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When it comes to camping, you might think about opting for a pricey glamping getaway. But that’s not always an option, especially if you’re trying to save money! So here’s our guide to family camping breaks on a budget!
Just about everyone wants to get away for a summer break, but steep airfares and hotel rates can mean a basic family holiday costs a fortune. This is especially true after the COVID-19 pandemic. So what about a good old camping trip instead? It’s an underappreciated, cheap alternative, and can be just as fun.
Think toasting marshmallows on campfires, and sleeping under the stars. Perhaps you can take your kids on long rambles, or go bike riding with new friends, getting the whole family back to nature. And best of all, you don’t have to fork out on a high-tech tent to enjoy camping! We’ve listed a few money-saving tips to help you on your way below:
It’s tempting to book your camping pitch last minute to ensure good weather but, unsurprisingly, the good pitches go fast. It’s generally best to book as early as possible, so that you can bag early-bird rates, as well as a great spot.
According to PitchUp, a site which aims to make booking a campsite across the UK, Europe and the Americas easy, the cost of a pitch starts at just £2 a night. And if you’re looking to stay somewhere a bit less off the beaten track, UK holiday parks such as Haven and Parkdean Resorts often have great discounts for booking in advance.
Camping pros tend to be organised when it comes to food and drink, but not everyone has been camping loads of times! If you’re new to camping, there are a few things to bear in mind. First, get yourself a large cooler box and a few ice bricks. Secondly, you’ll need a camping stove or disposable barbecue for cooking.
The next thing to remember is that you should hit the supermarket before your trip to stock up. It’s a good idea to buy non-perishables like tinned tuna and beans, as well as dried foods such as pasta and rice. The last thing you should do is check in advance whether your campsite has a place to refreeze cooler bricks, so that you can rotate yours.
In terms of things you can’t bring with you, many campsites will have a small shop for fresh produce such as eggs, milk and bread. These may be more expensive than supermarkets though, so you might want to go to local shops for such items.
To really keep costs down, go off grid. Seek out quiet campsites away from big towns, popular beaches and tourist attractions – their nightly rates are often lower. This will also mean that you’ll be able to simply enjoy the beauty of nature, as well as the camping experience, rather than spending all your time in local tourist areas.
You can save further costs by forgoing a pitch with electricity. This is a true back-to-nature experience which the kids are bound to adore – and you can enjoy the peace and quiet.
As we’ve discussed above, camping needn’t cost a bomb. This is true for the camping gear and equipment you’ll need. For instance, supermarkets often sell low-cost good-quality tents and basic camping equipment like pots, pans and airbeds.
If it’s your first camping trip you could even ‘try before you buy’, borrowing a tent from a friend and testing it in the garden before investing in all the kit. Check out websites like Gumtree and eBay, which sell cut-price second-hand equipment. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find barely used equipment, as some people invest in all the gear before realising they’re not a huge fan of camping!
Scared of risking camping in British weather? Eurocamp offers fantastic, affordable holidays in 13 European countries including France, Spain and Italy! And the best bit is you don’t need your own equipment. You can simply rock up to a ready-made tent, complete with separate sleeping compartments and self-catering area – it’s essentially luxury in the camping world! You can also keep costs down by driving from the UK and hopping over the channel on the ferry.
Here at My Financial Broker, our main aim is to help individuals find short term loans when they have unexpected expenses, but we also try to help people with their financial management. So if you’re looking for ways to save money and budget, check out our other blog posts – from healthy meals on a budget to free museums to visit, you’re bound to find some useful information!