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5 Tips for a More Affordable Camping (or Glamping) Trip This Year

3 minute read

By Christopher Brown

Camping and glamping have become increasingly popular in recent years as people look for affordable  ways to escape the stresses of everyday life. However, for many, the cost of camping equipment and the expenses associated with staying in a campsite can be a significant barrier to entry.

Whether you’re glamping in Texas, or unplugging at Acadia National Park, there are always ways to make your trip more affordable. Today, we’ll share five of the best ways to cut your camping costs. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure – the great outdoors awaits!

How to Find the Best Camping Spots

Finding affordable camping and glamping locales is possible. It just takes a little bit of research and planning time. You can start by reading online reviews, looking for deals and discounts on websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial, and making the most out of apps and websites like Hipcamp and Tentrr. Reaching out to local tourism offices for recommendations and information on campgrounds in the area could be helpful.

Some times of the year are busier than others. Busy seasons vary depending on the location and camping type, but generally coincide with school holidays, public holidays, and weekends. For a more peaceful (and affordable) experience, consider making campground reservations during the off-season or during the week.

Plan Your Meals

You can save a lot of money on your overall camping spend by being proactive with your meal plan. Planning your meals in advance and making a grocery list can help minimize impulse purchases and reduce food waste.

Other ways to cut back on campground food costs include:

  • Bring non-perishable, high-protein, and easy-to-prepare foods such as canned beans, nuts, and dried fruits.
  • Use a cooler to store perishable items such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats.
  • Consider cooking meals over a campfire or using a portable stove instead of eating out.
  • Make use of leftovers by repurposing them in new meals.

If you plan ahead, you can save big and still enjoy delicious, nutritious meals.

Choose Free or Low-Cost Camp Sites

There are many free or low-cost campsites across the United States that offer basic camping facilities without the high fees associated with commercial campgrounds. Look for Bureau of Land Management lands, national forests, and wildlife refuges that offer free or low-cost camping.

Many state parks offer camping at a lower cost than commercial campgrounds and provide access to a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. Experienced campers could also consider primitive camping. Camping in a tent or RV without access to hookups or other amenities is often found for free or at a much lower cost than camping at a commercial campground.

Be Mindful of Park Fees

Campground park fees are charges assessed by campsites for the use of their facilities, including access to bathrooms, showers, water, and electricity. These fees can vary widely depending on the type of camping experience you are looking for, and can quickly add up, making camping and glamping more expensive than it needs to be.

There’s nothing worse than being charged unforeseen fees at the start of your camping trip, so be sure to factor them into your overall budget when planning your trip. And, do your best to find destinations that charge as few park fees as possible.

Take Advantage of Group Discounts

Booking with a larger group of people can help you and your friends save money. Group camping discounts often provide a lower rate per person, which can result in significant savings when divided among a larger group. Group camping also divides the responsibilities and costs of gear, food, and other expenses.

Camping in a group can be a lot of fun, and way more affordable than going solo. Look for campgrounds that offer group rates or group camping packages, search for group camping discounts, and book early to ensure that you get the best rate possible.

Save on Camping Today!

Camping and glamping can be affordable. From choosing a free or low-cost campsite and camping during the off-season, to taking advantage of group camping discounts, there are lots of easy ways to cut down costs.

Getting started is as simple as typing “RV parks near me,” or “campgrounds near me” and exploring what’s out there. By keeping these five tips in mind and doing your research, you can find the best camping and glamping options that fit your budget and offer a fun and memorable experience for you and your family.

Shutterstock: Jon Chica

Christopher Brown



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