5 tips to help you explore Manitoba for less this summer
A MoneySmart Guest Blog
There are so many adventures to be had close to home in Manitoba. And when you’re close to home and exploring the land around you, it’s easier to find ways to save while still having a summer adventure that’s worth every penny.
Here are just a few tips to help you save while exploring Manitoba this summer.
- Embrace the great outdoors
Tent at Whiteshell Provincial
Camping can be a great way to save a few bucks during weekends away in the summer. There are over 40 provincial park campgrounds in Manitoba with some openings still available. (Link to campsite vacancy here: https://prspub.gov.mb.ca/AvailabilitySummary.aspx) But don’t forget about the private campgrounds either! There are plenty of these in Manitoba that offer great views, comfortable camping sites and are close or inside of some of the great small towns across the province.
- Split the cost
On a night-by-night basis, camping is cheaper than a hotel or resort stay but there can be quite a few up-front costs. Equipment like tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats and coolers can really start to add up. This is where community comes in! If you’ve got friends or family that are also looking to start camping, suggest splitting the cost of some of the bigger buys. Then use the equipment on alternating weekends so everyone gets an opportunity to try it out.
- Travel by bike
Two cyclists near Falcon Lake in the
Whiteshell – Credit: May Contain Studios
Travelling across the province by bike may not be an option if you aren’t a family of super cyclists but bringing bikes along on a camping trip or even a day trip to another community allows you to save some money on gas. Park your car and cycle instead to local attractions, restaurants, beaches or lookout points.
- Visit free outdoor spaces
Besides provincial parks, which do have a fee associated with entrance, there are many beautiful municipal parks, nature reserves and outdoor spaces that are free to visit in Manitoba. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Assiniboine Park – Winnipeg
- Quarry Park – Stonewall
- Victoria Park – Souris
- Oak Hammock Marsh – North of Winnipeg
- Lorna Smith Nature Reserve – Near Boissevain
- Manitoba Tall Grass Prairie Preserve – Near Gardenton
Keep in mind some spots may have a fee for entrance to the associated visitor or interpretive centres and others are simply swaths of natural prairie landscape with no amenities, so plan accordingly.
- Pack a lunch and enjoy the view
We all know food expenses can rack up when we’re away from home, especially if we don’t plan ahead. Cut your foodie costs by doing research to find the least expensive places to eat in the area you’re visiting. We’ve got a few ideas on the Travel Manitoba list of 50 drive-ins outside of Winnipeg. Drive-ins are great spots to grab an easy and quick bite or an array of classic summer foods like hot dogs, perogies, onion rings, ice cream and so much more. Buy only what you need and you’ll never worry about wasting food or having leftovers at your campsite or in the car.
Of course the best way to save money while on a day trip or a short overnight stay is to pack your own meals. Fill the cooler with picnic foods and you won’t have to worry at all about where to eat or how much you’re spending. Check out this Travel Manitoba blog post for some lovely outdoor spots to set up your picture-perfect picnic in Manitoba.
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