Back to Washington

A few years ago my boyfriend, Fred, and I spent about one week hiking, trail running, and eating our way around Washington state during a cross-country trip. Since then, we’ve been itching to get back. The mountains are mystical, and the food delectable.

Last week we finally returned. The focus of this trip was the South Coast Wilderness Trail and the Hoh Rainforest. Our flight was scheduled to arrive at 10pm, so being the young, painfully thrifty couple that we are, we opted for a dirt cheap Airbnb a quick Uber away from the airport for our first night. As soon as we opened the door, I was struck by the strange smell, stuffy air, and lack of windows. Bummer. I guess you can’t expect much more for $20 a night. Luckily, exhaustion was our friend, and we were able to quickly fall asleep and embark on our real adventure the following morning.

The Second Night

On the second night of our trip, I wiggled into my plush sleeping bag, took in a sky full of stars, listened to crashing waves, breathed in the salty ocean air, and couldn’t help but think, “This is SO much better!” So naturally, I got thinking about 100 ways my tent beats that Airbnb, and I culled that list down to my top six.

1. Money

‘Nuf said.

2. No commitment itinerary

We’ve all been there before…you write out a bold itinerary weeks before your trip, and then you find yourself behind schedule, miles away from your next checkpoint. While those of us who’ve booked a room may be openly weeping over wasted money, or perhaps yelling at our travel companions to walk faster, those of us with a tent in tow are able to laugh at our absurd itinerary timeline and pitch our “room” anywhere.

3. The view

I have yet to find an Airbnb with a transparent roof. Who doesn’t want to wake up to a sky of stars for their midnight bathroom break? And is a pink sunrise not the gentlest awakening one can ask for?

4. Cleanliness

If there’s a stain on your bedding, you know why. When you peel back the covers and go, “uhhhh”, it’s quickly followed by “oh yeah, I was wrapped up in my sleeping bag when we were making s’mores”.

5. No rules

There are no keys to lose, and no house rules to follow. If setting off fireworks is part of your bedtime ritual, you may even be able to…depending on the state.

6. The chance to be close

When else are all your loved ones in one 6×3 foot space? Even Fido is forced to cuddle. Embrace it!

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