The moment the tyres depart the car park, the expenses to take the family out on a touring caravan trip (even a quick weekend break) can add up quickly. We’d like to share a few hacks for saving money and economic ways to enjoy caravan and motorhome travel. The last thing you should fret about on a relaxing escape is finances, and we want to ensure your trip is both economical and enjoyable.
The best part about saving money while you travel is being able to spend money on attractions, traveling further. Unless you are fantastically rich and famous or in possession of a trust fund, that alone should provide ample motivation to begin plotting more economical caravan travel.
1. Make a Menu
Sure, taking the time to sit down, shop, and plan a few meals takes a load of effort. But the money you can save by dining in is easily the biggest expense you can cut out. View our article on a few easy meals to make in your caravan for some inspiration. Think about meals that require simple preparation and just a few ingredients. Generally speaking you’re also more likely to eat a healthier meal if you cook it yourself. You could also try loading up on canned, frozen, and dry goods at home. Then shop for produce and fruit as you travel, visiting farm stands, flea markets, or local farmer’s markets. This can also be a great excuse to try seasonal produce and test out a new recipe. Try the website SuperCook, which instantly culls recipes from many sources based on ingredients you select.
If you’re absolutely keen to dine out, consider packing food for breakfast and lunch so you can splurge on dinner. You’ll still save quite a bit of money if you plan to eat 2/3 of your meals in the touring caravan. Another huge expense that adds up quickly is the snacks and drinks you might be tempted to binge on at petrol stations. If you take care to purchase tempting snacks and drinks in bulk at a grocery store and pack a refillable water bottle prior to leaving, you’ll save a wad of cash.
2. Wake Up Call
Plan to brew your own pot of coffee or tea in the morning and at tea time. This is another low-cost expenditure that adds up quickly if you are buying a cup or two at a shop or cafe. Find a brew you really love and bring along a special mug to avoid the temptation to treat yourself on the road.
3. Budget Your Caravan Trip
Try a free app like OnTrees.
Another pre-departure trick is to allot a certain amount of your trip budget to petrol, food, snacks, activities, and souvenirs. Taking a moment to consider your budget before your touring caravan or motorhome even begins rolling can reign in your spending and help you manage expenditure. No matter what, always keep a bit of money set aside for an emergency tow, mechanical repairs, or the misfortune of a breakdown. It’s also wise to have a little bit of cash on hand in case you stumble upon a caravan park or a tourist attraction that doesn’t accept credit cards, unlikely now days but not impossible. While it may not be glamorous to sit down and create a spreadsheet, sticking to a budget plan will help prevent wayward spending. .
4. Drive Wisely
Avoid traffic use the Waze app
Before punching your destination into your phone or GPS, revert to the dark ages and check an actual map. Your GPS may steer you along major routes or motorways when you could be traveling slower, but saving mileage on country roads. Another benefit to traveling on smaller roads: you’ll decrease your fuel consumption by traveling at a slower rate of speed. If it’s possible to avoid hilly terrain, it may be more cost effective to do so, as hauling your touring caravan or motorhome uphill is a fast way to guzzle petrol. The flatter the terrain, the more mileage you’ll enjoy.
Avoid driving near or in cities during rush hour, as this will prevent wasting time (and petrol) in congestion. Use an app like Waze to research current road conditions, traffic, or road construction projects. You may want to bypass cities altogether to avoid wasting fuel at traffic lights and jams.
If the wind is howling, consider pulling over for a rest or a diversion. Mileage can absolutely tank when barreling into a headwind or against a crosswind. If you’re faced with stormy weather, consider cozying up in caravan park close by to wait out the tempest overnight.
Invest in an inexpensive tyre pressure gauge because under-inflated tyres lower your fuel economy. Check your owner’s manual for optimal tyre pressure and check often to maximise your travel efficiency. The same goes for checking and replacing your air filter. A dirty air filter can impact fuel economy by as much as 7%.
5. Petrol Planning
Find cheapest petrol prices.
Use a website like Petrol Prices to strategically fill your motorhome’s tank. If possible, fuel up on weekdays, as petrol prices often hike up over the weekends. Check towns en route to your destination to discover where the cheapest petrol prices lie. You may also find that leaving the motorway and driving a few miles towards a town or village may reap lower prices. Don’t, however, get so caught up trying to find the lowest price that you waste time (and kilometers) by seeking out the cheapest fuel in the land. It might be more economical to pay a bit more per liter than spend time driving off-route in search for rock-bottom prices.
6. Unleash Your Inner Mechanic
In the era of the internet, you can figure out how to perform simple standard repairs on just about anything from a video tutorial on the web or a trusty online forum. Forget fear and adopt a can-do attitude when approaching simple repair and maintenance; you’ll be surprised at the money that can be conserved. However, our advice, depending on the issue is to always check with a qualified caravan service provider for more complex maintenance issues. Invest in a modest set of tools and roll up your sleeves. Always remember that regular caravan maintenance is your best defense against unwelcome problems or mechanical failure. Before you depart, take the time to perform a caravan safety check to catch any problems before they grow into monsters.
7. Insurance Assurance
We recommend shopping around to find the best rate on caravan or motorhome insurance. You may find that another company will offer a lower quote or a better deal when bundling different insurance policies. It’s worth the effort to do your research. We’ve got tips for lowering your caravan insurance rate while making sure you still receive adequate coverage. There are certain devices we’ve listed that you can add to your caravan that can drastically reduce your insurance expenditure.
Equipped with all these tips, you’re bound to save money on your next trip. With just a little bit of planning and effort you can stretch your coin further. Having more funds available will simply fuel additional adventures for touring caravan and motorhome lovers. May your next trip be fabulous!