Close this search box.

Planning and Budgeting for a Camper Holiday in the USA

We’ve had three fantastic trips in the USA with our kids. We’ve cruised the West Coast in a camper, explored mid America (including the must-see Yellowstone National Park), and discovered Florida with the camper. A common question I often get asked is: ‘What are the costs of a camper holiday in the States?’ The answer depends on your plans and budget, but there are certain costs involved in getting there and renting the camper. In this article, I’d like to share the costs of our holidays and provide tips on how to determine your own costs for a camper holiday in America.

Setting a Budget for Your Camper Holiday

When setting a budget, I always divide it into three categories:

  • Costs of getting there
  • Costs for living
  • Fun stuff

Before we delve into these categories, let’s take a quick look at the checklist for this trip:

  • Destination: USA
  • Duration: 3 weeks
  • Period: Summer Holiday
  • Travelers: 2 adults, 2 kids
  • Distance: 4,500 KM

Costs of a Camper Holiday in the States: Getting There

The costs of getting there depend on whether you want to book everything yourself (often cheaper) or have everything arranged by a travel agency or tour operator. The latter can save you a lot of trouble, but let’s assume you have the time to arrange everything yourself. To set your budget, you can use the following checklist, which takes into account the average costs of our trip:

  • Tickets: €2,200 (€550 x 4)
  • Camper rent: €4,220 (includes 4500km, inventory, taxes, etc.)
  • Transfers (Uber): €210 (€70 airport-hotel, €35 hotel-camper rental, €35 camper rental-hotel, €70 hotel-airport)

Total: €6,630

Note that traveling during the summer holiday can be extra expensive. If you have kids younger than five years old, traveling during pre-season or off-season could save you thousands of euros.

Costs of a Camper Holiday in the States: Living Expenses

The costs for living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle and preferences. For instance, will you be dining out frequently or cooking your own meals? How many kilometers do you plan to travel? Do you prefer a camping site with all kinds of facilities or is a basic camping site sufficient? The following checklist assumes slightly more expensive camping sites and home-cooked meals for most of the time. The number 21 refers to the number of days you’re on holiday:

  • Food, drinks & other groceries: €1,050 (€50 x 21)
  • Gas costs: €840 (€40 x 21)
  • Campings: €840 (€40 x 21)

Total: €2,730

Costs of a Camper Holiday in the States: Fun Stuff

This is the most enjoyable part of the budget, of course. The costs can vary greatly depending on your plans. For instance, will you be visiting Yosemite National Park or Yellowstone National Park? You can hike on your own for free or take a guided tour. The costs of entering a National Park are unavoidable, but it’s worth the money. By buying a year pass instead of separate tickets for each park, you can save a lot of money:

  • Excursions: €420 (€20 x 21)
  • Entrance to amusement park (e.g., Disneyland in California): €400
  • Entrance to National Parks: €75

Total: €895

This budget may be a bit difficult to determine because it depends on your plans, but it should give you a general idea.

Grand Total: €10,255

Traveling can be rather expensive, so how can you minimize your spending? Here are some tips:

  • Travel outside of the high season if possible
  • Cook your own meals and dine out less frequently
  • Book tickets with stopovers
  • Book tickets well in advance to get a good deal (e.g., during the KLM world deal weeks)
  • Check if you can use a relocation special for the camper

I hope this guide helps you plan a wonderful holiday! If you need any help setting a budget or planning your camper trip, feel free to reach out.

If you enjoyed this article “Costs of a Camper Holiday in the States: What Does It Cost and How to Set a Realistic Budget?”, you might also like these articles:


Follow us: