Frugal Camping Fun
When it comes to frugal vacation ideas, camping is hard to beat. Roughing it is much cheaper than traveling to a destination and shelling out for activities and accommodations. It’s a great way to spend real quality time with the family.
There are some expenses associated with camping. In fact, if you’re not careful, you can end up spending much more than you bargained for. Here are some tips to help keep camping expenses to a minimum.
* Invest in a good tent. You can find cheap tents with ease, but you get what you pay for. Spending the money to get a quality tent that’s big enough for your needs is wise. As long as you take good care of it you won’t have to replace it as soon, so you’ll be much better off in the long run.
* Seek out free camping spots. If you have friends or family members who are landowners, you might be able to talk them into letting you camp out on their property instead of renting space at a campground.
* Bring along plenty of food. You can eat very inexpensively when you go camping, but only if you avoid making runs for fast food and takeout.
* Be sure to store your food properly. A large, well insulated cooler is a must for keeping perishable food and drinks cold. Other food should be kept where animals can’t get to it. Large plastic tubs with snug-fitting lids are great for this purpose.
* Be realistic about what you will eat. If you’re going on a week-long camping trip, you’ll need to plan a little variety. Roasting hot dogs every night or eating cold sandwiches three meals a day gets old fast. Bring along a camp stove or grill and a few different things to cook.
* Consider taking reusable dishes, cups and flatware. Campers usually use paper plates and plastic cups and forks for convenience, but these are unnecessary expenses. If you bring along plenty of water, a camp stove to heat the water and some dishwashing liquid, you can easily wash up the dishes and use them again.
* Bring plenty of things for the kids (and the adults) to do. A long camping trip can get boring if you don’t. Some popular camping pastimes include volleyball, badminton, horseshoes and cards.
* Pack plenty of clothing and blankets. Make sure everyone brings a jacket and a pair or two of long pants, even if it’s hot out. It could get chilly at night. If you have all the clothes and blankets you need, you won’t have to make a trip to get more.
* Don’t forget the first aid kit. You can buy kits at drug or discount stores, or you could make your own. The essentials include band aids, antibiotic ointment, tweezers and needles (for removing splinters), an ace bandage, and a bottle of over-the-counter pain reliever. Also be sure to bring any medications that anyone on the trip may need. These things could save you a trip to the drugstore or doctor.
Camping is usually far less expensive than most outings. And if you keep a close eye on your expenses, you can have a fun vacation for next to nothing.