finance, Health, Living

One of the Cheapest Holidays Ever

Everyone has a different idea of what they would like to do for vacation.  Personally, I believe there is very much a need for lying on the beach doing nothing – it’s a wonderful way to (carefully) soak up some rays and find some peace.  However, I am the type to get very bored after a day or two of doing nothing.  I like to explore, and I like to move, and I like to be very, very frugal.  Enter: camping.

Just the best!

I have camped ever since I was a little girl; my dad is a very keen outdoor enthusiast.  Looking back, I’m not entirely sure this was my mom’s idea of a vacation, but for my sister and I it was the best adventure we could have hoped for.  There is no comparison to waking up beside a calm lake surrounded by forests, or dragging your sleeping mat outside to look at a night sky filled to the brim with stars.  I love camping, and camping loves me.

I live in a suburb of Vancouver, and I only need to drive an hour or so to get to prime camping areas.  It is very liberating chucking a tent in the back, packing a cooler full of enough meals and beer for two days, and going to find somewhere to sleep.   My province is huge, and there are more than enough spaces to go without repetition, or even crowds.  Last year my husband, who has not seen any of BC, and I chose to take three weeks to camp around BC and the Alberta Rockies.  It had been a dream trip for me, and he planned routes with a fervour I have never seen in him, not even when picking out all-inclusive beach resort deals.

Camping is a frugal holiday-maker’s dream.  It is easy enough to buy good-quality, reasonably priced gear, or even borrow from friends and family.  Not to mention that once you have the gear, there are very few costs afterwords.  We are staying in the provincial campsites, so we pay $15/night for our little spot.  The only must-spend costs afterwards are gas for the car, propane for our little stove, and groceries.  If we wanted to, we could have done this trip for around $300.  There are very few holidays where I can say I spent only $300 in three weeks.

However, we spoiled ourselves a little bit – we had quite a big chunk of change saved up from our wedding gifts, which we asked for as contributions to our honeymoon trip.  This was in effect our honeymoon, and we wanted to enjoy it as much as possible.  This meant guilt-free spending on trips to the wineries close to our campsite, kayak and bike rentals, guided walks to lesser known areas, even a dinner out now and then.  Because we were spending so little on the trip itself, we didn’t feel bad spending money on the extras that will made the trip that little bit more special.

Not everyone will enjoy camping (which is a crying shame, in my opinion).  To the people that hate it, I must first ask that you at least try it if you haven’t already.  It’s so easy now to camp in comfort – a mattress can fit in your tent easily and makes it seem like you are sleeping at home.  Camping brings a feeling of deep peace and awe as you work your way through nature, and a deep respect develops for the area around you.  For me, it is more relaxing than a week in the tropics.  If you have tried camping and decided it’s not for you, that’s fair – maybe someday you’ll feel the curiosity to try again, or maybe you have other holidays that are more beneficial to you.  Either way, the more people camp and realize that it’s pretty amazing, the more excited I’ll be!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s