Camping is a great way to spend time with family and it's an affordable vacation option as well. Whether you're camping in a tent or renting a pop-up camper, there are plenty of simple ways to save. Keep reading to learn some budget-friendly tips for family camping trips.

1. Broaden Your Horizons When Researching

When you're thinking about locations for a family camping trip, you might be tempted to only consider those far-flung destinations you've always wanted to visit. If you're trying to keep a tight budget, however, you might want to look into some closer options. County and state parks as well as national park campgrounds are always an option and often very affordable.

2. Don't Forget to Ask About Discounts

Camping is generally more affordable than staying in a hotel, but there are still discounts you should be sure to take advantage of. Ask around at local businesses to see if they know about any discounts. For example, you may earn a 10% camping discount by joining the KOA rewards program or you might get a discounted campsite if you purchase a pass to a national park.

3. Camp Outside of the Busy Season

The busy season is generally the best time to camp but it is also the most expensive. If you want to save a little money without camping in the middle of winter, plan your trip to happen just before the busy season starts or just after it ends. The weather may not be ideal, but it will be close.

4. Borrow or Rent Your Camping Equipment

If you don't tend to camp a lot, it may not make sense to buy equipment. Ask around family and friends to see if they have any equipment you can borrow. You might also be able to rent equipment such as tents, headlamps, and backpacks from a local university or organization. By renting your equipment, you'll also save all that storage space in your home.

5. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time

Everyone loves s'mores and cooking hotdogs over the fire, but you'll quickly get tired of eating the same thing. Rather than splurging on an expensive meal out, plan your meals ahead of time so you'll be able to eat something different each day. You can even prepare meals ahead of time, freeze, them, and let them thaw in your cooler so they're ready to eat.

6. Pick Up Your Supplies on the Way

Shopping at the camp store is going to be more expensive, even for simple things like marshmallows and eggs. You can save a lot of money by bringing your own food or by picking up your supplies along the way. Don't forget to bring things like a deck of cards, books to read, and outdoor games.

Any family vacation is what you make of it, but saving money makes everything better. By following the tips provided above you can maximize your experience while minimizing your costs. Enjoy!

Frugal Village