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When it comes to affordable vacations, nothing beats a camping trip.

campfireYou can spend quality time with family and friends in scenic surroundings during the day and by campfire at night. You can cook your own meals. Eat out only when you want to. And you can sleep under the stars.

But what if you’ve never camped before? And what if you don’t have a tent or RV?

“That’s not a problem,” says Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. “Campgrounds across the country are changing. They’ve realized they can widen their market base by offering much more than a piece of ground upon people can pitch a tent or park their rig.”

parktrailerAs a result, she said, many private campgrounds and RV parks now offer their own rental accommodations. “Many have cabins and luxury park models with clean sheets and full size kitchen appliances, so you can cook you own meals,” Sipe says. “You can also find parks with safari tents, yurts and tipis that you can rent – and for much less than what you’d typically spend on a hotel.”

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Gone are the days when a camping trip meant roughing it. Today’s campgrounds see themselves as being true providers of outdoor hospitality, complete with many of the comforts of home, including hot showers, designer coffee and wireless Internet or Wi-Fi service.

Private campgrounds are also increasingly becoming destinations in themselves. In addition to having swimming pools and hot tubs, many provide their own entertainment or activities for young and old alike. Some have tie-dye T-shirt or arts and crafts classes. Others offer horseback riding. Many offer concierge-like services, and can provide you with discount coupons to nearby attractions.

So if you’re looking for something fun and affordable to do with friends or family, check out www.camp-california.com. A recently updated search function pairs up the latest listings of festivals, concerts and other interesting outdoor activities with neighboring campgrounds and RV resorts that are just right for a memorable, but affordable vacation away from home.

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Contact for advertising info: "Camper Rick" Wiseman - Media Contact: Debbie Sipe