Summer Vacation on a Budget? Go Camping!

If you’re a money-conscious college student, you’ve probably been working hard all semester to ensure your grades are good enough. In addition to all the studying, you may even have been working a part-time job while you study, to keep your debt down and earn extra cash.

During your summer break, you probably want (and deserve) a proper vacation without spending too much. So grab your portable BBQs and your tents, and get ready for a great summer getaway on a budget!

save money camping

Grab Your Tent

With no need for hotels, camping is the most affordable accommodation option if you’re travelling away from home. There are campsites all over the place, often offering pitches for just a few dollars a night. Make sure you’ve got everything you need and that your tent is waterproof, otherwise you could be in for a damp night when the dew falls or if you get caught in a storm.

Wild Camping

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can always pitch away from campsites and out in the country side, but be aware that there’s no running water or toilets, and don’t camp on private land unless you’re allowed. Make sure you avoid wildlife habitats, and research wild camping in your chosen area before you leave so you know the specific ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’.

Cook Your Own

A lot of your travel budget might be spent on food in restaurants but if you bring your own camping stove as well, you can eat cheaply in the outdoors. When cooked well, nothing tastes better than a meal you’ve prepared yourself in the open air. It does require preparation time and the right cooking supplies, so make sure you’ve packed your ingredients and tools: stores near campsites know their market and will adjust prices to make the most profit from campers in need.

Go For a Hike

Some of the best fun you’ll have in life are free delights, such as tying up your walking boots and going for a hike. No matter where you’re camping, there’s bound to be excellent hiking trails and it costs nothing to see the scenery and climb those hills.

Play Some Games

If you’re on vacation with a group of friends, prepare some games in advance. Remember the games you played when you were kids: you didn’t need money to have a good time when you were playing hide and go seek or tag! Bring a bat and ball for daytime games, and pens and paper for quieter games around the campfire.

There are many ways you can have a great vacation without spending too much money. With a little preparation, you could have the best summer of your life without tapping into your precious savings. Have a great time: you’ve earned it!

Image by Dave Dugdale, used under the Creative Comms licence.


Charlotte Quinn is a recent English Lit graduate, partial to vintage dresses, cocktails and a cheeky bit of travel. When she’s not blogging or reading, she hangs out with her Jack Russell, Bella.



Summer Vacation on a Budget? Go Camping! — 13 Comments

  1. I think one of the regrets I have is that I never grew up camping, so by the time I became an adult I didn’t have a lot of interest in going. But I think it’s a great alternative to traveling if you have the gear (or you can borrow it) and are adventurous. I’ve always wanted to try glamping, which isn’t cheap but looks really fun.

  2. I remember my BIL used to do this all the time when he was in college. He loves the outdoors and it was a very frugal way to vacation. I don’t know if I could do it though. I’m not a big fan of roughing it.

  3. Camping is one of my favorite vacations! It’s cheap and, if you have a family, it’s a great way to spend some serious quality time together. Get away from technology and get outdoors! Great article!

  4. I love camping! It’s something that I’ve been doing for quite a few years now, and I’m way past the college years. ;) Camping doesn’t have to be a roughin’-it experience. For the slightly older group, bring an airbed, some decent and comfy chairs, a small stove, and a few items that make it feel more luxurious. We also usually camp near a small town so we can go in for a meal or two when we don’t feel like cooking at the campsite. It’s a terrific way to experience the outdoors and vacation on the cheap!

  5. Loved camping as a kid with my family and as an adult with our kids. Lots of great memories. I truly think it’s a great way to vacation as a family, but it is a lot of work. As just adults, it’s still work but can also be fun. I sleep well anywhere, but especially nice hearing the sounds outside your tent. Oh ya, it does suck when it rains though!

  6. Hiking and camping are two of our favorite low-cost activities in summer. We don’t even have to go far, my husband and son camped out in the yard last weekend and had a great time!

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