Are you saving up for your dream vacation? Have you considered a recreational vehicle (RV)?
Most Americans state they will spend between $501 to $1000 per person to enjoy their summer travels–about $4,000 for a family of four. Our Aussie friends (we love our Australian site subscribers!) spend between $4,000 and $5,000 on their annual vacation. Yet, going on a trip doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, holiday-goers can enjoy a few weeks in the sun without worrying about whether they can afford it. Of course, it requires sensible money-saving and careful planning.
Read on to find out how to enjoy an RV trip without spending a fortune.
1 – Set yourself a saving goal
The amount you spend on your holiday depends on where you’re going, how long you’re away, and what you do when you’re there. If you want an extravagant overseas trip, you’ll need to save more, which might take you longer. Alternatively, local camping trips are often much more affordable.
Set yourself a goal to save for your holiday. With an exact number in mind, each dollar saved will feel like a step towards your dream vacation.
2 – Create a budget
So, you’ve decided to save a certain amount for your summer getaway. How do you ensure that your earnings go into your savings account?
Create a budget. Determine your monthly expenses—be honest; if you tell yourself you spend less than you do, you’re more likely to break your budget. Are there any unnecessary costs you can cut?
For instance, if you eat out twice a month, can you limit this to once? Don’t make your life miserable by cutting out everything fun in life. But, consider how you might limit your expenses with your budget.
3 – Costs of buying and owning an RV
Whether you call it a camper, RV, motorhome, camping trailer, or a caravan, this is one of the most cost-effective ways to vacation. Of course, the upfront cost of buying a recreational vehicle is expensive. However, once you own it, you can take impromptu trips across the country without spending all your savings.
Most new RVs cost between $40,000 – $80,000. Although, you can also buy micro caravans for under $15,000. Alternatively, many second-hand recreational vehicles are available for a fraction of the cost of a brand new one.
If you opt for a $40,000 brand new camper, it will take ten years of annual holidays to make your money back (if we assume the average family spends $4,000 a year). However, many travelers enjoy multiple trips a year, ensuring it is cost-effective long before ten years.
If you buy a second-hand RV in the region of $10,000 – $20,000, you could make your money back within a few years. This dream vacation is not cost-free once you’ve purchased the trailer. You’ll still need to pay for your campsite, food, and travel. But they’re still more affordable than most other holidays.
4 – Budgeting for an RV holiday
The cost of your holiday depends on how far you travel and how extravagantly you spend when there. As with all vacations, the expenses will quickly rise if you book up lots of days while away.
General RV costs
Before going on holiday, you must pay for your caravan all year round. From insurance to storage facilities, owning an RV isn’t cheap. Make sure to pack your caravan away correctly for the winter to avoid hefty repairs.
Most campers like to stay within one state, yet, going for a cross-country road trip can sometimes be exciting. Remember, your car is towing several tonnes, so your fuel consumption will increase. Bear in mind the additional fuel costs and factor them into your budget.
While your recreational vehicle is your accommodation, you’ll need to pay parks to unhitch and use their facilities. The fortunate thing about an RV is that you don’t need to opt for the luxurious park. Low-key RV parks are just as good when you’re bringing your holiday home with you.
Another excellent aspect of RV tripping is that you can cook for yourself. A BBQ in the sun is just as enjoyable as eating out, reducing your food budget. Of course, RV units don’t offer much storage space, so pack food carefully. You can always shop while away by checking out nearby 24/7 stores ready to serve you at your convenience — it’s still more affordable than eating out every night.
The Takeaway: An RV Trip Can Help You Plan a Dream Vacation for Less Money
While an RV is expensive upfront compared to other holidays, they are far more cost-effective in the long run. You may have to pay ongoing maintenance costs, but it’s worth it for the enjoyment that is camping.