Six ways to cut the cost of camping
Pitching your tent in the great outdoors can be a fun way to have a holiday - and a cheap one too, if you follow these tips.
Borrow equipment from your camping enthusiast friends or visit second-hand suppliers such as towsure.com, campingworld.co.uk and gooutdoors.co.uk. Alternatively, buy your tent in an off-season clearance sale.
Household items like old shower curtains make great ground sheets; yoga mats provide extra cushioning for sleeping; and a zip-lock plastic bag filled with air can make a comfortable pillow.
Pick a good-value location
Check out public camping grounds on ukcampsite.co.uk or touristnetuk.co.uk to find the best-priced location, and compare amenities such as showers to get the best value for money. It may also be cheaper to camp during the week or in off-season.
You can camp for free in Scotland, where 'wild camping' is legal, but check the trespassing laws before pitching your tent in a farmer's field.
Don't waste food
Store snacks in individual serving sizes and buy canned foods that won't go stale. Save old food containers such as glass jars or margarine tubs to avoid Tupperware costs, and invest in a quality cooler to improve the length of time fresh food lasts.
Find free entertainment
Some campsites have park and swimming pool facilities that you can use at no extra cost, and in busy months they may offer further free activities.
If you really want to cut costs, hiking is a great way to get back to nature. Find maps and routes on the ordnance survey website, ordnancesurvey.co.uk.
Cut travel expenses
Make sure the journey to your chosen destination is cost-efficient. If you take the car, find the cheapest petrol stations on the way by using petrolprices.com, and calculate how much the trip will cost you at fuel-economy.co.uk.
And remember to take only what you need, as excess luggage will make the car heavier and use more petrol.
Check the different options for travelling to your location at traveline.org.uk - it could be cheaper to use public transport.
Booking train tickets in advance will save you money, and off-peak fares provide additional savings.
This is more usually a feature of car insurance but it can also crop up in contents, mobile phone and pet insurance policies. An excess is the amount of money you have to pay before the insurance company starts paying out. The excess makes up the first part of a claim, so if your excess is £100 and your claim is for £500, you would pay the first £100 and the insurer the remaining £400. Many online insures let you set your own excess, but the lower the excess, the more expensive the premium will be.