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Costs of a camper holiday in the States, what does it cost and how to set a realistic budget?

We’ve had three fantastic trips in the USA with our kids. We’ve cruised the West Coast in a camper, we went to mid America (Yellowstone NP, a must see) and discovered Florida with the camper. I often get asked the question: ‘What are the costs of a camper holiday in the States?’ Well that depends on what you want to do and how much you want to spend really, but there is a certain budget needed to get there and to rent the camper of course. In this article “Costs of a camper holiday in the States” I’d like to share the costs of our holidays with you and give you some tips on how to determine your own costs of a camper holiday in America too.

When I set a budget I always divide the budget three ways:

  1. Costs of getting there
  2. Costs for living
  3. Fun stuff

Before we get started with number 1 let’s take a quick look at the checklist for this trip:

Destination USA    
Weeks 3    
Period   Summer Holiday  
Amount of people 2 adults, 2 kids
Distance (KM) 4.500    

1# Costs of a camper holiday in the States: Costs of getting there

This depends on whether you want to book everything yourself (which often is cheaper) or if you want everything arranged by a travel agency or tour operator. The last way does save you a lot of trouble which may be worth something of course but let’s assume you have the time to arrange everything yourself. To set your budget you can use this checklist. I’ve taken the average costs of our trip into account.

€ 550 4 € 2.200
Camper rent € 4.220
Incl. 4500km, inventory,

taxes etc.

Transfers (Uber)
airport – hotel € 70
hotel – camper rental € 35
Camper rental – hotel € 35
hotel – airport € 70
Total        € 6.630

The fact that you’re travelling during the summer holiday makes this extra expensive. When you have kids younger than five years old it may save you thousands of euros if you are able to travel during pre-season or off season.

On to number 2:

2# Costs of a camper holiday in the States: Costs for living

I’ve made a checklist for this too. This part is a little subjective because it depends on a lot of stuff: Will you be going out for dinner a lot or will you be cooking your own dinner? How many km do you want to travel, do you want a camping with all kinds of facilities or is a basic camping good enough? I’ve taken the slightly more expensive campings into account and assumed you’ll be cooking your own dinner most of the time. The 21 refers to the amount of days you’re on holiday.

Food, drinks & other


21 € 50 € 1.050
Gas costs 21 € 40 € 840
Campings 21 € 40 € 840
Total        € 2.730

3# Costs of a camper holiday in the States: fun stuff

This is the most fun part of the budget spend of course. And again you can make this as expensive as you like. Will you be going to Yosemite NP or Yellowstone NP? You can go hiking on your own for free or take a guided tour. The costs of entering a NP are unavoidable unfortunately but this is really worth the money. By buying a year pass instead of buying separate tickets for each park you can save a lot of money.

Excursions 21 € 20 € 420
Entrance amusement park 1 € 400 € 400
e.g. Disneyland in California

1 dag

Entrance National Parks 1 € 75 € 75
Total       € 895

This budget may be a bit difficult to determine of course because I don’t know what you’re planning on doing but it should point you in the right direction.

So “the grand total”: € 10.255,-

Personally I think this really is a lot of money. Travelling can be rather expensive.. So how can you minimize your spending? Perhaps this helps:

  1. Go outside of the high season if this is an option
  2. Cook your own dinner, go out for dinner less
  3. Book tickets with stopover(s)
  4. Book tickets way ahead with a good deal (think of the KLM world deal weeks)
  5. Check to see if you can make use of a relocation special for the camper

I hope you’re able to have a wonderful holiday!! If you need any help setting a budget or planning your camper trip just let me know :).

Did you enjoy this article “Costs of a camper holiday in the States, what does it cost and how to set a realistic budget?”? Then you may enjoy these articles too:

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