Did you cancel last year’s plans? According to AAA, gas prices have increased an average of $.56 a gallon since this time last year. Let’s go crazy and say it has been $.75 a gallon in your area. If your summer trip is 1000 miles long and your car gets an average of 23 MPG, your fuel will cost $32.60 more this year than last. One dinner at home instead of eating out before you go will save that much. Is $32 any reason to cancel your vacation?
What does it really cost? When you add up all the expenses of a vacation, fuel only counts as about the second or third highest expense. Typically food and lodging will cost more than fuel. If you need to cut back, consider RVing or eating more meals in, or renting a slightly less expensive lodging.
How can you afford to RV? According to a study done for the RV Association, RVing is still less expensive than piling a family of four into an airplane and hotels for vacation. Using a similar example to the one above and a typical mid-size RV fuel economy of 12 MPG, the additional fuel cost for RV fuel this year would be $62.50. This is easily off-set by the lower cost of campgrounds vs. motels, resorts or cabins at your favorite destination.
What about family bonding? One of the best parts of taking a road trip or an RV get-away is the extra time you get to spend with your traveling companions. In the close quarters of automobiles, RVs, campgrounds and motels, a family has the opportunity to enjoy old-fashioned fun like cards, board games, campfires and more. It really is fun talking to your kids. Ditch the electronics just for the week and see what might happen.
And the final reason you shouldn’t let fuel get in your way? You and your family deserve the time together and the time away. Have everyone work together to be able to afford the extra cost of gas. Go on a Starbucks-free week, check for the best fuel prices, just say “no” to an evening at the movies, or take a pass on that cute new pair of shoes and you will have the added money to cover fuel. Don’t let the “psychology of price,” rather than real price get the best of you.
Have fun and enjoy your summer vacation.
Carol White is the co-author of the award-winning book, “Live Your Road Trip Dream” (www.roadtripdream.com) – the ultimate road trip planning guide for extended road trips. Carol and her husband Phil have traveled over 50,000 road miles in the past several years, visiting all fifty states and having visited all of the National Parks in the “lower forth-eight.” As national spokespeople for the RV Industry, they now spend their days speaking, writing, and helping others to live their dreams.