Saving Money on the Road

Here's a handful of tried and true tips on conserving that necessary green stuff as you travel!

Living full time in a RV is a wonderful way to see the country and meet interesting people. It can also be a lot less expensive than maintaining a typical home that stands still. Now, I'm the first one to admit that I'm not the most frugal of Fulltimers.... my philosophy is to maximize the adventure and that can lead to greater expenses along the way. Sort of a "quality vs. quantity" approach. Still, I try to save money along the way whenever possible. Some of these tips will apply whether you are a fulltimer or just like to travel on the occasional weekend.

Let's break it down into categories, examine where the money goes and talk about ways to save some green.


These are expenses like Insurance, payments for services like a Cell Phone, Internet Access or Mail Forwarding, Medical expenses, Club Dues, just about anything that is a repeating monthly expense. There are some possibilities for saving money here, but it's mostly limited to shopping around for the best deals.
This is Gasoline, Diesel, and Propane mostly... Well, there just aren't many opportunities to save a lot here... Gasoline or Diesel prices vary from one part of the country to another, but usually don't vary more that a few cents a gallon in any given area.
Items like admissions to attractions, museums, movies and tours. Not too many chances to find big savings here. If you're a senior citizen, take advantages of reduced rates when possible. Some popular attractions offer off-season rates that you can take advantage of if you plan carefully. Really, though, the only way to save significant money on these kind of things is by not going. The bright side is that these kinds of expenses typically don't make up a large part of your travel budget. Be frugal, but don't pass by things you really want to see just because there's an expense involved.


This category includes, well, food... I also include those non-edible items that are needed to keep house when I budget my expenses. Things like cleaning products, paper plates, napkins, toiletries and the like. Since these things are often bought at the same time as food supplies, I just find it easier to lump them together. Also included would be money spent at restaurants and cafes.
Now here's an expense that you can really control! All the above is just diddly compared to the cost savings possibilities available to the dedicated frugal camper. This is the one category that you have maximum control over and can really make a huge difference in your overall expenses. Defined simply, this is what you pay to park your RV each night.

This page last updated on March 8, 2002