Champagne Plans On A Beer Budget

As camping season begins, we are contemplating how we are going to manage our budget and still not short change ourselves on the experiences we have planned. Up to this point, we never really took budgets into consideration. When it came to vacations, our attitude was always “we are on vacation, what does finances have to do with it?”

To say I’m a little nervous about the upcoming adventures would be an understatement. We did well on our first test when we went on one of our regular Vegas trips, which you can read about here and here. The real question now is how do we maintain that momentum throughout an entire summer? A summer in which we will have numerous small trips planned to go along with a two week, six state journey.

The smaller trips are not going to be too difficult. They usually consist of lounging around the RV or the pool at a semi-local Indian casino RV park. We don’t go to the actual casino very often and cutting that part out will not be too hard. It’s not like the odds are in your favor, that’s for sure. The actual cost of the stay is where it can get pricey. We do enjoy all of the amenities the RV parks have to offer and their cost is usually worth what comes along with the price of admission. One thing we can do is scale back on the type of site we get. Back in sites are usually cheaper than pull thru sites and everything else is the same after that. Surprisingly, backing in a 40 foot RV isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

As for the big two week adventure? That is going to be tough! The reservations for our camping locations were made almost a year ago and there is no changing them at this point. I will say, we have some pretty posh camping glamping locations. Any place you can get a private spa with your campsite is ok by me. As you can probably assess, we were not aware of or interested in the FIRE movement when these decisions were made. We did make a decision to camp one night in a free location, so we have that going for us.

So what can we do to not spend excessively on this trip? We can make sure our RV refrigerator (residential size) and pantry are stocked full. Cutting back on our urge to buy food at every stop can save us a large amount of cash. We can probably cutback on some of the souvenirs and shopping. After all, we are supposed to start getting rid of things in the not too distant future. So why buy more things? When visiting parks we can see if we can buy cheaper passes limited to our interests or timelines instead of the all-access anything-goes for 7 days pass. Finally, I think that we can do better on our daily excursions. We never really plan anything. We just get up and go somewhere. If we spend some time planning our excursions, that will certainly be cheaper. We will spend less money on fuel if we are not roaming around trying to figure out where we are going all the time. We can also do a lot more free excursions like hiking and sightseeing. Planning just makes everything more efficient.

There are other things we have put in place just based on experience. We never use things like paper plates because they get expensive. You can find the melamine plates and other items we use on a prior blog here. Our new RV has a washer and dryer combo so we don’t have to pay to use the campground laundromats. And because we have a large diesel RV we try to fill up after we get out of our home state and always before we come back into our expensive state. That saves us almost $1 per gallon which is $100 anytime we don’t fill up in state.

It will be interesting to see how our newly found desire to achieve FIRE will impact our travels. In a way, this will be a small two week sample of our future life, except with our son on board. I plan to blog throughout the trip as I want to document our travels and it will help keep us honest. Just over a month to go and we can’t wait!!

Leave a comment with your savings ideas and any summer travel plans you might have.

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