Compared to putting your family up in a resort or whisking you and your partner away overseas, camping can already seem like a much cheaper holiday option. After the initial cost of your camper trailer, you don’t need to spend heaps and heaps of money.
Of course, with everything in life, there’s a cheap and an expensive way to do things, and it’s easy to get caught up in having the latest and greatest everything. However, that’s not what camping is all about, a camper trailer holiday is about getting back to basics and experiencing the simplicity of life!
The way you wish to spend your time in a camper trailer is up to you. But we’re sure that there are many Mars camper trailer enthusiasts who would love to get away at a more affordable cost. That’s where we come in, get away more often while spending less!
All that goes into to making sure that your camper trailer trip fits your budget is a little planning, a little bit of searching and a little bit of smarts, and you’ll find yourself with the funds and the know how to head away more often, really getting the most from your camper trailer.
Keep reading and learn our top tips on how to make your camper trailer trips work on a budget– without slumming it.
Food and Drinks
First things first, the essentials of any camping trip: food and drink. A camper trailer has everything you’ll need like a functioning kitchen that removes the need for takeaway meals, dining out or even pre-prepared food.
All our campers have a kitchen facility, so you can always guarantee that you have a way to whip up something delicious right from the comfort of your camper.
If you need more convincing, read our blog and learn 14 deliciously easy meals to cook in your camper that don’t suck.
Cook up a feast before you leave home and pack frozen portions in your camper fridge or freezer. This means that you can use what you have at home, not letting it go to waste, and you avoid having to double up on the basics like herbs and spices to have one at home and one in your camper.
Remember that your camp kitchen is so easy to slide out. You can cook something up for a quick lunch when you pull over at a rest stop! Easy options like sandwiches and healthy snacks like fruit won’t go rotten with your camper fridge at the ready.
Avoid grabbing ice creams and cold drinks at the servo every time you fill up; these things add up and end up burning a hole in your pocket!
While a BBQ is basically the first requirement of camping, swap luxury items like steaks and fish for more veggies or a clearance buy from the local shops, cutting down your grocery bill. Plus, you can never go wrong with extra veggies and your body will thank you for it.
Location, Location, Location!
At Mars Campers, we advocate for seeing as much as the country as you possibly can, and we try not to have our favourites. However, not all of Australia was created equal as far as costs go, and there are definitely places that you might need to reconsider if you are camping on a very strict budget.
For example, places that are quite remote or isolated such as some top end locations and some outback locations will have higher supermarket and fuel prices simply because the amount of people that pass through is much less than populated areas.
This can mean that even though you’re trying to do the right thing and purchase a packet of cheese and some ham, the price might be jacked up and defeat the purpose of the exercise.
The plus side of this is that there are some awesome locations in Australia that are insanely low cost, meaning your camping posse can head away more often.
Take advantage of the free campsites that are scattered around the country. Your camper trailer allows you to be pretty self-sufficient and avoid caravan park fees.
National parks, however, are becoming more and more expensive to camp in, so it’s worth checking out the fees and costs before you rock up and assume it’s free or low cost.
The costs can be up there with caravan parks, and although the money is going to help maintain and protect the areas you’re staying in, we’re here to save money!
But, in saying that …
Invest In Being Self Sufficient
We know, we know, this blog is about saving cashola, not spending it! But trust us, investing in being self-sufficient is one of the best choices you can make as a trailer owner.
We’re talking about things like solar panels and camp showers that will pay for themselves after a few camping trips. If you use free campsites they’ll often be without power or facilities, so a solar panel or shower will be handy in the long run.
As we mentioned earlier, preparing your meals before you leave home will ensure that you’re self-sufficient, meaning you can stop anywhere and have a range of food options ready to go.
Before you get all funny, we’re not suggesting for a second that you need to go caveman style, budget doesn’t always mean going without! Investing in items means that you’ll find yourself with little to no setup time as you won’t need to rely on parks or the likes to use their facilities. You have everything you need and as a result, you can go anywhere your heart desires!
Another benefit of being self-sufficient is that you can avoid big masses of people.
Choose Cheap Activities
This one shouldn’t be hard! If you’re camping with a camper trailer, chances are you’re already really interested in the great outdoors and your holiday will be based around active and outdoorsy activities.
On budget conscious trips, skip the expensive (and quite frankly, not all that great) attractions such as theme parks, and go for free or cheap activities instead like hiking, swimming and snorkelling.
Would you prefer to watch some fish through the glass or see them first hand in the ocean? We know what we would prefer, and we know what will make a longer lasting impression on your little ones.
There may also be a playground with swings, basketball courts, and other free things for the kids around. Also remember to bring along bikes, balls and gloves, board games, frisbees, or any games you enjoy. There will be plenty of opportunities for the family to play together.
If this is your first-time camping, you can gear up with the basics for under $600. This may seem costly, but once it’s done you’ll be reaping the rewards! There are also a number of outdoors stores that rent camping gear. Check with your local retailer about costs to rent a camp tent and other gear you may need.
For added comfort and insulation from the cold ground, you might consider putting a pad under your sleeping bag if you have people sprawled out on air beds. You can find sleeping pads for under $30. Save money on a sleeping bag and make your own comfortable bedding with blankets.
Pro tip: Keep in mind that people will be sleeping on the floor when you choose your campsite, making sure you’re on a flat surface clear from rocks and anything else that might hurt.
Keep Your Car Costs Down
If you’re traveling with family or friends, consider sharing a car. Not only will you be able to share some of the driving (wahhooo) but you’ll be able to split fuel and car maintenance costs before you head off.
Slow down! By sticking to the range of your vehicle (and, remember, every vehicle is different), you’ll be driving more efficiently and, therefore, economically, especially when towing.
Get your vehicle serviced before you leave home. It might seem like a big cost at the time, but all the budget pre-prepared meals in the world won’t save you when you have to pay big bucks to have your car and camper recovered and towed back to civilisation after a breakdown!
Choosing a Mars Campers camper trailer is a money saver in its self! Take a look at our range and see which trailer best suits you and your family.