So you’ve decided that traveling to clothing optional resorts this summer is a much better idea than standing in a four hour line for a three-minute ride at Disney World. Good choice! Based on research I’ve completely imagined, vacationing at nudist resorts, or “nakations,” are all the rage these days. And even though Donald Duck doesn’t wear pants, slumping around the Happiest Place on Earth doesn’t qualify as a nakation.
When it comes to nudist resorts in the U.S., you have three choices on how you can visit them:
1) By the day. You can get a day pass to check it out, hang out by the pool, make new friends, then head home or to your off-site hotel or campground. It’s a good way to see if this whole clothes-free vacationing is for you. On the other hand, I guarantee you’re going to be bummed when you have to put your clothes back on at the end of the day.
2) Rent a room at the resort. Many U.S. nudist resorts offer overnight accommodations ranging from rustic cabins to upscale rooms. They can have kitchenettes so you can cook your own meals, or the club might have a restaurant.
3) Go camping in a tent or recreational vehicle. Camping and nudists go hand-in-hand and most resorts we’ve visited offer places for RVs and tents. Each resort is different and may offer RV sites with full hookups (electric, water and sewer), partial hookups (electric and water and a dump station for emptying waste tanks) or dry camping (bring your own water, generate your own electricity).
Since we live and travel in a 34-foot motorhome, this is our preferred way of visiting clothing optional resorts and what we’ll focus on in this article.
Choose Your Clothing Optional Destination.
Planning where to go is the fun part! To start, put a map of the U.S. on the wall, close your eyes and throw a dart at it. The country is pretty big so chances are the dart struck nowhere near a nudist resort and now you have hole in your map.
It might be a better idea to go online, starting with the clothing optional resorts section of Review Resorts.
Look for a resort close to you, or piece together a state-hopping road trip that links up several resorts. If you’re traveling in Florida, you could even hit several resorts and Disney World. Now wouldn’t that be fun! Like all vacations, you’re only limited by time and money. In the case of Disney World, lots of money.
You can also check out the AANR Club Locator on the American Association of Nude Recreation’s website. Or, do a Google search for “nudist resorts” in whatever state you’re visiting.
You’ll want to check with the resorts you’re planning to visit to make sure that they allow camping in a tent or RV. This information isn’t always clear on the resort’s website, so you may have to call. Make sure to ask any questions now so you’re not surprised when you arrive. For example, some resorts allow you to bring your dog when you camp in an RV, but not in a tent.
Our motorhome is pretty big, so we always want to make sure they can accommodate us. We also want to know if there are any special directions we need to maneuver our RV in their resort. Many U.S. nudist resorts are located out in the boonies, down narrow country roads which can be tricky in a large RV.
Tent or Recreational Vehicle?
If you’re already an experienced tent camper or RVer, you could probably skip this section, though I wouldn’t advise it because you may miss an important fact that will be on the test. OK, there is no test, but stick around anyway.
If you want to tent camp, one of the most important things you’ll need is — surprise — a tent. If you don’t do this often, you can pick up one of those cheap jobs online or at Walmart. Spend a little more if you want something that will last a few seasons. Since you’re not backpacking, and are hopefully hauling all of this in your car, you don’t need to worry about weight. You could get one of those big, roomy tents that allow you to stand up when it’s time to get dressed.
Also, it’s worth investing in an air mattress or cot. You can bring blankets instead of a sleeping bag. If you plan on cooking, you’ll need a camp stove and a cooler.
If you want to camp in an RV, you’ll need — hold on to your seats — an RV. Now many people, us included, don’t consider RVing as “camping” but it doesn’t really matter. You’re out of the house and living the dream and that’s what matters. To get an RV you’ll have to either buy one or rent one. (Some people have opted to steal one, but the legal and moral implications of that are beyond the scope of this article).
Renting is an option if you want to try out RVing to see if you like it. It can be expensive. Companies like Cruise America, El Monte and RVshare rent RVs. Like I said, renting can be expensive. If you’re serious about being a road warrior, with your own comfy bed and 700 thread-count sheets, you might want to think about buying an RV. They come in all shapes and sizes from motorhomes like ours, to trailers and pop-ups.
Buying used is the best way to go because once you’ve spent a bit of time in one, you’ll better understand what you want and can upgrade from there. Our first RV was a former rental from Cruise America that had been refurbished. We purchased it for about $18,000 and used it for over three years before selling it and buying our larger motorhome. When you consider that renting the same motorhome can cost $1,500 or more per week, you can see why buying is a good option.
Don’t Forget the Essentials
Even though you’re camping naked, you still need to bring some essentials. You’ll need something to sit on when you’re lounging by the pool, hanging out in camp or visiting your new friends. Most people use a towel, but you could use a wrap or sarong. It’s not appropriate, as a substitute, to sit on your neighbor’s lap. Or their dog.
You’ll also want sunscreen, unless your goal is to return home as a raisin. And finally, bring along any comforts that you desire such as beverages, food, water and other beverages, coolers, reading material and more beverages. Now get to it and start planning your camping Nakation.