Last Saturday, I packed up my gear, grabbed a couple friends, and headed down to Red River Gorge to catch the Spring blooms. We setup camp, covered more than fifteen miles of trails, saw plenty of wildflowers (like the Southern Red Trillium pictured above), enjoyed a couple pints at our favorite watering hole, built a fire, and had great conversation the whole time. It. Was. Perfect.
The Spend | Lodging
This was a quick weekender - a one night stay. We camped at Koomer Ridge Campground and paid all of $18.
The Opportunity Cost | Vacation Days
While I typically write about the dollars you can save, in this case, it's far more interesting to consider the number of additional vacation days you can enjoy by camping instead of hotel-ing. So, let's look at the numbers. The average mid-range hotel chain will charge $160/night after taxes and fees. When you compare that to $18/night camping, you can enjoy roughly 9 days of vacation for the price of 1.
The Long-term Opportunity Cost | 30-Year Value
Over the next 30 years, let's say you choose 9 days of camping over 1 day at a hotel each year. That turns into 270 days of vacation instead of 30. Put another way, you can enjoy 240 more vacation days over the next few decades by choosing to get outside.
How much better would your quality of life be with an additional 240 days of vacation?
Look, many of us wind up using vacation days to do little more than sit at home and fold laundry. Skip laundry and get outside for a night or nine or two hundred seventy. You'll be better for it.
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