Looking for an inexpensive way to travel with your family? We have exactly what your are looking for. It doesn’t take much money, just some proper planning and a few resources and you’re ready to start making wonderful, family vacation memories! Here’s what you need to know about the most inexpensive family vacation you can plan!
Two words: car camping. Take a few families, some tents, an outrageous number or marshmallows and a half-a-dozen coolers and you have yourself a weekend. Don’t forget the coolers. The coolers are essential. Hi. I’m the Griswold Mom. While I’ve never personally punched an animatronic moose in the nose, it’s not entirely out of the question.
We watch his program, we buy his toys, we go to his movies. He owes us!
– Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s Vacation
Yes indeed, Clark Griswold. Yes indeed.
I’m very excited to begin my journey as an official Traveling Mom. For years I was an unofficial traveling mom, just a woman in an airport with two kids in tow, desperately trying to negotiate same-row seating for all the members of my family. Now, as an official Traveling Mom, I have an opportunity to write about those negotiations, such as how bribing the gate agent simply doesn’t work.
Anyway, back to car camping – the most inexpensive family vacation!
Why we Car Camp
Let me start by saying that I don’t usually relish an opportunity to sleep on the ground, but for a good weekend of car camping I’ll make an exception. In fact, I have a couple campsites booked already for this coming summer.
For one, it is very, very inexpensive. The initial investment in equipment can be less than $500 for a tent, a stove and a few sleeping bags. After that, the fees to stay at campgrounds can range from $8.00 a night for a National Forest campground up to $35.00 a night at some of the private, pricier locations.
Another benefit of car camping is that it spares you some of the dangers of regular camping; bears, dysentery and the like. Campsites generally come equipped with running water, varying levels of bathroom facilities and bear boxes. It’s a nice way to experience camping without the risk, especially for younger kids. With car camping, a sudden rainstorm doesn’t mean spending 14 hours in a soggy tent, subsisting only on raisins. It means piling in the car and going out for pizza.
Naturally, it’s not for everyone. Any trip that begins with building your own accommodations hardly screams luxury, but with the right group of people it takes on more of a barn-raising feel. And that’s really what a camping trip is all about: the right group of people. Grab your friends, grab your neighbors or just grab your kids and kick around in the woods for a weekend. It’s a few bucks well spent.