6 ways to become a frugal camper

Camping can be a fairly cheap way of entertaining the kids, seeing new places and making memories. With holidaying abroad becoming more expensive, a ‘staycation’ can be an affordable way of having fun. As more people choose to holiday in the UK we have some quick tips on how you could save money when you go camping.

Borrow or get it second hand

If you’re considering getting away then see if you can borrow any camping kit. Brand new camping gear can be expensive. So it may be worth using social media to see if you can borrow any from friends or family. A quick status update can normally come back with offers and answers on where to get camping gear. The other option is to buy second hand equipment. The usual places like Ebay and Gumtree spring to mind. Though you may find a bargain in your local charity shop. Just remember to do some research on what you need, how much it costs and what would be best for your trip.

Where can I find cheap places to go camping?

A great place to start, that we’ve mentioned before, is pitchup.com. The site finds campsites where you can take your own tent or find caravan sites. Some of the headline offers start from around £15 per night for a pitch (remember that you’ll need to pay more for electricity and other facilities should you want them). If you’d rather not travel then you could always pitch up in the back garden.

Plan your meals

You might be budgeting for meals, takeaways and activities during your trip. If you plan a menu it can help you shop smarter and more efficiently before you set off. Some campsites will have a shop onsite or nearby – but it may not be cheap. Just make sure that anything you buy will last for a few days in warm and cold conditions. Otherwise, you might end up eating marshmallows every night.

Petrol

Plan your route carefully – don’t fill up on motorway service stations as petrol normally costs a lot more compared to supermarket pumps in a town or city. A handy website to visit is petrolprices.com. It has a list of fuel prices for most regions in the UK. All you need to do is enter a location to find the cheapest petrol in that area. Or you can download the petrol prices app on iOS and Android.

Travel smarter, not harder

Having space in the car when you’re going camping can be useful, but will also save you money.  A heavier car means it costs more when you drive. For instance, if you’re talking cordial it may be worth buying a double concentrate bottle which is smaller, but still makes just as many servings of juice. If you’re a camping beginner we’d recommend reading the Go Outdoors beginners guide. While some of the equipment on offer may be expensive, you can make savings if you register for their discount card for £5.

Entertained in the car

And for those long journeys in the car you may need to keep the kids entertained. Here are just a couple of suggestions…

The Eddie Stobart game – Assuming you’re heading on the motorway try and spot an Eddie Stobart truck.

Music and stories on CD – giving your kids control of the stereo is an easy way of keeping them entertained.

Apps on a tablet or phone – there are plenty of games and apps that you can use to keep the kids entertained.

… And there’s always I Spy.