Budget-Friendly RVing in 2024: Tips for Smart Spending on the Road


While it’s awesome to hit the road for an adventure, there are some logistics that go into planning. You’ll need to think about how much you are willing to spend and therefore budget for your adventure. To make budget planning for being on the road easier, we’ve come up with a few tips for smart spending on the road.


Food cooking in RV

1. Cook Or Bring Your Own Food 

Although one of the best parts of traveling is trying different foods and restaurants, you can save a lot of money by simply just packing your own snacks or cooking meals as much as possible. Grab some groceries and utilize your RV kitchen or pull out your camping cookware at the campsite to whip up an easy and delicious meal! If you’ve got a long day of activities ahead of you, pack some protein bars, trail mix, granola bars, and other handy snacks. Although you should definitely still enjoy going out to eat on your trip, planning your own meals can save you both a lot of time and money.


Camping out in the open

2. Find Free Spots To Camp 

A big plus to traveling by RV is that you don’t have to pay for hotels, short-term vacation rentals, or other accommodations that are often expensive in touristy areas. There are many spots around the U.S. that allow free camping, such as Walmart parking lots. Although, we suggest utilizing one of the free camping apps that help campers all around the country find safe and reliable spots to stay for the night. Some reliable apps to use are Hipcamp and Campendium, which will give you recommendations on where to stay for the night, which is especially great if you don’t have a spot planned ahead of time.


Gas pumps at gas station

3. Search For Cheap Fuel

One of the most costly parts of going on a road trip is filling up your fuel tank. Use the GasBuddy app to find the best prices. Whenever you come across a gas station on your trip with good fuel efficiency, it’s worth stopping at even if you aren’t close to being empty. You could also fill up gas cans at a cheap gas station so you really can get more for your dollar on your trip. The more you save on gas, the more you’ll have to spend on other parts of your trip!


Hiking in a national park

4. Participate in Free Activities

From hiking in different national parks to going on a free museum tour with your family, there are several different ways to enjoy activities that don’t cost any money. Those who go on roadtrips tend to enjoy outdoor activities. This is a plus since many of these activities cost very little, or nothing at all. Of course, you still should pay for one or two epic adventures, such as a guided helicopter tour or skydiving, but you can certainly find free activities to enjoy every day. You can even just go for a nature walk or play card games at the campsite!


Hiking through a national park

5. Plan A Trip That Requires Minimal Travel

Although you may need to drive for a few days straight to get to where you want to go, you should try and stay within one area to limit how much gas you’ll use. For example, you can just stay in the state of Utah and explore all five national parks, which are all within close proximity to one another. Or take a trip to the Carolinas and stay in one area to explore art galleries, beaches, hiking trails, and more.


Empty and open road in the middle of a desert

6. Travel During The Off-Season 

The most popular time for RVers to hit the road is around May to October. To avoid both the crowds and rising prices, consider hitting the road in the winter or spring when most people aren’t going on an adventure. If you don’t want to deal with the cold, there are many warm places to escape to in your RV during winter or spring that you can check out.


By making smart spending decisions before and throughout your trip, you’ll be able to explore several places stress-free. Traveling doesn’t always have to be expensive. By planning your trip right, you can have an affordable, fulfilling adventure. For more convenient travel tips, learn about why you should follow the RV 3-3-3 rule the next time you hit the road.

See you on the road!

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