Canadian Camping Discount Vacations


Camping. You may shudder when you hear that and it is certainly NOT for everyone.

Obviously, the main benefit is that it can be a very budget friendly summer vacation. At a fraction of the price of a hotel you can stay in the same location as you wanted to but have money saved or a lot more cash on hand for activities and shopping.

Choosing to camp, as your family vacation, can be great for the kids (it certainly was for ours). Whether it’s part of a vacation plan or camping IS the vacation it’s good fun for everyone. Our kids loved making s’mores, my wife loves napping on the hammock and I love making the fire and playing with it. We try and collect bugs, play some light outdoor games and take in all the fresh air. If you’re real cheap, you don’t even have to leave your own backyard. BEEN THERE!

Let me sum up my experiences by telling you about my last two vacations. Both were to Niagara Falls.

Last August we went to a campground just off the Falls Parkway that had access to a pool, mini-putt, a small park with slide and swings and a very clean bathroom\shower area. I took my wife and my two beautiful girls, Talim (6) and Kairi (3), for $33 per night. Since we were at the border and the Canadian Dollar was riding a high point we crossed over and hit some amazing children’s clothing deals and had Chili’s for dinner.

In March we stayed in Niagara Falls at two separate hotels (one with a water park but not the one you are thinking of) and another at a place overlooking the falls (no, not the casino). We stayed for three nights with each costing us over $125 and we booked with coupons, special deals and all the kids-eat-free we could find. While we still crossed the border and went to Chili’s all we had to declare when we got back was that we had fun.

I know this will be a polarizing topic. Let me know what you like and if you have any tips on finding a good place to go or how to plan.

23 responses to “Canadian Camping Discount Vacations”

  1. tattoodprincess says:

    I think I know the hotels you’re talking about…because I work for them 😛 I am 100% a hotel girl. I didn’t like camping even as a kid. To me, camping in the same area there’s a hotel, is like sleeping on the sidewalk outside the Trump Towers, even though you can afford to stay there. I don’t like dirt, bugs, grass, public bathrooms etc; I’m a teeeeeny bit prissy I’m not gonna lie lol. But if you DO enjoy those kinda things, then it’s totally the way to go. It’s super affordable and allows you to splurge on other things you wouldn’t normally be able to. I’ve even seen people who normally camp stay in the place I work, and to the kids it’s a HUGE treat because it’s not something they’re expecting to get every year.

  2. Sally says:

    We prefer a hotel stay over camping any day. I do not like sleeping on the ground.

  3. Lisa Frys says:

    what was the camp ground called?

  4. honeydoo says:

    $33 a night?! whoa. i thought camping was free/next-to-free. i’m pretty sure the Motel 6 in NFalls (NY and/or ON) is about $35 a night.. lol

  5. xox2010 says:

    I went camping in Washington DC last summer. I wish we had stayed in a hotel to be honest, lol. I just don’t like the fact that the washrooms are almost always gross in campsites. And the one in DC was like literally right next to a hotel, I could see it as we drove up to the campsite! (I will admit I don’t mind canadian camping places since they are always well kept and clean, if that even makes sense – but I’m sure American campgrounds are well kept – I’ve just stayed in more Can. campgrounds)

  6. canirishmum says:

    I absolutely love camping! We camp winter, spring, fall, summer… basically everytime we can get away. Here in BC the campsites are fabulous in places; rustic in others. You can easily get to a site with RV hookups, hotwater showers, flush toilets, etc. But even though theres amenities, there is also hiking, campfires, lakes and all that camping goodness. But if you dont want any of that, you can head for a site hours away from any power, cellphone service, or plumbing.

    My absolute favorite: backcountry hotsprings. There is just nothing better than a natural spring, and an awesome bottle of wine. Takes YEARS of stress away, in one visit 🙂

  7. dandelion says:

    @Lisa Frys Riverside Park & Motel. It was cramped but it was the right price at the time. It’s not bad but not great either.

  8. anon2 says:

    wow that sounds like fun and I am interested to hear what comes up…personally, I am in the same boat as the OP. I keep trying to weigh and never reach a balanced solution. One day I am all for a cheap vacation, but then the other day I do rather like the pampering in a good hotel

  9. andra says:

    Been there done that camping in tents with the kids when they were younger.Now, we pull a trailer along with us. I also shop around for cheap hotel rates Sun-Thurs is usually more affordable.
    I go away with my girl friends to the states onece or twice a year last month we got rooms at the Best Western in Niagara Falls US and it only cost us $30 each per night for a room with 2 queen beds.

  10. anisa says:

    canirishmum. i hear ya! the OK, kootenays, north shore, shuswap, squamish in tents, on the ground. breakfast, lunch and dinner over a campfire. that was MY childhood and i loved all of it!

