Cheap Family Vacations

Are cheap family vacations possible? The answer is most definitely -yes. If you are worried that you won't be able to take the family on vacation this year, take heart. There are options available that needn't cost a fortune and can make your family vacation affordable.

Have you ever considered taking your family on a camping vacation? Plenty of people these days are taking advantage of cheap family vacations by camping. There are many good destinations to choose from. You can camp out in public parks, private campsites, natural beauty spots, nature preserves and forests.

Camping at Public Parks and Private Campgrounds

The costs for using a camp ground are really quite reasonable and can make a cheap family vacation a reality. The average overnight fee for State and National park campgrounds is from $5 to $10. You will pay from $10 to $40 for private campgrounds. The amount you pay will depend on:

  • Whether it is a private or public campground.
  • Utilities-water, electric, etc.
  • Amenities-Playgrounds, pool, hot showers, etc.

When compared with the cost of a hotel or motel room, it really is quite affordable. The public camp grounds are usually managed by park rangers who also provide security for these camps. The camp sites will have play facilities for kids, picnic tables, showers and toilet facilities plus other extras. There will be specially designated areas for you to set up your tent and park the car. On site you'll normally find a small shop which will sell food and other essentials that you may need while staying there. However, camping isn't all easy; you'll have to do some work. This is a great opportunity get the whole family involved in helping out with the everyday jobs and chores.

What's Available for Us To Do?

So you've set up your tent, had a good nights sleep. And now you're wondering exactly what you are going to do on your cheap family vacation. Most camp sites and public parks have a wealth of things that you can do. If you're into fishing then most parks and camp sites have lakes for fishing and boating. There are hiking trails that you can explore with your family. For even more fun, find a picnic area where all the family can have a bite to eat. Having trouble entertaining the young ones? Most camp sites have special facilities which cater to younger children. There you'll find play areas where the kids can enjoy playing football, Frisbee, basketball and general playground equipment such as swing sets. A lot of these parks offer educational nature programs to entertain the kids and adults in the evenings or on the weekends.

What Do I Do If I Don't Have Any Camping Equipment?


If you've never been camping before and don't have any camping gear you can easily purchase what you need for a cheap family vacation by going online to Ebay or Craig’s List. Also don’t forget to check prices at WalMart and Target. Buying all the camping basics will set you back around $500 – $700. Let’s take for example a family of four people. You'll definitely need a tent large enough for 6 people. The reason for this is that the extra space will come in handy and not make it seem so cramped. You can expect to pay around $130 for six-person tent.

Sleeping Bags

Next on the list will be sleeping bags. If you're not camping out in cold weather then you should be looking for a three season bag. They're rated for thirty to forty degree weather. However, if you should get too hot during the night then you can always undo the zipper on the side. Most sleeping bags will cost in the region of $50 or less.

Sleeping Pads

If you need extra padded comfort from the cold ground, you might want to think of investing in a ground sleeping pad. These will help keep the cold out as well as make the ground you lie on feel softer. These can be had for as little as $30.

Camping Stoves

No doubt your camp site will probably have a charcoal grill. However, putting a kettle on it will no doubt blacken it. The alternative to this is to get a cheap propane gas camping stove. Camping stoves usually start at $35 to $85 and the propane gas you'll need will normally set you back around $2 or $3. These propane cylinders usually last about one week.

Ice Chest

Most experts recommend taking two ice chests for camping. One for beverages and the other for food items. For four people, it is best to have at least a 70-quart cooler. The cost for a plastic 70-quart cooler will average about $45.

Camp Ground Fees

Camp ground fees vary depending upon where you stay. Most places tend to charge an average of $200 or less per week, making it a really affordable way to enjoy cheap family vacations in almost any part of the country.


Once you've made the initial purchase for all your camping gear and all the other little extras, the cost will be in the region of $500 to $700. Once you've got all your camping gear then every other trip will become cheaper. Frugal living can really save you a lot of money in the long term and make having a cheap family vacation really possible.

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