A Frugal Christmas holiday, the cheapest way to get away! Over the Christmas time in Sydney lots and lots of us love to get away for a few days. To spend time with family, have some much needed R&R or just to escape the hustle and bustle of life in Sydney. 

But before you go booking a beachside resort or even an Air bnb, consider camping! These days it’s more popular than ever and for good reason. It’s cheaper than almost any other type of holiday! Sydney siders love the outdoors and most friday afternoons you’ll notice the highways heading out of the city are extra busy with SUV’s, Campervans, Ute’s with camp trailers or even the occasional sedan with push bikes on the tow bar.

Here is a quick breakdown on how to maximise your fun on the frugal christmas camping trip whilst minimizing your expenditure!

Transport

Before leaving make sure to check your car is up to date on all maintenance and servicing. A well kept vehicle will run more economically on fuel consumption. Fill up before you go. If you’re travelling to a rural area the petrol stations tend to have higher fuel prices since they pay a premium for fuel to be sent out there. 

Avoid the traffic

Noone likes being caught in traffic, especially holiday traffic. It can put a real dampener on your excitement. So simple, avoid it. The worst day and time to leave would have to be friday afternoon. It’s the most congested time of the week for people trying to get away. Avoid this by leaving a day earlier! Ask your boss for an extra day off and you’ll thank yourself when you’re cruising rather than crawling up the highway. If you can’t get the extra day off, at least try to finish a lot earlier that day. Leave well before 5pm when most of the traffic hits. 

Same goes for your journey home. Leave a day earlier. Getting home a day earlier gives you a little extra time to readjust to home life again and extra time to unpack from your frugal christmas holidays. If you can’t get the kids off their bikes and don’t want to leave? Leave a day later! 90% of people are all heading back on the same day the holidays end. Stay an extra night wherever you are and you’ll thank yourself on the trek home.

Find free campsites

One of the best parts about NSW is how big it is! With most of the state being rural once you get outside of Sydney. Hit apps like Aircamp and visitnsw.com to find free campsites in your chosen destination. If you can’t find one in your preferred location, why not consider trying somewhere new that has availability!? 

A downside to using apps and websites to find free sites is that everyone has that same ability. Talk to your friends and outdoor enthusiasts to see if you can find out about some hidden gems not available to the weekend warriors. Finding beautiful free to set up camp is relatively easy if you do a bit of research.

Paid Campsites/Caravan parks

There are endless amounts of paid campsites and holiday parks you could choose to spend your frugal christmas holiday at. Most are relatively cheap for camping if you do your due diligence and shop again beforehand. Most will have a higher rate over the festive season though. Opt for a free campsite as a first option but if you fail to find one suitable there are paid sites all over NSW that are affordable. A bonus for most holiday parks is that there are suitable amenities available at most including toilets, showers and water sources for your cooking and drinking.

a frugal Christmas hot chocolate

Food

Pack your own and take it with you from home. The simplest and easiest way to save big bucks whilst on a camp trip is to shop your pantry before you leave. Write a meal plan for each day and check your pantry for ingredients first! Meal planning, just as it saves you at home having a meal plan for your trip will save you on holiday too. Of course it’s still a nice idea to have dinner out at the local restaurant wherever you take your trip. For the bulk of your trip plan to do all your meals yourself though. My favourite cooking to do on a camp trip is using the fire. There’s nothing better than a flame grilled steak fresh off the fire.

Drinks

Same as food. Take them from home too! Avoid taking bottled water in individual bottles. Get yourself a large 10 or 20L water tank to store your drinking water. If you’re on a site that doesn’t have access to fresh water you should be taking double the amount you need.

Plan on having a cold one? Always keep space to take your empties with you to the nearest disposal point. There’s nothing worse than rocking up to a campsite to find disrespectful campers have left their empty beer bottles behind.

Activities

The best thing about camping is that almost every activity you do is free. Take the bikes from home, the kayaks, board games, hiking shoes and any other camping favorite’s of yours. Leave the tablets at home and explore the natural surroundings that you will be spending your time in.

A Frugal Christmas Holiday

In Australia we are blessed to have a hot summer Christmas almost every year. Perfect for exploring the outdoors and making the most of the holiday break. Be mindful of your expenses everywhere you go to make the most of your holiday budget. Keep a sinking fund handy to splurge on fun activities should they pop up on your road trip. Also, it’s a nice idea to support small local businesses in the towns you visit. I’m not saying blow the bank on a T-Bone steak at the pub but a coffee here and there won’t hurt. It will however contribute to the local economy and help keep our small towns alive.

Have a Safe, Merry and Frugal Christmas from us! – Frugal Beans