Fun Family Vacation on a Budget with KOA

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Camping is a good way to save money and still have a fun family vacation. I am not big on really roughing it with a toddler in diapers and a daughter who is afraid of flies so we went on my version of a camping vacation. My solution is KOA. You can take your RV, tent, or rent one of their kamping kabins. They have running water, flushing toilets, and warm showers and are all over the United States and Canada. We don't own an RV and I didn't want to stay in a tent for a week with 3 kids, so we rented a 1 room kabin. Here are some pictures of what a KOA Kabin looks like (I found these on google images, but our kabin was the same):
This was our 4th year vacationing with KOA and my kids LOVED it as usual. They love the cute kabin and the log bunkbeds. We put our toddler in a playpen at the end of our bed and he loved it too. They really are 1 room and you have to walk to the shared restrooms and showers, but they are kept very clean. We paid $60 a night ($70 on weekends) and had the whole camping experience and more. They had a pool, playground, rec room, and other fun things to do. Our KOA even rented bikes with canopies and pedals for 4 people with additional seating for others.

Of course there are also the things to do in the area you are camping. We went and visited a cave and the lake. In the past we have even rented jet skies. Why spend thousands of dollars buying jet skies or a boat and then have to store them, haul them, get them in the water, clean them, repair them and pay property taxes on them when you can just rent?! I think we paid around $150 for 2 hours of pure fun on a jet ski and then just handed the keys and life preservers back when we were done.
Here I am a couple of years ago on my rented jet ski back during the summer I had short hair.

I brought all of our food up with us and cooked with our Coleman camping stove and over the fire. We ate out 1 night at a cook-out with cowboys and the whole outdoor atmosphere, but all of the other meals I made. We sat by the campfire at night, played games, made smores and had as much fun as you can on a vacation. We spent $60 a night for the kabin and about $10 a day on all of our food for a total of about $70 each day. I think that is pretty good for a family vacation.

I will be posting a couple of my camping recipes that went over really well with the kids later this week. I will also be posting another giveaway this week. As I was sitting and typing up this post I received an email from Libby's about Family Time on a Budget this Summer. They want to give away a picnic basket and 10 cans of Libby's vegetables to one of my readers. They have some really great tips about spending time with family on a budget and one of them is camping. How funny that I would get that email as I was typing up this post. Check back this week for the giveaway and my camping recipes!

Here is a link to KOA's website that lists all of the KOA's in the U.S.:

Since I spent an entire week camping and an entire week packing and planning, I am linking this to Julia's Hooked on Fridays link party. I was pretty hooked on all things camping and am still planning on posting more camp recipes and ideas next week. Don't forget to visit her blog and see what everyone else is Hooked On today!

Don't forget to also visit The Inspired Room's A Beautiful Life link party. There is nothing more beautiful than camping and looking up at the stars and nature. See the beauty others are finding this week!


  1. Hi! I found your blog through TCB and am so happy I found you! I love thrifty finds and having a home that is beautiful without spending lots of money! I am intrigued by the lemonade Kool Aid to clean your dishwasher with! Love this idea! I will be checking out more of your posts, and now a follower!


  2. What a cute lil cabin! I haven't been camping since I was a kid, but you talked me into it :)

  3. I can remember the first time my Dad pulled into a KOA campground. They were a just starting out and my parents were very impressed with the cleanliness -- We kids loved the playground. Family times ..nothing can replace them. Glad to hear you had a good time.
    And by the way I am here via TCB ... and she's right you have a wonderful blog.
    Have a blessed day

  4. What a bargain! I'm glad you had a good time together!

  5. Looks like a wonderful place to stay :)

  6. Ok ok ok...maybe I will try camping (Hubby's been pushing for it). :)

  7. I am the camper and my hubby is not... but I think we could "rough it" in a cabin. We've driven past some KOAs and thought they looked pretty nice and had great accomadations.. like pools and stuff:)

    And GOOD for you with planning meals:) I'd doo the same!!

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  9. So I just found your blog! Crazy that our blogs are so similar. :) These photos look like Bear Lake, is that where you were at?