Taking a great vacation would be easy if money was no object – but money is always an object in the real world. When you start to plan your RV trips for the year, you not only have to think about taking vacation days and finding destinations, but also how you are going to pay for each of the trips. While RV travel is an affordable option compared to staying in a hotel each night, you still need to be smart about planning your trips to ensure that the costs don’t add up quicker than you are expecting. A vacation should be fun, but you won’t be able to have fun if you are sweating the budget each step of the way. Take some time to plan the budget carefully ahead of time so you can simply relax and enjoy your trip when the time comes.
Following are three tips that you can use to craft a budget that will keep you on track for a memorable – and affordable – vacation.
Tip #1 – Plan Your Activities First
During most vacations, the activities that you take part in will be one of the main expenses that you incur. For example, if you are staying in your RV near a theme park, the tickets to that park will be a major expense that needs to be considered. Other activities like guided tours, rounds of golf, or even just trips to the movie theater should be planned ahead of time. Map out your time for the entire trip and estimate how much money you will need to pay for all of the activities you would like to enjoy with your family.
Tip #2 – Check Gas Prices
It should be easy to plan for the fuel expense that you will accumulate during your vacation. Calculate how many miles you are going to be traveling, and use the average fuel economy from your RV to determine how many fill-ups will be needed. Using the current gas prices as a guide, multiply your number of required gallons by the going rate to find a total estimated cost to get you to and from your destination.
Tip #3 – Shop from a Master List
One of the best things about camping in an RV is the ability to take food with you from home. Create a shopping list in the days leading up to your trip, and purchase all of the groceries that you will need before you leave. You will typically get better prices on food near your home than you will near your destination – especially if it is in a rural area. With the food purchased before you even leave home, you don’t have to worry about that cost getting out of hand during the trip.
Budgeting for an RV vacation is all about planning ahead. As long as you are willing to spend a little bit of time up front creating a plan for your trip, you should be able to accurately determine just how much everything is going to cost. If the trip looks like it is going to be too expensive, consider shortening your stay or even changing your destination to make the vacation more affordable. RV trips are supposed to be fun, and you will maximize your fun when you are comfortable with the overall budget for the trip.