Giveaways and Reviews

Our Backyard Camping and Staycation Tips

If you’re trying to trim the family budget, summer vacation can surely make your temperature rise. It’s very easy to allow spending to get out of hand in the summer months, especially when it seems like everyone else is doing something amazing thanks to social media. While I remind myself that for every perfectly posed Instagram shot at the beach with ice cream is a kid having a meltdown later that day that we don’t see, it can still be tough to find ways to budget in the summer and feel like we’re getting the most out of our summer vacation.

If you’re foregoing the a summer vacation at a far away destination this year, here are some tips to help plan a staycation close to home:

  1. Determine a budget. Yes, even a staycation can come with costs, so figure out what you have to work with and then you can better plan your activities. Think outside the box for ways to stretch that budget locally. Kids love doing something different like taking the local city bus to a destination instead of driving your car. Maybe a friend has a membership you can be a guest on, or perhaps a local venue is offering a free event for families near you.
  2. Think like a tourist! Visit your city’s tourism website, and if you have it in your budget, look at destinations within an hour’s drive of your house. It’s so interesting to me how many locals are unaware of tourist attractions in their own city! Because you’re local, you may also be able to find discounts and coupons online or in your mail too!
  3. Tell your friends and family. Really, do it! If you make your friends and family aware that you’re staying close to home this summer, maybe an opportunity will come up to utilize a friend’s cabin or an invite to spend a day at the lake with your child’s best friend’s parents. Summer is prime time for being social and if you don’t put it out there that you’re looking for ideas, you won’t get those opportunities.
  4. Bring the campground home. I love this idea, since we don’t have a camper and – if you’re in SK you’ll understand this – the provincial campground booking system is a journey in of itself. Kids love sleeping in a tent, whether it’s in the basement or the backyard, and summer weather means it’s perfect to host a backyard camping night (or weekend!) The plus side, food, air conditioning and running water are all just steps away.

backyard camping

Three in five Canadians say they are likely to go camping this summer, according to a recent survey from Energizer Canada. Families with kids are almost twice as likely to plan a camping trip compared to those without kids.

We planned a super-simple night in our backyard with items we already had like a family-size tent, and queen size air mattress! Bringing out our comfy blankets and pillows from our beds meant no sleeping bags needed (and I could just wash them to have them fresh for the following week after anyway).

Energizer camping essentials

We ensured that we had items on hand for night time fun and safety. Energizer® makes a wide range of great lighting products for the outdoors, such as flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns. I wanted to ensure the girls had a flashlight for walking from the tent into the house at night, and found other products perfect for that as well as reading long after dad has fallen asleep!

backyard camping with Energizer

The Energizer Vision Headlight has 2 light modes to control brightness and runtime and a super owerful headlamp beam. It’s up to 4X brighter than standard LED technology making late night reading, and quick runs into the house for a drink easy. Next, the Energizer Vision Focus Headlight, three LED headlamp light modes
• White spot light
• White flood light
• Red for night vision

ENR_Headlights_Vision HD_HDB32 Hero_LATAM

Dad ended up taking that one, declaring it his for emergencies you see. I think he was just fascinated with the digital light focus and memory recall, but if the kids do get ahold of it no worries – it’s water resistant and drop tested to stand up to harsh conditions.

cloud b camping

We used Energizer MAX AAA batteries for the girl’s favorite Cloud b night light, ensuring that it too came into the tent for the night providing even more glow while they had popcorn before bed (because, camping.) Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ and Energizer® MAX® batteries are two of the longest lasting batteries in devices like handheld GPS, digital cameras, and toys. AA and AAA sizes are designed to protect devices from leakage of fully used batteries up to 2 years. So when it comes to toys, digital cameras, and other valuable devices, you can feel confident knowing you have the long-lasting power and protection you expect from Energizer.

ENR_Max_E91BP-24_Card_Claimless Hero_UPN 137455_AMER

The girls were happy they got to “camp” in the backyard, and I was secure knowing that they had everything they needed to feel comfortable in the dark and, should they venture away from dad inside the tent to come inside for a bathroom break in the middle of the night, they had Energizer products that I knew would work – every time.

Whether you’re hopping on a flight, taking a road-trip this summer or staying close to home the point is doing things together as a family, and enjoying being in the moment. It doesn’t take a lot of money to create those moments, but planning ahead and having the products and tools you need to make the experience fun for everyone is what can help determine success. To that end, we have an amazing giveaway to share courtesy of Energizer and Walmart!


