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Book Your 4 Night Oceanside Stay in Florida for Less than $900

Book your stay at the price shown in this article means: the lodging, the campsite expenses, and the food. Needs differ from person to person/family to family, and getting there will also be different so, it could be more or could be less for you. The experience I am writing from is a 2 person glamping experience in Florida, getting there by car, from the state of Florida. 

Stay: Saint Augustine, FL; Anastasia State Park Oceanside Campground, 4 Nights, Tent Site with Water and Electricity: $110

Campsite Expenses: 1 Tent 10 person Cabin Tent, 1 Canopy Tent, 2 Air beds, 2 Extension Cords, 1 Water Hose,  2 Tarps, Camping Toilet +  Kitty Litter, Tower Fan, Large Cooler, Gas/Electric Burner, A Pack of Small Locks and Keys to Secure the Belongings in the Tent: $370 (using a blend of: Marketplace/ Offer Up/ Dollar Tree/ Amazon for purchases).

Food: Of course food is needed but that expense will look different for everyone. For me as a camping vegan dedicated to preparing and eating meals on site like a true camper, my food expense for 2 adults was about $200 for things like: bread, vegan sausages/burgers/deli slices/hotdogs, butter, chips, trail mix, cereal bars/granola bars, beans, peppers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, avocado’s, tofu, grits, blueberries, and oranges. 

Other Items Needed: For example, things I needed to meal prep and cook came from what I already had, like: pan, pot, spoons, forks, french press, plates, tupperware, cups, blankets, pillows, hammock, and camp chair came from what I already had at home. My small bathroom tent is one that we already had. 

Getting There/ Method of Travel Recommendation: Travel by car makes this much easier. I did it this way and though I can see a way to make this work by air travel, it wouldn’t be affordable if traveling with the camping equipment because of airline luggage costs. Sure one could have everything shipped in advance but, it works best if there are friends/family in the area that can hold on to the items until you touch down. By train, it is very possible and likely more affordable than doing it by flight but, my vote is still for the road trip because having a car makes it easier and more affordable.

I was already in Florida when I made the trip so my fuel bill was low. This expense will vary depending on many factors like: distance, type of car/engine, and type of gas used. And though this experience was Florida specific, in my experienced opinion: a 4 night oceanside campground stay in any coastal state can still be less than $700. Camping is just… the most affordable way.

Saint Augustine Florida- The First City in the United States

Located in Northern Florida in what is known as the “Historic Coast”, is the Oldest city in the U.S: Saint Augustine. The city sits on Florida’s East Coast and is one of Florida’s major travel destinations seeing more than 2 million visitors each year. The Historic Coast is 42 miles of rich history, nature, and attractions. 

The city is home to Anastasia State Park; a State Park, wildlife refuge, and campground located on Saint Augustine Beach. Things to see, do, and explore in Saint Augustine include: Castillo de San Marcos (castle of San Marcos), museums, award-winning restaurants, sailing, shopping, golfing, night life, and of course, connecting with the many miles of nature. 

Camping in Saint Augustine, FL 

I camped in late May, the heat was hot but not as hot as Florida can get. The nights and mornings were mild-ish, the days were very warm, and while humidity was present, it wasn’t at its height. As a Floridian, it felt really nice. For those that are sensitive to heat, an earlier spring visit and stay may be best. 

The location was perfect. It gives off the illusion that you are tucked away somewhere deep in nature and very far away from people. The reality is you are tucked away in a quiet State Park at the ocean with easy access to city life. 

While there are other campgrounds in the city, there aren’t many on the oceanfront. This made the decision to camp and at this campground an easy one. An oceanfront hotel in Saint Augustine would’ve hurt my budget, camping in Saint Augustine allowed me to streeeeeeetch my budget. 

My Experience Camping at Anastasia State Park

My site had a: fire pit, table, water, and electricity; and comfortably fit the 2 tents, the canopy tent, and the car.

I was there during weekdays, just before Memorial Day. It’s an active campground so with each check out came a check in and it was easy to see why. It’s a gorgeous place with an abundance of tall trees offering shades and coolness from Florida’s hot sun. Birds, butterflies, rabbits, and racoons have homes, villages, and communities nestled in the nature that separates each came site. 

The campground has quiet hour rules so it was very quiet during sleep hours. During daytime hours, it was still relatively quiet. Campers seemed to be respectful and considerate of others. There are bathrooms and showers onsite; however, I did have a small tent set up at my campsite and made it the “bathroom”. I had the camp toilet in there. I used the facility showers but I also showered at the campsite.

I didn’t encounter any bears, snakes, coyotes, or rude people while I was there, but every day was a day of interaction with the racoon we named Thomas. I found that I interacted more with Thomas than any human, animal, or thing during my stay. 

Within 15 minutes of arrival, Thomas made their presence and seniority known by stealing a pack of hotdog buns. They tried to get into the tent on day 2. We heard movement on the tarp just outside the entry of the tent. We popped up to see what/who was by the tent and it was Thomas, 3 seconds away from opening and going in. 

I didn’t understand the need for the pack of locks but that day, I came to OVERstand their purpose and kept the tent locked. It was annoying to have to lock and unlock at every point but, it was better than the alternative because they come back every day to check out what they could feast on. 

