So in July we took our annual camping trip to Markleeville, CA. I’ve posted
ad nauseum a lot about how much we love this trip. Camping is seriously one of the most fun, most economical vacations a family can take.
It’s generally not considered polite to discuss the cost of something… but I’m not always polite.
We have 4 boys. The cost for us to take our family of six on a cruise for 7 days, 6 nights would be astronomical.
Disneyland, which is in our own Southern California backyard, would cost us $475 just for tickets into the park. For one day. (And of course these dang boys never stop eating, so lets just round that figure up to $700 with food, parking and Disney Doo-Dads.)
Want to know what our 7 day, 6 night camping trip cost us?
(Yes, yes, impolite to discuss, but I’m not always polite.)
Want to know? $1600. That covers every cent we needed to spend on the trip. It includes the cost of the campsite for the week, gas to drive us 1,000 miles round trip in a Suburban, food for the whole week (which we’d be buying anyway), and incidentals.
It works out to less than $230 a day. For a family of six.
That’s $266 per person. For an entire week-long vacation.
What do the kids get?
They slow down and learn there are games that don’t start with the word “video”…
They learn to be brave and try new things.
They learn to explore and examine.
News flash: the economy stinks. I think camping is going to become more and more popular as people strive to create affordable and memorable experiences for their families. It really is a great way to create fabulous memories for your kids and not go into hock doing so.
That being said, I could not be happier to be a part of new partnership between KOA Campgrounds and Blog Frog. They are creating an online community dedicated to camping and the great outdoors. It’s called Around the Campfire, and there you’ll find articles, live chats and discussions about tent camping, RV camping, road trips, cooking, things to do with your kids, quick trips you can take, even stuff for the motorcycle enthusiasts.
There is sure to be a lil’ something for everyone, no matter what your level of experience might be. (Or your level of enthusiasm for that matter.) Whether you’re a die hard back-packer or a person who would only consider tent camping if it came with room service… chances are you’ll find something fun and useful there. Please be sure to check it out!
Liz @ Sugarplum Creations says
I love your camping posts! Our camping trips are something the girls look forward to all year long. Even when we have to cut back on spending elsewhere, camping is economical enough that we never scratch it off the list! 🙂
Melissa I. says
Viv, thank you so much for sharing this! Last year, my husband and I used my hotel & airline points to book our vacation. We went to DisneyWorld. We got our park hopper tickets through AAA – it was a savings, but not that much. If we hadn’t used the points, we wouldn’t have gone. The place we stayed was a two bedroom condo so we got to buy groceries as opposed to eating out every single meal, which was a huge savings!
I haven’t been camping since the 4th grade! Might have to consider that though – we both enjoy hiking very much and north Georgia has plenty to see!
Have an awesome day!
Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia says
I used to go camping and miss it. You are right, this is going to be our vacation for next year, we tried to go for 1 night to Hershey Park (for 4) and it was going to cost us $450 without food…
I think it’s only tacky to talk about money if you are bragging about how much money you spent on something that was over priced. Know what I mean?
” Oh this dress was $750 but I deserved a treat! ” is tacky.
” We spent only $1600 to take out family on an adventure and teach them values that will last a lifetime! ” …not tacky.
This is a wonderful, wonderful post.
My guys are now 14, 18, and 20 years old. In other words, they’re men. Back when they were preschoolers, they could share a hotel room with their dad and me. Not anymore! So you’re right: paying for lodging costs LOTS of money! I think camping is an awesome solution.
Looks like y’all had lots of fun!
Kim @ Cheap Chic Home says
Because we have five children, we’ve always taken modest vacations. Not camping, mind you, but the “entertainment” consists of lots of hiking. We were fortunate enough to be able to stay in a friends house while they were GONE several times, so no hotel bills.
I love it! Looks like good quality time. Gotta love boys!
Connie Weiss says
You are by far the most organized camper I’ve ever seen!
I might consider going….if there was a potty.
We LOVE camping.
Connie would die if she saw the last campground I stayed at.
Well you are queen camper so I know you’ll fit right in. I remember when Grant tried that for the first time 🙂 Glad you all had a great time as usual.
I LOVE camping and I love your camping posts. Although I feel kind of sad I didn’t get to do as much of it as I wanted to this summer!
Exciting!! I was never really the “camping” type, but in a fifth wheel, I love it! I think it really allows you to connect with your family!