This tip also works if, like our family, you're going to visit someplace where the kids are going to be playing outdoors and getting very dirty. My mom's place is in the Arizona country where she has red dirt that stains. My kids played outside all day and would get filthy. I'd take play clothes specifically that I planned on throwing away instead of bringing home. Going to the Arkansas Diamond mine is the same, only it's not just the kids that get filthy digging in the dirt and mud. EVERYONE'S clothes get thrown away when we leave the hotel!
When my three boys go to Boy Scout camp every summer for a week, the stuff they bring back is like toxic waste! Boys don't shower at camp, because the adults don't make them. Really GROSS! This stuff sits in the heat and humidity of their tents for a week, in a trunk. Their dirty stuff goes into a black trash bag, where the damp, dirty clothes ferment - the smell when you open the trunk after they come home is enough to knock you over! And the socks and underwear are ALWAYS stained with dirt and sweat. In all fairness, I have to say my daughter wasn't much better. Her stuff came home from Girl Scout camp dirty, stained, and smelling like horse, smoke, and sweat.
I used to try to bleach them clean until I realized it was easier to throw them away. When I sort through their clothes in the winter/spring, I always save the socks and underwear that is getting worn or a bit small and would normally be thrown away anyway, I set them aside for camp. I do the same thing with shorts and t-shirts I've saved from last year. When I'm going through them in the beginning of summer to see what still fits, I set aside the shorts that might be getting just a bit short or worn and the t-shirts that are a bit faded, stretched, or I know won't fit much longer - but I make sure it's nothing that is going to get them teased about the condition. All of this gets packed for camp (or vacation as mentioned above).
When they come home, it doesn't even come in the house! The trunks are set in the driveway, where I plug my nose and open them. I sort through and salvage what I need to, such as their uniforms and bed sheets, which go straight into the washing machine. The rest goes right into the trash can outside for the unfortunate garbage men who have to empty it on the next trash day, LOL! Doing it that way also limits the possibilities of ticks, chiggers, and spiders making it into my house!
By lyonpridej from OK
By Stephanie from Hillsboro, OR
I am planning a month long camping trip through several different states. I have twins that will be close to 4 by then. Any tips on keeping it cheap? And sane?
Michelle from Huntsville, TX
My tip is for saving money - potentially big money. If you are camping in a motor home, truck camper or travel trailer of some type (anything but a tent) - go to your local Wal-Mart and purchase their Wal-Mart Atlas ($6.00). This atlas shows every Wal-Mart and Sam's Club location in the United States and has an index that gives the exact exit number off the highway and how far off the highway, whether it has a gas station etc.
The best reason this is so amazing is the Wal-Mart and Sam's Club allows campers, truckers etc to park overnight in their parking lots. I know it sounds a bit weird, and my husband was very against doing this at first. We planned a 14 day road trip with the goal of spending a total of 7 days in our destination of Yellowstone National Park. We were only needing a place to sleep at night and after paying $20 to $40 dollars for a 8 to 10 hours in a campground he finally gave in. We parked in several Wal-Mart/Sam's Club parking lots to sleep for the night. Bonus - you get to use the restrooms - which saves on your campers waste system!
Oh, we also discovered that the State of South Dakota has RV dump stations in every highway rest area - no fee to use them!
Good Luck - and have a great time!