Saving money is at the top of everyone’s list these days and many people are forgoing vacations all together due to the sometimes exorbitant travel costs. Even camping in your own RV can sometimes be expensive but there are ways to travel in an RV and save yourself some money on a camping trip.
Make a List of Necessities
Making a list of everything you want to bring with you on a trip will save you money. You will avoid having to make purchases at the campground store which can be expensive. Even stopping somewhere along the way for items that you forgot can put a drain on your wallet so make a list and check it off to make sure you have ample food, soap and other necessities. Plan ahead and have enough clothing, be prepared for inclement weather, and have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand.
RV Fitness Check
Make sure the tires are inflated properly as having under-inflated tires can cause damage to existing tires but can also increase your fuel bill. Make sure you don’t exceed the speed limit as driving the speed limit is fuel efficient. Open the windows to avoid burning additional fuel by running the AC. Get the engine checked out before you go on your trip or at least at the beginning of the season to make sure all belts and hoses are in great shape. You don’t want to have to spend time and money on expensive repairs while you are on the road.
Saving at the Campgrounds
If possible, avoid fees for hookups by camping without them for a day. If you visit a campground regularly, check to see if they have a campground membership card. Sometimes this can save you a little bit of coin. Consider purchasing a membership at a site like www.happycamper.com which offers membership services that can save you up to 50% on a full hookup at various campgrounds.
Challenge yourself to see if you can find ways to entertain your family on little or no money. See if your campground has a paperback trade program where you can find books you haven’t yet read and exchange them for others when you are finished. Play board games or card games with other families. If you stay at the same campground on a regular basis, see if you can get a public library card. Many libraries allow you to check out DVDs free of charge. If not, see if you can trade movies with other families or group up for a family movie night.
Save on Meals
Food can be a big expense of any camping trip but you can also save money on food with a little advanced planning. Buy in bulk before your trip. Most grocery stores or membership stores like Costco have bulk size containers for cereal, spaghetti sauce and snacks. Buy items like coffee, sugar and non-dairy creamer in a large size and then break them down into smaller containers to take on your trips. Plan to cook your meals at the campsite instead of eating out. If you do want to eat a restaurant meal, make it lunch or breakfast. You’ll save money as opposed to eating dinner at a restaurant which can cost you more. Desserts like cake and cookies are also cheaper to buy in bulk rather than going out for ice cream or other expensive snacks at night. See if you have thrift bakeries in your area as they are great places to get discount cakes and cookies and bring them with you on your trip. Find one or two great campsite cookbooks and cook your own meals on your camp stove or grill. Toast marshmallows for a late night snack.
A sale here, a discount membership there, little by little it all adds up to equal a fun filled vacation that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.