Saving money on the road: Many states offer special rates for seniors or state residents
By Bob Difley
The following is “Number 7 State Parks” from my ebook, 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang from Your RV Lifestyle Buck which is available in the Kindle store at Amazon or in PDF format from my website.
Many state parks offer special reduced rates
Examples of special rates include California that offers $2 off their regular rate to seniors over 62 and Oregon that offers an annual pass for off-season camping at reduced rates. New Jersey offers free camping Sunday night through Thursday night in the off season; some states offer a small discount for non-weekend camping.
Georgia offers discounts to veterans. Check as you go from state to state as some states alter their rates based on their current visitation, such as in Arizona where some state parks will offer seven days if you pay for five if they are not full.
How to find these special rates
When you visit a state park check with rangers or office personnel for any special rates being offered. You can find official information on the park’s we site, but some deals are made only at the individual park. Offer to do some park clean-up, maintenance, or other volunteer services in trade for a free campsite.
By checking in advance on states’ specials, you may be able to plan your trip to take advantage of the best rates offered.
Decisions in each state park’s system vary from year to year. If a program that they experimented with the prior year works, they will likely offer it again. But if it failed, forget it. Check each state’s website that you intend to pass through, and maybe adjacent states that you could detour through, for specials that could include two-for-one deals, reduced mid-week rates, weekly rates, and reduced rates (sometimes even free) if they have turned off the water in the park. In the latter case, it might pay to offer to be a caretaker in return for free camping–a presence to deter vandals, teenage parties, and graffiti artists. It never hurts to ask questions and offer deals. The parks are strapped for cash and can work with you if it doesn’t go on the books or appear as an unauthorized expense. Good luck.
Thanks to all of you who have bought my 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang from Your RV Lifestyle Buck ebook, which is in the top ten of Kindle’s Parks & Campgrounds Travel Reference section.