17 Reasons Why Camping Is Better Than Hotels

Roasting marshmallows by the campfire

Let’s face it, hotels aren’t always the most accommodating places to visit. Whether it’s a luxury suite or a roach-infested room, being away from home and sleeping in places where other people also sleep isn’t always the greatest feeling.

Hotels are sometimes fine when they are your only option when traveling. However, there are many reasons that camping would be a better choice.

Whether it’s RV camping or a more primitive type of camping like a tent or car camping, there are benefits that make it the better choice.

The following list contains 17 of the best reasons I have for why I would rather camp in my camper van than stay in a hotel.

I hope to convince you that camping is a great alternative to staying in a hotel.

1. It Costs Less

Staying in a hotel can be expensive depending on the type of hotel that you choose. Even the rattiest hotels in popular areas can be a costly choice.

When you choose to camp, you are reducing this cost by using your own living space. Whether you choose to camp at a paid campground or another place, you will probably always spend less money when choosing to camp versus staying in a hotel.

With the average price of a hotel room in the United States skyrocketing to over $180 a night, it can be easy to see why cost plays a huge factor. This is quite an expense to pay when you are just looking to lay your head down for the night.

Compare this to a campground where you might expect to pay around $45 at most places for full hookups. More premium campgrounds with high-quality amenities may be more but will not reach the level that a hotel will cost.

2. Experience The Power Of Nature

Nature has a magical way of healing us and we all need to be in nature from time to time so that we can connect with the natural world around us. Instead, we spend most of our lives indoors, living conveniently with modern amenities.

All of these modern-day conveniences are great but sometimes it’s nice to get away from them and opt for a more simple existence.

It’s nice to be out in nature so that you can see the beauty that the outdoor provides. You can experience the sights and sounds that you normally don’t get to experience. If you live in the city, you may be in extra need of a nature-filled camping trip.

Mountain nature trail

Just being able to live in a more primitive way is beneficial in so many ways. The calming effect that nature has on us allows us to recharge our batteries from a demanding world.

3. Allows You To Disconnect

Once you are out in nature, camping allows you to disconnect completely if you choose to. Of course, nowadays, with cell phones, people stay connected no matter where they are. It’s good when you’re out in nature to unplug and disconnect from all of the distractions in your life.

I don’t mean that you should never enjoy any technology when you are camping. You can still watch TV and do other activities that involve being connected but they shouldn’t consume a large amount of your time.

When you camp, it’s a good time to unwind and disconnect from the noise of the modern world. Stay off of social media and the internet altogether other than using it to plan your trip.

Disconnecting allows you to get in touch with yourself better and just helps you to get rid of some stress that may have been built up.

As a society, we have an addiction to being connected. With the power of the World Wide Web, it’s never been so easy to get sucked into this problem.

With social media at our fingertips, we scroll through our phones many times per day looking at other people’s lives and being consumed with what others are doing.

When you can get out camping, you can choose to avoid taking part in this so that you can become more connected to the natural world around you.

Instead of the bright lights of the hotel, why not enjoy the bright lights that the star-filled sky has to offer you?

4. Sleep In Your Own Clean Bed

It can be a bit gross thinking about the number of people that sleep in hotel beds. Think about this the next time you are sleeping in one. Just knowing that a different person was sleeping in that same bed last night might be enough to make you want to avoid it.

You don’t know who it was, you don’t know how well the sheets have been cleaned, and you don’t know if the bed you are sleeping on has bedbugs or any other kinds of gross bodily fluids left behind.

I often think about these things when I’m staying in a hotel and sometimes it makes me just want to not go anywhere to where I have to stay in a hotel.

Bed bugs in hotel bed

A black light can reveal all kinds of gross things on a bed. People do all kinds of things in the privacy of hotel rooms and the beds see the most action so it can be pretty disgusting to plop yourself down onto one.

Compare this to the bed in your RV. It’s probably more comfortable than the hotel bed if you have chosen a comfortable mattress for your RV.

Even the air mattress that you have in your tent or the sleeping bag that is on the ground in your tent is probably more sleep worthy than a hotel bed.

You don’t have to worry about who has slept in your bed because it has only been you and your family. You know the history of the mattress and you know what has taken place on your mattress so you don’t have these worries.

It gives me more peace of mind sleeping in my own bed to where I know that I don’t feel yucky your icky wondering what I am sleeping in.

I also know that my mattress is super comfortable and I can expect a nice, restful sleep when I lay down in it. I rarely get this satisfaction in hotel beds.

5. Walk On Your Own Clean Floor

I hate to walk on nasty hotel carpets with my bare feet because, again, you just never know what has taken place. Carpets don’t get deep cleaned very often, only vacuumed.

If there is any debris on the carpet, it will get vacuumed up but there are a lot of small germs and unsanitary areas from other people walking around with dirty shoes or dirty feet.

There are also germs from liquids they have spilled on the floor which could include bodily fluids.

