We can all get caught up in the world of new gadgets and big fancy holidays at Christmas, but for many of us, this is a stressful time, and for those with families and school aged kids, there are many social occasions in the lead up to Christmas that leave parents nerve-shaken and over-tired and pretty much, poor. Add the skyrocketing cost of living to the mix and it’s time to consider back-to-basics this summer.
Not only will you avoid the crowds, time in nature is guaranteed to soothe your soul after a busy festive season.
#1 Avoid hotels, motels and crowded holiday parks.
It will come as no surprise that we recommend camping. Not only will you avoid horrible crowds, time in nature is guaranteed to soothe your soul after a busy festive season. Camping is a great low-cost holiday option, and you will make amazing memories. Try to find a spot close to water (you’ll need to book early) so the kids will be entertained for hours. Better still, book a Hipcamp for under $50 per night.
#2 Don’t travel too far from home.
What did it cost you for your last tank of fuel? Yep, ouch. Stay close to home. Under 2 hours is usually long enough for a great road trip. Local towns will love your money, and you won’t spend a fortune on fuel. Find a Hipcamp close to you by using the search by map feature and zooming in on your area.
#3 Buy and prepare your own food.
Sounds simple but you’d be surprised by the amount of people who eat out every night while they’re away. This adds up. If you meal plan ahead you’ll save hundreds! Don’t over complicate things. Simple and fresh is best. Salads, meats, BBQ and fresh fruit for summer is all you need.
#4 Ice creams for the kids, and yourself.
Following on from preparing your own food, the money you save not buying lunch and dinner will enable you to have a daily splurge on treats such as ice cream or fudge for the kids. Don’t forget to order a double scoop of rum and raisin for yourself, or perhaps a drink at the local pub is more your style.
#5 The best things in life a free.
There are so many free activities when it comes to the great outdoors. Check out local bushwalks, book ahead for bike or SUP rental, stock up on books and magazines from the library ahead of your trip, trawl through charity stores for old board games and cricket sets. Charity stores are a treasure trove of goodies!
#6 Beaches or rivers instead of waterslides.
Following on from the best things in life, free, say goodbye to plastic jumping pillows and waterslides, sandcastles and beaches are a great alternative. For the cost of waterslide entry you can buy a beach cricket set to keep forever.
#7 Save money on happy hour.
Give the pub or local cocktail bar a miss and have happy hour at the campsite. Drinks are cheaper if you purchase directly (not via a bar). Put some snacks out for everyone and enjoy golden hour together.
#8 Travel with friends and family.
Locations can be cheaper if your group is larger, split the cost with others. Take it in turns to cook dinner so you’re not doing dinner every night, added bonus is the kids will be kept busy playing with the other kids so you can put your feet up for a bit (just a bit).
#9 Borrow don’t buy.
Consider borrowing camping gear from friends. Often camping gear is packed away, gathering dust in the shed. There is no shame in asking around if anyone has any gear to loan!
#10 Be organised and book early.
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