Sunday, December 04, 2005
The Price of Gas Really Doesn't Matter
“The good news is that there is no reason to cower in the corner of your RV trying to avoid the gasoline bogeyman,” asserts Carol White, author of Live Your Road Trip Dream – Travel for a year for the cost of staying home. “While none of us are thrilled about the new reality of gas prices, this is not a reason to cancel your travel plans, particularly if you are planning that dream trip of a lifetime.”
White, who along with her husband Phil, took off and traveled the country for a year in their Pleasure-Way class B motorhome, know more than a little about how much it costs to travel for an extended period. When they budgeted for their trip initially, they planned on an average of $1.75 a gallon for gas. When they returned, 37,500 miles and a year later, their actual average cost had been $1.56 a gallon. They paid as high as $2.35 a gallon in California, and as little as $1.22 in Georgia.
"Although some RV owners are concerned about fuel prices, the added cost is only a small part of the equation and not an overriding issue," observes David J. Humphreys, president of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). "For most RV owners, the advantages of RVing–such as greater flexibility, control and comfort–outweigh the higher costs of fuel," he concludes.
“Gas prices were fluctuating like crazy then also, and we weren’t sure what to really expect, but we did know that the price of gas wasn’t going to prevent us from getting out and seeing our great country,” Carol confirmed. “We knew that in the overall scope of trip expenses, this was not going to be a ‘deal breaker’ for us.”
“As it turned out, at $1.56 average over the year, it represented only five percent of our total budget and it was only our fifth largest expenditure,” Phil added.
Carol went on to update their information, “We recently recalculated our actual budget, using $2.25 as the average price over the same 37,500 miles, and it only moved the expense to eight percent of the total cost, and still the fifth largest expense.”
Phil and Carol go into great detail in their book not only about budgetary concerns, like gas, but also provide would-be travelers with tips about everything from what to do with your house and cars, to how to manage relationships while you are gone, to what to do about mail, bills and investments.
The Whites, who are definitely upbeat about encouraging others to get moving from the “dreaming to the doing,” laugh when describing the most often asked question: How to be with your travel companion on a 24/7 basis.
Phil provides a decidedly unabashed answer when he suggests, “You learn those two precious little words ‘yes, dear’ early on!” He continues on a more serious note adding, “You really learn to support each other on your off days, which you will both have. This is much easier than at home, because it is just the two of you with no outside influences to be considered. You really get to be two kids again, and it is great fun.”
Their final piece of advice? Don’t let the price of gas keep you from living your road trip dream. You will never forget or regret the times that you spend exploring your fondest travel ideas – whether it is a road trip like ours, a sailboat trip around the world, a trek through Asia or backpacking through Europe. The planning basics are the same regardless of the destination – and the White’s book is ready to help you plan your trip of a lifetime.