Posted inGeneral Camping

Save Money While Camping – Part 5

Money SignWe’ve finally made it to article number five in this five part series on saving money while you camp!

Just to recap,  we’ve bought our firewoodwe’ve made a list and checked it twice, we’ve taken advantage of some great loyalty programs and travel memberships, and we’ve taken a good look at saving money on our groceries.

I usually like to save the best for last and today is no exception.  The final topic in this series is all about entertainment.

Tip 5 – Plan for fun, but frugal entertainment.

Do you like to venture out while you are camping?  I find that camping tends to take you to places you’ve never ventured off to or explored before.  There is something truly exciting about taking in the sights surrounding your campground.  It could be a museum, gallery, historic site, landmark, or simply just the location itself.  I love wandering through old towns and taking in the architecture or enjoying the waves crashing against the shore of a large lake or ocean.

Unfortunately, some of those activities have a price tag on them and some of them can get pretty hefty.  As an example, I’ve been in museums that cost me $30 a head just to get in the door.  I’ve also had to pay to visit some historical sites.  With three kids in tow, cost can become a very prominent issue.  Not to mention the cost of fuel and food while we’re on a day trip.

The best bang for your buck is to try and stick to the sights that are free.  Natural landmarks are usually a great place to start.  If you’re going to be out sightseeing, I would recommend packing a lunch and taking it along.  That will cut the costs of eating take out or restaurant food.  If you really want to visit a paid attraction, see if you can get discounts with your travel memberships or even family discounts.

monopoly moneyFor the rest of your camping trip, you’re likely going to be seeking entertainment right at your campsite.  Entertainment takes on many forms during a camping trip.  Factors such as age rage, number of campers, weather, and cost usually play a critical role in activity selection.

Truthfully, some of you won’t need entertainment.  For many campers, it’s all about just relaxing and taking in nature.  For others, it’s about getting out there with friends and family and enjoying the social aspect.  If you have kids, you might spend your whole day entertaining them, leaving only the evening for your personal relaxation and entertainment.

Kids can be the easiest and the hardest bunch to entertain at the campsite.  Some kids are easily amused by their own toys or simply the excitement of nature, however some of the wee ones are in a state of constant boredom and can really rain on the camping parade if they aren’t provided with a constant stream of activities.

Here is a list of fun and frugal activities that the kids can use to alleviate boredom:

  • Play in the playground (most campgrounds have one)
  • Ride their bikes
  • Play an outdoor game (Frisbee, bocce ball, badminton, etc.)
  • Read a book
  • Start a collection (rocks, leaves, insects)

If you are looking for some good family activities that the whole family can enjoy, give these ideas a try:

  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Bike Ride
  • Hike
  • Play an outdoor game (Frisbee, bocce ball, badminton, etc.)

Adults are usually better at entertaining themselves.  However, if you’re stuck for some grown up activities, here are some things you might want to try:

  • Break out a board game  (We keep Scrabble and Cribbage in our trailer.)
  • Open up a deck of cards and play your favorite card game.
  • Take a nap (I’m a big fan of the hammock!)
  • Read a book
  • Work on your tan (with appropriate sunblock)
  • Bust out the guitar
  • Take some pictures

You don’t have to limit being frugal to just camping.  Here are five websites that can help you save money in all aspects of your life as well as a sample article link for each of them.  These aren’t paid links, just sites that I find useful and thought I would share them with you.

If you have some of your own tips on saving money, please share them with us in the comments!