors a chance to explore the local parks and small towns. The campground is busy during the summer, from May to early September, resulting in a $24 fee. But travel during the off-season and you can snag one of 13 campsites for free. There is a lake nearby with a main road that leads to its shoreline so guests can swim or fish for trout.