5 Ways to Save Money at Campgrounds

The following article was written exclusively for frugal-rv-travel.com as a guest post.

There are many things to love about RVing. It’s a liberating experience to hit the road on your home-on-wheels while getting to visit unexplored places and meet new people. It’s fairly evident that there’s not much room to complain when you get to travel by RV on a regular basis, but if you’re trying to travel on a budget, staying at campgrounds can certainly add up quickly.

The good news is that there are many ways to save money while gallivanting on your journey, and to give you a few good places to start, here are some tips on how to save money when searching for RV parks.

Look for RV Campgrounds That Offer Discounts for Extended Stays

There are many resources online that are designed to ease your efforts when seeking out RV campgrounds that meet your needs, so take your time when picking your locations. If you are planning on camping long-term, ask the campground-in-question about any extended stay rates, as many offer discounted monthly rates.

Picking a park that will lower the daily rate for extended stays can help immensely overtime when it comes to keeping your wallet a bit fuller.

Ask the Campground Ahead of Time Which Amenities Are Included In Rates

The pickier you are about the campgrounds you stay at, the more money you will end up saving. This is why you should take your time and thoroughly investigate which amenities each campground includes in their rates.

Make a list of amenities you deem necessary while camping, and try to find parks that include those luxuries in their rates instead of charging you additional fees. For example, some parks offer free WiFi to their guests while others charge a certain cost per day for internet access. This can add up quickly, so if you’re trying to pinch a few pennies, always seek one that doesn’t charge extra.

Take Advantage of Free National Park Days

Many state and national parks offer free entry days on certain holidays or special occasions, meaning you can access the park completely free. You can find this information out by choosing the park you want to visit and exploring their website; it should clearly state which days offer free entry. It’s important to note that free entry doesn’t necessarily mean free camping, so always educate yourself on the details. However, saving on the entrance fee can cut your camping costs down, especially if your are traveling with multiple passengers.

Investigate Volunteer/Work Opportunities in Exchange for Free Camping

If you travel quite a bit and have some free time on your hands, many parks offer free stays for those who volunteer their time to help take care of the campgrounds, and some even offer free hookups and campsites in addition to a small wage. It can be an excellent way to camp for free and make a bit of additional income at the same time.

Research Member Discount Campgrounds

There are many RV clubs that offer discount campground stays to their members. They all work pretty much the same; you pay an annual membership fee towards the club of your choice, and you are then given a list of campgrounds that work with the club to offer discounts to RVers. The membership fees can range from anywhere between $40-$80 per year, and the discounts vary anywhere from 10%-50% off of your stay. Depending on how much you travel, joining an RV club could save you some serious cash. Some examples of RV Clubs to look into are:

  • Escapees
  • Goodsam RV Club
  • Passport America

Similarly, if you are a senior, don’t forget to ask National Parks and campgrounds if they have any senior discounts or senior passes available. Many do, and knowing what options apply to you can help you get the best bang for your buck.

Hopefully the above advice gives you a clear starting point on how to enjoy your travels without emptying your savings. It’s all about taking the time to plan thoroughly, investigate your options, and think outside of the box. If you can do all this, you should be ready to indulge in some amazing travels as well as make some life-affirming memories. Happy treks!

About the Author

Brian McGuinn is a travel enthusiast who helps fellow RVers plan their trips online.

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