Camping on the Cheap

We love to travel! There is so much waiting to be seen, to be discovered. We’ve learned rather quickly, though, that it is possible to go broke while traveling. And nothing ruins a vacation like worrying about finances.

Rob and I were camping before we were sailing, and we’ve found many ways to have a fun little outdoor adventure without breaking the bank.

First, our camping rig, courtesy of Craig’s List…

I can’t say enough great things about our Volvo. For $1000, we have a car that is comfortable, cheap to insure and register, gets decent gas mileage, and can easily pull a trailer. It also has a very, very large trunk. We bought the pop-up camper for $150, for our spring break trip to Florida. We stayed in KOA’s on the way down, so the camper immediately paid for itself, since we were not paying for hotel rooms. We do own a motor home now, but in the summer we prefer the open-air feel of the pop-up.

So, now it’s time to find a campsite!

I have always wanted to try this website. Our state has lots of free campsites, that are NOT Walmart parking lots. In fact, I have dreamed of doing a totally free camping trip. We would drive a veggie oil car, stay in free campsites, and find a way to obtain free food as well. Fun stuff!

But, for now, I’ll settle for campsites that are less than $20 a night. Driving south, many state parks are very inexpensive. If we went to Florida again, we would probably stay at these places. In Michigan, state parks are a bit pricey, if you go for the full hook-ups. However, semi-modern and rustic sites are downright affordable–some are only $10 a night! State Forest campgrounds are another option. We have stayed at many of these and enjoyed them.

When Rob and I spent a week in the Upper Peninsula, we discovered National Forest campgrounds. This website is put together by a couple who has visited and reviewed many of the campgrounds. We found it very helpful!

Two of our all-time favorite campgrounds are Alcona Park and Mill Creek. They offer two very different experiences! Alcona is your classic, back-to-nature experience. It’s $12 for a primitive site, or $14 if you want to be on the water. They have coin showers and a laundry room. Mill Creek is a place we take the Bean as a treat, because it keeps her very busy! I’ll be writing more about that place, because we’re leaving to go there today. They just added a new “Super Saver” section, with rustic sites for $13 and sites with electric for $15.

Happy adventuring!

MOONRAKER UPDATE: Well, it hasn’t sunk yet. It’s not been easy, being at home, after spending so much time preparing for the trip this summer. We’ll be closer to Alpena in Mackinaw anyway, so I hope getting out of the house will help.

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