If you are after an inexpensive family vacation then camping is a great choice, no expensive accommodation, no flights to purchase and you dont even need to eat out at a restaurant.
As part of our yearly family vacation time we often go to a national park within about 3 hours of our home. The camping fees total around $5 per night and we take all the food we require and cook on the campfire.
As a treat every few days we might go into town and buy the kids a milkshake and ourselves a coffee/cake but other than that its a very inexpensive family vacation.
Do a bit of research on where you are planning to camp, so there are plenty of cheap or free activities for the kids to do so they dont get bored. If the weather is warm, places near water are a good choice, you then have plenty of activities such as swimming, sailing, surfing, canoeing, etc.
Also so you dont need to buy a camping stove, choose somewhere that allows campfires, most national parks provide campfire cooking facilities.
If youre new to camping start out with a short vacation, maybe 1 or 2 nights, to wet the kids appetite for camping. That way if you have any teething problems or other issues you havent committed yourselves to too long a time away.
To keep your costs down, you can get away with the basics, such as a good size tent, a sleeping bag each (you can use your home doona/bedding to save money),
thin foam mattresses are ok for the kids (maybe something a bit more comfortable for the adults), some inexpensive folding camp chairs (once again check with the place youre staying as some campgrounds have table / chairs provided), some sort of lighting for the evening and cooking gear (once again brings some pans from home if you want to save money).
Youll be amazed at how much the kids love camping, getting away from their everyday routine (try to leave the computer games at home), sitting around a campfire at night and waking up to the sounds of nature, the surf, birds, the wind, etc.
Hopefully weve helped your in your search for an inexpensive family vacation, enjoy!
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