This can be quite gross to think about and it’s similar to the bed situation. When I travel, I usually take a pair of rubber flip-flops that serve as my hotel room shoes so I don’t have to walk on the floor barefooted.

I also use these for taking showers so that my feet never have to come in contact with flooring surfaces.

Is this a little bit extreme?

I don’t think so and this is something I learned while serving in the US Marine Corps. We had “shower shoes” that we wore when taking showers or walking around the barracks. You just never know what is lurking on a communal shower floor so you learn to be cautious.

Many people feel the same way and there is just an overall feeling of yuckiness in some hotel rooms. You can often look at the carpet of a hotel room and see stains and nasty areas that you don’t want to walk on.

If you were to stay in your own RV, you would be walking on your nice clean floor and if something spills, you can easily clean it up. This is especially true for those who have some kind of laminate or wooden floors that are easy to clean.

Your RV floors provide you with a more sanitized and safer place to walk without any worries.

6. It’s Like Being At Home

When you go camping in an RV versus a hotel, you have a feeling of being at home because you are driving your home around. When you do this, everything that you own is already situated in a space the way you like it and the way that you are most comfortable with.

The way you set it up is the way that works for you just as it is in a home. You can use your food out of your fridge and cook your meals on your stove.

You know where your pots and pans are, your silverware and dishes and there are no worries as to whether they are sanitized or not.

This experience allows you to travel and stay in other places and enjoy those benefits but have the comfort of your home right along with you.

You can’t get this by staying in a hotel room where you will feel out of sorts and as if you are in a temporary situation.

7. No Need To Pack A Suitcase

When you are staying at a place that is like home to you, there is no need to pack a suitcase. All of your clothes and belongings are going to be in closets, cabinets, drawers and other storage areas within an RV or camper.

This may not be the case for people who are sleeping in tents but even then, your belongings are probably going to remain in your car or your backpack that you were carrying.

There is no need to live out of a suitcase that gives another feeling of living temporarily. It’s more comforting knowing that your belongings are tucked away neatly in their respective place and you know where to find them at any given time.

Pulling your clothes out of a closet or drawer is a better experience than having to sort through a suitcase to pull out wrinkled clothes on your trip.

In an RV, your clothes can be folded and put away and a suitcase is not required.

8. You Can’t Build A Campfire In A Hotel Room

Have you ever tried to build a campfire in a hotel room? Well, I sure hope not!

You’ll certainly have no problem doing this if you choose camping over staying in a hotel room. A campfire is a great way to allow yourself to unwind and enjoy sitting by the fire.

Campfires are almost always allowed in campgrounds and are usually a welcomed event that people love to see.

There’s just something about sitting by a fire that people fall in love with. It makes for a nice, peaceful evening when you can stare into a fire as you reflect on the day or talk to friends, sing campfire songs, play games or do just whatever you want to do.

Family around campfire

You can roast marshmallows, makes s’mores or any other treat that you might be interested in cooking. It makes for a great way to add more interest to the day and do something out of the ordinary that you might not always do.

You certainly wouldn’t even come close to doing something like this by staying in a hotel room.

The best you could do at a hotel would be to watch a movie that included someone building and enjoying a campfire. Why do that when you can just build your own campfire while camping instead of staying in a hotel.

9. It’s Good For You

Spending our lives cooped up inside is not a healthy experience. Staying in a hotel just gives you another building to go into and turn on the TV, get out your laptop and veg out on technology.

Haven’t you had enough of this?

When camping, you get to experience fresh air and see new sights, hear new sounds and be immersed in the natural world.

Studies show that camping and being out in nature is good for you in many ways. It can have many benefits for mental health including lower stress levels and it also reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.

It can be great for children and can introduce them to a more active lifestyle and teach them to appreciate what nature has to offer.

10. Pets Are Welcomed

I don’t like to go anywhere without my dog. Traveling in my RV allows me to always include my best friend without having to wonder if a hotel is pet-friendly, which most are not.

The RV community is a dog-friendly community and many RVers travel with their pets. I love being able to camp in a spot and not have to worry about my dog. She is at home in my RV and she knows the space and is comfortable with living in it.

Her food and water bowls are set up to be used for her in a way that she is familiar with. It isn’t as stressful for her as it would be staying in a new place.

She has traveled in my camper van and knows that it is home. Since most RV parks are dog-friendly, it’s easy to take her on trips and then take her for walks around the campground or on hiking trails in the area.

11. Nature Provides Better Entertainment

If you are looking for an entertaining night, you can’t go wrong with a night under the stars. On a nice clear night, nature is on display at its finest. You won’t see a show like this back at the hotel.

When camping, you have the finest entertainment on the planet. The bright lights of the city may draw your attention occasionally but nature is always calling your name.

We were born wild but don’t live that way anymore. We are so used to our modern lives that we don’t stop to listen and enjoy what nature has to offer us as much as we should.

If you learn to slow down, listen and take notice of how amazing our natural world is, you may never want to go back to the city.

