Well, it’s that time of year again…only 167 days until we leave our home and drag our little “cabin on wheels” to the most magical place on earth. To help pass the time, I thought I’d share some of my camping tips/advice with my MB pals…
[U]Lengthy travel to get to FW? [/U]
- [B]TAKE YOUR TIME![/B] I know you’re all eager to get there, but the journey down can still be a part of the vacation. It’ll help ease the stress on the driver and provide the family with some pre-disney bonding. Our travel time is roughly 20 hours…and we tend to split it up into 3 days.
- Research nifty places to stop for a picnic or scenic view. We have made the tiny stop in Corbin, KY a tradition. It’s the home of the original KFC. A cheap place to have lunch in a museum-like joint. Pretty nifty. Don’t expect a great wowie factor, but it’s still neat. (and yes, you can park an rv there!)
- National Park/Beaches on the way? Once, we stopped in the Smoky Mountains for a night. Just beautiful. Another year, we spent a night near St Simon’s Island…woke up before dawn to watch the sun rise at the beach.
[U]Packing Tips for Camping[/U]
- TUBS. Everyone in our family gets one tub for the 12 days we camp at FW. (That’s right - 1 tub per person) For my 16yr old DD, this is quite tricky. , but she manages. Sometimes, she bargains with her two brothers for extra storage - LOL. This, of course, doesn’t include sleepwear. Sleepwear and 2 changes of clothes stay “on board” the trailer for the trip down. Tubs stay locked up in the back of the pick up until we arrive. We also keep one sweatshirt each in the camper for cooler weather.
- IKEA. (or other organizational store) Get hanging shoe organizers to hang in rv bathroom for shampoos, soap, deoderant, girly stuff, razors, aspirin, lotions, etc. If your tenting…this would still be a cool thing to hang in your tent for the same reason.
- SHOES. With ten of us camping in a space built for eight last Christmas, this was an unexpected dilemna. Designate a basket for shoes by the door if your traveling with a large party. Bringing two pair each (which I recommend) can really make your small space pretty cluttered otherwise.
- CUTLERY and CONDIMENTS from fast food joints. Start WAY ahead and save all of those extra packets, spoons, forks, napkins you would otherwise throw away. Store them up and take them along. We also wash our plasticware to reuse while we’re there.
[U]Meal Ideas[/U] - [B]HERE’S MY BIGGEST $$$ SAVER!![/B]
SLOWCOOKER!!! About 6 months before we go (just when I need to keep the thrill of the trip alive), I make a meal plan for the 12 days. Over the course of several months, I plan a double meal for the family. The second family portion is vaccuum-sealed, labeled, and put in the freezer.
When we stay at FW, we have two decent meals a day (and snacks for the parks): Breakfast and dinner. Or, if we’ve slept in…big brunch and a very late dinner. One meal a day is a slow cooker meal.
[B]Typical meals we freeze:[/B]
chili, taco meat/chicken fajita, split pea soup, fresh-from-our-garden summer squash and zuchinni medley with parmesan, stew, pulled pork, meatballs (for subs), roast beef, homemade mac 'n cheese, etc…
[B]Here’s a typical day:[/B] (Mind you, we are night owls)
8/9am: Wake Up, shower, stuff park packs with lunch/snacks and frozen bottle of water from freezer.
10am: good breakfast (muffins, pancakes, cereal, yogurt, etc)
11am: Take out slow cooker meal from freezer and place in pre-lined slow cooker. Turn on LOW.
Noon to (yes we’re crazy) Late: Enjoying the Magic!!! (Lunch and snacking from our packs)
Late: Enjoy a warm, homemade meal and talk about our day. (Clean Up is easy…pull the liner out of the slowcooker and pitch!)
Making our own meals and bringing snacks saves us a fortune! We would rather make food prep an adventure and spend the extra money on staying longer. There is one day, however, that we reserve for a big family night out meal at a park. During Christmas, it’s at the Biergarten…followed by the Candlelight Processional.
OK, this has helped me get pumped for our next trip. (I hope some of you find these tips helpful) Feel free to share your own camping tips too. I’m always looking for ways to save. :wub:
Thanks for letting me rattle on!
Happy FW Camping!!