Heading out on the road in an RV can be exhilarating. You can go wherever and whenever you want, without worrying about missed flights and messy hotel rooms. Because of freedom and convenience, it’s no wonder why many people are going on an RV vacation instead of the conventional one.
You probably have been looking forward to your RV trip too. But before you get so thrilled about the adventures you’re surely going to enjoy, traveling in an RV can be costly if you are not prepared. On the other hand, you’d be surprised how cost-effective it is when you have the right planning.
To help you enjoy without hurting your finances, we’ve mapped out some ways you can do to save money when traveling in an RV.
Plan A Route
Although traveling on a whim seems like an exciting idea, many RVers prefer not to pack up and go wherever they please. Taking on adventures doesn’t always mean being spontaneous and not planning. That is if you want to save a lot of money and avoid stress.
People who plan their trips ahead of time have much better odds of saving money than those who think they can just go. Planning your route helps you stay on top of your finances as it would give you a realistic forecast of what you’ll be spending. This way, you can explore all your options beforehand without being financially surprised on the road.
Decide On A Budget
Once you have a planned route, you can better estimate your travel costs and decide on a budget that is comfortable for you. When the figures seem a bit frustrating, you can adjust your travel plan until you are satisfied with what you’ll be spending on your trip.
Although sticking to your budget as closely as possible is essential, it doesn’t mean restricting yourself from any amusement. The point is to make your RV experience worthwhile without compromising your financial health in the future.
Here are some of the things you can do to help you come up with a budget that is still worth the experience.
Schedule Travel In The Shoulder Season
Most often, you will pay twice as much for camping, food, and entertainment when you travel to popular destinations in their peak seasons. Thus, if you want to save tons of money, traveling in the shoulder season would be a good idea.
Because there are only a few travelers or tourists, the prices are lower for almost everything. It also allows you to see the destinations more like the locals, but of course, you may have to deal with inconvenient weather like a little rain. Even so, a lower cost of travel and few travelers would be worth it.
Stock Up On Food
One of the biggest expenses for any vacation is food. But the advantage of traveling in an RV is you can stock up on food and cook them on your own. You won’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive meals on sites or restaurants. Just like home, making your meals in your RV is an excellent way to save the most money.
Besides, the convenience of having a kitchen on your road trip and being able to cook and eat at any time and place is part of the whole RV experience. So don’t miss out on it, and be sure to stock your RV with food supplies that will last until your travel ends.
Stay in Cheap or Free Camping Areas
Accommodation is another huge expense when traveling, and you can already save a lot of money when you’re staying in an RV. Since the RV is equipped with comfortable beds, you don’t have to spend anything on costly hotels. But if you want to save more on your RV trip, staying in cheap or even free camping areas would be appealing.
RV parks can cost around $15 to $50 a night. However, you can save that amount if you park at any private camping area. Many of them offer a free stay for a certain period or, if not, at a lower price. You can also stay at parking lots of any grocery store or off the side of a road as long as it is legal. There are a lot of camping deals you can find if you’re patient enough to search.
Look For Free Experiences
Looking for free events on your destinations is an excellent place to start when saving money on your travel experience. You can find festivals, concerts, marketplaces and much more. You can also look around some museums, historical sites, and art centers with free admissions. It isn’t always necessary to pay a hundred dollars to enjoy an adventure.
Keep Track of Your Expenses
Setting a budget is not the end of saving and organizing your spending. During your trip, it is vital to keep track of your expenses. If you think you need to make adjustments to your plans while on the road, don’t hesitate to do so. After all, your budget should have been designed to be flexible.
But be careful not to spend more than you have planned. Stick to your budget as much as possible if you don’t want to run out of cash before your travel ends. Monitoring your expenses is one way to stay in control of your trip.
Maintain Your RV
Before hitting the road, be sure that your RV is in good working condition. The last thing you’ll want is encountering problems in your RV while on the road. It can be costly to have your RV checked by a mechanic on the course of your trip.
It’s worth pointing out, though, that it can cost thousands of dollars a year for RV maintenance. But maintaining an RV regularly helps spread out the costs over time and gives you the security that you won’t be spending more later on.
If you don’t yet have an RV, it’s crucial to consider whether you’ll be renting or buying one. Each comes with certain benefits and drawbacks. But renting an RV can be one way to save money if you’re not a frequent camper.
On the other hand, buying a used or new RV would also be great if you want to travel all the time. You can also save money on financing your RV by looking at different recreational vehicle loans.
RV trips can be expensive, but you can save tons of money if you take the time and effort to do the research. Before you hit the road, make sure that you are prepared financially. Else, you can end up worrying about your finances and won’t enjoy the trip or, worse, go home broke. After all, every trip requires planning, whether or not you’re traveling in an RV.