Tent, trailer, yurt, or teepee, there are so many ways to make a fun weekend out of a camping, or if you prefer, glamping adventure.
I love to travel, but I don’t always have the time and money to go on a big trip. A camping getaway can be a cheap, easy way to satisfy your weekend wanderlust. Here are five ways you can make the most of a few days away on a shoestring budget.
1. Near or Far
Travel doesn’t have to be a big adventure. Look at the world just outside your door to find quick a quick camping getaway. If you play your cards right, you’ll find a handful of places within a 1 or 2 hour radius around your hometown where you can hang your hat for a few days. There’s a sleepy little town about a 45-minute drive from my house where I escape to every few weeks in the warmer months. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it makes me feel like I’m miles from home even though I could almost see my doorstep with a good pair of binoculars. At $20 a night and a few bucks for fuel, it’s a quick, easy getaway when I don’t have the time or money to go someplace more glamorous.
2. Do Cool Stuff
There is so much cool stuff to do in our own backyards, yet we always look to other parts of the world for interesting activities. Check out the tourism websites for nearby cities and towns for fun things to do on your camping getaway. What do they have to offer? Harness the adventure of a white-water raft tour, ride in a hot-air balloon, or take a train trip through the prairies. I bet you’ll find dozens of ideas for day trips, including many that are free or cheap, such as a self-guided hike or relaxing on a beach. I know one place in the middle of nowhere that you can see a world-class dinosaur collection at a state-of the-art museum, for example.
3. Boutique Shopping
Did you know that many quaint towns have adorable boutique shopping? There is usually a main street lined with a handful of one-of-a-kind stores. Some feature local artists, while others bring in designers that you might not find in the big city. Sometimes, they are outrageously overpriced due to their limited purchasing power, but other times, you can find deals you simply wouldn’t get in the city. I know one little place I hit up often carries one of my favorite designers at rates as much as 15 percent lower than in the city.
4. Peace and Quiet
There are times when you just need to get away from it all. A few days offline or away from the ambient buzz of the big city can work wonders for the mind. Camping is one of the few remaining ways you can escape reality and enjoy the silence, as Depeche Mode would say. Find a place that’s out of the way—you may even be able to find a little backcountry hideaway—where it’s just you, the fresh air, and nature. Kick back by a campfire and settle into your little slice of heaven.
5. Fast and Easy
A camping getaway is one of those rare things you can easily make happen at the last-minute. With very little thought and effort, you can put together a nice little weekend away. All you need to do is load up the gear, grab a few groceries, and you’re on your way. No flights to coordinate, hotels to research, or tours to book. Simply get in the car and drive.
Since I only have the time and money for a few big adventures each year, I rely on camping to satisfy a lot of my thirst for travel. I spend at least 15 weekends camping each year, including many in the cooler, winter months. It’s not a penichette in Paris, but at least it gets me out of town for a few days. Share your camping photos at #wanderlustwayfarer on Instagram.