Sunday, June 1, 2014

Affordable Vacations Despite High Gas Prices!

In May 2007, the gas prices were at about $3.23 per gallon.  This year, prices are at almost $1.00 more per gallon.  But even at a $1.00 more per gallon, what does that mean to your travel budget for camping?  If your tow vehicle or motor home gets 10 miles to a gallon of gas or diesel, and you take a 50 mile trip, your total trip cost increase will be only $10.00 more!  If your tow vehicle gets better mileage, your cost increases will be even less!  

High gasoline prices historically cause Americans to make modifications to their travel plans but generally won’t cause them to cancel. So, here are some tips on how to still have a great summer and not let the price of gas ruin your vacation. 

Cook & eat at the campsite or RV!  Cooking over the fire is a favorite of campers and RV’ers, but even if cooking on the fire isn’t your thing, cooking and eating at your RV will help you save enough money on your vacation to pay for the gas price increase and allow you to afford the same vacation you took last year. 

Stay in a Cabin!  Not owning an RV isn’t the end of your camping experiences especially if tent camping is out of the question for you.  Most campgrounds have cabins that provide non-RV owners a fun camping experience at a very affordable rate.  The cabins are about the price of a hotel stay, but they have a wide range of amenities.  Camping cabins can be very basic (just beds and a table); kitchenette cabins provide the ability to cook indoors; and deluxe full service cabins have multiple rooms, kitchens, and bathroom facilities.  You can drive the vehicle that gets the best mileage, cook at the campground over the campfire to save money on meals, and enjoy a fun and affordable vacation with your family.    

Take only one vehicle to the campground or on vacation!  Coordinate schedules and carpool!  It saves you gas and reduces consumption!  Reducing consumption makes the price go down.  If everyone would lower consumption, our high fuel prices would come down.

Stay Closer to Home.  Rethinking your vacation location may pay back big dividends!  Save the cost of travel fuel by RVing and camping closer to home.  Not only do you save money on gas and wear and tear on your RV but you also spend less time traveling and more time having fun with your family!

Stay Longer once you get there.  Instead of making four, 2-day camping trips with the RV this summer, make three (3), 3-day stays.  You get an extra day of camping in, and the travel expense for only 3 trips!  It saves you money on the gas and again uses less gas, but that’s not all many campgrounds offer lower prices during the week.  So not only do you save with less travel but you also save on the stay costs too!

Become a Seasonal for the summer at your favorite campground!  To really save money on fuel and get the maximum use of your RV this summer, why not park the RV for the whole summer?  It’s a great way to think locally and act globally, and it’s a great way for your family to enjoy camping every weekend at the most affordable rate.  It maximizes your family’s enjoyment and minimizes the cost.  Most families can camp for the whole summer for less then a one-week vacation at Disney or at the seashore!

You don’t have to spend all that money on fuel to still enjoy a great vacation!  You can plan a great vacation by utilizing any one or more of these tips!  And, there are so many fun things to do and see right here in NW PA, you don’t have to go a long way to get away!

By Robyn S. Chilson

Robyn & Tim Chilson, CPO, Own and Operate Meadville KOA Campground in Meadville, PA.  You can contact her at 814-789-3251.