Thrifty Adventures

Ah, summer. There is no better time to get out of the house and get to know nature a little better. The best way to do this is to go camping! I know what you are thinking: “I want to experience nature from my air conditioned hotel room in Waikiki!” Well this is frugal blog, darnit, so let’s compare the two trips.

  • Travel Expense
    • Flight from Portland, OR to Honolulu round trip for a family of four:
      • $1680 (double that for you East Coasters)
    • 200 mile round trip drive to favorite campground:
      • <$60 (assuming you aren’t an H2 driver…)
  • Hotel Expense
    • 3 star hotel in Waikiki:
      • $130 per night
    • Campsite fee:
      • <$30 per night
  • Fun Expense
    • Waikiki
      • Snorkeling with the fishes
        • $60 each
      • Taking a helicoptor tour of a mountain
        • $120 each
      • Touring a pineapple plantation
        • $12 each plus pineapple-y souvineers
    • Camping
      • Going fishing
        • $14 each (and in many states, kids under 14 can fish for free) 
      • Taking a hike up a mountain
        • Free! (Just make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks)
      • Touring a pinecone “plantation”
        • Free!
  • Food Expense
    • Waikiki
      • Breakfast – Banana crêpe with coconut syrup and fresh ground Kona coffee
        • $14
      • Lunch – Glass of POG juice, deep fried mahi-mahi, and a mango shave ice
        • $9
      • Dinner – Succulent pork roasted on a spit, by a master chef, over a bed of fire heated lava rocks
        • $24
    • Camping
      • Breakfast – Burned pancake with a slightly squished banana and a glass of watery coffee crystals
        • $3
      • Lunch – cup of Kool-Aid, pan fried lake trout, and a couple of ice cubes found at the bottom of your cooler
        • $0.50
      • Dinner – Succulent hotdog roasted on a stick, by your 10 year old son, over a bed of random things you decided to burn (YUM!)
        • $1.25

As you can see, a camping trip is clearly a great option for those who want an adventure on a budget.  I recommend looking at these great resources to help plan a camping trip:

Do you have any great camping stories? Tell us about them in the comment box below.

2 thoughts on “Thrifty Adventures

  1. Jim

    Another option, which I have heard great things about, is the Pacific Northwest’s Forest Service Rental Program.

    “Whether it is winter, spring, summer, or fall, you can experience all of the seasons in a historic Forest Service cabin or fire lookout. Once operated as fully staffed lookouts or remote ranger stations, many of these rentals provide an opportunity to live the life of a ranger or fire lookout.

    Many of the cabins and lookouts that compose the Recreation Lodging offering in the Pacific Northwest Region are the historic representatives of a once- extensive system of protective structures designed to detect wildfires – and to house fire guards, “smoke chasers”, who formed the front-line defense in fighting those fires as the initial attack.”

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