7 Reasons to Buy an RV or Campervan

If you’re thinking of road-tripping your summer getaway, think RVs. Recreational vehicles and their close cousin, campervans, are growing increasingly popular as more families hit the road for a true American adventure that’s easier on the wallet and heavy on unique fun. Here are six reasons to buy an RV or a campervan:

1. Save money

With a means of transportation and a place to stay all rolled into one, an RV helps you save significantly on your vacation costs. Plus, when you travel with an on-the-go kitchen, you can cut down on the money you’d spend feeding your family while on the road.  

2. Privacy and comfort

Why fight for legroom on a crowded airplane when you can travel in a vehicle that gives you tons of space? Move around as much as you’d like, enjoy a private bathroom and catch a few winks in the sleeping area, all while heading toward your destination.

3. Increased flexibility

When you travel using your own means of transportation, you’re in control. That means there’s no getting locked into specific dates for your getaway. Come and go as you please and vacation on the schedule that works best for you and your family.

4. Explore more

Traveling by RV will give you the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of each place you pass through. You can even stop on the roadside to watch a glorious sunset or a passing herd of deer.

5. Bring your pets along

No need to arrange pet-sitters or to keep your furry friend in a carrier under an airline seat. When you buy an RV, you can bring your pets along and keep them nearly as comfortable as they’d be at home.

6. Tax benefits

In many states, owning an RV can mean enjoying significant tax benefits, which can include the homeowner’s deduction, a sales tax deduction and/or deducting the interest payments of your RV loan. Check with your accountant or tax pro to see which of these tax benefits apply to you.

If you’re ready to purchase an RV or a campervan, look no further than Olean Area Federal Credit Union! Our RV loans have affordable interest rates, reasonable payback terms and easy eligibility requirements for qualifying members. Call, click or stop by Olean Area Federal Credit Union to get started!

7 Tips for a Budget-Friendly Road Trip

Ready to hit the open road? Before you do, check out our budget-friendly road trip tips so you can set out in style and without breaking your budget!

1. Save on food costs

Here’s how to save on food costs during your road trip:

  • Shop your local stores for staples before setting out.
  • Get your “kitchen” into gear. A good knife, cutting board and small cooking appliances like a portable grill and plug-in burner are great starting points.
  • Plan a mix of meal types, alternating between home-cooked meals, dining out on fine cuisine and tasting local street foods.
  • Save the dining out for delicacies unique to your current location.

2. Camp out instead of sleeping in hotels

Sleeping under the stars when possible adds a whole new layer of awesomeness to your trip. And it can be super cheap! Check out recreation.gov, where you can book spots among 3,600 facilities and 103,000 individual sites across the country.

3. Find free attractions

Most tourist hotspots have a wide selection of free activities and sights to see at no cost. Check out local websites or ask around on the street to find the best-kept secrets at every stop.

4. Map out your route for greater savings

Instead of blowing money on gas, create a detailed schedule of all your stops before setting out, choosing the most efficient and inexpensive route. Look up local attractions in the areas you plan to stop at and book reservations in advance when possible.

5. Download GasBuddy

Download the GasBuddy app to find stations with the lowest nearby gas prices throughout your trip. You can save hundreds of dollars on gas costs using this game-changing app.

6. Check in on Sunday

For those nights when you must have a hot shower and comfortable bed, you’ll probably be checking into a hotel. If you can, check in on a Sunday. According to a study from the travel app Kayak, hotel reservation rates are lowest on Sundays.

7. Explore more and drive less

Hit the brakes and get out of the car! Spend some time covering miles on foot by hiking through local trails or backpacking through city streets. You’ll enjoy an enriching experience and save on gas costs at the same time.

How to Make a Vacation Budget You Can Keep

Summer is here, and it’s time for your getaway!

While it’s great to get away for some fun in the sun, sticking to a budget is a must, even when on vacation. This year, attack your vacation with a financial plan you can actually keep by following these tips:

Rethink vacation

Before you start working on a vacation budget, consider an alternative to a conventional getaway that can provide an escape from real life without the prohibitive price tag.

  • Staycation. Spruce up a spare bedroom with scented hand towels and mini soaps and shampoos to give it a hotel feel. Sleep there during your “vacation” and spend your time trying out local attractions, festivals and restaurants you’ve always wanted to experience.
  • Swap houses. Have friends or family who live out of your area? Ask about switching houses for a week. Then, you can all get an inexpensive vacation.
  • Camping. If you have camping gear or can borrow it from a friend, camping can cost next to nothing. It can also be a fantastic way to enjoy a rejuvenating break from the grind of life.

Create a budget

If you just gotta splurge on a typical getaway, here’s how to create a realistic budget:

  1. Review your savings. If you’ve been steadily saving up for this vacay, you’ll know how much you have to spend. If you haven’t saved anything, consider an unsecured loan through your credit union and/or saving up until your vacation by trimming your discretionary expenses.
  2. Prioritize. Before assigning dollar amounts to categories, pick what’s most important to you while on vacation. List your priorities from most to least important for future reference.
  3. Assign dollar amounts to big-ticket items. Choose and price a destination. Set aside money from your budget to cover what it takes to get there, as well as accommodations.
  4. Divide and conquer. Now, assign a realistic dollar amount to your remaining categories. Include food, tickets to entertainment venues and attractions, gifts and souvenirs, transportation costs, and pack in some “miscellaneous” money for unplanned expenses.

Stick to your budget

Now comes the hard part: sticking to your budget while on vacation.

First, consider using cash. You’ll be forced to stick to your budget with no way to overspend. Just make sure you plan for how to keep it secure at all times.

Next, make advance reservations when you can. This way, you have fewer spending choices for when you’re actually on vacation.

Finally, keep a copy of your vacation budget handy while you’re away so you can pull it out whenever you come up against a spending challenge.

Don’t let your budget go on vacation!

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