Adventure

WORLD OUTDOORS: Planning Your Extended Outdoor Adventure Now Can Save $$$$$ | Sports

WORLD OUTDOORS: Planning Your Extended Outdoor Adventure Now Can Save $$$$$ |  Sports

Jeremy Haas

In case you haven’t noticed, everything is getting much more expensive and it’s happening fast.

It doesn’t take long to spend $100 at the gas pump when you have a truck and a boat to fill up before hitting the river.

Either way, spending time outdoors is one of those things that can give you a ton of value for very little cost. This was confirmed by the significant increases in fishing license sales for Illinois and Iowa when the pandemic hit. Social distancing and extra time has allowed people – many for the first time – to explore the outdoor spaces around us.

For those new to the outdoors, as well as those with more experience, here are some tips for saving whether fuel costs $2 a gallon like last spring or $6 as many analysts are predicting.

If you are planning a trip of a few days, or even an adventure of several weeks, checking accommodation options in advance can save you a lot of money. Any available state park camping has been booked for two years during the pandemic, and I suspect it will be again this year. If you are considering a campsite, book it as soon as possible. Usually, an internet review of the location can give you the particular pros and cons of the location, including what to do in bad weather. When booking this far, you have to consider what life camping in the mud will be like for several days in a row.

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If you’re not the camping type, and I’m in that category now, you can check out cabins or one of the online home rental sites. It’s my favorite now as we’ve been using them for our summer holidays every year since 2017. They also allow you to book well in advance. We have already booked a house in Florida for July 2023, just as an example.

Booking this far in advance allows you to get spectacular deals, as accommodation rates tend to increase once their reservations fill up. The lake house in Michigan that we rented with another family in 2020 was half price as we booked it in 2019. It was cheaper than a hotel, and it was a 5 bedroom house and 3,500 square feet with a private beach! While that might not work for your summer of 2022, you might want to think about 2023 now.

The only catch to consider is reviewing cancellation policies to minimize your risk on any property you are considering. Most are 14 or 30 days before check-in, so be sure to check that. Some properties have 90 day or no cancellation policies. These should be avoided when booking a year in advance.

Next, be sure to factor meals into your calculations. Having the facilities to cook your own meals on these excursions will save you hundreds of dollars even on a short trip. If you go to places like a park in Yellowstone, Table Rock Lake, or even Galena, be aware that vendors are waiting for tourists to come and spend their money! Meals will be expensive, and if you’re bringing the family, be prepared for sticker shock. A trip to the grocery store and cooler is a great alternative to crowded places.

When you take the time to sit and eat outdoors, you may find that the local wildlife entertainment is better than anything you can watch or experience in civilization.

World Outdoors columnist Jeremiah Haas can be reached at [email protected]