When you go travelling, some of us might not consider booking into nudist resorts. But the nudist tourism industry is popular and booming. In fact, it’s estimated to become a billion dollar a year empire.
Such is it’s popularity, that many resorts have been set up to accommodate those who like to be at one with nature. Some beaches offer nudist sections, whilst others are dedicated to nude travellers. There are hotel resorts where nudism is allowed. Of course, it’s all optional, but many people flock to these places to confidently and proudly bare all.
CNN lists some of the most popular travel locations for nudists, including California and Australia. Of course, there are rules when going to nudist locations, such as no public sexual activity, and when in public places, such as restaurants, always sit on a towel or cover up.
Nudist travel is something I’ve thought of before, though never done. In my mind, I imagine how liberating it would be to shed every bit of clothing and let the sun tan my whole body. Yet I’m not sure I would have the confidence to do it! Knowing me, I would get to the beach and leave my trunks on, or at least keep a towel around those parts. The most I’ve ever done is get my bum out for a cheeky selfie, and that’s about it.
‘First time nudist experience do require some guts,’ Nick and Lins at Naked Wanderings tell me. ‘Nudism and body confidence are strongly connected. But most people see it in the wrong way. You don’t have to be confident to become a nudist, you become confident by spending time naked among others.’
Nick and Lins run a travel blog centred all around nudist travels, as well as tips and guides on what to do when travelling. Of course, they’re not boarding planes naked and walking around public areas naked. They’re visiting designated areas, as well as straying off the public path. ‘Always make sure that you’re actually at a nudist place before getting naked.’ They tell me is their top tip. And rightly so! I doubt walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame naked would go down well. Or…maybe it would! ‘It’s not that we get naked in the middle of a city or on non-nudist beaches.’
‘We like to discover new places and see how people are in different cultures.’ Nick and Lins explain. ‘Hostile reactions have been very rare. ‘It happened a couple of times that people turn around and walk the other way when they see that we are naked. And once we did get a complaint from a woman because we were naked on a non-official nude beaches. Then again, she was camping illegally so if the police would have shown up, she would have been in more trouble than we.’
It’s true that many people might hear about nudist travel and think it’s a dirty habit, or one that isn’t socially acceptable. Though of course, there wouldn’t be designated areas if it wasn’t socially acceptable. Mankind was born naked. It’s natural to like to be naked.
‘We’ve literally met thousands of other nudists around the world. And you probably too. It’s not written on someone’s face. According to statistics, about 5-10% of humanity enjoys social nudity now and then. Think about this the next time you’re in a full shopping centre or a huge concert.’
Whilst they have a site on their page that explains where nudist travel is allowed, they also talk about some of the best places they have been.’
Europe is still the “Mecca” of nudism and within Europe, France is head and shoulders the place with the most options. But there’s also lots of nudism to be found in other western European countries like Spain, Netherlands, Germany and Croatia. More recently also in Portugal and Italy.Also in the USA and Canada there are many naturist resorts and nude beaches. There are some in Mexico and Brazil and also in other South American countries nudism is on a rise.Australia and New Zealand have naturist places and so do South Africa and Thailand. Basically, there are many opportunities.’
For many travel bloggers, social media is a key tool in living off your content. Writing about travel, offering tips, and having a social media following can be very vital and important in earning a career to fund your travels, no matter what people might say about social media influencers. But how do nudist travellers manage to keep their content out there, when so many websites, including Instagram, are strict on nudity in their guidelines?
‘Social media has caused us many headaches, because of their vague anti-nudity policies. Especially Facebook and Instagram. Basically, you’re not allowed to show genitals, female nipples and closeups of butts. But there it starts… What’s a closeup? Since recently they also have a rule that they can still decide to remove your content even if it doesn’t show genitals, nipples or butts. So we never know whether a photo/video will be accepted or not and just hope that we can remain under the radar most of the time.The most annoying incident was when our 43K instagram account got banned. Just like that. Without any explanation and no way to receive a human answer.On Facebook we’ve become quite used to their “jail time”. But we hold on. Social media is an important way for us to spread the word to the world so we have to keep trying to make use of it.’
But it’s not just about getting nude and that’s it. Nudist travel is all about experiencing a location. When you go abroad, being able to sunbathe on a beach is part of the holiday experience. It just so happens that some people do it in skimpy bikini’s and others do it in nothing at all. ‘We love nudist traveling for several different reasons. It’s great to meet other people because the social boundary that comes with clothes is non-existent. Nude beaches are always at the most amazing locations and are rarely overcrowded. During the hot summer months there are no better clothes than no clothes at all and we’re saving a huge amount of money on laundry.’ Nick and Lins say.
And tips for those who are curious about nudist travel, like me?
‘Try different places: beaches, campings, hotels, there’s something for everyone. Don’t be afraid for the first step. Nudism is not like a tattoo on your face. If you don’t like it, just put your pants back on and off you go. But at least you’ve tried. And also important: Always make sure that you’re actually at a nudist place before getting naked.’
I’m going to California next year. Maybe Nick and Lins may have a tip on where to go for a bit of nude travel experience?