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10 Cheap Vacation Ideas that Won’t Cost You a Fortune

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10 Cheap Vacation Ideas that Won’t Cost You a Fortune

You need and want a vacation, but you don’t have an unlimited budget.  Here are 10 cheap vacation ideas that are wallet-friendly while still giving you a great adventure.

1. Go Camping At the Beach 

Those vacation rental houses can add to the cost of a beach trip really quickly, so why not consider going camping?  You can often find campgrounds within walking distance of the beach for $20-$30 per night. State campgrounds usually provide cold showers and grills. You can step it up and head to a private campground that has hot showers, wi-fi, recreational facilities, and even a swimming pool in some cases.  Campgrounds often have space for tents or RVs, you can reserve in advance, and this is one vacation that won’t cost a fortune.

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2. Go On a “Staycation”

Going on vacation doesn’t have to take you far—you can stay right in your own home. Taking a week off to work in the garden, complete a project, work on your hobby, watch your favorite movies, eat your favorite foods, have a cookout, go on long hikes, or any number of possibilities, can be just what the doctor ordered!

3. Head to Your Nearest Resort Hotel

You know that hotel you’ve always wanted to stay at, right in your own city? Whether you live in the country, the outskirts of town or right downtown, you can head to the four-star hotel for a night or two and spoil yourself with a local vacation. Treat yourself to the hot tub and spa, play a game of tennis, drink some wine, get a manicure, do some window shopping, walk around the premises, or have a nice dinner. The possibilities for entertainment abound.

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4. Stay with family

Do you have in-laws that live in Orlando? And have you been to Disney World? If you really do have family in Orlando and haven’t been to Disney World, this might be a great way to take a vacation. Spend a day or two visiting Mickey Mouse and exploring Space Mountain, then arrange for a nice dinner with the in-laws.

5. Visit a National Park

There’s Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Big Bend. From California to North Carolina, national parks offer opportunities to see incredible vistas, see rich cultural history, landmarks, and points of interest. Many have activities for children, campgrounds, visitor’s centers, hiking or biking trails, and much more.  These make for great summer vacation destinations.

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6. Consider a Housing Swap

If you’re flexible about places and times, head to Craigslist and check out the “housing swap” section or the “vacation rentals” links. Try the links out for different cities that you like, and you might just find an incredible deal for a place you’ve never been. This is a great way to do a fun family vacation.

7. Go Off-season

You can find some of the best deals around if you’re willing to wait until the tourist season is over, when rates are a fraction of the normal cost. Stay in a posh hotel for $99/night (normally $500/night) because it’s at the very end of ski season and the ski resort is shutting down for the summer, or, spend a winter vacation where most people would go to in the summer.

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8. Stay In a Hostel

Consider staying in a hostel: you can find high-quality hostels that rival a nice hotel stay in just about any sizable town in the US or around the world. Some hostels might have marble floors, free breakfast and courteous staff, for a fraction of what neighboring hotels cost, but make sure to research ahead of time: you don’t want to find yourself in a place that seemed like a deal, but turned out to be a nightmare.

9. Look for Places “Off the Beaten Path” 

Discovering hidden gems can be a wonderful adventure—you get a unique experience and you don’t have to pay premium prices that tourists typically pay. Have you ever been to the “Home of the Throwed Rolls”? Then you need to visit Sikeston, Missouri. Or how about the hot springs in the mountains of Colorado? That requires a visit to the collegiate peaks on Colorado’s western slope.

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10. Rent a Cabin in the Woods

If you’re looking for a getaway that is a step up from camping and still situated in a natural setting, why not go for a remote cabin?  You can often find weekend bulk rates, so be sure to take your significant other along, or more people to share in the cost and adventure.

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Cyndi Calhoun

Cyndi is a passionate writer who writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2021

The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

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The Importance of Making a Camping Checklist

Camping can be hard work, but it’s the preparation that’s even harder. There are usually a lot of things to do in order to make sure that you and your family or friends have the perfect camping experience. But sometimes you might get to your destination and discover that you have left out one or more crucial things.

There is no dispute that preparation and organization for a camping trip can be quite overwhelming, but if it is done right, you would see at the end of the day, that it was worth the stress. This is why it is important to ensure optimum planning and execution. For this to be possible, it is advised that in addition to a to-do-list, you should have a camping checklist to remind you of every important detail.

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Why You Should Have a Camping Checklist

Creating a camping checklist makes for a happy and always ready camper. It also prevents mishaps.  A proper camping checklist should include every essential thing you would need for your camping activities, organized into various categories such as shelter, clothing, kitchen, food, personal items, first aid kit, informational items, etc. These categories should be organized by importance. However, it is important that you should not list more than you can handle or more than is necessary for your outdoor adventure.

Camping checklists vary depending on the kind of camping and outdoor activities involved. You should not go on the internet and compile a list of just any camping checklist. Of course, you can research camping checklists, but you have to put into consideration the kind of camping you are doing. It could be backpacking, camping with kids, canoe camping, social camping, etc. You have to be specific and take note of those things that are specifically important to your trip, and those things which are generally needed in all camping trips no matter the kind of camping being embarked on.

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Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next camping trip.

  1. First off, you must have found the perfect campground that best suits your outdoor adventure. If you haven’t, then you should. Sites like Reserve America can help you find and reserve a campsite.
  2. Find or create a good camping checklist that would best suit your kind of camping adventure.
  3. Make sure the whole family is involved in making out the camping check list or downloading a proper checklist that reflects the families need and ticking off the boxes of already accomplished tasks.
  4. You should make out or download a proper checklist months ahead of your trip to make room for adjustments and to avoid too much excitement and the addition of unnecessary things.
  5. Checkout Camping Hacks that would make for a more fun camping experience and prepare you for different situations.

Now on to the checklist!

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Here is how your checklist should look

1. CAMPSITE GEAR

  • Tent, poles, stakes
  • Tent footprint (ground cover for under your tent)
  • Extra tarp or canopy
  • Sleeping bag for each camper
  • Sleeping pad for each camper
  • Repair kit for pads, mattress, tent, tarp
  • Pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Chairs
  • Headlamps or flashlights ( with extra batteries)
  • Lantern
  • Lantern fuel or batteries

2.  KITCHEN

  • Stove
  • Fuel for stove
  • Matches or lighter
  • Pot
  • French press or portable coffee maker
  • Corkscrew
  • Roasting sticks for marshmallows, hot dogs
  • Food-storage containers
  • Trash bags
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Water bottles
  • Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives
  • Cups, mugs
  • Paring knife, spatula, cooking spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Foil
  • soap
  • Sponge, dishcloth, dishtowel
  • Paper towels
  • Extra bin for washing dishes

3. CLOTHES

  • Clothes for daytime
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimsuits
  • Rainwear
  • Shoes: hiking/walking shoes, easy-on shoes, water shoes
  • Extra layers for warmth
  • Gloves
  • Hats

4. PERSONAL ITEMS

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Toothbrush, toiletries
  • Soap

5. OTHER ITEMS

  • Camera
  • Campsite reservation confirmation, phone number
  • Maps, area information

This list is not completely exhaustive. To make things easier, you can check specialized camping sites like RealSimpleRainyAdventures, and LoveTheOutdoors that have downloadable camping checklists that you can download on your phone or gadget and check as you go.

Featured photo credit: Scott Goodwill via unsplash.com

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