Taking family vacations is one of the most valued summertime activities, but it can get expensive, particularly if you have children and pets. You have to find a place to stay, pay for meals at restaurants, pay to board your animals or pay extra fees to allow them to stay in hotels…the list is long and expensive. By contrast, renting an RV can net you some great savings while making your family vacation more of an adventure.
Some people will immediately think, “We can’t afford to buy a motorhome.” That’s okay, because renting an RV is an affordable option for almost everyone. Let’s compare some of the ways money is spent on vacations; you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the low cost of RVing for a few weeks or even a long weekend.
The Cost of Lodging
The cost of renting a RV per night is generally on par with the cost of renting a nice (not extravagant) hotel room. If you have kids, you’ll need to pay extra for an additional bed or even an extra room when you stay in a hotel, which can increase the price substantially. Since even the smallest RVs can sleep up to six people, you don’t have to worry about hidden fees or extras like occupancy tax, tourism tax, state tax, hidden fees, etc. The winner? RV rental, which not only gives you plenty of sleeping space, but room to move around, lounge and even prepare a snack any time you want.
The Cost of Travel
It depends on how you travel, but in most cases an RV rental will save you money over the course of your trip. Airfare is expensive for a family of four! Rather than pay for four tickets, pay the cost of one RV rental and pocket the extra money.
If you usually drive your car to a vacation destination, you’ll need to factor in the cost of gasoline. We aren’t going to lie – the gas mileage is better in a car, but there are other costs that balance this out. Keep in mind that you’ll be saving on accommodations when you arrive, as well as the cost of a hotel to break up a long trip.
When driving in a car, you’ll also lose time for eating three times a day, the inevitable bathroom breaks, etc. And the boredom of a long car trip can drive any parent crazy, so keep in mind that in an RV, kids can watch television, play board games, take comfortable naps and more. Consider the cost of peace of mind and family harmony when you’re trying to decide whether to drive your car or rent an RV for family vacations!
The Cost of Feeding the Family
The cost of feeding the family on vacation can quickly add up when you’re trying to feed four people, particularly if you have picky eaters. On a two-week vacation, if you’re eating breakfast at the hotel, trying to stick to fast food at lunch, and eating one nice evening meal each day, you’ll easily spend $1,800 in two weeks, perhaps more. Why more? Because most family vacation destinations offer lots of food choices at premium prices because they know families will pay more for convenience. And don’t forget to add the cost of those in-between snacks, fountain drinks, etc., which can add several dollars a day to your food budget.
In an RV you’ll have a refrigerator/freezer, a cooktop and an oven. You can stock your RV with two weeks of food, beverages and snacks for about $500 for the full two weeks and buy foods you know your family will love. No wasted food, no problems with picky eaters, and no trying to find a place that’s open late at night if you suddenly want a midnight snack!
The Cost of Bringing Fido on an RV Vacation
If you have a family pet, you know that there are only a few alternatives when you want to take a family vacation. If you’re driving the family car, you’ll pay anywhere from $15 to $50 more per night to keep him in your hotel room and you’ll have a bored, confined pet driving you crazy in your car. If you’re flying, you’ll have to pay to have your dog transported and you’ll worry about him while he’s in the cargo hold. Or you could simply leave your pet behind in a boarding kennel that costs anywhere from $25 to $75 or more per day to take care of your furry friend.
The cost of traveling with your dog in an RV? Virtually zero. You can bring along his favorite food and treats as well as a few of his favorite toys to keep him happy on the journey. You may have to make a few stops for potty breaks, but that doesn’t cost more than a few minutes of driving time, and your dog will be so much happier being with you and being able to move about in an RV.
The Real Savings with an RV Rental for Family Vacations
On a two-week family vacation that includes two kids and a dog, you can easily save over $1,000 while giving everyone more room to relax and more time together. You’re taking everything you need with you, including your pet, and spending less money to do it. Doesn’t that sound better than packing up a bunch of suitcases and schlepping them from home to airport to hotels? We think so!