Thanks to the cabin fever many of us experienced this past year, outdoor-focused vacations are skyrocketing in popularity. National parks have never been busier and popular campgrounds are now fully booked months in advance. However, there is good news for campers and RVers tired of overcrowded and commercialized grounds. The booking service Campspot provides the ability to search and book over 100,000 campsites, meaning it’s the easiest way to find camping near you.
What Is Campspot?
Campspot is an online and app-based service that facilitates peer-to-peer campsite rentals. It has multiplied available camping options throughout the entire country. Adopting the Airbnb model, Campspot allows anyone with campground or RV site availability — whether they are an official “campground” or not — to list a portion of their property for camping. Campers and RVers are then able to browse through available sites in their chosen destination, the available features, read reviews, see photos of the exact spot, and book instantly.
Each Campspot listing includes multiple photos of the campsite and the surrounding campgrounds. They also include whether or not the site offers a wide range of features, from the basics like showers and bathrooms to activities like beaches and arcades. Whether you’re looking to “rough-it” in the outdoors in a basic tent and spend the days hiking and fishing, or you’re looking for a glamping experience in a cabin with plenty of provided fun on the campgrounds, Campspot has a listing to help you fulfill your quest.
For those in the beginning stages of planning a camping or RV trip, Campspot also offers recommendations of the Top Destinations and the Most Popular Campgrounds for inspiration. Browsing through the Most Popular Campgrounds, I realized that camping has come a long way. The top selections include an adult summer camp and ultra-luxury RV and cabin grounds, complete with a waterpark that’s surrounded by beautiful landscaping.
One of the most helpful inclusions on each listing is the camper feedback. Past campers are invited to give a star rating and provide a written review of the campsite and property. The reviews provide instant peace of mind for campers looking to explore new spots but wary about arriving at a destination that doesn’t quite match the photos.
The Campspot App
The Campspot app is a recent addition to the site’s repertoire of helpful tools. It has never been easier to search and book your weekend getaway while on the go. Simply open the app, input your destination or choose Near you, input your desired dates and number of campers, and hit Search. Campspot immediately displays available campsites, in your chosen list or map format, and allows for instant booking.
The most convenient feature of the app is the instant messaging. Once a site is booked, the camper and campsite owner can easily communicate about directions, timing, and any other questions. No need to exchange phone numbers; everything is handled and documented within the app.
My Experience With Campspot
This past weekend, my husband and I were sitting at the house on a beautiful Saturday morning. “Want to go camping?” he asked me. Knowing how impossible it has been to find last-minute campsites, I cautiously agreed, as long as we could find a decent site nearby. I downloaded the Campspot app and began my search.
To my surprise, the app pulled up a whole selection of available properties to book instantly. We wanted an uncrowded waterfront campground within a couple of hours of home that allowed dogs. Within the search filters, I selected these options and was immediately drawn to a rustic campground on the river, boasting 100% 5-star reviews.
The campground listing showcased beautiful sunsets over the water and a large remote campsite. Additionally, it listed that pets were allowed and the grounds had toilets available — a huge perk for the hesitant camper than I am. The real selling point, however, were the extra perks available as add-ons. For only $10, they offered to set up a hammock on the campsite prior to arrival and, for a mere $3, a dozen fresh eggs delivered to the site. Done! We booked it.
I received a message through the app from the owner immediately with detailed directions to the campgrounds. She also asked us to please let her know our approximate arrival time so she could meet us at the front and direct us to the site. Sure enough, Shelly was waiting on a four-wheeler and couldn’t have provided a warmer welcome. She showed us our site, walked us around the grounds, and provided excellent tips for exploring around the area.
We absolutely loved our stay; the campgrounds felt so much homier than the commercialized options, and we could only see one other group from our massive plot of land. Our hammock was positioned overlooking the river and provided such a relaxing spot to spend the evening. Near dusk, we ventured to their horse pasture to watch the sunset and returned again later in the night to stargaze. The following day, we followed Shelly’s advice and explored the country roads by Jeep. The entire experience left us feeling refreshed and relaxed — and excited about planning a return stay.
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