NUDIST RESORTS, UNCOVERED

Looking for a new way to travel? What about doing it in your birthday suit? We explore the rising trend of nude vacations, and where to go if you fancy taking your kit off

Amid eco-tourism, wellness escapes and solo vacations, another travel trend that’s on the rise is the nude resort. Distinguished from naturism, which is a cultural and often political movement, naked holidays fall more into the category of indulgence. In a climate of constant surveillance and less-nuanced social commentary, the freedom to bare it all beneath the radar is a luxury of the flesh, as much as it is a lifestyle.

As experiential travel becomes more sought-after, you can see how nude vacations are becoming more popular. They certainly are an experience. But, interestingly, while it’s the novelty of nudity that draws in crowds, it’s the inevitable emotional experience that keeps them coming back. That’s what’s most often written about across top travel blogs, anyway.

Nude travel expert, Jim Bailey, of Castaways.com, attributes growing interest to age and the internet. “The internet allows the traveler to research the experience most suited to him or her,” he explains. As for age, Bailey says travelers to these kinds of resorts are more youthful, “especially as the younger set seem to show fewer inhibitions”.

In his article for Allure’s New Naked issue, Brennan Kilbane describes his experience at Esalen Institute, a California-based retreat. “The wind on your bare thighs feels sensational already, but under the painted cliffs of Big Sur, beneath a night sky drawn in sprawls of entire galaxies, it feels sublime.” The fact that the late American writer and political activist Susan Sontag endorsed this by-reservation-only retreat is proof enough that baring it all is not only a human right, but also perhaps even a social statement.

If you think about it, nude vacations also solve some of travel’s biggest headaches. With fewer clothes to pack, the traveler can avoid those pesky excess baggage charges. There would be no drippy swimsuits hanging over the towel rack, no strange air bubbles that turn swim trunks into dirigibles, and no need to stress about the size and designer status of that swimsuit you’re buying.

There is one drawback, however: you will need to stock up on extra sunscreen.

So, for some further inspiration, here are three more nude and clothing-optional destinations I would recommend:

Desire Riviera Maya Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico
For couples looking to turn up the temperature, as well as mix up their partners, Desire Riviera Maya Resort is a great choice. The resort offers “provocative theme nights,” a playroom, Jacuzzi lounge, and a fantasy menu that includes more than just food. “Sex of the Beach”, “The Gazebo of Passion”, a couples’ massage or a dinner-and-sex combo are all menu items designed to satisfy any hunger.

Cypress Cove Nudist Resort, Kissimmee, Florida, United States
Some resorts tend to attract groups among a particular age and lifestyle group, while others seem to market to more a wider cross section of daring travelers. At Cypress Cove Nudist Resort, expect to see all shapes and sizes, and all levels of nudist experience. It also offers sporting activities, a game room, gift shop, the Figleaf Boutique and Scuttlebutts Bar. The resort is so comfortable in its own skin that it also, surprisingly, allows access to children.

Noosa Edge Paradise, Queensland, Australia  
This 10,000-square-metre Australian naturist retreat falls into a more specialist category, as among the spa bath, rock cave, yoga deck and relaxation zones, there are also “play areas” and a specially designed BDSM room. That doesn’t mean you have to partake. One can spend their entire vacation at Noosa Edge and emerge without a bruise, but many who do venture here leave with a little black-and-blue souvenir, to remind them of their erotic adventures. Those who come here with a penchant for submissiveness will soon learn their place.

Travelers eager to shed their inhibitions along with their clothes will find no shortage of all-nude and clothing-optional vacation choices. But, as with any destination choice, one size does not fit all. So don’t forget to do your research first.

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