Going on a family vacation once a year is something every family should consider. Spending time together without the distractions of everyday life can be a wonderful bonding experience and it is an experience your children will remember for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, vacations can become very expensive but there is an affordable option – camping. Keep reading to learn some simple tips for planning a fun and affordable family camping trip.
Tips to Make Camping Trips Affordable
When you have a family, nothing is cheap. This is especially true for vacations when you factor in everything from transportation and lodging to food and entertainment. With proper planning and a little creativity, however, you can make a family camping trip highly affordable – here are some simple tips:
- Buy used camping equipment. The most expensive part of your camping trip is going to be the equipment but you can save money by buying used equipment or, better yet, borrowing from a friend.
- Stay close to home. You don’t necessary have to travel across the country just to “get away” – there might be a beautiful park within a few hours’ drive that will save you on gas.
- Choose your campground wisely. If you choose to stay in a campground instead of just setting up shop out in the wilderness, you can save money by finding a campground that doesn’t offer running water or electricity. You don’t need it anyway!
- Stock your camping box. If you know that you are going on a camping trip during the summer or fall, start stocking up on supplies as they go on sale earlier in the year. Focus on items you’ll be able to use all season like batteries, canned goods, and rope.
- Repurpose household items. As you plan your camping trip, don’t be afraid to get creative with some items from home. Use a yoga mat as a sleeping pad and bring out those old pots and pans you haven’t used in ages.
- Take in the great outdoors. When you go on a camping trip, be sure to take advantage of all the free recreational activities instead – things like fishing, hiking, canoeing, and more.
- Make your food ahead of time. Your cooking options are going to be very limited at a campsite so consider making your meals ahead of time and then just reheat them over the fire. You can also save money by bringing a large cooler of water instead of buying soda.
- Plan around peak times. There are certain times of year when travel and lodging is more expensive – holidays like the 4th of July and Labor Day. Try to plan your trip for the off season, if you can, to save some money.
The beauty of going on a camping trip is that you aren’t limited in your choice of destinations – as long as there is space for a tent, you can go there! Though camping does come with some challenges, it is a unique experience that your children will remember for years to come. Who knows, they may even take their own kids on a family camping trip one day!