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Camping opportunities are plentiful

Posted: April 24, 2012 - 5:41pm  |  Updated: May 2, 2012 - 10:27am

 

Last month, I talked a little about how to have a less costly vacation, and I received a great response from people. The main response was concerning camping and the experiences that people have had. This may be the perfect opportunity to give more information on camping and how to have a great vacation at campgrounds.

Did you know that you don’t have to own an RV or tent to go camping? That’s right. You can enjoy the feel of camping without “roughing it.” Many campgrounds have cabins for rent. This is a great way to see what different campgrounds have to offer. Once you find certain ones that you like best, those will be the ones you visit most often, while still checking out new campgrounds. Once you get used to the campground atmosphere, chances are you will want to purchase a tent or RV. The best way to start out with this, without spending a lot of money, is by purchasing the things you need through sites such as eBay and Craigslist, yard sales, personal ads in the newspaper, or by shopping around at store sales to get the best price.

You want to decide what types of places you like to visit the most. Do you prefer the mountains or the beach? Once you know that, you will know where to start your search. I have already mentioned the Jellystone campgrounds. They are in 31 states, plus parks in Canada. These parks offer amenities such as a pool, children's crafts, movie nights, dances, hayrides with Yogi Bear and other fun activities for the entire family. Jellystone has a Club Yogi Rewards program. This is a free program that allows members to earn five points for every dollar spent at a campground for sites as well as on qualified purchases. These points can be redeemed for Yogi Bear licensed merchandise and even a free night’s stay.

KOA (Campgrounds of America) is another choice for camping. There are more than 400 KOA campsites, according to www.koa.com. According to Robyn from Northwest Pennsylvania KOA (www.meadvillekoa.com), KOA campgrounds have a lot to offer campers as well. Certain standards have to be met for a campground to be a KOA campground.

They have cabins and cottages for rent as well as RV and tent sites. They offer a Value Kard Reward card that can be purchased for $24 yearly, saves you 10 percent every time you camp. Upon joining, you get 500 points, member-only savings, your saved information makes check-in faster and easier and, once you have saved up points, you can redeem them for savings at KOA parks.

There are many state parks that are not KOA- or Jellystone-affiliated but are equally as good. I named Magnolia Springs State Park in Millen, Ga., in my last article. This park offers a history lesson for campers, as it is the former site of Camp Lawton from the Civil War, walking trails, springs with a boardwalk that allow for wildlife watching, and a 28-acre lake for fishing and boating. There are 26 campsites and eight cottages from which you choose. Aiken State Park is another small campground that has a lot to offer. There are 20 campsites to choose from with activities such as fishing, a playground, biking, walking trails, nature watching, boating and many more.

Typically, campsites range from $14 to more than $55, depending on the season and the site itself. Some sites are lakefront, which will run higher. Sometimes camping in the mountains during peak season may cost more.

 

KAREN GREEN CAN BE REACHED TO TEACH COUPON CLASSES AT BUDGETCOUPONS@COMCAST.NET.

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