If you thought the campgrounds were crowded this year, you haven’t seen anything yet! With a slow economy and expensive airfares, more families are planning on camping vacations next year than ever before. Here is how you can get a jump on the competition for those lucrative campsites, or avoid the crowds altogether, while still enjoying some of the best camping around.
Competition for campsites will be fiercest around holidays, so realize that the crowds and noise will be at their worst around Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.
Get a 2009 calendar. Yes, you will probably get some free ones for Christmas, but you cannot wait until December to plan next year’s camping trips. Also, many companies have not yet published their 2009 holiday schedule, but use this year’s schedule as a guide. Competition for campsites will be fiercest around holidays, so realize that the crowds and noise will be at their worst around Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.
Use vacation days to avoid the crowds. If you get at least ten vacation days in 2009, and your company allows you to break them up, you can plan three-day, Wednesday through Friday, camping trips and avoid the weekend rush. Best of all, you will still have the weekend for recovery and yard work, and the kids can catch-up on the school work they missed during the week.
Use first-come, first-served campgrounds. Nobody likes uncertainty, which is why first-come, first-served campgrounds, those that do not accept reservations, are generally less-crowded than their reserveable counterparts. If you show up at a first-come, first-served campsite on Wednesday, you might even have the entire campground to yourself!
Save money and buy gear this winter. The camping is mighty slow in the winter, so stores tend to offer their best deals on camping gear during this time. Make a list of what you wish that you had on your camping trips this year, and include things that you already have, but are getting worn out. Note that Santa Claus’ idea of a camping stove might differ greatly from yours, so be careful when putting camping gear on your Christmas list.