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How to save money on vacation – Frugal Camping Tips

This is a re-post but one that is perfect for the Summer!  I wanted to be sure to share it with you in case you didn’t see it last year or you are interested in camping this summer!

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The weather is finally starting to cool down and nothing is nicer than sleeping under the stars on a cool Indian Summer night. If you are planning on packing up your family for a camping trip there are ways to make the trip frugal family fun.

Bargain Beginnings

Buy equipment such as tents, camping stoves or chairs at the end of the season, (hey that’s now) to get them at a clearance or discounted price. Also be sure to buy anything that you will need like buns, ketchup, and marshmallows before you leave for the trip or better yet pull it from your stockpile. Your campground will likely have an “outpost” store but the prices will be much more expensive. Also consider buying small items like bug boxes, glow sticks or magnifying glasses from the dollar store to give to your children to explore the campgrounds and woods. These also act as small souvenirs for a lot less cost.

Outstanding Outings

During your trip plan outside activities at the campsite like flag light tag, running races or catching lightning bugs. When planning outings, visit the local attractions, often for a discounted rate if you buy day passes or packages. You can also plan to camp at a campground that has scheduled activities for children and families. These activities are sometimes organized rec sports or arts and crafts, or even bands.

Helpful Camping Hints…

See if an Entertainment Book for the area you are going to is available.

Try fishing with your family if your campground has a lake or river. Often you can rent basic fishing gear.

Take advantage of swimming area, hiking trails and bike paths at your campground

Traveling to a state or national park, see if you receive a discount based on your employer.

As other campers leave, gather firewood that they have left behind, but never transport firewood from home to your destination.

Get outside and have family time around the campfire and enjoys your s’mores.




  1. says

    Planning ahead and looking for the best deals is the easiest ways to save money on camping trips. You can also buy can good when you find them on sale and keep them around for when you go camping. Great article.

  2. says

    I also find that having a camping checklist is a great idea! It helps me make sure we have everything we need and don’t end up having to buy forgotten items at the campground store, which as you mentioned can be more expensive.

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