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Big City Travel On A Budget


Even if you’re an avid camper, there may be times when you feel that your only option is to find lodging at a hotel. Maybe you’re taking your family to a big city to visit a major theme park, or you’re flying across the country to attend a family reunion and can’t take your camping gear. Or maybe you’re simply traveling to another city on business. The next time you think “hotel,” you just may want to think again.

The truth is that instead of booking a hotel room, you can very often get a much better value by checking out cabins and other options at the campgrounds and RV parks at your destination. Let’s take the Dallas Metro area as an example. According to the biannual Hotel Price Index survey conducted by the online hotel booking company Hotels.com, the average hotel rate in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area is $109 per night. By comparison, The Vineyards Campground and Cabins on Grapevine Lake offers fully-furnished cabins with Wi-Fi and cable TV. Cabin rentals start at just $90 per night, and the rates are even lower if you’re a member of Best Parks in America or Good Sam RV Club. The cabins are located in a lakeside setting midway between Dallas and Fort Worth and the many attractions they offer.

Park models, which are also fully-furnished and include full kitchens, are another great option. They’re available for rent at many parks across the U.S. Just bring your bags and settle in!

It’s important to remember that when you’re comparing hotel rates to rental rates for cabins or park models, you’re really not comparing apples to apples because these alternate lodging options often offer additional amenities. These amenities may include fully-stocked kitchens (which can help you save on meals), peace and quiet (which can help you save your sanity) and beautiful views (which sure beat looking at the hotel parking lot).

Here’s another example. Let’s say you’re planning to take your family to SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo or other attractions in the San Diego area. One alternative to a hotel, the San Diego Metro KOA, is located just 20 minutes from everything the city has to offer. They even offer discounted tickets to major attractions! The campground offers cabins that accommodate four to six people and include full kitchens. Some cabins even have a fun sleeping loft for the kids and others have a barbeque grill and fire ring. You won’t find that at a city hotel!

It’s easy to find out what kinds of cabins, park models and other lodging options are available to you. On the GoCampingAmerica.com home page, click “Advanced Search.” Then, on the next screen, enter your desired city and at the right, click on “Site Options” and choose the types of lodging you may be interested in. Happy searching! Who knows, you may even forego the boring “box” of a hotel room for a yurt or a teepee!

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