Thursday, April 23, 2009

Camping -- an inexpensive summer vacation

After I had my daughter, I quit my full-time job to stay at home more. Doing so meant I also had to figure out how to manage our family's finances with a lot less income. Camping is something we've found that we really enjoy and are able to do fairly inexpensively. Luckily, my mother-in-law owns a camper and my husband and I have a boat that we are able to take on camping trips. The combination of a boat and camper make for a pretty nice week-long vacation or weekend getaway. If you don't have a camper and boat (you can also rent a boat at some campgrounds) there are still a lot of things you can enjoy while camping tent-style: fishing, camp-fires, playing outdoors games, swimming, hiking, and some campgrounds even have a beach and playground for the kids. Last year we spent about $150 renting campsites over the course of the summer. That is still much less expensive than a trip that would require paying for a motel and spending a lot of money on gas. This summer, my mother-in-law actually rented a campsite for the next 4 months, paying a monthly rate. We are able to leave the camper and boat at the campsite and just load up the car and go camping anytime we want. So far the only money we've had to spend is on our fishing licenses. I know that camping may not be a great vacation for some folks, if you're like my friend, Nicole, who takes two showers a day, even when she's clean, you probably won't enjoy the outdoors. But, if you enjoy getting out in nature and spending time with friends and family, I recommend planning a camping trip this summer. It's a great way to relax and helps me reconnect with nature and myself. It's also a great opportunity to reflect on all the good things and people you have in your life. I find myself remembering what is truly important in life when I get a chance to get away from the hectic life and enjoy a few days without working, appointments, play dates, and the like.

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