Posts Tagged With: road trip

The 10-day, $400 road trip

I’m a big fan of the all-American road trip – especially when it means packing up the car (and husband and dog) and visiting some of our nation’s best parks. A cooler full of food and a trunk full of camping gear can make road trips a very affordable way to travel.

A few years back, we took 10 days off work and headed west. We visited eight national parks, feasted on freshly caught trout, toured a cave, photographed wild horses, saw sacred Native American quarries, and cruised around a mountain lake – all for $400 per person (including gas and souvenirs)!

Here are a few of my best money-saving tips when it comes to the all-American road trip:

1. Pack a cooler! We only dined out twice in 10 days. Otherwise, all food came from our cooler and was pre-purchased before we left home. This allowed us to avoid pricey groceries on the road. Who wants to pay $5 for a bag of marshmallows at the campground store anyway?

2. Camp! On our last big road trip we paid as little as $8 per campsite at Theodore Roosevelt National Park to over $25 at Yellowstone National Park. We would have paid well over $100 per night if we were staying at park lodges.

3. Buy a pass! – Most parks require entrance fees which can range from a few dollars to $25. Because we knew we’d be visiting so many parks, we opted for a National Park Service pass for $80. It ended up saving us about $20, plus it was good for a year so we were able to use it in Florida a few months later!

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2013

Road trips can be an affordable way to see some our country's best natural wonders!

Road trips can be an affordable way to see some our country’s best natural wonders!

Categories: Money-saving tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Shoulder season: low-cost RV rentals, re-positioning cruises abound

We’re approaching a magical time of year for savvy travelers – shoulder season. Typically, the months of April to May and September to October signify slow business in the tourism industry. These months fall in-between major travel events for most people – spring break, summer vacation, and the holidays. Because there are fewer travelers, great discounts abound. In this post, I’ll share interesting spins on shoulder season discounts, thanks to Budget Travel.*

RV rentals

During shoulder season, RV rental companies need to move their fleet to meet demand for the upcoming months. These companies rely on customers to move their rigs for them. Cruise America (one of the largest RV rental companies) says “From time to time Cruise America needs to reposition RV’s from one area of the country to another. By taking advantage of one of our one-way specials you can get great deals on Time & Mileage charges while avoiding the usual one-way drop off fees.” They are currently offering a 50% discount on RV rentals from Chicago to Las Vegas between May 15 and June 5, 2012.

Check their website for a list of one-way specials: http://www.cruiseamerica.com/rent/hot_deals/

Re-positioning cruises

You’ve heard of Caribbean cruises and Mediterranean cruises…but what about a cross-Atlantic re-positioning cruise? This spring, many cruise companies will be moving their ships from U.S. ports to Mediterranean ports for the summer. Instead of piloting an empty ship across the ocean, they’ll take passengers along for the ride- at a discounted rate. For example, Norwegian Cruiselines  needs to move a ship from New Orleans to Barcelona this April. Join them on the 13-night journey – complete with a stop at Portugal’s Azores Islands – for $672. My friend, Marti, is a fan of re-positioning cruises. She took a trans-Atlantic cruise from Galveston, TX to Barcelona last spring.

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas on a re-positioning cruise in Cartagena, Spain. Photo courtesy of Marti Cargile.

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas on a re-positioning cruise in Cartagena, Spain. Photo courtesy of Marti Cargile.

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas on a re-positioning cruise in Ponta Delgado, Azores. Photo courtesy of Marti Cargile.

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas on a re-positioning cruise in Ponta Delgado, Azores. Photo courtesy of Marti Cargile.

Search for re-positioning cruises at: http://www.cruisecompete.com/specials/deals/repositioning/1

*A portion of this content was inspired by Budget Travel‘s article “Secret Routes to Savings” by Sean O’Neill, published September 2009. Read Sean’s article here: http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/0909_SecretSavings,4624/?src=inset

©Jessica Leigh Rosier 2012

Categories: Accommodations, Transportation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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