My husband and I love to go to the movies. If we had our way, we’d be at the theater every weekend enjoying the latest sci-fi or adventure release, and the occasional chick flick if I whine enough. Renting a movie will never be the same – even if we can someday afford that 32″ high def TV. But, like everyone else, the tight economy has made us re-evaluate our movie excursions. Even with matinee prices, our latest trip was about $50 for a two hour movie (Iknow, but the food is part of the experience).
So what does this have to do with Virginia State Parks? When thinking of the $50 for two people to be entertained for two hours, it really hit home how economical a family camping trip to a state park is. Reading the latest Camping Blogger article today, reminded me again of the great economies of a state park camping trip. (Family Vacations:Camping vs. Traditional http://www.campingblogger.net/). This article compares a two night family of four camping trip @$120 to a two night family of four hotel/motel stay @ $350. Compare the two people for two hours @ $50 and you’ll see what I mean.
But I think the $120 vs $350 expense needs to be expanded some. Unlike a weekend getaway to a hotel/motel where you still have to DOsomething when you get there to have fun, when camping in a Virginia state park you have a variety of no cost or low cost activities there for the taking. There’s hiking, enjoying nature, wildlife and bird watching, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, biking. Even if you just pitch the tent, prepare your meals over a campfire, and sit around the fire and talk, you’ve probably had more entertainment than a typical hotel stay.
Never been camping before?That should not be a reason to rule out this family activity. Many of our Virginia State Parks offer “Camping 101” programs to help newbies learn the ins and outs. If you’re reading this blog you are probably internet savvy so a quick internet search will probably give you guidance. When you go camping for the first time, you’ll find fellow campers will also be a helpful resource. We partner with ReserveAmerica for our reservation software and web reservations, and their site has a lot of good basic information on camping and camping gear (http://www.thecampingclub.com/).
You don’t have to spend a lot of money right away. Four Virginia State Parks offer a camping experience for the uninitiated that gives a taste of camping without the investment in a tent and gear. Pocahontas, Lake Anna and Westmoreland state parks have camping cabins that are a wooden structure with twin beds or bunks. You live in the camping cabin but cook outside and use the bathhouse/restrooms in the campground. You don’t even need to bring a sleeping bag – just basic bed linens and pillows. Kiptopeke State Park offers rental RVs and a yurt (unique tent-like structure) that accomplishes the same end. If you enjoy the immersion in nature, the hiking trails, fishing, … you will know it makes sense to start investing in some of the equipment. Even then, you can start out slow. Many families that start tent camping, over the years graduate to popups and RVs.
Make a reservation or get additional information by calling 800-933-7275, or reserve your Virginia State Park camping vacation on line at http://www.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDirectoryList.do?contractCode=va