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RV vs Motel

RV vs Motel

Is Road-Tripping in an RV Really Cheaper Than Staying in a Motel?

If you're planning a road trip and you're trying to stick to a budget, you've probably considered several different lodging options. Whether you already own an RV, or you're thinking about renting one for your trip, financial planning still comes into play. So, what's really going to save you the most money in the long run?

Let's break down some of the pros and cons of each of these lodging and traveling options. For the sake of these comparisons, we'll assume you'll be traveling by car if you plan on staying in motels.

Taking Major Costs Into Consideration

It's important to define what an 'RV' means for you. It could be a large rig, a motor home, or a tag-along camper. Renting or purchasing will obviously also factor into your budget. However, if you buy an RV, it's a one-time purchase. Once you get the initial expenses out of the way, you don't have to factor it into your travel budget.

But, there are always things you will have to consider when you're driving around in an RV:

  • Gas prices – The bigger the rig, the more gas is likely to cost you. There is no concrete answer as to how much you'll be spending on fuel, because prices change so frequently, and are different depending on where you're traveling. But, you can usually expect to pay more for fuel when traveling in an RV than you would in a car or minivan.
  • Food – The second major cost on any road trip is food. If you're traveling by car, you'll probably have to dine out for just about every meal. Sure, 'road trip snacks' can tide you over for awhile, but you'll have to stop more frequently for them, and you'll be having your larger meals of the day at restaurants or fast food stops. If you're traveling with a family, this starts to add up very quickly. When you're traveling by RV, you can take the time to make a food budget, and prepare more meals yourself. You also have more storage for snacks, etc.

Night Lodging – Which is Cheaper?

Aside from fuel and food, the biggest factor to consider when choosing an RV or motel is how much it costs to stay overnight somewhere. You can find fairly cheap hotel rooms almost anywhere in the country. But, you should take into consideration the kind of places you feel comfortable with your family staying.

Many times, RV 'lodging' is free. You simply park and sleep. Unfortunately, it isn't always that easy. Some campsites and rest stops require you to pay a fee if you plan on staying the night. It's likely not going to be as much as a hotel room for several people, but it's not always safe to assume sleeping in an RV will always be free at every stop.

There are many other factors to take into consideration when determining what fits your road trip budget. But, these are typically the biggest three issues people run into when traveling. Take the time to research motel prices and fuel costs based on the areas you're traveling. The more in tune you are with your own budget, the easier it will be to determine the best solution for you and your traveling companions.

Nov 27th 2017

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