Ten years ago, my lovely wife and I used to travel around the country, living in a tent. Today I’ve come to the sad conclusion that we could not afford to do that today. Back then, we stayed in campgrounds a lot more than we do now. Mostly, we stayed in state parks and lower priced private campgrounds. Sometimes we stayed in more expensive campgrounds, but that was to experience special places.
Prices at campgrounds have risen. My income hasn’t. That’s it in a nutshell.
Sure, we could camp off in the woods in National Forests or stealth camp. That’s fine now and then, but having a few facilities are nice.
We have reservations in a couple campgrounds for the trip back, but it’s a tiny fraction of our time away from home. It won’t bust the budget.
Instead of campgrounds sometimes we stay with friends and family. Years ago, we occasionally crashed at other people’s houses, but not like now. This year we’ve spent a fair amount of time at my dad’s. He’s got a spare bedroom, place to park the truck and boat trailer, and even loaned us a car. We also make use of his park’s hot tub and swimming pools. Most importantly, I’ve been able to spend time doing things with dad. Even with helping pay dad’s expenses, it’s cheaper than tent sites.
The other thing we’ve been doing differently is spending time on the sailboat. That’s been a surprisingly economical thing to do. Take our last 4 day trip. We spent only one night in a marina, the other nights were at anchor. Anchoring is free. The marina we stayed at charged $1/foot. With our 19 foot boat that came to a reasonable $19/day. Few campsites in the area are that cheap, and none a nicer place to stay. Oh, yes, we did burn about 1/2 gallon of gas for the outboard.
In the future the only thing that makes economic sense is to spend most of our time on a sailboat.
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