Most American’s spend the year working hard and saving what they can to be able to afford to take their family on an annual vacation. For many of us, that vacation is a roadtrip in the RV! You most likely have a finite amount of money you can spend once you pack up the kids and hit the road, and that means that sticking close to your budget is very important. This can be completely attainable with a little forethought, planning, and preparation. When you’re traveling, making stops here and there, buying souvenirs, lunches out, paying entrance fees, etc., it’s easy to spend loads of money without really realizing it. A good plan is to budget for as many of those things as you can reasonably anticipate. If you know you’re going to some amusement parks, museums, or attractions, find out what the admission fees are ahead of time. If you know the kids are going to want t-shirts and such from those places, make sure you allow a little budget room for those items ahead of time. Since the food at these attractions is often way overpriced (and way under yummy and nutritious), call ahead to see if they have a picnic area and allow outside food and drink. If you are parked nearby, head back to the RV for lunch in, and a rest. You’ll save a ton of money providing your own food, and it will quite likely taste better too. Oops… one little caveat; You should always allow a couple bucks for treats because sometimes you NEED an elephant ear or an ice cream cone. That’s just the facts, people.
Another money saver is to spend some time before you leave researching what free activities there are along your route. There are so many roadside attractions all across the USA, that don’t cost a thing or ask you to donate what you can. You can make a whole trip based around seeing The World’s Largest items. Here’s a link to some of “The World’s Largest” listed by state (22 in Minnesota alone!) and they’re free! Small towns that you’re just passing through often hold little treasures if you take the time to look around and explore. One last tip for saving money is to download some great apps on your smartphone before you take off. One favorite is “Gas Buddy”, which will use gps to pinpoint your location and find you the best gas prices in town. This app is free, as are most of the top rated travel apps, and the ones that do charge are usually only a few bucks. Another great tip that not everyone knows is that if you download the “Yelp” app (for free) and use it to “check-in” to different places that you go, you will often get an immediate coupon to use for a free appetizer, or a discount on a purchase. No tricks, no gimmicks, just a free gift for the taking. Rvroadtrip.us has put together a top ten list of helpful travel apps, and all but three are completely free! All these little things that you can do to help cut costs here and there can really add up and help keep you on track. After all, no one wants to come home from a great time away only to be stressed out about how much money they ended up spending. The point of vacation is to get out and enjoy yourselves! Do you have any favorite travel apps or money saving tips to share with us? You can comment here, or post it on our Facebook page.