How to Budget for Your Next RV Trip

Last updated on September 20th, 2021 at 08:18 am. Originally published on May 9th, 2019

Everyone deserves a vacation once in a while. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a vacation. If you, like many, feel you fall into this category, don’t give up hope. There are tons of ways you can go about saving for vacation, and by finding the right way of saving, you might even have fun doing it.

Of course, saving is only half the battle. You don’t want to be saving forever, and this means finding some ways to get creative and take a vacation on a budget. Luckily, this isn’t as hard as it seems either. In fact, the number of budget vacation options out there might just surprise you.

Want to learn how to save and budget for your trip so you can finally have that getaway you deserve? If so, this is the article for you!

Growing Your Vacation Fund

As mentioned before, the first step is finding some money to create a vacation fund. There are, of course, an enormous number of ways to go about this, and there is no way we could list them all. Instead, we’re going to focus on a few of our favorite options, as listed below.

Ideas for Saving Money

Let’s begin by discussing some ways you can save money. Saving a bit of money each month means you can move that savings directly to your trip fund.

#1: Skip the Coffee

Do you stop at the local coffee shop each morning to grab a cup of joe? If so, break this habit now and replace it with coffee from home. You can always buy syrups and whipped cream to make it special.

#2: Cut the Cable

Cable TV is expensive. Why not cancel your cable and turn to cheaper options such as Netflix or Hulu?

#3: Pack a Lunch

If you eat lunch at a restaurant every day, it’s time to nix that habit. Pack a lunch instead and save the eating out for special occasions.

#4: Check Your Bills

Are you paying too much for cell or internet service? Check your bills to see if there is a cheaper plan available that would work for you.

#5: Change Your Thermostat

Turning your thermostat up a bit in summer and down a bit in winter can save tons of money, and after a while you’ll hardly even notice a difference.

#6: Clip Some Coupons

Clipping coupons, shopping sales, or even shopping cheaper grocery stores (such as Aldi) can save some money on groceries.

Ideas for Making Money

Of course, making some extra money will help grow that trip budget even faster. Below are some awesome ways to make money in your free time and add to your travel savings.

#1: Ride-Sharing Services

Uber and Lyft offer people just like you an awesome way to make a few extra bucks whenever they happen to be available. It’s easy money, and if you live in the right place, it can be quite lucrative.

#2: Delivery Gigs

If ride-sharing services seem great but you prefer less time spent with strangers, consider working for a delivery service such as Uber Eats or Shipt.

#3: Babysitting, Pet Sitting, or House Sitting

Helping people out with their pets, kids, or house can be a great side gig. It can be done in your free time, and can actually be fun.

#4: Wrapping Gifts

During the holiday season, you can make quite a bit of money wrapping gifts for others. Put on some holiday music and get busy!

#5: Yard Work

There are a lot of people in the world who hate yard work. Take advantage of this fact by offering your services to neighbors and friends.

Planning Budget Travel

Once you have a decent fund built up, you will want to start considering your budget and planning your trip. One of the best ways to save money while traveling is by taking RV vacations. If this is the route you decide to take, these are the things you’ll need to budget for and some ways to save money on them.


Obviously, you will need a place to park your RV. Therefore, a campground budget is usually necessary. That said, there is never any reason to pay a lot for a campsite. Instead try one of these options:

State Parks

State parks tend to have much lower camping fees than privately owned parks.

Camping Clubs

Some camping clubs—such as Passport America and Good Sam Club—offer the occasional camper great discount opportunities. Meanwhile, clubs such as Thousand Trails and Coast to Coast are perfect for those who camp often.


There is always the option of boondocking. This is completely free, but does take a bit more preparation and must be done in the right locations.


Gas is expensive when you’re driving an RV. Unfortunately, there is just no way around this fact. However, you can save on this particular budget item by 1) staying close to home, 2) traveling to a place with lower gas prices, and/or 3) joining a fuel rewards club.


One of the coolest things about RV travel is the fact that you can cook as you travel (not while actually driving, of course). Therefore, your food budget shouldn’t have to change at all. Just pick up groceries as you normally would and cook in your tiny home-on-wheels.


Entertainment can get pricey pretty quick. Fortunately, most places do have free things to do if you look for them. Additionally, reciprocal memberships to museums, zoos, and even amusement parks can be extremely helpful.

Finding the Right RV Rental for Your Budget

If you don’t have an RV to use for your getaway, you will need to rent one. Fortunately, RVShare has hundreds of RVs to choose from. This means there is something in every shape and size, and something to suit every budget.

When trying to find the right RV for your budget, remember to consider gas mileage. You’ll also want to keep in mind that trailers will need to be towed. Therefore, unless you own a good tow vehicle, you will need to pay for delivery.

Family Vacation on a Budget Options

As you can see, there are tons of ways to make a vacation possible for you and your family. Wondering what kinds of vacations you should be considering? Below are some of our favorite budget vacation options for families.

Lake Camping

Camping by a lake close to home is one of the least expensive getaways imaginable. That said, it can also be tons of fun. Go swimming, throw a few cookouts, have campfires under the stars, and enjoy the great outdoors!

Beach Vacation

If you live near the ocean, a beach vacation is another great option. Some states have very affordable beachside campgrounds, and the ocean provides all the entertainment you could possibly need.

National Park Hopping

Head to a place where there are several national parks clumped together and have a park hopping vacation. By purchasing an “America the Beautiful” National Parks Annual Pass, you’ll pay under $100 for all the entertainment you need, and camping is nearly always available near or even in national parks. Utah and California are both great options for this!

What do you think?

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How much can you make renting your RV?

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