Camping on a budget can be difficult if you have a large family. Read below to find some great savings tips so that you can enjoy camping without spending a lot of money.
Family vacations can be so expensive. Between travel, hotels, food, attractions and entertainment, the money starts to add up and can easily cost a few thousand dollars. For some families the cost makes a family vacation seem unattainable, but if you love the outdoors, camping can be a fabulous and frugal alternative to a regular vacation. You can go camping on a budget and have fun without emptying your savings account.
Tips for Camping on a Budget:
- I hate going on a trip and realizing that I left something I really need at home. That means spending unnecessary money on a replacement. So, before I go camping I make 2 lists. The first is a camping checklist with everything that must be packed. The second is a meal planning list with every meal, snack and drink mapped out. These 2 lists ensure that nothing will be left behind. Everything we need is on these lists, from equipment to personal hygiene items to spices for cooking. Planning ahead and being organized is a guaranteed way to save a few dollars.
- Do your research. There are thousands of free and low cost campsites across the United States. You can either park an RV, or set up your tents. Many of these sites offer a building with toilets and showers, a fire pit, picnic area and even some fun events like movie nights and contests.
- If you have not been camping before and you need equipment, consider buying them used. This can save you hundreds of dollars. Search online at sites like Craigslist and Freecycle for tents, camping stoves, lanterns and other gear that you may need.
- Use things that you already have in the house. Old pots and pans, dishes, cups, silverware, spare blankets and pillows can all be used on your camping trip instead of going out and buying more just for that purpose.
- Eat inexpensive foods like hot dogs, vegetables, ground meat and canned goods that you can cook over a fire. Keep them in a cooler in a shaded area. Trail mix, jerky, and of course S’mores are great desserts and snacks. Fill gallon bottles with water from home instead of spending money on bottled water. Purchasing bottled water can be extremely expensive especially if you stay in a tourist area.
- Lots of campsites offer free wifi, but the whole point of camping is to enjoy the outdoors. Do not spend a lot of money on activities by the campgrounds. Bring balls, frisbees and any other equipment for your favorite outdoor games. Enjoy the fresh air and the quality time with your family without spending an extra penny.
- The first time you go camping will be the most expensive trip because of the equipment you buy. Once you own the gear you will have it for many years and each camping trip after that will be so much cheaper. Camping on a budget is a great alternative to a traditional, more expensive vacation and offers just as much family fun!
What tips do you have for camping on a budget, please share in the comments below.