One of our very lucky readers is going to win a $500 Walmart Gift Card to help create an amazing summer vacation full of memories! To enter, just use the form below to get started. Good luck everyone!


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  • I am staying home and hoping to see some areas of the province I haven’t been to in quite some time

  • I am exploring Ontario and doing many road trips:
    Blue Jays
    Safari Niagara
    Scenic Caves

    and cleaning and purging the basement

  • Good afternoon Tenille!,

    this summer I’ve decided to stay close to home and enjoy some staycations with family and friends. We’ve already had a few mini road trips and we’re hoping to go fishing and kayaking very soon.

  • My daughter and family are here from Boston visiting for a month so we will spend time with them enjoying area attractions and family get togethers. We have no other summer vacation plans.

  • We will definitely be enjoying some staycations this summer. We love to hit our local parks and walking trails. When it’s hot we head for the splashpad!

  • I’m going on day trips, there are nice areas to drive out into the country and see the farms, and stop by a few and get some honey and flowers, and berries! Bring a picnic lunch!

  • I’m staying at home and enjoying gardening and the Farmer’s Market. I could have used some of those batteries and a lantern last night as our power was off for 10 hours after a thunderstorm! Lol!

  • My sister and I are planning to camp in the Black Forest. We have do not have much experience, but expect to have fun!

  • We aren’t going very far this year, lots of short day trips to visit family and lots of time at the local parks and splash pads.

  • This year we are staying close to home, as hubby goes in for surgery to remove a tumor from his bladder, so a quiet summer for us!!

  • My summer holidays include camping a province over , a day trip to the US and the rest will be staycatioN!

  • We have no grand plans but we will be taking a short drive up island to visit Parksville as we do every year!

  • We are going to be staying close to home this year. The lake is a 10 minute drive from us. We are going to be doing some fishing and canoeing.

  • My hubby and I are going back to his native Scotland in August for a family wedding, but I would still like to have a few staycations with our three little girls!

  • We are planned to go to Gaspe Bay Quebec with the trailer. The rest of the summer we will do some camping but, not going far from home.

  • We are staying close to home and this giveaway fits perfect with our plans. I just bought a tent for my kids and I to go to my dad’s house with them and he has 40 acres for them to play on. The tent but nothing else so far

  • I already had my vacation to Maine..amazing lobster, kayaking, junking even went to the oldest theatre in North America..hopefully family get away to Manitoulin Island again.

  • We are definitely doing some staycations but also going to a wedding in Toronto and decided to make a week of it. Yahoo.

  • I am staying at home this summer. So I will be enjoying the local beaches, and anything that is close to home. Thank you for the chance.

  • I don’t have any summer vacation plans right now. I’m hoping to take a bit of time off work and do some day trips and see the local sites.

  • My brother and his family are visiting us from Saskatchewan. I’m taking a week off work and staying in my sister’s trailer. She has it parked near Round Lake in Ontario. Looking forward to it.

  • So far it’s a staycation for us…might do some camping and some Wonderland trips. Our big family vacation was in April…so the money is gone 😉

  • We are staying close to home this Summer,as we are going to Disneyland & Las Vegas in December.

  • We go to my mothers cottage every summer for 2 weeks and other than that we do local activities.

  • I actually live near, and work in, a great little tourist area – The Village at Pigeon Lake, Alberta. As such I get very little time off in the summer so our holiday will be short day trips, or one over night, but close to home.

  • We are heading to the Rockies for a few days and will blow the budget on a hotel. Then off to visit my family! And then we wrap up the summer with a tenting.

  • We will be staying close to home. My daughter and 2 grandchildren are coming for 3 weeks and we will probably go to Saskatoon to see new grandchild.

  • My family is staying home this summer and going to take in some of the attractions our city has to offer!

  • I’m heading over to Vancouver Island with my 2 kids to visit my mom. She has 5 acres of land and a big in the ground pool so it’s a wonderful vacation for us.

  • We are staying home here on Vancouver Island but we have a lot of family visiting. We will doing a lot of day trips with them to attractions on Vancouver Island. It’s a great way to get to explore your own backdoor.

