Fuel. Camping fees. Food. It’s true that adventure costs money, but it doesn’t have to cost much. And it’s probably easier than you think.
Here are some simple ways to save on your next camping trip:
Join the club
Passport America and Good Sam Club are among many the clubs available to RVers who want to save money. Passport America enables members to save 50 percent on nightly rates at participating parks, and Good Sam Club members save 10 percent off nightly rates. Check the park’s website or call ahead to find out about blackout dates and restrictions.
Travel right, travel light
One of the main expenses RVers have is fuel. Gassing up a 40′ Class A isn’t cheap, but there are several ways to cut down on fuel costs:
- Get a gas card, which offer cash back on fuel purchases. Check out nerdwallet.com’s top picks for using credit cards to save on gas.
- Save while you shop. Certain grocery stores offer discounts for their customers at gas stations — your Winn-Dixie reward card saves you money at Shell stations (amount you save per gallon depends on the amount of groceries you’ve been buying) and Publix stores periodically let customers purchase $50 gift cards for $40)
- This next tip might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget just how much stuff you’re actually carrying with you. Traveling light is important for many reasons, including fuel economy. The lighter your load, the less gas you’ll burn.
Pass the savings
Another handy, money-saving tool is the park pass. These are especially useful to full-time RVers and those who travel frequently. The national park system and state park systems offer annual passes for a one-time fee. Although you’ll pay more initially, the savings can be huge if you are a big fan of public lands.
Timing is everything
If your schedule is flexible, you can save a lot of money by choosing to travel at certain times of the year. If you are able, camp during the off season. For example, in most of Florida, RV parks are busiest during the winter months, and summer is when private RV parks offer the best daily, weekly and monthly rates. In the northeast, camping rates are better outside of leaf-peeping season.
Another way to save is to stay in one place longer. Private RV parks typically offer monthly rates that are significantly less per day than daily or weekly rates.
There are lots of ways to save money while RVing, and these are just a few of them. Got some money-saving tips for us? Tell us in the comments.