Some people might argue that one shouldn't discuss camping and luxury in the same sentence. Other folks might argue that it's impossible to find luxury while camping. Well, I tend to think otherwise.
Yes, camping can be far from luxurious. I know that simply because I've been on the other side of luxury on many chilly summer evenings. On countless trips, I've gone to bed in our nifty "travel trailer tent bed" with cold feet and chilly shoulders even when our camper heater is cranked to the max.
On the other hand, camping has indeed opened doors to what I call "mini luxury adventures." These are little opportunities to experience a regional taste of luxury without having to pay an enormous bill at the end of our vacation. This mindset has driven my camping itineraries since day one. I have always been the "itinerary director" in our house, hence I have always been the one who opens the calendar in January and starts to book campsites and destinations for the following summer. When I chart our course, I always analyze the attractions and restaurants in the area. Sometimes, we visit remote areas and other times we visit more touristy sites that tend to be more expensive. One example of "camping and mini luxury" occurred a couple years ago when we were camping in Ucluelet, British Columbia.
Ucluelet sits in a remote corner of British Columbia's Vancouver Island. It is a very long trip to get there from Seattle and it is no easy task getting there with a travel trailer in tow. There is a long ferry ride from Vancover to Nanaimo and then a bumpy ride across the island. Overall, it takes about ten hours door to door. When I camped in that incredible region that summer, I was determined to have lunch at The Pointe Restaurant at the acclaimed Wickaninninish Inn in Tofino. The Inn is a Relais and Chateaux property and sits right on the ocean. It is luxury at its best. Of course, bringing our family of five to the resort for a one-week stay was out of the question, but lunch for my daughter and me was very much in the budget.
So, while the boys went fishing offshore for salmon one day, my daughter and I claimed a table with a view at The Pointe. We had a lovely young German waitress who was full of enthusiasm and told us all about her favorite surfing beach in the area. When we were served, the smoked salmon platter was divine. And, Carolyn loved her main course salad.
So, for those of you who think camping lacks luxury, I urge you to think again. Camping can be the means to a little more luxury than you thought. It just comes in smaller bites!