  • I’ve got cottage plans but may not be able to go now because work is probably changing my schedule around.. 🙁

  • I’m planning on staying close to home this summer. We’ve already had family come visit from down south. Blueberry picking is on the agenda 🙂

  • We are staying close to home and going to a few functions in our home town. It seems to be a bit safer here than going to the big cities.

  • This summer it’s all about the staycations in Toronto and Niagara but next summer we are off to the cottage for sure. Gotta plan better lol.

  • sadly the budget does not allow for a big trip this year so it will mainly be a staycation with small trips to Niagara, Toronto, and Wonderland

  • We will be taking a one week vacation up north to our friend’s farm. It is in a beautiful area, and so great to get away from the city for awhile.

  • We are staying close to home and doing all kinds of local adventures – local sightseeing, hiking, birthday parties etc.

  • I find here in SK that if you don’t book right away when the booking opens in april (depends on the camp you want to go to) then you’re really SOL …they books super fast and although we usually go to the star party, this yr with my husbands new job, his “weekends” are mon and tue, so we won’t be going this time.

  • We go to the east coast in the summer to visit family. While there we have a place to sleep and food costs are minimal. We pick up some groceries, which we would have to do anyway. The most expensive part is getting there and back; hotels, gas and food. I look for deals on hotels and coupons for food.

  • July will see us staying close to home (Vacation Bible School and Swimming Lessons) and then in August we’ll head a little further out to camp 2 hrs. away and then for a week long family vacation on the ocean in North Carolina 🙂

  • We are staying close to home this summer and planning a few short trips. We plan to visit Niagara Falls as they have the new Zipline attraction that is opening on Friday and we are going to see the Scenic Caves attraction in Collingwood as well as an off road Segway tour in Barrie.

  • We are doing shorter road trips this year. Next one is Mount Tremblant. I have never been in the summer and looking forward to it after seeing so many bloggers posting about it. Looks fantastic.

  • Staycation for this family, so we have to be super creative with fun good ideas to keep everyone entertained!

  • We plan on spending a lot of time with our kids and grandkids! We are going to beaches, provincial parks and to Ottawa!!

  • haven’t really determined all the details but we are hoping to go camping up north sometime and of course explore all the trails & waterfalls near us

  • We just got back from a three day music festival in Montebello Quebec so we’ll be staying close to home for the next few weeks. A few trips to the family cottage & that’s it!

  • We are staying close to home this summer. We have decided to visit some of the local attractions (especially the historical points of interest) we just don’t seem to have time for in our busy life!

  • We are mostly doing the staycation thing with a little road trip booked for a weekend up in Collingwood

  • We’ll be staying within BC this year. There is a lot to explore now that the kids are a bit older and can appreciate our beautiful province. We have plans for a small road trip to Kelowna, a trip to Whistler and the likes!

  • We are staying closer to home with day trips to various small communities to enjoy their fairs & rodeos. ALways so much fun doing day trips too, loving all the country mascots too

  • A little bit of everything! Some camping around the province. The Sask Summer Games with my daughter, and 2 weeks in Alberta, some of it in the Rockies.

  • Planning in staying close to home going to some beaches but have cancer so need to stay close to home

  • We are in the process of moving this summer so we will be home. I hope we can sneak a little family getaway to a nearby city though.

  • We are road tripping this summer. We’ve already been to Jasper and are planning a road trip to Calgary/Canmore/Banff and another to Saskatoon to visit my borther and his family.

  • Taking the grandkids camping (in a tent) on the 24th of July, its our annual trip to Skaha Beach.

  • We are planning on camping in the backyard and at a park as well as roughing it at a family member’s rustic cabin (read: no power!) Those headlamps would be perfect for our little guys and for me when I need a midnight bathroom break!

  • WE are definitely doing a staycation this summer. Enjoying being a tourist in our area and check out parks in our town.

  • We’ve been doing lots of little things around here, swimming, splash pad days, beach days, fishing hiking but we will be heading up North (7hr drive with 3 young kids long trip lol) camping out for a week, we all look forward to it, and will get to see some family as well

  • My daughter & son in law moved out of country for work, looking forward to them coming up for a week or two at the end of Summer! Can’t wait to snuggle the grand-babies!

  • I have started my summer hop in Terrace, BC last May… I am hoping to squeeze in roadtrips and some staycation on my work schedule. Fingers crossed! Bring it on Summer!

