We recently wrote an article for HubPages detailing a few tips and tricks to implement while traveling in order to save some cash. As many of you know from following along on our journey with us, full-time RV living isn't extremely expensive, especially when compared to more conventional ways of living. However, there certainly are a few ways to save even more. You can read the full HubPage article here: How to Travel the Country Without Breaking the Bank, or just continue on reading for a few highlights. The choose-your-own-adventure starts now.
Food Can Be a Downfall
I would say, our biggest expense has to be food. We like to cook, we like to eat fresh and healthy, plus we like to dine out at new vegan places we come across. This doesn't help our bank account much. BUT, we learned quickly how we can make things work without going broke over breakfast. We stretch meals and learned to eat for nutritional value rather than taste. The problem that many people have is that they eat to taste. This can lead to spending a ton of extra money plus adding unnecessary calories into your diet. When you eat to fulfill nutritional needs, you aren't as picky, you don't overstuff, and you don't spend half as much money. A pot of homemade Lentil soup can last 2 meals for us, which cuts the cost of making it in half. When you stretch most of your meals, AND don't eat just for taste, you end up with a lot more money saved than you realize. We did, and that extra money went into our travels.
The Members-Only Clubs
Early on in our travels, we signed up for a lot of clubs. Even if there was a fee to join, most of them ended up paying for themselves. These clubs absolutely help you save money on the road, and to us, are essential to traveling the country on a dime. A few notable favorites include: Passport America, Good Sam, and The National Parks Pass.
Passport America is 50% off over 2,000 RV parks in America. We've gotten fully hooked up many a'time for less than $15/night. It's great after boondocking, to spend a day in an RV camp doing laundry, showering, and having full-time electricity. We paid off the annual fee in savings after about a month. Totally worth it.
Good Sam is similar to Passport, but we've found doesn't have the huge discounts. The plus, however, is that it does offer gas discounts at certain stations, which helps us save on the road.
The National Parks Pass is a must, for us. You pay $80 for the annual pass, and it allows for free entry to any national park or monument across the country for you, and up to three people in your vehicle. This means that the $30 Big Bend entrance fee was waived, along with $10 at White Sands, plus $20 at Joshua Tree. Three parks alone, nearly covered the cost for us, and there are about 55 still to go, that we'll cruise on through.
BLM Land is a MUST
If you want to save BIG on overnight accommodations, then BLM land is for you. There are over 264 million acres of public land at your disposal. The Bureau of Land Management administers these acres of public lands to whomever feels inclined to use them. These dispersed sites are much more primitive than you're used to, for example you can't hook up your RV and there certainly aren't any bathrooms. However, you can pretty much stay anywhere on BLM land for absolutely free, and basically stay as long as you'd like. We're currently on BLM land right now near Joshua Tree and not only are we surrounded by beautiful landscape, it's quiet, and a great way to disconnect.
These are just a few tips from the article that we wanted to highlight. Head on over to HubPages to read the rest of the travel tips. The bottom line is that traveling the country without breaking the bank is completely possible, because we do it every day, and you can too.
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