I chose this campground because of the ocean, which is walking distance from the campground. There are walk trails, bike paths, and roads allowing campers to get there in a variety of ways. The water was perfect. Perfect balance of heat on the surface and perfect temperature dip to cool off. 

It’s a great campground for ocean lovers because you can get to it so easily multiple times a day.  For those that don’t love the ocean, but love other forms of nature, this campground is still great because if you don’t care to see it, you won’t. The birds and butterflies come see you, or, you can explore more on the trails. 

An additional convenience for those that don’t want to cook much and also don’t want to be around too much tourism: the food trucks. Just outside the state park, at the entrance are a few food trucks, and a much appreciated and busy shaved ice stand.

I really wanted to have an experience away from city activities so my time there was spent there on the campground/State Park and the ocean. I visited the shaved ice stand and recommend, I didn’t experience the food trucks because meals were prepared and made from the groceries purchased.


My experience was so peaceful outside of Thomas. The park is beautiful, and the city around it has so much to explore. 

This way of staying is a real budget stretcher because you can camp for $27 a night and still go out and explore the same things you would paying $300 a night for a hotel or BnB. You can still use ride share, have your meals delivered, and spend your days in the sand while in and out of the ocean. 

Huge bonus for those that already have camping gear or can borrow camping gear from family/friends. Extra bonus for those that can make this a group trip and split the costs discussed above- even more of a budget stretcher! 


Know yourself and plan accordingly so that you have the best experience possible. I am a glamper more than a camper and I knew that going in so, this is why my list above is bulky. I need to sleep on a bed, I would’ve been irritated on the ground. I have an active bladder so I knew that going to the facilities 15 times in one morning would annoy me, so I had to create a bathroom on my campsite. I love to eat so I knew I needed cooked meals to be happy and therefore needed a small kitchen set up and groceries. 

I like the convenience of right there and so having water at the campsite allowed for me to connect the water hose and wash dishes and shower away from the other campers in the facilities. I tried it night one and I’m just not one to shower with strangers.

Having extra tarps made it possible to create a little shower stall using the trees at the campsite for privacy and support. There was no need for me to have a hot shower when I spent all day under the Florida sun so, showering with cool water felt great!

Keeping your wet towels and washcloths clean and safe while outside is not the easiest. I recommend getting disposable bath sets for camping from B Luxury Essentials. These are more convenient than traditional towels and washcloths because you use them and dispose of them. Each bath set pack comes with 6 pieces: 2 towels, 2 washcloths, and 2 face towels. 

Never drink the water at the campsite. It’s ok to use the water for external purposes: hand washing, dish washing, showers; but not ok for drinking and cooking with. Not even boiled. Grab gallons of water for all of that.

Grab a hat and protect yourself from the heat. My hat saved the day every day. Camping in the south means you will encounter mosquitoes. Keep it natural and take a bottle of citronella oil with you.

Sanitizer is great but it’s not better than traditional handwashing. Dr. Bonner makes soaps that can be used for 18 different reasons: showers, dishwashing, showers, hair washing- all ways it can be used. This is the best option because the brand uses ingredients that won’t harm the earth. It’s important to be nice to nature, even if it takes your hotdog buns. 

You could stretch the budget even more and leave out the canopy tent but, consider meal prep and eating. The best experience will be had with protection from the rain and direct sunlight. Meal prep and cooking while rain falls is no fun. 


The article focuses on the budget stretching bonus but another major bonus is what nature does to your overall well being. Camping is a total experience and if planned right for your needs, it can heal you and send you back decompressed and revived. 

The sound of the birds, being able to see the stars at night, the butterflies kissing your nose, the sound of the leaves blowing in the wind; for me was medicine. 

If you’re wondering about my consumption of cannabis… of course I consumed. I wasn’t hiding it, but I wasn’t parading around the campgrounds making it known that it was me they were smelling. Anastasia is a state park and cannabis- marijuana is medically legal in Florida. 

But by far the best high was the one I got from consuming <Sinful Brand/Drink Sinful> shooters, paired with the sounds and peaceful vibes of nature. Because they are cannabis infused beverages, I made canna cocktails and took nature walks while sipping. 

Stay tuned for my next one where I’ll tell you all about my experience camping at the ocean in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This one has a crazier experience than the one Thomas gave. 

I want to take a moment to thank my community. My expenses were supported by Sylbella’s Kitchen @the Main Ingredient STL

Photo Credits: I Got the Shot @igot_theshot ; credit to business owners for logo images

Veronica “Vee” Castillo is known as the <Traveling Cannabis Writer>. She is a published writer, connector, traveler, and a member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association Board of Directors. 

Her body of work, which includes over 200 published articles in 15  publications, covers all things and people in cannabis/ hemp/ and overall plant medicines. She can be found in both digital and print where she provides cannabis industry and community insights from her 6 year journey around the country. 

She specializes in bringing to light the hidden gems in the plant space and beyond. You can follow her journey on Instagram: @vee_travelingvegcannawriter and/or LinkedIn: @Traveling Cannabis Writer.

Attention writers and creatives. You can join <Vee’s Writers Network> to get FREE tips on becoming a published writer/creative- delivered to your inbox.

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