Save Money on Your Summer Vacation By Camping

Boy Scouts CampingEvery year, thousands of Americans pile into station wagons and mini vans and hit the road for annual summer vacations. Destinations vary from the beach to Disney World, but there’s one constant: vacations cost plenty of cash.

Are you looking for an easy way to make your summer vacation a bit cheaper? If so, consider planning a summer camping vacation or integrating camping into your vacation plans.

Planning  a Good Camping Vacation

When it comes to camping, there’s no universal method or plan.  The first thing to consider when planning one is the camping skill level of your party. If you’re camping with children, you’ll likely want to find a campground where you can camp next to bathrooms and other facilities.  If you need help finding the nearest campground to you, check out, which has indexed over 5,000 campgrounds.

If you’re a bit more daring, you could consider backpacking deeper into the woods.  If you take this route, make sure you bring plenty of water, adequate food supplies and a top-quality tent.

Booking Accommodations

Today, almost all campgrounds take reservations online.  Search for the state or national park you’re looking for and then consider what sort of accommodations you need and what you’re willing to pay.  Primitive camp sites, which are generally nothing more than a fire pit, will run you around 10 bucks  More modern sites, with grills and access to bathrooms and other facilities, usually cost between $15-20.  Both require that you bring your own camping tent, but if you’re camping with a big family or looking for something a bit more romantic, consider renting a cabin or a bungalow.

Cabins and bungalows come in a variety of forms with features ranging from nothing more than a few bunk beds to luxurious bungalows with full kitchens, couches and even T.V.  Depending on quality, a cabin or bungalow will range in cost from between $50 and $100 per night.

Getting There

While some campgrounds are easy to find, other more secluded spots can be a bit tricky.  Make sure you print out directions online or have a suitable map before taking off on your trip.  There’s nothing worse than not being able to find your camp site.

Camping on the Way to a Destination

If you have a summer vacation destination already in mind–besides a campsite–considering camping in order to save money that you would usually blow on hotels.  With the number of campsites across the country, it’s possible to plan your nightly stops near a national or state park.

Camping will not only provide you with cheap accommodations, but also with a respite from the hustle and bustle of the interstate.

The Bottom Line

Summer vacations should be about having fun with your family, not waiting in hour-long lines for Space Mountain or cramming three people into a twin bed at the Red Roof Inn.

If you’re looking to mix things up this summer, consider giving camping a whirl.

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  1. Matthew
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I agree. Camping doesn’t need to be expensive if you know what you’re doing…

  2. Stanley Kowalik
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I agree that camping does not have to be expensive. First of all there are many places to find good used camping gear if money is a problem. E-Bay would be a good place to look. I would also suggest looking around you home. Everyone (unless you just got married) has old dishes, silverware, pots and pans and bedding. Use what you have and buy only what is necessary at first. If you find that you really love camping, you can expand your camping equipment inventory. Having camped in the Adirondack and Catskill mountains for many years I know how much fun it can be. There are many inexpensive State campgrounds in every state. It certainly is worth your time to explore them. I would highly recommend a visit to the Adirondack museum in Long Lake NY. Well worth the trip and kids will love it.
    Taking kids camping is a great adventure that introduces them to something greater than computers, I-Pods and Texting. PS: Leave those things at home. Enjoy

  3. Posted March 4, 2012 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Family camping is becoming a hobby for our family. My children and I prefer to get to those out of the way places, My wife on the otherhand is more accustomed to modern comforts. I agree it is definitely important to adjust your style to the degree of expierence of your group. Camping is also a great opportunity for small groups to build a stronger bond with each other. I’ve heard of some large companies sending thier top level management teams off on a camping adventure to strengthen the team. It is amazing what can come out of a good camping trip. I also feel campfire cooking brings out some flavors in the food you may not have experienced before. Remember to stay safe and take the appropiate gear for your surroundings. and always have plenty of water on hand. we don’t want to burn up God’s beautiful canvas.

  4. Posted May 14, 2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I agree. Basic assessment of the group your camping should be the definitive decision on where you decide to camp. As you mention, if you are camping with kids, you will want somewhere which is close to facilities such as toilets, showers etc. A good camping trip starts with good planning.