Have you ever wondered how the Dutch spend their vacation? Although many Dutch tourists travel all over the world, there are definitely some destinations that are not well-known by the general traveler public. In the “How the Dutch Travel” series, we will guide you to the best hidden gems of the country. Today, it’s camping in Holland!
Every year, 5 million Dutch citizens are travelling. Almost half of them go on holiday in the Netherlands, rather than travelling abroad. The majority of them choose to go camping in Holland, rather than staying in a bungalow, B&B or hotel. Although, admittedly, the Dutch weather can not compete with southern European sun, there are good reasons why campings in Holland are a great option for your travel experience!
4 Reasons Why You Should Visit a Camping Site in Holland
1. Learn from the Best
The Dutch have been camping for quite a while now, for at least three generations. Although, admittedly, the Dutch weather can not compete with southern European sun, there are good reasons why the Dutch do not venture out to warmer countries. As you might know, the Dutch are known to be efficient, which reflects in their camping sites. A camping site is not merely a patch of grass to put your tent on. Not in Holland, at least! Roads are easily accessible, maps are accurate and public facilities are well maintained and conveniently located for all visitors. Many camping sites also offer fun activities for children, or fun times for all of the family! If you go camping on a Dutch camping site and you realize you have forgotten to bring something, there probably will be a Dutch neighbor who has brought everything in threefold!
2. Specialized camping sites
When you think of camping sites, you might think of large patches of grass where you can set up your tent. However, more and more camping sites are becoming more specialized, especially in Holland. There are camping sites where you live as a temporary community and (re-)build trailers together, or ones where you can rent cute barrel shaped huts. Some sites are specialized in inviting the smallest visitors, with many playgrounds, programmes and other activities for children. Whereas others are child-free for those travelers who like the peace and quiet. Some sites are very basic, so you can feel connected to your surroundings. But others have so many luxurious and convenient services that you feel as if you were home! This is what we call glamping: glamorous camping.
3. Typical Dutch Ways of Camping
Festivals and camping go hand in hand. Dutch festival Pinkpop is the oldest annual pop music festival in the world. With around 68.000 visitors on a daily basis, you can imagine how crowded the designated camping areas must be! Thankfully, you can also choose a camping site near the festival’s town.
If you are not the festival person, this style might suit you better: camping at the farmer’s!
These places are smaller, rural and family friendly. The farmers still works on the land and the kids can help them out! They can ride the tractor with the farmer, feed the animals or simply play on the grounds, while the parents can enjoy their peace and quiet.
4. Sustainable and eco-friendly
We are becoming more aware of how traveling around increases the global carbon footprint. People start to feel ashamed for choosing to fly for shorter distance travels. Although camping sites are a better option for the environment than to fly around every European country in one holiday, camping sites also create quite some waste.
Therefore, more and more Dutch camping sites are focusing on creating a sustainable and eco friendly place. You can think of outdoor pools that are warmed by solar energy, or camping restaurants offering organic products. Some sites even have their own gardening patch, where you can harvest herbs and some veggies for your own meals. So if you would like to have a nice holiday without hopping on a plane to every other country, why not go camping in Holland and take day trips throughout the country by train?
If you would like to read more about camping in Holland, the ANWB has done extensive research on trends, statistics and more (in Dutch). What we have used in our blog is only a tidbit of all the information they have collected! Feel free to comment below if you would ever consider going camping in Holland, and why (not). Which reasons motivate you the most? We would love to hear from you!