Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Vacation Savings - new weekly series!

We love to vacation! I love the memories that a vacation can create. I love seeing & showing my children something other than our own backyard, for them to experience new things.
Living in a family of 6 on one income, vacations always come last and we just don't get to take them very often. Since Jay & I have been married we have been blessed to have taken a few "big" vacations. On the years we have not been able to take a big vacation we try to do something little.

In order to afford our vacations, I have had to be very creative in some of our "little" vacations, to make them a vacation. On our big vacations, I have had to be creative in cutting here & there, without feeling like we have cut anything out. When we went to Disney World I studied & searched for months on different ways to save, I then put all of those tips into a file. After sharing that file with friends & family, it became so wanted I had complete strangers asking me for a copy!

I'm going to start a new weekly series on vacation savings. If you have any tips or a favorite inexpensive vacation destination, please share it with me, so that I can pass it on!

One of our family's favorite things to do in summer is camping. We used to do tent camping, however it just became easier with the little ones to get a camper. We started out with a 1978 pop-up camper. After a weekend of one of the kids having diarrhea, we decided it was best for our family to have a bathroom! We then upgraded to a 1982 pull behind camper trailer. It is small, but plenty of room for all of us, as we spend 95% of our time outside of the camper. One thing about having a camper, it makes camping so much easier. I know alot of people who just don't like the work that goes into camping, packing everything up to go & unpacking everything when you get home. That is another we reason we love having a camper, everything is always packed up & ready to go! It sure makes going away for the weekend tons easier.

If you are looking for an inexpensive getaway, I highly suggest camping! I have a couple of friends who always insisted they "were not campers". After some persueding from their husbands, they went for a weekend & ended up loving it. They now have their own campers & go camping almost every weekend of the summer. Even if you aren't a camper, most campgrounds have cabins that are just as nice & much cheaper than a hotel room.
If you are starting out camping, some items I suggest to make your weekend easier -
  1. Obviously, you need a tent
  2. air mattresses - it sure makes your nights sleep better!
  3. If tent camping - a fan, again, makes a hot nights sleep better!
  4. small grill
  5. lanterns or flashlights
  6. cooler

For those just starting out, you can borrow equipment or check out yard sales.

Anyone can get electric sites, even tent campers. When we did tent camp, we still got electric sites, it just made our weekend easier to have a fan & a mini fridge.

Where to camp? You can start at looking at local campgrounds or State Parks. Order your states recreational guide. They always have campgrounds listed. You can also visit Reserve America to search for campgrounds in your area.

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