Getting Away from It All
Warm Weather Camping
Does Anyone Really Camp Anymore?
High gas prices are here to stay, but road trips are not yet nostalgic Americana. My family of four will take a 3000-mile trip this year, with fuel costs comprising half of our vacation budget. We can’t help the price of gasoline, but thoughtful choices and careful planning will save on lodging, food and fees, allowing us to stretch the rest of our budget without skimping on fun. Camping is a great way to save big on lodging and food costs. If the idea of primitive conditions, bugs, and wildlife sends shudders down your spine, don’t lose heart. Camping comes in varieties to fit anyone’s budget and comfort level.
If electricity is available, invest in an iceless cooler. For about $80, you can get a good-sized cooler that has an AC/DC adapter. We will plug ours into our vehicle on the road and then transfer it to the outlet in our cabin. I will hard-freeze items like raw meat before the trip and then cook them early to avoid spoilage.
Make a menu to insure you have all you need. Convenience stores at campsites are expensive. If a grocery store is available, consider it for purchasing milk and fresh fruit. I estimate we will spend less than $20 per day; most meals will be purchased beforehand. I also plan to pre-make my sandwiches, sans the dressing, to save on space. Another idea is to eat leftovers from last night’s dinner at lunch. Chicken nuggets warmed in foil over the campfire will make a great lunch the next day; just pack small containers of dipping sauces and you are good to go.
Camping is a viable option for almost any vacation destination, even hot spots like Disney World. The frugality of camping will enable you to pull up to the pump and pay those high prices with the confidence that you and your family will enjoy the vacation of a lifetime without breaking your budget.
Angelia Crawford is a stay-at-home mom and writer who loves to plan memorable family vacations for less.
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