I'm not sure if camping is really as "cheap" as people say it is. We like going camping but we have two boys so they dig that sort of thing. There's just an element of camping that is really "vacationy" to me though. There really is no "hustle and bustle" - you just go, set up your camp site and mostly relax the whole time. For me, traditional vacations are filled with activities, eating out, and running the kids ragged to the point of meltdowns. We don't really have that experience with camping and that's why I like it.
Camping ranges from extreme cheapness to seriously luxurious places. For the most minimalistic (and cheap) experience, you can camp at a state park. These sites are as low as $12 a night. You can pick tent sites that are just a piece of land, a fire pit and picnic table. We personally like to "step it up a notch" and splurge for the sites with water and electric. This makes washing dishes and whatnot easy. Plus, I need electricity to keep my cell phone charged and to plug in my Keurig for my morning coffee.
The "problem" with state parks is that they lack the amenities of private places. Usually no pool, arcade, snack bar, activities, playgrounds, etc. With two kids, it's just beneficial to have these things as distractions. That's why we go private.
Real luxurious places offer extreme amenities: Normandy Farms in Foxboro, MA and Yogi Bear in Sturbridge, MA are two examples of places with a ton to do. These places can range in price from $40 a night upwards to $70+.
It's not as cheap as some people make it out to be, because, as time goes on, we have been adding things to our arsenal of camping stuff. It's just getting bigger and bigger all the time: 3 person tent upgraded to an 8 person tent. Keurig is a camping list MUST. I think next year we'll add our folding table. We have incorporated bringing a 10X10 canopy. We got a camping stove last year. Each year, the list grows and grows. I want an RV for my 55th Birthday gift from the husband. I'll be able to store lots of pink flamingos in that thing for display.
Find a campground that suits your needs by going to Go Camping America's LINK HERE. If you like to take your camping up to beautiful tax-free New Hampshire, check out the site U Camp NH by clicking HERE.
Happy Camping People!