Money Saving Tips: Is camping really a cheap holiday?
Keep holiday costs down with money saving tips from Loans 2 Go!
Spring seems to finally be arriving and our thoughts begin to turn to summer holidays.
For many people on a tight budget, camping can seem like the ideal holiday solution. You would imagine that camping in the UK would be a particularly good option, even with the variable weather. There is not the expense or hassle of having to travel overseas. You can go anywhere, take anyone and it’s cheap. Or is it?
Well camping, like anything, can be very expensive if you are not careful. So if you are planning a camping holiday this year then why not follow our five money saving tips below to keep it as cheap but enjoyable as possible.
- Get the best deal on a site
It really is worth doing your research on good campsites to get the best deal that you can. There are many websites out there to help you – for example UK Campsite, Campsites.co.uk and Pitch Up. Also ask around – word of mouth is often the best recommendation – and read reviews from other campers on websites such as those above.
Make sure you know what you are getting for your money, and that the campsite has the facilities that you need. If you know up front what you will have to pay you can budget accordingly.
- You need a bigger tent than you think
Once you have found the ideal site for you then you need to get the best tent that you can. Don’t scrimp on this. Take a bigger one than you think you will need to make sure that there is room for all your stuff as well as your people! If you are not an experienced camper then get a tent that is easy to erect: there are many different types of pop up tent available. Also remember a mallet to make the tent pegs easier to manage: a rubber one is ideal and lighter to hold.
But get the tent right: it will be your home for a while after all. To save money on this it is worth looking on second hand sites such as eBay: many people buy great tents, use them once then decide to get rid of them.
- Get the best bedding that you can
Even in warm summer weather, the nights can be cold. So check the forecast carefully and take the right sleeping bag to keep you warm: a camping holiday will be no fun if you are not sleeping because you are cold. Take an inflatable air bed or mattress to sleep on and also make sure you have lots of layers of night time clothing to keep you warm.
Air beds are very cheap to buy – or borrow one from a friend if you can. But good quality sleeping bags can be pricey. Again, it is worth looking on online selling sites such as eBay both for good prices from online retailers or to snap up a bargain price on someone else’s impulse buy!
But don’t bother taking a pillow. Experienced campers recommend stuffing an empty pillow case with a fleece or jumper instead.
- Food glorious food
This is where you can either spend or save a lot of money. Many of us associate holidays with eating and drinking in pubs or restaurants all the time. But if you do this then the cost will rocket! So for a holiday on a budget it’s best to plan ahead for a variety of food situations. Yes do have some pub meals but don’t make them a daily habit. There is bound to be a good fish and chip shop somewhere nearby, and eating these in the open air can be fun and memorable.
But you can also prepare your own food. Perhaps add a bit of fun to the proceedings by having an ongoing camping equivalent of Come Dine With Me! So various people in your party take turns to prepare a simple but enjoyable meal and are awarded points from the others. This shares the effort round and makes it fun. Just because you are camping does not mean you have to eat junk! If everyone has a go at sourcing and preparing something simple but nutritious it will be cheap and enjoyable for everyone.
The final cheap and cheerful thing you can do when camping is to have a campfire. Imagine sitting round it at night with your favourite drink, sharing stories or putting the world to rights. A campfire can be the focus of making your own entertainment, at very little cost to anyone.
You can make a good campfire for next to nothing. You will need to collect some firewood – which could be a game in itself – or many campsites have fire pits and sell kindling. Then all you need are some firelighters matches. You can add anything else into the mix too – for example a toasting fork and marshmallows, crumpets or sausages.
A campfire is a brilliant end to a day in the fresh air, and will hopefully provide many happy memories for years to come.
Enjoy planning and preparing for your camping holiday! We hope that these money saving tips will help you to have a great time without breaking the bank. If you need any additional funds to pay money up front then do get in touch with us at Loans 2 Go to see if we can help.