  11. Tess says:

    Camping all the way. None of this car camping, either. Pack what you can carry on your back, park at trailhead and go! Get out into nature! Breathe fresh air! Get back to how we used to be. You’ll see things you never saw before and have more amazing stories to tell than your friends who stayed in a hotel.
    I’m a bit spoiled I grew up with the Rocky Mountains as my backyard/playground. The spirit of adventure my mom instilled in me stays to this day. Sure – you can stay in a hotel and order room service, or you could have beaners and weans cooked over a fire you helped gather and build.
    I work at a hotel now and I’d much rather camp.

  12. Marcy says:

    I’m pretty picky when it comes to hotels. I like it to be spotless and a bit indulgent so hotels are always pricey for us. I love love love to camp though. Sleeping in the fresh air with a cozy sleeping bag, smelling of campfire and hearing all my forest friends is the best.

  13. kelly25 says:

    We have a seasonal camp ground! It coasts 1600$ (we use tax return) every year and we are there from May to October. Instead of taking a family vacation we go camping every weekend and some week days too, its only 15 mins away so we can go and come back home in the same day and the kids love it there 🙂 We do plan on taking an actual vacation one day but for now this was a less costly option that we enjoy very much as a family.

  14. msamyweber says:

    I love camping, and it is definitely more affordable than hotels, however, | have found that it is really not as cheap as it used to be..we have 3 camping trips booked this summer, and they all range from 45-50 night! And thats with Ontario Parks! The most expensive one is a private campground..extended family booked this one, and it seems like this campground has lots of strict rules.

  15. Eisa says:

    I’m not big on camping, but I love a deal when I’m vacation, which is why I usually check out if the local university campuses are renting out their dorms. I stayed in four in New Brunswick, and they were great. Sure, no TV in the rooms, but otherwise clean comfortable and cheap. Paid between $25 (with my college ID) to $35 a night. has a listings of them.

  16. Tammy says:

    We do both..winter vacation in a hotel, summer weekends at the campground. Camping is certainly not cheap, $33 was quite a deal, but the kids love all of the outdoor activities, and there is nothing better than a hotdog cooked over the campfire.

  17. valley105 says:

    Maybe it’s a BC thing but camping has been a huge part of our lives both growing up as well as in raising our kids. The type of camping we do has evolved as our kids have grown older. When they were younger we wilderness camped/ fished alot more often. We also camped while they attended hockey school in the Okanagan each summer for a week. We’ve camped through the Rockies en route to Drumheller and back through the Kootenays. May Long Wknd we ‘Rural Camp’ and fish with other families. We bring our truck/ camper, the kids tent and bike all day. In warmer weather we sometimes backpack in somewhere beautiful and remote. Last year we camped our way on a shoestring budget in our truck/ camper to Disneyland with our 3 teenagers 15, 14, 13 staying at Walmarts(free) on the way down the I5, a Motel 6 at Disneyland ($42/ night & short 5 min walk to the park) and camped in State Parks ($20 +)on the stunning trip up the Pacific Coast Hwy. In Seaside, OR we even discovered a private Campground for RVs @ $15/ night and close enough that the kids could walk to & from the beach & quaint, carnival- type town. Kids loved these trips! When I have to book a hotel I have been hugely impressed with hotwire. Great properties at great rates. Hope this helps. Either way happy vacationing!

  18. Sherry says:

    For those who do like camping, visit the Ontario Private Campground Association at where you will find many wonderful privately owned campgrounds. Having camped for many years, I have yet to have an unpleasant experience. The privately owned campgrounds are like visiting family.

  19. Krys says:

    being from Niagara Falls, I think I know which hotels you are talking about!
    one of my favourite places to recommend to people is sherkston shores, its a bit pricey but they have alot of stuff inside the park to make it worth it!
    I have a “summer home” there and love it. It has either nice trailers to stay in or camping for the adventerous types.

  20. Heroin says:

    We camp as much as possible in the spring and summer. Here in southern Alberta there are so many beautiful campsites – it’s easy to drive out Friday after work and come home Sunday. We have an RV which makes it nicer. If just my husband and I go out we tent but if we take the two little ones we take the RV. So much easier getting them to sleep!

    That being said, I love a nice hotel too. Just depends on the point of the excursion.

  21. damsle says:

    camping all the way. Algonquin Park the last week of June.Before the kids get out of school Just what will fit in the canoe, tent, sleeping bags, food change of clothes. Hop in the canoe and find a site interior. We spend 4-5 days adults only. It seems the only way to get away from the hustle and bustle of kids (6 grown) and work. No cell phones!!!! it is the life.

  22. Trailer companies also offer discounts to regular customers and don’t let them go to other companies. Customers can stick to reputed companies for guaranteed satisfaction and also safety of their goods. There are several good cargo trailer manufacturers.

  23. Garrett Efaw says:

    You can promote it as an affiliate from Europe, but the offers are only available in the U.S. at this time.


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