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Camping Cost Comparisons vs Hotels, Motels, Lodges

Why camp when you can stay in a motel, hotel or lodge?  There's more to it than just saving money, although that is very substantial. See cost comparisons below, and compare other aspects  of camping vs. motels/etc. here.


Campgrounds cost anywhere from free (usually primitive camping in National Forests) to an average in the range of $20 to $35 per night for tent camping. An expensive campground might cost $50. This includes a bathhouse with hot showers and flush toilets.  In some cases, also a playground, swimming pool, and scenic views.

Compare this with:

  1. Motels and Hotels  - Motels range between $100.00 and $135.00, when you add all the fees and taxes.  Don't be fooled by "$59.99 per night!"  claims.  It is rare to get out of any motel (unless it is a complete dump) for less than $100. They usually do include a continental breakfast. Hotels are almost always more expensive: AskWonder says "The average cost of a hotel room, determined by surveying 100 hotels in U.S. cities, is $177.36 per night as of 2016.... the rate for 2017 is $245.80 per night".
  2. Lodge in a national park  - $200+ . says "The days of finding national park lodging, even rooms without a private bathroom, for under $125 are mostly in the rearview mirror. A few remain, but they are increasingly rare, even during the offseason. Today it’s not unusual to pay from $200 to $300 per night for a guest room or cabin in a national park."
    Lodges tend to be reserved long in advance; months in advance. If you can get one at a good rate, it can be great: El Tovar and Grand Canyon Lodge on the South and North rims, and the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone ($200 to $300); and Glacier Park Lodge in Glacier National Park are considered among the best; but it will take persistence, perseverance and advance planning to get a room.
  3. Bed and Breakfast - $85 to $275 for a double room, but they always includes breakfast Authenticb& says "Nightly rates for 2 people can range from as low as $85 to over $250, depending on the specific B&B, room size and type, amenities, location, and season. Many B&Bs have accommodations that can sleep more than 2 people, usually with an additional charge."


2021 prices






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