Staying in upcycled accommodations is one of the most creative — and lesser known — ways to reduce your carbon footprint when traveling. These accommodations are a fun solution for an existing, possibly unused, and/or forgotten structure; and a second chance at making something remarkable again.
Eco-conscious travelers will be delighted to stay in a refurbished airplane, caboose, grain silo, shipping container, concrete pipe, and more!
Here are 21+ of the best, most unique accommodations from around the world that you can stay in while traveling — all while knowing you’re doing your part to take care of the Earth. (Georgia’s got one!)
This unique rental is located on a farm in northeastern Vermilion County, Illinois. The getaway used to be a storage container for grain in the 1950s and was refurbished to be a guest retreat. The farm it sits on is still in business and they grow soybeans, corn, and wheat.
Round Top, Texas
Set in Texas’ countryside, this rental is designed for maximum utility and minimum carbon footprint. The uniquely designed interiors of these funky shipping containers are cladded with reclaimed lumber from a distillery in Kentucky; the windows were salvaged from a school in Philadelphia; the kitchen cabinet bases come from a laboratory in Brooklyn, and the countertops we used old bowling alley floors from Texas. This destination is perfect for those wanting to disconnect from it all and get back to nature and a simpler way of life.
This site offers a refurbished vintage 1965 Boeing 727 airframe, which in its prior life shuttled globetrotters on South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines (Colombia). This fully outfitted, meticulously detailed, two bedroom, Boeing 727 fuselage suite jets out from the jungle canopy, affording you views that will make you feel like you’re flying.
near Silverton, Oregon
The cedar greenhouse itself is beautifully constructed with a cozy feel, using minimal wood and lots of glass windows so that natural sunlight can seep into the accommodation at any time of day. The back patio looks out onto green foliage, providing a serene ambiance for drinking a glass of wine, reading a book or enjoying a blazing campfire as guests relax after the exhausting, action-packed day they have just had.
This up-cycled city bus accommodation was inspired by recycling and nature and it offers glampers the chance to feel at one with Iceland’s stunning wilderness. The bus is made up of five units with three units sleeping a total of 12 guests and two units sleeping eight. This unique property is located on a farm and situated by the magical Esjan mountain in Iceland. Surrounded by peace and tranquillity, this property offers glampers a calming natural oasis. Despite its secluded location, the property is just 25 minutes from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik and it is easily accessible from Reykjavik Airport.
near Giants Ridge, Minnesota
This renovated historic barn rental is located in the city of Biwabik near Duluth and Giants Ridge, Minnesota, and is ideal for families or a group of friends looking to explore the outdoors of Saint Louis County with a unique vacation. It can accommodate up to six guests with its two bedrooms. The barn home rental comes with free Wi-Fi service and free parking for cars, RVs, and trailers. It also features heating and air conditioning, a wooden stove, and a fire pit for guests to enjoy campfires under the clear Minnesota skies.
near Mexico City
This glamping site offers unique, comfortable and affordable accommodations, just a few minutes away from the center of Tepoztlan, about 45 minutes south of Mexico City on the other side of the mountain range. Guests rave about the infinity pool, comfortable beds and speedy wifi.
This two story restored rice warehouse placed on a hill with an amazing view of rice paddies, one of Bali’s most famous natural landscapes. It is close to the hippie city of Ubud, a retreat for juicers, yogis and massage lovers.
near Bogata, Colombia
Those yearning to get away from it all and to get reacquainted with nature should look no further than this incredible rental located in Guatavita, Colombia. Where architecture meets engineering, one can find this fun shipping container. It sits just beyond the idyllic Tominé Reservoir, and guests will enjoy sweeping views of the peaceful rolling countryside and majestic mountains looming in the distance at every turn.
These eco cabins are re-appropriated pods hidden in the Chattahoochee Forest of north Georgia. Each cabin allows guests to be in close contact with nature and the great outdoors, without losing an element of luxury and comfort. Simply, yet tastefully, decorated inside, there are large windows which brightly illuminate the interior. With just the perfect amount of space for two guests, there is one double bed and a private bathroom.
