Filed under: Campgrounds & RV Parks, Family Camping, RV Campgrounds, Traveling Tips
Stretch Your Vacation Dollars This Spring
By Karen Brucoli Anesi
Whether it comes in like a lamb or a lion, the weather in March, on average stinks. That’s OK, because we’ve had more than a few 60- degree, sunny days this month. Enough that the phone is ringing with plenty of April camping requests.
The first thing callers say is “Oh—I didn’t expect you to pick up the phone.” Then there’s usually a degree of surprise that we’re open year-round, followed by a second surprise: the best rates and often the best time to camp is during shoulder seasons and mid-week.
Think you can’t camp in April? Think again.
For the third year in a row we’ll host a gang of great guys from the Toyota Territory Off-Road Association. They’ll take advantage of area trails by day and sit around a bonfire most nights when they’re not playing pool in our carpeted clubhouse. One night they’ll have a big feast in the pavilion, using our commercial grill for a man meal in the woods.
The TTORA group camps in tents, but RVers, too, know that the fish are biting, the daffodils are blooming and the fresh air is a welcome blast of what’s to come as the green awakens in the woods. In April, while nights are still cool, sleep is of the deep quality that only gets interrupted by the smell of bacon cooking on an open fire.
If there’s a theme for this year, its how can we help our campers save money in shoulder seasons, yet not cut the corners on their experience. We know that the weather can be iffy, but campers know they can always pick up a morning cup of free hot coffee and some sass at our front desk.
How much time does it take to recharge your batteries and where do you go for a quick “fix?”
If you are like me, it only takes 48 to 72 hour in the woods to add a month of smiles. I have to admit that I’m not relaxed enough to toss my cell phone aside, but I can tell you this much: in light of listening to CNN up to 15 hours each day and being reminded of tensions in far corners of the world, I embrace the forced isolation for all it’s worth.
My “group therapy” might be with the early return of the robins or the crocus and grape hyacinths pushing their way to the surface. Just thawing out a container of frozen chili and eating it out of a throwaway container, sitting on a tree stump in a pair of baggy jeans, well, that’s what charges my batteries for not much more than what I’d spend taking my family to see a movie on a big screen in a multi-plex theater. Need I say more?
So, you’re not yet convinced that camping is a value experience? You’re not an April eager- to- be- in- the- woods type? Consider our other value option: mid week camping.
It matters not what time of year, if you avoid holiday weeks and can tear away from the workplace between Sunday and Wednesday nights, your family can save up to 45%. Not only will you have the advantage the wide open park offers, but you can jump on the pedal cars without a wait, stretch out on a raft in the pool, grab a cue stick to play pool or pick out your favorite tunes on the juke box and know there’s not a crowd behind you. Go ahead, sing in the showers and shout at the top of your lungs.Just don’t do it after 10pm or you’ll be in hot water. You see, we can save you money, but we won’t run interference if you break the rules. :=)
Have fun in 2011. Get to know your family. Take a short drive down the road, save fuel costs and do your own group therapy in a safe, comfortable retreat right in your own backyard, yet worlds away from city congestion and workplace stress.
About the Author:
Karen Brucoli Anesi, along with her husband, Frank, own Lock 30 Woodlands, Ohio’s only Best Park in America and the highest-rated campground in the tri state area of Ohio, PA and W. VA. She is a member of the Board of Regents and an instructor for The National School of RV Parks and Campground Management. Karen has a home in Durango, Colorado, where she’s a contributor, former columnist and special assignment reporter for the Durango Herald.