Budget Camping Vacations in Michigan

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Tent Camping

Don't stay home because of rising costs...consider camping vacations right here in Michigan to keep within your budget! 

Why You Should Consider Camping...

If you don’t think there is room in your budget for a family vacation this year, don’t make the announcement and disappoint the children just yet. If you are willing to take a walk on the wild side and spend more time bonding with nature, you can still plan an enjoyable vacation without spending a lot of money. The larger your family is, the more money you can actually save by camping out on vacation this year.

Sleeping Arrangements

How much does it typically cost to get your entire family into a hotel room, or series of connecting rooms, while on vacation? Thinking of that figure, it is no wonder you don’t think you can afford to leave the house this year!

If you exchange that figure for what it costs to rent a campsite for the length of your vacation, you will see that vacation is affordable. It should cost anywhere from $15 to $40 a night to rent a camp space, and you can bring the entire family for that cost!

If your only concern is being able to afford sleeping space for everyone on your vacation, then you can find a campsite close to the entertainment destinations you want to visit, and the problem is solved! Find a campsite that offers restrooms and showers, and you can get up, shower, and head out for nearby fun and adventure just as you would depart from any hotel. Michigan has a lot of great options. The DNR supplies a list of state campgrounds at michigandnr.com.

Fun for Free

If you cannot afford to get the family into amusement parks or other fun destinations, camping can save you money there as well. There are many activities that can be enjoyed from a campsite or in the nearby area which do not cost a penny. Here are some ideas, but you will have to check each campsite to see what is offered:

  • Fishing
  • Singing and dancing by the campfire
  • Swimming in lakes or playing in creeks
  • Hiking
  • Walking nature trails
  • Bird watching
  • Nature photography
  • Basketball or tennis courts
  • Playgrounds

You may need to bring along some equipment to enjoy some of these activities, but they are low cost items that can be used over and over. Some campsites will even offer swimming pools, game rooms, and other on-site amenities that can be enjoyed during your stay. You may pay a little more for your camping space each night when these amenities are offered.

Low Cost Fun

Camping Water Fun

There are also some activities that can be enjoyed on a camping trip for very little cost. Horseback trail riding is a great example. Many camping areas will offer horseback riding lessons or rides through the trails if you pay a little extra.

If there is a lake nearby, you can probably rent a canoe or pedal boats and head out on the water for very little cost. Water sports may also be an option, but you will probably have to rent equipment first. If you have your own snorkeling equipment you may be able to use it at a lake free of charge.

The Cost of Supplies

You can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by camping out for your family vacation. The biggest expense will come not from renting the campsite, but from purchasing the basic equipment needed to camp out comfortably. The good news is you can get by with just these basics, and they can be used over and over again for many affordable vacations to come:

  • Tents to comfortably fit your family
  • Camp stove
  • Sleeping bags or cots
  • Cooler with ice
  • First aid kit
  • Pots and pans (if you don’t want to use those from your home kitchen)
Camping in Michigan

Rather than eating out, you will bring food from home, so you save money on that as well. Make sure to bring the marshmallows and hot dogs to be roasted over the open fire. If your family enjoys camping, you may eventually add to your supplies so you camp becomes more like home.

You may even decide to do it again next year!


Other Favorite Sites for Camping in Michigan?

We have so many favorites! There are just too many to list!

Click here to see our visitor's favorite campgrounds or vote for your favorite.

To search and find your favorite Michigan campground by facilities, activities and location, visit Michigan Campgrounds Online here.

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Visit the Michigan State Parks' Top 10 Campgrounds! Michigan camping at its best!


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