  • We are headed to Rushing River for our first ever camping trip as a family! Other than that, we are staying fairly close to home. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Our summer plans include taking the ferry to Vancouver Island to spend some time at the ocean. Close to home we are going to do day trips to the parks and lakes.

  • I went away for the July 1st long week end but, the rest of the summer is staying home and enjoying the sites around here. I live in beautiful Vancouver so have lots to see and do.

  • We are doing both, we went to Ponoka Stampede, going to Westerner Days, Alberta Prairie Railway in Stettller. Also going to go to Banff, Lac Louise and maybe Jasper, depending how my back feels. Hoping for a Helicopter tour in Banff and Sky walk in Jasper.

  • Staycations for us! With a 2 months old, we prefer to stay at hom for the nights so we don’t go very far. We made a trip to the zoo (almost 2h drive) and we’re thinking about another trip of the same length to see family. We love to go to the splashpark, the pool, the park and other local attractions. Our 3 years old doesn’t need fancy vcations to be happy and mak good memories 🙂

  • We don’t really have any plans to travel anywhere. I was thinking of camping in the backyard, and we are just waiting for a warmer day to finish setting up the kiddie pool for our four year old.

  • We’ll be staying close to home this summer. We’ll do a little camping and lots of ice cream eating! We’re also hoping to get in a little beach time and visit some attractions nearby like the aquarium.

  • Our summer plans are to take it easy at home, hang out on the playground at the local school and wait for our twins to arrive sometime in late August!

  • We are sticking around this year. Odd day trips and camped once already and maybe once more but have relatives visiting from the UK in August so a lot of tourist stuff in area and play at pool

  • This year we’re staying home. We’re planning a small trip to Banff and Waterton, but that’s about it.

  • We are going to do a staycation this year. There is a great family hotel in town so the kids can swim lots and do the activities as well

  • Mostly sticking close to home and enjoying the beach, but throwing a quick and cheap trip to Vegas in August!

  • My son is in Portugal with my parents and having the best summer of his life 🙂 We are spoiling our daughter with weekly trips to the beach and so far we have swam in 3 of the Great Lakes! All in all having a great summer.

  • we are renting a resort about an hour away and doing a big family trip there. there will be 20 of us staying there. should be fun!

  • I just had a baby three months ago so this summer is more of a staycation for us! We will be doing lots of swimming and camping locally.

  • We are staying in Alberta to do some boating and camping in various campgrounds/lakes across the province, and my daughter is going on a trip to Montana (her first US trip!)

  • I wanted to go on vacation,but don`t look like its gonna happen :(,,So looks like its a staycation,around the province! 🙂

  • im staying home we were going to dallas and we went to austin but with all the turmoil we are staying put were we hope its safe and im scared as a person to get out but were having fun just played the pokeman game with my son its fun so we will go to the local park and just relax this summer

  • mmmm… mostly staying closer to home, although we might do some camping in the okanagan; we have friends that have property there. It’s always a TON of people, but fun 🙂

  • We are just staying home in Calgary. We went to the Stampede the other day, the science centre last weekend, and we have plans to go to the Zoo, Heritage Park and take a day trip out to Drumheller next month to visit the dinosaur museum.

  • Staying at home for a StayCation is where it is at. The amenities of home without the responsibility. Not to mention it is way cheap compared to actually going somewhere.

  • Travelling to my parents lake lot….that’s kind of like a staycation…just have to pay for gas!

  • It will be mostly a staycation for me this summer, i will be going on a road trip with some friends, going camping and to the beach…might even sneak in a trip to Niagara Falls before the end of August.

  • I’m going to a few music festivals which require me to get a new tent! Would love to shop Walmart and grab a quality Coleman one! Go big or go home! 😉

  • We are planning a semi-staycation! Heading into Toronto for a couple of days when the nephews fly in from Calgary for a visit!

  • We are off to Bakers Narrow Lodge in Northern manitoba for a wedding, and then staying for a few days to do some fishing and hiking.

  • Unfortunately we are not able to travel anywhere…my hubby is quiet ill so we will have a staycation…enjoy the sunshine and some great tunes & BBQ

  • We purchased a provincial park pass so we’re hoping to get to as many Saskatchewan parks as we can.

  • I just started school a few weeks ago so my summer will be spent in the city doing homework and studying!

