RVing vs Flying | Traveland RV

RVing vs flying: RVing has proven to be a more cost-efficient, flexible & customizable way to travel when compared to flying.

There are multiple factors that allow RVing to be a cheaper alternative than flying and staying in hotels or Airbnb’s. Costs will always vary depending on the economy, time of year, where you’re travelling to and from, and how many people you are travelling with. You will see the most cost efficiency when travelling with a larger group/family, but there are still many ways to make RVing with 1-2 people inexpensive and fun!

Buying an RV

The term RV is quite general as it encompasses everything from lightweight, towable travel trailers all the way to Class A Motorhomes. The purchase costs also vary greatly between each different type of RV. It is important to choose the right type of RV for the camping that your family is planning to do. Couples who are planning on living in their RV won’t be happy in a 5000 lb travel trailer, just as an adventurous young family won’t need or want a 40 ft luxury house on wheels. Check out our blog all about the different types of RVs to help you find the best one for you and your family!

The upfront cost of purchasing or renting an RV will most likely be more than the cost of a plane ticket, but if you choose a reliable unit, it will last much longer than one vacation. Plus, there are tons of great financing options available that allow you to break up the large upfront cost into smaller, more manageable payments!

Hotel and Flight Costs

Hotel prices vary exponentially depending on the time of year and the location, but according to a study by statista.com, the average per night price of a hotel room in Canada in 2019 was $177 CAD. Another study by statista shows that the average per night price of a hotel room in the United States was $126 USD in early 2020.

Flight costs also vary greatly depending on the time of year, location to and from, duration of the flight, and number of tickets being purchased. According to research done by Statistics Canada, domestic flights within Canada averaged at $176 CAD, and international flights to and from the states averaged at $300 CAD in 2019. Keep in mind that these prices are for one-way plane tickets.

Using the lower-ended price averages, the total cost for a family of three to fly somewhere within Canada and stay in a hotel for 3 nights would be just under $1,600, not including food or entertainment.

Campsite Costs

One of the best things about RV camping is the flexibility you have when choosing where to go. This is the same when choosing where to stay overnight! There are endless camping options available all over North America that range from very inexpensive per night costs to mid-range per night costs. No matter where you decide to stay overnight, the per night cost will be less than staying in a hotel.

Provincial parks are the best option for those who are looking for an inexpensive spot to set up camp. Camping prices range from $25/night with no electrical hook up, to $45/night with electrical, to $120/night for a group site. Prices will vary depending on the popularity and location of the park, as well as when you book and the duration of your stay. One great bonus of staying at a Provincial park is there are always tons of free entertainment all around such as hiking, wildlife viewing, exploring, biking, swimming, and more! Most provinces have a Provincial Parks website where you are able to view all of the Provincial parks in your area, as well as reserve a spot online.

For those that are looking for a more luxurious place to rest their head, RV resorts are the best option as they provide electrical hookups at every site and include tons of amenities that aren’t offered at Provincial parks such as Wi-Fi, showers, clubhouses, swimming pools, and tons more. RV resorts also offer sizable sites that are catered towards larger class A’s and fifth wheels. The average per night cost at an RV resort is anywhere between $40-$125, depending on the location, time of year, and amount of people. A good rule of thumb to go by is the more expensive a resort is per night, the more amenities they offer. Staying at an RV resort can be quite comparable to staying in a hotel, except you get to sleep in your own bed with your own pillow and cook your own food!

Fuel Costs

The largest costs that incur are for fuel and regular servicing. Unfortunately, fuel costs are never constant and can be hard to estimate, but if your trip is well planned, it is easy to budget accordingly. The amount of fuel used will depend on the RV that you have, as larger, heavier RV’s will obviously require more gas to tow or drive than smaller, lightweight ones.

Cooking vs Eating Out

One of the largest ways to reduce the bottom line of your holiday is to take advantage of your RVs kitchen and prepare your meals by hand instead of eating out at restaurants or fast food joints every day. Plus, it’s a lot healthier for you and your family to eat home-cooked meals and occasionally have a fun meal out at a restaurant instead of the other way around.

Other Reasons to Travel in an RV

There are numerous other reasons that traveling in an RV is far superior to flying! Some of these reasons include:

  • Are you reluctant to return to the confined space of an airplane after practicing the safety of social distancing for so long? Opt for RV travel instead.
  • Were you planning a cruise? Take an RV vacation instead! This is a great alternative as you will not be confined to a small enclosed space with thousands of others.
  • Is the thought of traveling abroad to foreign countries a concern for you?  RV travel is the answer!
  • Traveling in an RV allows you to prepare your own meals, or support local restaurants by ordering out, and consuming them in your own space or outdoors.
  • You can camp out in the backcountry where you don’t have to interact with others, touch hard surfaces like water faucets and electrical hookups.
  • Sleep in your own bed every night and use your own bathroom.
  • RVing allows you to do outdoor activities where crowds are nonexistent like hiking, biking, fishing, geocaching, photography, off-roading, rockhounding, exploring back roads, kayaking, etc.
  • You know when the interior of your RV was last cleaned/sanitized and by who (you)!
  • You have greater flexibility with your vacations, especially with last-minute trips
  • You are in control!!
  • RVing is more family and pet friendly
  • No airport hassle (no security checks, long lines, sitting with hundreds of people, etc)
  • It’s so much easier to meet friends at a campsite or an RV resort that it is on a plane or at a hotel
  • The RVing lifestyle and the moments you encounter will last a lifetime and make it all the more worth it