No cottage? No problem!

Cottaging is a quintessential Canadian pastime – satisfying the desire to escape the urban bustle and kick back with friends and family. But as owning a cottage or cabin becomes more and more expensive, many Canadians face a dilemma: “How can I get out of town for a few days without breaking my budget?”

Short-term rentals or resort-style hotels have become the go-to solution for many, but finding something in the right price range can be a challenge. If you’re not a cottage owner and still want that cottage-like experience, there are alternatives you can explore.

Vacation options have seen a real revolution in recent years in response to increasing demand for outdoor escapes within Canada. New accommodation choices like cabins, yurts and glamping tents are popping up in campgrounds across the country. They can offer outdoor experiences that vary from rustic escapes to deluxe retreats. Some private options even come stocked with necessities like kitchen utensils, small appliances and barbecues. With minimal packing required, you can take advantage of these ready-to-camp sites and get your cottaging fix without much hassle.

“Our cabin accommodations can be described as ‘cottage-lite,’” says Rafael Gonzalez, regional manager at Parkbridge, which offers a number of accommodation choices at its cottage and RV resorts across Canada. “The value and scenery are unbeatable and have a strong cottage-country vibe – beautiful lakes surrounded by rolling hills.”

Perhaps the best part of these many glamping options is that they’re much more affordable than renting a cottage. Bargain hunters can often find discounts for mid-week stays at many campgrounds.

Some private campgrounds also offer season-long rental sites as an alternative to cottage ownership. Typically, seasonal sites are intended for RV units, sometimes known as trailers; but the word “trailer” doesn’t do modern options justice. RVs have come a long way, and some of the newest models easily compare to a small cottage, without the same cost. They can include custom luxurious finishes like engineered hardwood floors and stone countertops, multiple bedrooms and smart-home technology. Getting a season-long site usually involves signing a lease with the campground operator but still typically offers savings over owning a traditional cottage or cabin.

With all these cottage alternatives available, it’s worth considering your options. You’re bound to find something to help you recharge and relax at a price point that works for you.

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