Our camping conundrum

Camping in Basque country

We’ve been carrying a small tent and our sleeping bags around with is so far on our journey, and actually making quite good use of them. The camping hasn’t always been picturesque (see our post on Paris), but it has definitely been an affordable option for us. The last few days have been spent camping in Biarritz. Our camp ground is called Le Pavillon Royal, and it’s more like a resort than a campground. It’s right on the beach, and has a pool, fantastic hot showers, a small grocery store with fresh croissants and baguettes daily, and a bar/cafe. It’s been like a mini vacation from our bigger journey.

We are having a debate now on whether or not to keep our camping gear with us. We love camping, and we like that the prices are lower than other accommodations. However, there are a few cons to consider from here on out.

It’s very quickly approaching the end of camping season here in Europe. The campground that we are in now closes at the end of September, and our brief research has revealed that many other campgrounds in other countries close in the next month or so, since the busy season is over. The tent and sleeping bags also take up a significant amount of space in our bags. Finally, most campsites are located outside of city centres, which means that transportation to and from them is a challange. Soooooo…

What to do? The cost factor is important to us since our travels are open ended. The difference between 20 euros and 40 euros a night is significant when the timeline is so long. But we can’t say for sure how often we’ll be able to take advantage of camping as sites close. We would also really enjoy having lighter, smaller bags! So the debate continues. If anyone has any thoughts either way, we’d love to hear them.


    hmm… I know that on couchsurfing, people sometimes request a place to put up a tent in a yard instead of a couch. You could camp in people’s backyard for free?
    Do you know anyone who lives in Europe and who could keep the gear for you until you need it again next year? (or whenever you go to a warmer place)

    Glad you`re enjoying Biarritz! If you won`t be able to camp anywhere in the winter, it really doesn`t seem worth it to lug the stuff around everywhere. Hope your leg is better Mark, it was worth it for that marvelous photo.

    Won’t it be getting warmer the further south you go? You would think that in Spain and Greece (not sure if your rail pass is for Italy or not) the campgrounds would be open year round..? I’m sure you’ve done the research though. I know that the campgrounds Zach and I have been too also rent tents or cabins which may be easier than lugging your tent around. Dunno. Good luck on the decision!

    It’s a really tough call. We’ve enjoyed our camping nights most. It’s a sure thing at least where with hotels and hostels sometimes they can really suck and you don’t know what to expect. Although most campgrounds we’ve been to also do rent little cabins too but they cost a bit more. But they look like another option for us to stay in the relative great outdoors.

    We haven’t braved the world of couchsurfing yet… I’d like to. Perhaps we’ll look into it a bit more now.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I think we’re leaning into offloading some stuff. We’ll let you know!


    I did the couchsurfing thing in Spain – and it was amazing and free. We ended up staying in some dude’s apartment right in the center of Valencia during Las Fallas (the massive Easter festival where they light everything on fire). Did i mention it was free?

    I would check it out.

    We’re in the process of getting our couchsurfing profile completed, then we’re definitely going to look into that. We’ve met a few people who’ve said it’s been awesome for them too.

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