How to Save Money on Vacation With a Family Camping Trip

How to Save Money on Vacation With a Family Camping Trip
If you're looking to save some money on the family vacation, go camping. A camping vacation is as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. Not only will you be saving a few bucks by camping, but it will also be a memorable adventure for the entire family. Your biggest expense will be your camping gear, if you don't already own some or know someone who'll lend you theirs. Remember, most tents are cheaper than a one-night stay in a motel room, and they're reusable.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Camping gear
Step 1
Save money camping just by the nightly fee alone. Average campsite fees within most state and federal parks range anywhere from $12 to $25 per night. When you compare this to the average nightly rate for a decent motel room, you're saving quite a bit of money. In the average park, you can stay three to four nights for what it would cost to rent a motel room for one night.
Step 2
Choose a park that offers recreational activities. Most parks offer a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming, fishing and boating. Some parks have museums, educational centers and playgrounds located within them that are free to campers. Rental fees for equipment are usually inexpensive compared to outside outfitters. The more activities the park offers, the less money you will spend on entertaining the troops.
Step 3
Select a campground that is close to home but still offers scenery that's different. This way, you'll be saving money on gas but will still feel like you're experiencing something new and different. Consider if there are other parks or historical sites close to your park. Entrance fees will be inexpensive, you won't have to drive far from base camp and everyone will get to spend some time exploring even more new places.
Step 4
Cook your food instead of eating out at restaurants. Plan a menu and shop as you would in a normal week at home. Camping doesn't have to limit what food you can eat. With a camp stove and grill, you can still cook just about anything you normally would at home. You'll save big by not eating out. Bring a picnic lunch when you visit other places.
Step 5
Bring the dog with you so you won't have to pay pet sitter or kennel fees. Quite a few parks now allow pets to stay in the campgrounds, providing they obey the rules. You'll have to consider the dog when packing, but you'll save money by not paying a dog sitter.
Step 6
Purchase the basic gear you'll need and utilize what you already have at home. Camping gear is a long-term investment that can be used for years. Money spent on a motel room is gone once the vacation is over, whereas a tent can be reused over and over. To start out, purchase necessities such as a tent, tarp, lantern and camping stove. Air mattresses offer the most comfortable sleeping surface and are also relatively inexpensive. Add the extras to your gear collection little by little to save some cash. You won't need to buy sleeping bags if you have blankets and other bedding at home.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure to plan for weather changes when packing your gear. The woods can be cold at night.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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