For some people, tax season is a time to start dreaming about how to use their tax return money: Maybe buying a new car is a priority or even completing some remodeling projects is on the list. But, tax season can also be a reminder to live more frugally and save money rather than spend it.
Creating a budget and forcing yourself to stick to it isn’t easy, but it’s an important life skill that we all need to learn. Having a budget for travel is a good idea, too. But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that you must drastically alter your travel plans or stop enjoying certain activities. In fact, owning an RV could be one step in the money-saving direction, as traveling in an RV is one of the most economical ways to vacation – you don’t have to pay for hotels and you don’t have to eat out all the time, either.
But you don’t have to stop there! Follow these five frugal tips to keep more money in your pocket and still have fun on vacation:
- Travel during off-peak times – This goes for any type of travel, really, but can be especially helpful when RVing. Destinations that have high seasons are going to have campgrounds, theme parks, and other businesses that mark up prices, since the demand for goods and services is higher when more people are around. But in off-peak times, those prices are reduced, and you can reap the benefits.
- Take advantage of public parks – Many RVers believe that they must stay in a private campground and pay up to $50 or $60 a night to live the RV life properly. That’s just not true. There are many public state parks, national parks, and city parks across the country that offer amazing rates for camping. Another and often completely free option is boondocking.
- Get a discount camping membership – For a reasonable annual fee, organizations like Good Sam Club offer its members discounts on campgrounds and other necessities such as RV accessories, gas, and more. While there is debate about whether these memberships are actually worth the price, they can be big money savers for some RV enthusiasts. Do some research and see if your lifestyle on the road is suited to a camping membership.
- Be a discerning shopper – Whether you’re grocery shopping or in search of gas, doing comparison shopping will help keep more money in your pocket. Look for items on sale and pair coupons with them to get the best deals, shop discount stores for everyday items, and take advantage of rewards cards or programs that give you cash back for purchases.
- Get outside – The great thing about most outdoor activities is that they are free! Hop on your bike, hike the trails, or jump into your kayak and start exploring the area around you. Spending the day soaking in the natural world can not only be a great cost-effective activity, but it will also help you relax and disconnect from your phone or tablet for a while. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your family.
These tips prove that saving money doesn’t have to be difficult and that you don’t have to sacrifice your vacations to make it work. So, this tax season, make it your priority to budget for upcoming travel and find ways to make it most cost effective than ever before.
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