Tent camping with milky way galaxy

12. Peace And Quiet

Hotels are often loud and annoying with neighbors that won’t be quiet. Many of them have thin walls and you can hear your neighbors TV all night long.

Even worse, you may hear doors opening and closing all night long from people going in and out of their rooms. This happened to me the last time I stayed in a hotel. It seemed like my neighbor was having a party all night long.

I heard doors slamming and their loud TV most of the night and finally put my noise-canceling headphones on so I could sleep in quiet.

This doesn’t happen when camping unless you are in a bad campground were rude people may be doing much of the same. I’ve never had an issue when camping and my time outdoors has always provided me with the peaceful experience I was looking for.

Campgrounds are usually policed very well and have quiet hours that are enforced. The rules put in place make for a pleasant experience most of the time.

When I’m sleeping in my camper van, I am usually in a place where nature is the only sound I hear. I often stay in Harvest Hosts locations and these locations provide me with a noiseless experience and do wonders for allowing me to get a good night of sleep.

13. The Food Is Amazing

Have you ever eaten food cooked over a fresh campfire? Even those meals that are cooked in the wild on my camping stove are excellent!

Camping often has you working to get campsites set up and everything arranged to work for you. When mealtime rolls around, you are more hungry than you would be in other situations.

Cooking and eating can be one of the best experiences of camping. It truly makes you appreciate the food and what goes into having to cook it.

It also gives you an appreciation for what we have in our daily lives and how easy it is to create meals in our cushy homes.

There is something about outdoor cooking that makes it taste much better than it would any other place. You probably know the feeling from using a grill at your home.

The food coming off the grill is always more appetizing than it would be otherwise.

14. Family Time

Camping is a perfect way to get some quality family time. When camping, you don’t have near as many distractions and you can focus on the things that matter most.

Instead of scrolling through your social media feed, you can play games with the family or have a nice evening of chatting around the campfire.

Kids love the camping experience because it allows them to be kids without the distractions of the world getting in the way.

Camping teaches kids to value nature and enjoy what it has to offer. As a kid, I have fond memories of camping with my family.

Those were among the best times of my life and the times when I felt most connected to my family. It brought out the best in everyone and made for a wonderful experience.

15. Meet Other RVers Or Campers

The camping community is a pretty friendly group of people. When you are camping in RV Parks or other places, you may make a friend or two and enjoy the evening around good company.

This can make the experience fun and more memorable as you meet people out on the road who are interested in the same lifestyle that you are.

How many times have you met interesting people at hotels and enjoyed the evening talking with them? I can’t recall a time that I have ever done this. Most people close their doors and hide inside their hotel room and you never see them.

I have the pleasure of meeting interesting and friendly people nearly every time I am out on the road with my camper van.

16. Camping Gets You Active

Hiking in the mountains

When camping, you have many activities at your disposal. There are often hiking trails nearby and these trails make for a great way to get in some activity rather than sitting around.

People that have an active lifestyle appreciate camping because they know that there is always something to do.

If you are a dog owner, you can enjoy long walks with your pet. If you brought your bicycles, you may be able to go on long bike rides in the area.

Being active is important and our society doesn’t get enough of it. Our modern-day life has turned us into couch potatoes and made us more likely to sit around and consume entertainment.

Camping allows you to get out of the sedentary rut and get moving by giving you lots of fun and usually free activities to participate in.

If you were to stay in a hotel, you’d probably be doing the same things as you would if you had stayed at home. You would lock yourself in a room, connect to the wifi, browse the internet, watch TV and then go to bed.

17. It Can Be A Cozy, Romantic Experience

Imagine sleeping in a nice peaceful location with nothing but the view of the night sky up above. You look through the skylight of your RV only to see the stars and hear the sounds of nature through your open windows.

All of this while you are tucked in nicely to a comfy and cozy bed next to the one you love. You can’t beat an experience like this even with the most luxurious hotel stay, in my opinion.

I’m sure many campers would agree with me on this.

A nice, quiet evening with a romantic meal with your significant other can be extra special when camping. Nature has the power to make special moments just a little better.

If you have never tried, I suggest that you start planning a camping trip to see what the hype is all about. I’m convinced that you’ll be sold on the lifestyle and have less desire to stay in hotels going forward.


Staying the night in a hotel can be a convenient way to get a night of sleep but camping can do the same thing with the added benefits mentioned above. If you have never camped before, you are missing out on a wonderful experience.

Seasoned campers know the benefits of doing this and that’s what makes the lifestyle so popular.

Traveling in my camper van has allowed me to experience many quiet nights in amazing locations. I often miss being in my van if I am ever forced to settle for a hotel stay.

If you are considering both, I hope you’ll look at the benefits that camping can provide and choose to give it a try. Camping can be an amazing and fun experience for the whole family.

Dan Collins

I consider myself an outdoor enthusiast. I love to travel and go to places that most people don't get a chance to go. I want to see it all and live life to the fullest while I'm alive. My camper van is helping me to do just that. I write about my experiences to help inspire others to do the same.

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