Washington: Heading out on a road trip in a recreational vehicle allows travellers an opportunity to explore the nation while enjoying some comforts, too. “It’s not so much about just getting to where you’re going and stopping when you’re there, but you really get to enjoy the journey,” says Julie Hall, a spokesperson for AAA. “It’s also a cost-effective way to travel, or it can be at least.” But RV travel still comes with some expenses. Here’s how to keep them in check.
Choose a smaller vehicle
RVs range from small campers and towable trailers to grand motor homes over 40 feet long. Whether you rent or buy, the bigger you go, the more it’ll cost.
“People can opt for a big luxury coach and pay thousands of dollars a week, or they can get a small (one) for a fraction of that price,” says Chuck Woodbury, editor for RVtravel.com, who adds that larger vehicles typically offer less fuel efficiency and flexibility. “When you decide you need to get some milk or cereal or want to go out and hit the local tavern, well, you’ve got to move your home to do that.”
For some, a roomier RV may be necessary to accommodate large groups. In that case, save money by splitting the cost with fellow travellers.
Bring your own food
Many RVs come equipped with refrigerators and cooktops, making real meals possible on the road. Stock up on fresh produce and your favourite fixings for sandwiches for a cheaper — and healthier — alternative to eating at diners and fast-food joints.
Grocery stores can provide amenities along the way, too. “Trader Joe’s has free coffee and samples, and almost all have private, clean bathrooms,” Quinlan says. If you want to sprinkle in a few restaurant meals, research your options. Before the trip, plan where you might eat and see if there are discounts available, Hall says.