[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Everyone loves taking a vacation – but that vacation doesn’t always fit nicely into the family budget. In order to take a great family trip that will be remembered for years to come, you might need to get a little creative in developing a plan that doesn’t break the bank. Fortunately, if you are an RV owner, there are plenty of great options for fun and affordable vacations.
Stay Close to Home
Purchasing gas to power your RV is one of the most expensive parts of an RV vacation, so stay close to home in order to save money. There are great RV campgrounds all across the country, and there is a good chance that you will be able to find some nice options within a short drive of your house. As an added benefit, you will limit the number of miles you are putting on your RV, meaning that it should be able to last longer into the future. Start your campground search looking for destinations within one hour of home and slowly expand that range until you find a suitable option.
Cook All of Your Meals in the RV
Your RV comes with a kitchen – so use it! Dining out is a quick way to make your trip more expensive. By planning meals out ahead of time and taking all of the food you will need, you can avoid trips to a restaurant each evening. Also, try to do your grocery shopping prior to leaving home so you can look around town for the best deals. If you are headed to a rural destination and don’t shop until you arrive, you may have to pay higher food prices due to the lack of options in the area.
Avoid RV Resorts
Think twice before you reserve a space at an RV resort, as these types of facilities often charge higher nightly rates. Instead, look for RV campgrounds in State Parks, National Forests, etc. When you stay with a private business, you are almost always going to have to spend more for your spot. By planning ahead, you should be able to find a great campground on public land for a fair rate.
Favor Free (or Cheap) Activities
One of the great things about vacationing in an RV is gaining access to free or cheap activities during your trip. Many RV campgrounds will have access to trails for hiking, roads for biking, or water for swimming and fishing. Each of these activities can usually be enjoyed for free or for a small fee (such as a fishing license). Also, try to bring activities from home that you can set up in your campsite to add to the enjoyment of the trip.
Travel with Friends
If you own a large RV that has more room than your family needs, ask friends to accompany you for the trip. You could plan to split costs on gas and campground fees to make the trip more affordable for everyone. Not only does this method save some money, but it also provides you with a great opportunity to spend valuable time with your friends.
Go During the Week
When possible, try to plan your vacations for weekdays instead of weekends. The rates at most RV campgrounds will be lower during the week, and you should have an easier time getting a reservation as well. If you are only able to travel on weekends, try to take your trips during the non-peak times of the year to avoid the high rates.
Steer Clear of Tourist Traps
Depending on where you travel, you may encounter some ‘tourist trap’ businesses selling things like sweatshirts, hats, etc. To save money, steer clear of these shops and spend more time at the campsite enjoying your time with family and friends. Those tourist traps will rarely offer anything that you can’t find at home for a better price.
Owning an RV is one of the best ways to take affordable vacations that will still be fun for the whole family. Follow the tips above to plan your next trip without having to blow through your entire budget. You can still have a great time on an affordable trip, and you will feel a lot better when you return home to find money still in the bank.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]