Camping in Europe can make for some of the most memorable holidays your family will ever have. It can also be a great way to keep the cost of your family holiday as low as possible. Check out our list of ways to save money on your next European camping adventure!
Camping is a great way to holiday on a budget and following the tips above will ensure you keep your costs as low as possible. With a little bit of planning before you set off you will find lots of ways to save money.
You can use those savings for a little extra sightseeing or a family dinner in that special restaurant you’ve heard about!
Travel off peak
Everyone knows that prices are cheaper in the off season. Try to plan your trip to take advantage of this. Of course, unless you are planning to camp in southern Spain in winter, you may want to plan your off-peak journey for the spring and autumn months.
Be aware of the dates of long weekends that might occur while you are on the road, as well as any school holiday periods. Camping prices often sneak up on these special occasions.
Visit cheaper countries
Italy isn't the only place you can see a ruined Roman amphitheatre. Turkey and Bulgaria have amazing roman ruins too. The Greek Islands aren't the only place to spend time on a stunning mediterranean beach. Croatia and Montenegro also have lovely beaches. The UK and France aren't the only place to see castles. Eastern Europe has gorgeous castles too. Take a look at the things you want to see and experience during your travels. Perhaps you can see some of those in countries where the cost of living is cheaper. Entrance fees are probably also cheaper, and there's a good chance that when you get there you'll have that castle or ruin to yourself rather than sharing it with hundreds of others.
Take your family on a cycling adventure! You’ll all get fit, save money on gas and have hours and hours to chat to each other as you pedal along. As an added bonus everyone will sleep really well each night!
Eurovelo is a network of 14 cycleways that covers 70,000km of bike paths that extend across most of Europe. With maps, well maintained easy, graded paths, cycling around Europe is a lot more accessible than it used to be. When you mention cycling in Europe a lot of people have visions of trying to get up over the alps with kids in tow ... you really don't need to do that. Today there are a wide range of tandem bikes and carriers so even families with young kids could consider giving this a go.
Look for countries where free camping is allowed
Free camping is mostly illegal in Europe but there are small pockets where you might be able to free camp. Some countries, like Greece, encourage free camping more than others and allow it in many fantastic locations. Do your research before you leave home so you know where to head.
Take your pet along to save on kennel boarding fees
Your pet is a member of the family too and can easily be brought along on holiday. Don’t let unexpected medical expenses derail your holiday though – always purchase pet travel insurance for your furry friend. And look for camping grounds where there is no pet fee added to your bill.
Buy your gear second hand
If you choose carefully you will save hundreds of dollars by buying pre-loved items that are still in good condition. You might even be able to afford some items you had decided to go without. Alternatively, shop at discount camping stores such as Decathalon or REI, or head to a army/camping disposals store rather than a specialty travel store.
Buy your supplies from supermarkets rather than specialty stores
Supermarkets are almost always cheaper than small corner stores, particularly in tourist areas. Try not to buy anything from the camp ground or other places where tourists visit. Prices are usually higher in these areas, especially for essential items. Disposable nappies can be bought on sale when you see them but will cost you an arm and a leg should you run out and need to buy them from the campground store!
Plan your menu
Make sure everything you have can be used up in subsequent meals. There’s no point making a cheesy omelette for breakfast if you’ll be left with 6 eggs and ½ a packet of cheese that no one will eat! If you’re watching your pennies, make sure you plan a second meal that will use up the extra ingredients before they go stale and have to be thrown out. This one tip will save you quite a bit of money.