Here’s how we do it…
- Budget! In order to save money to increase our travel, we launched a new budgeting strategy several years ago. We began our plan, believe it or not, by shifting our yearly spending. It all began in the fall of 2008 when we completed our holiday spending several months early… by the end of October! Honestly, this is a terrific idea as you will find that most Black Friday Deals have the same pricing for sales offered in October. Seriously! As our kids are now getting older, we mostly give money and gift cards, but by putting this away early allows us to begin to save and prepare for the following year’s travel season ahead of time. We then start to save money from November through January to use for RV travel! We are always ahead of the game!
- Book Early/ Save Money! We book early, typically January through February, and ask for “Early Bird Specials”/ AAA/ Good Sam Member/ or Military Specials for trips we plan to take starting in March and we plan trips through October. We find most RV resorts typically only require that you put a small deposit down and we are still able to lock in great prices and we usually can guarantee a prime site as well. In addition, we are also on several emailing lists for different RV Resorts. You would not believe the offers we get throughout the year, particularly on Black Friday, to book for the following year. As a result, we are able to save hundreds staying at luxurious RV resorts.
- Save Money Simply By RVing! We save so much money and stretch our dollar just by RVing. Not only do we save on the cost of hotels, but we save on not buying plane tickets! We have priced out the cost of driving versus flying to our destinations along with the cost of a hotel, and we save hundreds. Even with the cost of the RV payment over the year, we still make out better every time! In addition, we get to utilize the mortgage interest off our RV payment as a tax deduction (it’s a second mortgage if you have a bathroom- see IRS laws). Besides the memories we make starting from the moment we drive out of our driveway, we are making our money go further. That means more money for more vacations! Can you say “Ca-ching!”
- Take Advantage of Low Gas Prices! Gas prices are at an amazing low right now. There is simply no better time to travel more- talk about saving money! Travel just got so much more affordable! Why not take that extra trip to your dream RV destination?! More for less…why not?
- Online Deals! Make sure before you head out on vacation that you check out online deals for local attractions for your destination. From coupons for local restaurants to discounts for amusement parks or museums, you are bound to save tons of money by simply doing your research.
- Travel to Canada, eh!? Since the prices are so low to fill your tank, why not head up to the Great White North. Not only will you save on gas right now, but you can stretch your U.S dollar! Make sure to take the time to check the current US exchange rate in Canada as our dollar is going a bit further up north. There is no better time than now to take in all the beauty Canada has to offer at a bargain!
- Deals at the RV Resorts! We make sure when we are checking into the RV resort that we ask for any deals the resort offers for local attractions. Often the campgrounds have package deals, exclusive discounts and more for tours and other fun things to do in the area. They are also a plethora of information for delicious, local restaurants and other fun things to do! We prefer to go “where the locals go” to eat as they are the best places, and usually more affordable than the tourist joints! Just ask the locals!
- Cook on Your Own! Save tons of money by bringing and cooking your own meals. Not only will you save money, you will likely eat healthier than if you were to dine out. Typically, we find we don’t always make the best choices (and we eat more) at restaurants. Although we do eat out when RVing, we always plan on dining in at least 50% of the time. Stretches the dollar without stretching your waistline!
- Where’s the Free Stuff?! There’s always things to do for free when you travel, you just have to do your research. Before we go on any trip, we start by googling “What’s free to do in____ fill in the blank destination. This is so helpful and we find so many fun things to do! We have even found free things to do in Walt Disney World (check past blogs)! TripAdvisor, Trip Buzz and Pintrest are also great places to start in doing your research. It’s amazing how much more fun the simpler things are to do when you don’t spend a penny!
- Bring Your Pet! There is nothing better than bringing your pet on vacation! Our little pup is part of the family and we enjoy taking her with us when we head out on the road. She loves the RV as well and seems to even sense when we are getting ready to go. She gets just as excited as we do! By bringing your pet you not only include them in the family fun, but you will also save money by not placing them in a boarding facility. Let’s face it, they would rather be with you than left in a kennel.
Glamp on Friends!