Summer vacations can be incredibly frugal if you chose to camp for your vacation. It is often cheaper than visiting a theme park or going on a road trip while allowing you to still step away from it all and be able to connect as a family.
The cost of camping can still mount quickly. You can even use camping as a way to save on a larger vacation in place of a hotel or air BnB. Here are some tips to help you save money on your camping trip so that you can get the most out of your vacation budget.
Borrow gear instead of buying
The best way to save money on camping is to ask around and see if your friends can lend you their gear to help you make the most of your camping budget. Camping equipment such as tents, cots, sleeping bags, coolers, and even chairs are rarely used outside of camping, making them easy to share with friends and family.
It is possible to purchase camping equipment as a family in order to ensure that everyone in the family has what they need without having to hand over the entire bill on their own. Is there no one with whom you could split the cost? Consider renting the camping gear you need from a local rental site so you don’t have to buy it.
Buy camping gear on sale
In the summer and early fall, it is not unusual to find basic camping gear on sale. This would be a great opportunity for you to build a stock of camping supplies to pass around to your family and friends.
Buy camping gear used
A great way to find gently used camping gear at a great price is by selling old items on local buy-sell-trade sites when families upgrade their camping gear. Get great deals on common camping items by shopping at resale shops, online sale groups, or even yard sales on the side of the road.
Amazon has a great section where they sell discounted items that were returned or the puter packaging is less than perfect. This is great if you want to get used discounts but want to buy online and be secure in the fact you are getting a good product. Check out the Amazon Wearhouse Camping and Outdoor Section Here.
Look for a deal on your campsite
Saving money on your camping trip can be achieved by finding a free camping site on government grounds or bargaining with your local campground. Camping around major holidays and during peak seasons will give you the best chance of finding a deal on your campsite since everyone is camping and campsites have no issue filling their openings.
Camping with friends means finding a large campsite so everyone will have a place to pitch their tent and sit by the fire.
Buy food close to home
When you are camping, pack food that you know your family will eat and is familiar to you. When shopping for these foods at home, buy them at your local supermarket to get the best deal. When shopping close to home, you are aware of what a deal is and are able to afford the high prices offered by local retailers near a camping ground.
Be sure to pack your cooler well to ensure that the ice and contents stay frozen as long as possible. Choosing a quality cooler made to last for several days can help keep your food cold longer.
Save on entertainment while camping
Camping sites with entertainment options like a beach, trails, and other fun stuff are ideal. A camping ground may have an optional waterpark or other big feature that will add to the cost of your campsite. For a less expensive camping trip, you should avoid these.
Focus on cheap and free activities that will allow you to enjoy nature and relax, even if it is simply finding a cozy spot to read or dragging everyone out for a walk or bike ride on the trails.
Use a checklist while packing
Some locations provide gift shops with items like sunscreen and insect repellent. However, these may be expensive. Campers forgetting everyday items make these shops a profit due to the large markups they use.
By ensuring you have your first aid kit and toiletries stocked up before leaving on your camping trip, you can save money. Take a look at your bug-out bag for ideas on what to pack for your camping trip.
Don’t buy bagged ice
Rather than bringing bagged ice along with you, you can freeze water bottles and many food items you are bringing along instead. As an added bonus, you can also freeze bottles and even gallons of water so that you can provide your family with cool drinking water during your camping trip instead of buying bagged ice.