Any time you plan a trip, one of the hardest parts is often deciding what to see and do. Canada is filled with amazing destinations for a great vacation, but many of the attractions aren’t cheap.
While you might want to experience everything on your Canada bucket list, there isn't always room in your travel budget for that.
The good news is, you can work out a way to travel within Canada on any budget. If you don’t have much to spend, but still want to take a pandemic-friendly vacation, an RV holiday should be top of your list. Planning an RV vacation on a tight budget is possible, but it might take a little bit of extra effort. Finding small ways to not overspend on your trip might even be easier than many people think.
Rent an RV
Canada is a huge country with some of its best locations scattered all over. Planning how you’ll get everywhere can be daunting when you’re trying to save some money. For traveling within Canada on a budget, the easiest option is renting an RV. This can get you to bucket-list worthy places within your own province, or even across Canada, while giving you the chance to stop anywhere you choose. You won’t have to worry about airplanes, paying for extra baggage or getting a hotel room. Plus, you can travel at your own pace, rather than sticking to a train or airline schedule. Traveling in an RV gives you the most amount of freedom for your trip and, if you plan carefully, you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank.
Book your RV early to get best pricing or seek out relocations or hot deals for better pricing. Find out if the RV rental company has discounts available for members of associations like CAA, Journie rewards or other organization affiliations.
Travel during the Off Season
For anyone looking to travel frugally, the best time of year to look at is the off-season. The off-season is typically thought of as being from September-October to April-May, when the weather is usually less than ideal for most people. Fewer people travel this time of year because of it, so the price for many tourist attractions drops significantly in some places. You can still get to do many of the activities you want, but for a much lower price. Although the dead of winter might not entice you, you can still get weeks of comfortable weather during the Spring and Fall and even during winter if you dress accordingly. If you plan on mostly doing indoor activities, cooler weather is definitely worth it for the price reduction.
Cook your own meals
Anyone who has gone on vacation before knows how expensive eating out can be. For most of your meals, going out isn’t necessary when you rent an RV in Canada, especially if you’re trying to save money.
Make a meal plan before you travel and bring things with you that you need to for meals. Things such as spices, sugar, coffee etc. can all be brought from home, meaning you don’t have to buy them en route. Know where you can find the right supermarkets along your travel route to suit your needs and budget.
When you’re traveling in an RV, you’ll be able to do most of your cooking right there. Of course, you likely have a few popular restaurants you’d like to visit so put these into your travel budget, but otherwise, cook for yourself. Many places might also have farmers markets nearby with locally grown produce, which can be a much more immersive experience than eating out.
Look for our free or inexpensive activities
When you travel, you might expect to spend a lot of money to do the activities you have in mind. If you plan your trip carefully, you can find plenty to do that cost little to no money. There are more free things to see and do than you might think, like strolling through Quebec City, or Stanley Park in Vancouver. Canada is filled with national parks that have some of the most beautiful views in the world. A visit to some national and provincial parks is the best way to see Canada without having to pay a huge fee. Purchasing a Parks Canada annual park pass for the family will pay for itself in no time. Even something as simple as exploring a neighbourhood in a new city can be exciting. Many of the most popular museums will also offer free admission on certain days or time of day. Hiking is always a great way to fill in a day or perhaps swimming in a nearby lake or just soaking up the sun on a secluded beach.
Pack all your essential items
Packing for a trip is something no one enjoys doing and few people would say they really excel at it. Pack all your toiletries so you won’t need to buy these en route. It can be easy to leave out small things that seem easily replaceable, but those costs can add up. By using travel-sized containers, you can pack everything you need without having to buy anything new. Pack the kids’ favourite toys and games so that rainy days turn into a fun, family time inside the RV. Since you’ll be traveling by RV, you won’t have to worry about dragging luggage from hotel to hotel, or bags being over a certain weight limit.
Plan your route carefully and buy the right kilometre packages
Many RV rentals don’t include all the kilometres you’ll need on your vacation. Careful research of your travel route and calculating the number of kilometres you’ll need for your trip will help you budget more accurately. You may want to add a couple of hundred kilometres for general running around then purchase the right kilometre packages to give you the best bang for your buck and not leave you having to pay hundreds of dollars in excess kilometres when you return your RV.
While current restrictions may have you wondering if a vacation this year is still possible, keep in mind that RVing is still one of the safest ways to vacation during a pandemic. Proper planning will enable you to enjoy your chosen vacation destinations at your own pace and on a budget that matches your aspirations and lifestyle.