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Can We Afford a Summer Vacation?

When it comes to enjoying a vacation on a limited budget, nothing beats a good old camping trip. After all, it costs next to nothing to pitch your tent in the back country wilderness of your favorite national park. Camping is one of the most popular family activities, and many families enjoy camping together, sharing stories around a roaring fire, roasting marshmallows, swimming, fishing and all the other great things that come with a camping trip.

There are many ways to camp, from rough camping in the back country to cabins at campgrounds to even RV camping. The level is entirely up to you, and that is one thing that makes camping so attractive to budget travelers and families alike.

You know that camping is one of the least expensive of all vacations, but here’s a quick look at the expenses associated with this type of budget travel. The centerpiece of the camping trip, of course, is the tent. Unless you plan to camp in an RV (the closest I’ll ever come to “roughing it”) or rent a cabin, you will need a sturdy, high quality tent. Most campers will also want high quality sleeping bags. It is a good idea to choose a sleeping bag that is insulated, and to pick one that will be good for several seasons. If you don’t want to sleep on the ground, pick up a couple of folding cots as well. It is also a good idea to buy a couple of camp lanterns. A cooler for drinks and food is a necessity, as is a portable charcoal grill or camp stove.

There is nothing quite like vacationing in the great outdoors to get back in touch with nature. From watching the wildlife to watching the stars, there is plenty to do on the average camping trip. Stargazing is particularly popular with city dwellers, who may never have seen the Milky Way in all its glory before. Get away from the glare of city lights and see nature as it truly is.

Tip of the Day: Check out your nearest lake or state park. These are generally cheaper to get into and you won’t spend as much for gas. Also, if you forget something, you are close enough to home to run back and get it!