Camping is one of the most fulfilling ways for a family to bond; it teaches young ones the value of nature and responsibility, while giving older kids and adults the chance to relieve the pressures of everyday life. An added benefit of camping over other kinds of family vacations is cost efficiency. There is no reason that your family cannot enjoy a memorable family experience without spending someone’s college fund. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that camping can easily fit a variety of budgets.
Planning a family vacation, for most families, is focused primarily on what the budget will allow. Preparation is the key when it comes to remaining within the budget. Things to consider when planning a camping vacation on a budget include:
- Camp location — many campsites charge a fee for usage
- Duration — the fee will be dependent on your length of stay
- Camping type — RV, car, or guided camping will all have different costs associated with them
Whether you own camping gear or not will be a major deciding factor when it comes to planning the budget. If you think your family will be frequent campers, it may be wise to invest in a new tent, at the very least, but a great way to pick up the gear you need is by way of garage sales, classified ads, and sporting goods stores that sell pre-owned gear. You can find some pretty phenomenal deals if you look outside of the big box retailers!
Creating a menu of your camp meals and snacks can help keep costs down tremendously. It is possible to make great camp meals that don’t require spearing anything on a stick, but these types of meals are also part of the fun of camping, especially for kids. Try to bring foods that are not likely to spoil, as wasted food means wasted money. If the whole family takes part in the meal planning process, everyone will be satisfied, and the parameters of the budget are less likely to be exceeded.
Make an effort to have activities in mind, like camp games, treasure hunts, nature walks, or stargazing. Although kids are generally more than happy to be let loose in the wilderness to do as they choose, it will feel more like a family vacation if there is a bit of structure. Bringing along nature books that identify plant and animal species is a great way to engage all the minds in the family, and you may find your kids begging for that cost-effective camping vacation next year!