Camping is a great family and budget friendly activity for travelers all over the world. At some point, most people have had some camping experience, be it without a defined plan, or a planned camping trip with every detail mapped out ahead of time.
Traveling of any kind comes with obstacles, and one of the biggest fun-killer obstacle of all is budget. Traveling itself can be quite expensive, so family camping trips can be a fun budget-friendly option.
In this article, we suggest several ways to help make your next camping trip more budget-friendly and fun!
Look for Cheaper Campsites
Campsite prices differ according to demand, location, and facilities, but as long as you get the essentials, you should have a fun and safe camping experience.
There are many resources to locate less costly campgrounds and the frugal camper would be wise to try to locate cheap or even free sites.
The best one-stop-shop site I have found for locating all 13,000 vehicle accessible US and Canada public campgrounds, with accurate GPS coordinates, campground amenities, phone numbers and web links for both the campground itself and its reservation system is USCAmpgrounds.info.
USCAmpgrounds is a super comprehensive site that includes all National Park, National Forest, State Park, and Provincial campgrounds, all BLM, TVA, and Army engineers and military-only campgrounds. Most regional, county, city and utility-owned campgrounds are also included.
For the ultimate Grand Canyon camping experience, learn how to secure reservations for camping at Havasu Falls!
Rent Camping Gear
If you are thinking of buying everything needed before you go on the trip, you may need to rethink that option as buying everything at once may be cost prohibitive.
Camping equipment, such as a high-quality tent, can be very expensive and shopping for one can be confusing when comparing all the features. So, instead of buying, you can always borrow, or better yet, rent the camping equipment.
Cook Your Food
There are some options for you to carry pre-prepared food items. They are quite handy when camping because the food will be ready to be eaten, saving you time and energy. The downside is that they can be quite expensive and not necessarily very tasty. Here are the typical camping food options:
Dry foods (pasta, noodles, instant rice, soup mixes, drink mixes) are light and offer you some decent taste alternatives.
Freeze-dried/dehydrated foods are super convenient. While relatively pricey, they deliver above-average taste and sustenance.
Canned foods have a place if the trip is short and your hunger for familiar food is high (some typically canned foods also come in vacuum-sealed pouches). Tuna or other canned meat products can be a nice toss-in item for a pot of rice, for instance.
Carry Re-usable Goods
This is an option that will not only save your money but will also help you be a good steward to the world we live in. Instead of buying water bottles and carrying one-time usage plates and cups, just carry re-usable water bottles and other essentials.
If you use a real plate, it will just take a few seconds to wash off after you are finished. The same goes for water bottles, just refill the bottle and you are done. This way, a lot of money can be saved as you will not have to buy things again and again.
Free Camping Activities
During typical camping trips, there are some activities that are expensive and will eat up most of your budget. So instead, look around and find other kid- and family-friendly camping activities that will be just as pleasant but cost less such as hiking, swimming, or enjoying a sing-a-long while roasting marshmallows around the campfire.
They say the best things in life are free, and when it comes to the thousands of camp spots across the US and Canada that don’t charge a dime for camping, who is to argue? Check out Campendium’s definitive guide to free camping: what it is, how to find it, and what you’ll need to bring.
Plan for Plan B
You never know what might come your way when you are camping. That’s why it is always best to be prepared. First aid kits and essential medicines are very important to take with you because if anything unexpected happens, you don’t want to have to buy them as you go.
The last tip that will save you some bucks is to have a plan before embarking on your camping trip. Start with researching campsites and look for discounts, then plan simple meals ahead of time and bring the necessary ingredients from home. A well thought out plan will help you save money and this way, you may even have a few extra dollars to spend on your way back home.
So, for your next camping experience, follow these few simple steps to save money so you can make another trip happen as soon as possible.
Do you love camping as much as I do? Do you have other cost-saving tips that you want to share? Let us know in a comment below.
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