With the cost of travel on the rise—both in terms of your paycheck and the toll it takes on the environment—adventurers are starting to turn toward unique vacation options as an alternative. Instead of booking a house at the beach or heading to a resort, try one of these unexpected vacay options.
- Rent an Airstream
If your main concern is that your vacation is Instagram-worthy, then you should definitely consider renting a vintage Airstream trailer. Companies like Living Airstream refurbish and rent out old-timey trailers that you can take out on the road, and they’re equipped with everything you need to enjoy the trip (including beds and a kitchen).
- Head to Ronks, Pennslyvania
If you prefer to stay put during vacation, check out the Red Caboose Motel in Ronks, tucked away in central Pennsylvania. You can’t get more eco-friendly than this because the entire hotel is recycled, made of caboose cars that have been revamped to make for a cozy spot to lay your head.
- Go Under the Sea
Anyone who’s craving some time in nature during their trip may want to book a room at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo. Even when you’re asleep, you’ll still be smack dab in the middle of a thriving natural habitat given that, as its name suggests, this hotel actually sits on the bottom of a lagoon. In fact, you have to be scuba-certified just to be a guest.
- Try a Teepee
Camping is always an eco-friendly option, but for those who aren’t keen on sleeping on there is another option: glam camping, AKA “glamping.” Glampsites offer quirky accommodations such as teepees, yurts and even tree houses, so the photo ops will be as endless as the opportunities to commune with nature.
- Travel via Dogsled
Dog lovers rejoice: you’ve finally found a vacation that’s all about four-legged friends. Alaska, Michigan and California all play host to travel companies that will pair you with a dog sledding team and equip you with campsite materials for multi-day trips. You’ll learn how to drive your own dogsled, first, of course.
- Let an Inuit Person Lead
Travel into the depths of the Canadian wilderness when you book a getaway with the Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station. A local tour guide will set you up in a warm Design Shelter or a simple tent, and then show you the lay of the land, including icebergs and mountains.
- Explore a Desert Island
If you’re craving a vacation where you can explore uncharted territory, a sleepover on a desert island might do the trick. Some contemporary tour companies have made a business of dropping off thrillseekers on uninhabited islands with everything they need to enjoy their stay—except for a slew of other tourists.
- Make the Trip Into a Mystery
If you’re cool with letting someone else plan your international vacation, then allow Magical Mystery Tours to take you on a wild ride. The biz does all the hard work for you, including researching and booking your stay, then sends you to an airport or train station with a sealed envelope including your itinerary. Where you go from there remains a mystery until you rip it open.
- Cruise on a Freighter
It may not be the type of lux, all-inclusive cruise that most folks choose, but cruising on a freighter ship is an economical way to see the world. They don’t have the buffet or the Wi-Fi, but they do stop at ports all across the globe and offer guests the opportunity to totally unplug. Check out a company like Maris to book your freighter cruise.
- Join a Horse Caravan
Even if it’s not your first time to Ireland, you’ve definitely never seen the countryside like this. Clissman Horse Caravans teaches guests how to yoke and ride a horse, and then outfits them with caravans to take out into the beautiful countryside.
Remember: Prevention is a good idea on a vacation, here are some easy to follow recommendations for any trip!
With unique ideas like these in mind, it’s easy to book a vacation that’s eco-friendly and off the beaten path. So instead of defaulting to your usual getaway, consider one of these for your next trip.
Emily is a sustainability and eco-friendly living blogger.