Camping is a great idea for a family vacation. However, when you’re on a budget, you need to make every dollar count. You can set up backyard camping to prepare your kids, but you still need to carefully plan your trip.
Now, just because you’re running on a tight budget, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Camping with kids is still great fun even when you’re watching your pennies.
Here are some tips you can follow to ensure that your camping trip will be fun and within budget.
Tip 1: Choose a campsite that is near your home
When choosing a camping spot, you can save on fuel money by staying closer to your home. In most cases, those that are near residential areas are more affordable. You can also ask your relatives and friends if they know of any free camping spots in the area. Going for that option will let you save even more money on your next trip with your kids.
Tip 2: Make a reservation for the campsite
Imagine packing up your vehicle and your camping essentials with the kids all psyched for your adventure. However, once you pull up to the campsite, you’re frustrated and disappointed to find out that they don’t have any availability. You’ll have to frantically search for another spot to camp and drive for another hundred kilometres with rowdy children.
So, before you head out, make sure to plan out where you’d like to set up camp. Sites like CampStay and Big4 Holiday Parks allow you to make a reservation. You can also visit government websites like WA.gov.au and QLD.gov.au to book a campsite in your region.
Once you’ve decided where to camp with your kids, you can find the ideal spot. Here are some factors to consider when choosing where to set up:
- The area should be close to running water and restrooms. However, you shouldn’t be too close to these areas because other campers will constantly pass by your spot at all hours of the day.
- The ground should be flat so it will be easier for you to put up your tent. You can sleep more comfortably on levelled ground.
- Choose a spot that isn’t too close to other campers. When you pitch your tent too close to other people, you and your kids may have trouble sleeping at night. You don’t have control over how loud other campers can be. Some of them may opt to stay up late into the night playing music.
Tip 3: Prepare Your Food Before the Trip
You don’t want to go driving around to convenience stores and restaurants once you’ve set up your tent. So, if you want to make the trip less stressful during mealtime, prepare as many meals as you can.
Fruits and veggies can be cut up and stored in containers. You can also prepare breakfast meals before the trip, especially since they are the easiest to make. A few days before your trip, prepare a large batch of breakfast burritos or egg sandwiches. Then, store them in the freezer until the day of your vacation when you’re ready to pack the food into your cooler.
Tip 4: Choose Budget-Friendly Camping Gear
If this is your first camping trip with your kids, you’ll likely need to purchase supplies and equipment. Keep in mind that your expenses can quickly rack up when you’re not careful with what you buy. On the other hand, it’s also not a good idea to keep on going after the cheapest items you can find. You don’t want your kids getting wet on a rainy night because of a leaky tent.
Here are some items you shouldn’t forget to buy:
When you’re buying a tent, make sure that it is a little bigger than what you think you may need. So, if there are two adults and two kids in the family, go for a tent that can accommodate six people. In most cases, you can fit two queen-size mattresses inside a tent of that size. Also, don’t forget to bring other items like a tarp or a ground cover.
Blankets or Sleeping Bags
You need to ensure that the kids are comfortable inside the tent. Nights can get chilly when you’re camping during the latter part of the summer or into early autumn. So, provide extra warmth by bringing a sleeping bag or blankets. If you’re camping in the middle of the summer, a light blanket will suffice.
It wouldn’t be comfortable for the kids to sleep on hard, cold ground. Thankfully, air mattresses are relatively affordable. They’re worth the money because they are easy to store and use any time you need them.
Firewood is usually more expensive when you purchase them on the campgrounds. So, we recommend buying firewood before your trip. You don’t want your kids to miss out on some yummy S’mores around the campfire after dark!
Tip 5: Prepare In-Tent Activities in Case of Bad Weather
Sometimes, the sun turns into rain and the kids get stuck in the tent. In case the weather does take a turn for the worse, you should prepare activities that will keep them from getting bored. Bring colouring books, reading materials, a deck of cards and board games. We suggest that you avoid packing puzzles and Lego because the tiny pieces can easily go missing!
If you’re planning to bring gadgets for the kids on your getaway, make sure that your electronic devices are fully charged. Otherwise, you should bring mobile battery packs with you. You can run one to two recharges on power banks in large 10,000 AMPH varieties. However, these items should only be brought for wet weather situations. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time peeling the kids away from their gadgets to enjoy the great outdoors.
It’s certainly possible to go camping with the kids on a tight budget. To find the widest range of affordable Australian camping accessories and gear, find a Supex stockist near you. You’ll discover plenty of options to fit your budget.