This campervan was built in 1972 for the Cold War and has been converted into a vacation rental in Penzance, England. The exterior of the van is painted in a camouflage fashion, giving it a truly authentic feel. Inside, guests will find comfort in the sleek modern design and decor. It can accommodate up to four guests comfortably. There is a full-size bed as well as full-size bunk beds. The bathroom facilities include an eco toilet and a shower in a converted horsebox trailer, both located only a few steps from the van.
Born from a surplus of used ocean-going shipping containers, this creative accommodation is the perfect place for guests to have a truly unique camping experience. Made-up of three up-cycled shipping containers, and surrounded by local wildlife, edible gardens, and designed landscape elements. It overlooks the beautiful Loxahatchee River and is across from a fantastic 1,000-acre park. Guests staying here will receive a complimentary, two-hour, guided kayak tour.
near Lourinhã, Portugal
Upcycled and very eco-friendly, this accommodation’s electricity is generated through solar and wind power, and it is stored in 12-volt batteries. Water is collected in storage containers for later use during the rainy season in the winter.
These luxurious tree houses have been framed into the beautiful landscape of Portugal in order to minimize their impact on the environment. The bungalows guarantee direct contact with nature but also offer comfortable conditions both inside the bungalow and on the suspended balcony. This glamping site was founded in 1998 and is located at the peninsula of the Lima and Tamente rivers, inside of the Peneda-Gerês National Park in a place called Entre Ambos-os-Rios, in northern Portugal.
This unique converted silo rental is located just outside the small city of Maryville, Tennessee, about half an hour north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tucked away on a peaceful family-owned farm, the silo features a tranquil setting and sits next to a hundred-year-old barn.
A one of a kind romantic watchtower made of stone walls from the 15th century. The watchtower dons a coned roof and is positioned between the manor and the barn. Its round stone walls are filled with over a thousand interior niches. From the den to the bedroom, certain niches penetrate completely through the walls offering views of the fields. These niches also allow rays of light to move and drift through the space.
Madeira Island, Portugal
This charming cottage is made from recycled materials. Guests can find wine bottles and glass molded into the walls, allowing for plenty of natural light to sift through. All furniture and decor has been salvaged from local vintage shops.
near Shoshone, California
This one-of-a-kind getaway has been constructed from two repurposed boats, making it both artistic and eco-friendly. The interior is adorned with a charmingly eclectic mix of furniture, as well as an abundance of artwork created by David Aaron Smith. Tucked away in the scenic Mojave Desert, this incredible town in Inyo County is the perfect destination for guests looking to escape the hustle and bustle of busy city life.
near West Jefferson, North Carolina
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains near West Jefferson, North Carolina, lies this roomy creative use of space. Tucked into a building that used to be a barn, with the entire building being repurposed into a combination of lodging spaces and guest check-in/farm store space. The host will also provide everything needed to make s’mores, such as toasting sticks, marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, that guests can take to one of the fire pits for a small extra fee.
Dreaming away in the mountain ambiance of Cambodia in this modern luxury cabin is something every glamper should experience. These glamping accommodations are located right in the middle of the stunning Kirirom National Park. Surrounded by tall pine trees and nestled into the charming mountainside, this area is in the center of all things peaceful and tranquil. Glampers will love that not only will they receive delicious meals onsite, but can learn how to make them to in the Khmer, bread teaching, and towel arts classes.
near Oneida Lake, New York
This converted school bus, set in woodland just 30 minutes from Oneida Lake, New York, offers glampers a truly rustic experience. The rental can sleep up to four guests, with a double bed, as well as a sofa bed, making it ideal for a small family or group of friends to enjoy a woodland getaway in a stunning part of the world. The rental has its own half bathroom, and there is a full shared bathroom nearby with a shower.
Klamath National Forest, California
Guests can reconnect with nature with a stay in this unique school bus rental for the ultimate school bus camping vacation in Klamath National Forest, California. Camping rentals like this don’t come around often. The yellow bus sits in a secluded spot amid trees and provides guests with all the basics they will need during Klamath camping trips. In the back of the bus, there is a room with two twin beds with comfortable bedding and soft linens.
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