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Save Money on Your Summer Vacation By Camping

by Daniel Lawton

Every 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 CampRate.com, 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.