Cheap Travel Tips – The Miracle of Car Camping

Hotels are expensive. And while there are more affordable lodging solutions like Airbnb and KOA, if you’re like me, that’s still to much. I admit it, I just don’t like paying someone else to let me sleep. So what can you do? Well, if you’re travelling by car, try out car camping.

It sounds like the least comfortable solution to expensive lodging possible. I have to admit, sleeping in the vehicle you’re travelling in will never hold a candle to the comfort of a fresh bed, but it may be a trade-off worth making if it let’s you go on longer trips and see more things. When you car camp, you can pull over (almost) anywhere to sleep. You’re not tied to the nearest hotel, so you can maximize your drive distance each day before you have to stop. This means you can wake up to see some pretty gnarly sunrises as well.

Of course, your vehicle doesn’t have all the amenities that traditional lodging solutions have. You won’t have running water, so there goes any hope of sprucing up in the morning. My solution? Love’s Travel Stops. Most of these truck stops offer shower services at an affordable price. In the past, I’ve got a shower for two for only $12. The showers are clean and warm, and I find myself looking forward to them each day. Other truck stops and chains have shower services as well, but I always find myself at Love’s due to their cleanliness and consistency. For when you don’t need to shower, but you do need to brush your teeth, wash your face, or shave, just stop at any gas station and use their bathroom. There is a very slim chance that the attendants at these stations will be upset with you for brushing your teeth in their bathroom.

There’s two main drawbacks to car camping: lack of comfort and lack of privacy. If you’re sleeping reclined in the front seat of your sedan, some people just won’t be able to get comfortable enough to doze off. Unfortunately, car camping isn’t the solution for everyone.

The issue of privacy is another big concern. Sleeping in your car is kind of like sleeping in a fish bowl. Anyone can see you. This can be a little unnerving at first, but there are a couple things you can do. First, lock your doors. It’s pretty obvious, but I would never go to sleep in my car with the doors unlocked. Second, put some blankets up in each window. It may draw attention to your vehicle, but at least nobody will be able to see you. Finally, make sure you park in a safe, public place where nobody will bother you. Or make you leave. 24-hour businesses are my choice for parking. There’s usually enough people around so you won’t stick out enough to attract any danger, and you can ensure that someone has an eye on the parking lot all night.

Car camping can be a life saver when it comes to planning a trip on a budget. You’ll spend far less on showers than you would on a hotel room, Airbnb, or other  place. Of course, I’ve found there are certain ways to make car camping an efficient and streamlined process. Next time I’ll share some tips on packing a car for car camping, mistakes to avoid, and some of the valuable things I have learned while car camping.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay, creative commons.

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