The World At Your Doorstep Part 4: When To Start Planning Your Motorhome Holiday
Sometimes “less is more” . . . and that is certainly true in planning the basics of your motorhome touring holiday. By giving up the freedom of waiting until the last minute to reserve your motorhome/caravan/RV you will – generally speaking – increase the geographic options available, you will have a wider variety of motorhomes to choose from, and you will expand your pricing options.
So, just how important is advance planning . . . and how far in advance should you plan? The admittedly unsatisfactory answer is “it depends”. It depends on where you are traveling and when. It depends on where you want to stay and on how specific you are about the sort of motorhome you want go touring in.
Our Number One Planning Recommendation: If possible, time your trip to take place during the “Shoulder Seasons” – periods of around one or two months on either side of “Peak Season”. Depending on the part of the world, you will frequently find the best weather of the year, considerably smaller crowds, a wider selection of available motorhomes and lower rates (often 20% to 40% lower) for a trip during these times.
If you must travel during “Peak Season,” try to be flexible with your dates and begin planning as far in advance as possible. Giving yourself a six month planning window is usually adequate, but planning even further in advance can give you even more options.
Are we saying that it is impossible to plan a peak season motorhome holiday at the last minute? Nope, we’re just pointing out that waiting until the last minute can restrict your options.
A word about the “R Word” – Campground Reservations. Flexibility is a major advantage of RV travel. Extend a day in a special place, cut short your visit in another, or skip a destination all together. Enjoying this flexibility is often done at a price. During peak seasons, a failure to plan may effectively eliminate the best, and in some areas all, of the campground options. Many campgrounds have overflow areas for last minute, unscheduled arrivals. These overflow areas are often out in a field somewhere (without any sort of hookups) and are seldom the kinds of campsites in which you would want to spend your vacation.
In general, if you are looking for a destination type of campground – a place where much of the success of your trip will depend on the time you spend hanging around the campground and joining in the activities there – we suggest you give as much attention to arranging for your campground as possible. Give campground selection as much thought, research and planning as the selection of your motorhome. In living the motorhome life style, your surroundings – the out-of-doors – become an important part of your living space!
Arranging reservations 6 months or more in advance is not an unreasonable thing to do when the goal is a really nice site in a high demand campground. Try to establish a dialogue (usually via e-mail) with the person taking reservations. Deferring to their expertise can improve the odds of your getting a choice site.
Travel in “Shoulder Seasons”. Rental usage fees vary significantly depending on the time of year you decide to travel. Many dealers divide their year into “Peak Season” (the time of highest demand and of highest rates – and largest crowds), “Shoulder Seasons” (moderate demand and rates) and “Off Season” (lowest demand and rates). Trying to tour in a motorhome during the generally unfavorable weather of Off Season is typically more trouble than the cost savings are worth, but do invest some time looking over the specials you’ll find on this site. We think you’ll be amazed at the savings options you find!
About Dave & Kay Corby
Dave & Kay Corby literally wrote the book on travel in a rental RV, motorhome, campervan or travel trailer: "RV Rentals: A Vacationer's Guide". Use this link for special pricing and to find out what others have had to say about their comprehensive book.