Fun, affordable vacations

Beach camping at sunset

Time to plan your vacation

Spring will be here before we know it so that means it is time to start planning your vacations and weekend trips.

First, where do you want to go and where will you stay?

Condos and hotels can be really expensive. And, what if you want to bring your pet with you? Not many places will allow pets and if they do you are going to be charged a big fee.  Maybe you want a little more privacy than a high rise on the beach? How about camping?

Outdoorsy rental RVEveryone loves the idea of camping but what do you do if  you don't own a camper and sleeping on the ground is not your idea of a great vacation? Rent one! Outdoorsy makes it super easy, affordable and you have lots of choices. Most owners allow pets too. Pick your camper, size and dates and let's get planning.


Now that you have your RV rented, where do you want to go?

Choosing a campground

Reserve America logo


Search an area on the Reserve America website and make reservations online. This includes private, state, federal and county campgrounds.


Logo for Passport AmericaWant to save 50% off your camping fees while you are out exploring? Join Passport America for just $44 per year and save 50%. Restrictions apply so make sure you read the details but it has already save us hundreds of dollars. You can use your discount immediately and there is a travel planner to help you decide where you want to go.

Affordable or free camping activities

How awesome will it be to unplug from the phone and spend the day outside exploring trails, swimming or doing nothing at all except just enjoying nature.  Go for a bike ride, grab a trail map and go walk the trails, swimming or play some old fashioned yard games.

Geocaching LogoHave you tried Geocaching? It is a world wide treasure hunt using a GPS or even your phone. Logo for Cachly Geocaching AppCachly is a free app that will help you navigate to a cache, gives your clues in case you can't find it and make a comment for the next person once you have located it. When you find one ,you can sign the log showing you found it and leave it there or you can take it as long as you leave something in it's place. This is so much fun and a unique way to explore the area you are in. Click here for a guide to Geocaching.

Gulf State Park Activities

Check to see if the park you will be staying in has any activities while you are there. Many of them offer guided walks and educational programs, movies, animal encounters, arts and crafts.


Kayakers on a lakeI can bet your campground will be close to some sort of body of water which opens up a ton of fun. Swimming, kayaking, fishing, floating on a raft. Make sure you wear sunscreen! Vacation is no fun when you are sunburned. Most campgrounds will loan or rent kayaks, inner tubes or canoes and some even have fishing equipment if you don't bring any with you.


Campfire Foil Packet Dinners Made Easy

Vegetables in foil packet for camping dinner

Once your adventure day is over you are going to be hungry! Campfire cooking is the best, especially foil packet cooking. Everyone puts in their own ingredients, wraps it all up in heavy duty foil, place it on the fire coals or grill and half an hour later dinner is done. The best part- everyone will eat because they made their own and NO dishes to clean. How great is that? Just make sure you use heavy duty foil- this is not the time for the thin stuff.

Want to make it even easier to plan?

Download the Meal Board app, go to recipes, import recipes at the bottom and search foil packet. Add any recipes that sound good. Then go to the little calendar at the top left to create a menu. Add a recipe to each day and the app automatically creates a shopping list for the ingredients. You can then email or print the list.  Once you have all the ingredients it is time to make your meal kits. Preparing everything in advance means no prep time at the campsite, no dishes to wash and everything is organized and ready. Prepare one meal at a time. Cut up all the vegetables needed, precook rice or pasta and cut up or get the meat ready. Put each in separate plastic gallon size bags. Put all of the bags together in a plastic shopping bag and tie closed. On the bag write the name of the meal and directions to cook with a sharpie. Put the bag in the freezer until packing for your trip. If you will be using a cooler for your camping trip this will help keep it cold but you might want to put the meals into an additional trash bag to keep water from melted ice from making a mess. 

No camping trip would be complete without s'mores so don't forget the graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows.







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