  • Great tips!

    We are staying within the province for the summer to keep the cost down this year, in hopes to be doing some travel blogging on the beach next year. 🙂 In the end though, some of our most memorable moments have been close to home and spent in a tent.

  • This year we’re being tourists in our own town! We’re minutes from Niagara Falls so there’s definitely lots to see and do!

  • We would love to take some camping in this summer. Have to see, no definite plans yet, except one weekend close by.

  • We are going on a family camping trip through the Okanagan and to Revelstoke. I’m also travelling to Vancouver and Seattle with my husband a few times.

  • This summer we have a few weekends booked in Whistler where we spend time outdoors during our scenic hikes!

  • Although I enjoy staying close to home, that’s more preferable in the winter and colder weather. In the summer we like to be outdoors as much as possible. We will be travelling to the Maritimes for a holiday before school starts.

  • no big plans , couple weekend camping trips , some fishing , beach fun , hiking , whatever we squeeze in !

  • Our family of 5 will be enjoying a few camping trips this summer! We are lucky to live in BC and surrounded by many beautiful provincial campgrounds!

  • we took a week long trip to Atlantic City – that was, interesting. No further plans, but hopefully do some exploring around our area!

  • Our summer vacation plans are pretty last minute this year. but I hope to get at least one road trip in before the end of the summer.

  • We were going to have a stay cation but hubby has gone stir crazy so we may be heading on a road trip

  • We are hoping to go away in late summer. Its been a very long year and we are finally ready to try some nearby vacationing in our beautiful northern canada backyard. some light golfing, some eating out, some swimming. simple pleasures.

  • we are staying home this year and getting caught up on things to do around the home, we are planning to take the grandkids to Valens Conservation Area for a night of camping

  • Due to work obligations – was able to take a 2 week road trip to BC. Our summer plans will be spontaneous last minute adventures…..Pondering BBQ’s in the backyard, water balloons and Netflix.

  • Due to the Economic Downtown we will we staying close to home. Maybe a few trips to Banff being that it is so close to home in Calgary.

  • We don’t really have any plans this summer, but my birthday is coming up so I am hoping for some time on a patio with a cool drink.

  • We are planning a camping trip Labour Day Weekend to Rondeau Park! Not sure if you would call it a ‘Staycation’ or travelling far..its about an hour and half away from home! This will be our 2yr olds first time camping and hubby and I are both a little nervous and excited! Thanks a bunch for being SO incredibly generous! Love love LOVED this read! Thank you! Best of luck to everyone!

  • We went to Toronto for shopping and a show for a long weekend other wise just staying home until the fall for school shopping 🙁 backyard camping is the best and daughter wants a fire pit in the back yard and I would get her a tent and sleeping bags and lots of flash lights and batteries and smores kits to treat them .. thank you for such a great a chance and good luck to you all and Happy Summer 🙂

  • Simplified July vacation to a local getaway, and looking forward to camping & bigger road trip in Sept.

  • we live at the lake so we don’t really have to travel for summer fun!! our granddaughter comes up every year for 2 – 3 weeks so that is the highlight of our summer. the tent does go up while she is here and she has a few of her summer friends over for a sleepovers a couple of time during her stay….with a fire in the fire pit, s’mores, singing, and a whole lot of laughter, memories are made for another summer!!

  • we are staying closer to home: nothing more than a 6 hr. drive give or take a few miles.
    Going to a Provincial Park, to a sister’s in the neighbouring province, etc.

  • We enjoy our cottage on last mountain lake. Beautiful lake, beautiful weather either great sun or storms. It’s a home away from home.

  • We are heading to the lake…15 minstrel away just the right driving distance for vacation with kids under 9. ?

  • I will mostly be sticking around home this summer, but have a wedding in September that is about 4 hours away.

  • My summer adventures include heading to the beach, playing at the park and heading to PEI!

  • This year we aren’t really doing much. Some Camping, boating and beaches. Next summer we are headed to my hometown in Newfoundland.

  • Staying home since we do not have extra for a vacation. We try to see new things when we’re a hour away for my son’s medical appointments.

  • We will be heading to Annapolis Royal for our first family camping trip with our 3 1/2 month old son. Aside from that, lots of staycation for us at home 🙂

  • I plan on staying closer to home and enjoying some short staycations. A tent would be great for a backyard camping staycation!