2 Days - 2 People - $200. Can We Do It In Algonquin Park?
In the fall of 2012, Ryan and I undertook our first $200 challenge. We conceived the idea of taking a short trip for 2 people, just 2 days, for only $200. We didn't want it to be just any trip – we wanted to prove that even bare bones, budget travel can be just as enjoyable as more expensive trips.
Our first challenge took us to Smugglers Notch State Park in Stowe, Vermont. It was a wonderful experience and we soaked in the gorgeous fall colors and thoroughly investigated the local food scene. Between the charming town of Stowe and the beautiful scenic drives– we certainly proved you don’t need to spend a lot to enjoy a lot! We also encountered a few problems along the way and we did end up a bit over budget. Our biggest bump in the road came when our camp stove died on our first morning and we were forced to eat out more than we had planned!
Can We Stay On Budget?
With the many lessons learned from our first $200 challenge, we are ready to take on a second. This time, we’re heading into the heart of the legendary Algonquin Park. A beautiful area with diverse plant life, peaceful lakes, and plenty of wildlife, Algonquin Park is a famous and familiar landscape for people around the world thanks to legendary painter Tom Thompson.
Algonquin Park has many campgrounds to choose from and we’ll be joining friends at Achray Campground near the middle of the park. Dog free, music free, shower free – Achray lacks cell service and the nearest camp store is 45 minutes away by car. Looks like there won’t be any Frappachino runs for me!
What Achray lacks in amenities and services, it makes up for in stunning natural beauty. It’s also boasts a resident celebrity. The 1.6km Jack Pine Trail leads to the site where the world renowned Tom Thompson painting, The Jack Pine, was sketched. I’m looking forward to enjoying one of the last weekends of summer, relaxing by the lake, and retracing Thompson’s footsteps.
While the intent of the $200 challenge is to represent the costs for 2 people over 2 days, we have the opportunity to go for 3 days, as it’s a long weekend in Canada. Therefore, I’ll add up all the costs of the trip and then give an average cost per day to calculate costs over 48 hours.
After much consideration, I’m also going to omit our transportation costs from the $200 budget. While transportation costs are a significant part of any trip, the idea behind the $200 challenge is to inspire and motivate people from many different regions. Transportation costs can vary wildly depending on vehicle and distance and my personal transportation costs may be misleading. I will, however, include any transportation costs to get around the destination and I’ll let readers know what my personal transportation costs were in case they are traveling from the same area.
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. How do you make low budget trips feel more luxurious?
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