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Saving money on the road: Many states offer special rates for seniors or state residents

October 6, 2012 by Bob Difley · 10 Comments  
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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 states offer special rates for seniors or state residents
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 Web 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.
►Tip
By checking in advance on states’ specials, you may be able to plan your trip to take advantage of the best rates offered.

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.

Florala CampgroundMany 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.

►Tip

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.

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Comments

10 Responses to “Saving money on the road: Many states offer special rates for seniors or state residents”

  1. BILL STANLEY on October 6th, 2012 5:39 pm

    What is the best source for BLM or Forest Service Maps?

  2. Glen Jones on October 6th, 2012 5:59 pm

    For blm or Forest Maps find the nearest office where you are going to be, they can also be ordered from the BLM or USFS.
    As for senior discounts Oregon also gives free state park passes to disabled vets must be 25% disabled or more, some other states also offer free passes or discounts to Veterans

  3. GlenO on October 6th, 2012 6:33 pm

    Some states honor the Federal Senior’s PASS card and do the 50% rate. I wish all states did. Some only honor it for out of state if the visitor’s home state also recognizes it.

  4. Doug on October 6th, 2012 7:17 pm

    Nothing compares to the New Mexico State Parks annual camping permit: $225 for nonresidents, $180 for NM residents—and just $100 for NM seniors!

  5. Ron Butler on October 6th, 2012 7:29 pm

    Bob,

    We are SLOWLY working our way south down the Oregon coast. Their state parks along the coast are first rate and we love them. On top of that, the w/e hookup sites are now $21/$22 per night. Hard to beat that price and then you factor in the locations and scenery, I’m not sure you can find a better deal anyplace. Maybe the Senior Pass in the national parks!

  6. O. Gray on October 6th, 2012 8:22 pm

    Too bad that we Canadians who bring lots of $$$ into your beautiful country don’t get those discounts even though we, too, are seniors whose money is disappearing quickly in these sorry economic times. Can’t volunteer for pay either! Just have to grin and bear it – and keep on camping!

  7. O. Gray on October 6th, 2012 8:25 pm

    ….Oops! I should have said “Can’t volunteer for free camping or reduced rates, either!” I don’t expect to get paid for volunteering! :-)

  8. Dou on October 7th, 2012 1:14 pm

    O. Gray, do you mean like the major discounts Canadian seniors get on ferry travel, not available to American seniors?

  9. Mitchel on October 8th, 2012 6:47 am

    Wow! Thanks a lot for the interesting post. Brilliant!

    Mitchel @ MyCamperTrailer

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