I am sure anyone who knows me by now knows that I love a good deal and I have to share good things that I come across! As soon as we started traveling, we got our Thousand Trails Zone Pass, and shortly after, we added the Trails Collection, which added more Encore Parks to our purchase. We haven’t regretted that purchase. The 5 Zone Pass we got for a deal on a holiday sale and added the Trails Collection for a small additional cost per year. If you follow our link here you can get $100 off of a Thousand Trails Pass! It is worth it to note though that most of the Encore Parks that were added on in Arizona and Texas are age restricted and only for those 55 and older. Still, we have gotten to stay close to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and the Pismo Beach with the Trails Collection. This membership has made it affordable for us to travel and see so much. Most of these resorts are just average campgrounds, and it makes us move a little more often than we would otherwise, which can be tiring. If we wanted to upgrade to an Elite Membership and move less often, we could do that.
We quickly got a Harvest Host Membership, which we absolutely love! Our first night out was spent at a Harvest Host farm in Ohio. We have stayed at beautiful Vineyards, fun farms, and educational museums. These stays have been peaceful and interesting and we always love the experiences that these stays provide. We paid $44 a year for our Harvest Host membership, and also buy something at each Harvest Host location that we go to, which is a treat in itself! More about our Harvest Host stays to come.
When there isn’t a Thousand Trails or Harvest Host around, we check out Passport America, which gives us 50% off at many RV parks that are listed on their website. We haven’t used this one much, but it is a good supplemental membership to have for certain areas, and paid for itself with the one stay in Little Rock that we used it for so far.
I recently purchased a Boondockers Welcome membership for $25 a year, that we have yet to use, but expect to get more use out of when we are in those states that don’t have Thousand Trails or Encore parks that are in our membership. With this membership, you get access to a list of other RVers who have land and list that they could host you in your RV for a few nights.
If none of our memberships come in handy in an area (which is pretty rare), I then check my Allstays App for BLM land to boondock on for free up to 14 days in most places (we have never stayed more than a couple of nights), an RV friendly Walmart for 1 night, or a State or National Park that are usually affordable but sometimes hard to book at short notice.
Fulltime Families is another great membership that is $40 a year and helps build community with other traveling families on the road. We first were part of the online facebook community with this group that helped us gather a lot of knowledge while on the road! We got to meet up with some other families in this group at the Balloon Fiesta, and they have rallies and meetups throughout the year. This is a great way for kids and parents to get to know other traveling families and possibly meet up down the road or travel together for awhile if they like. If you join this one first, you can get discounts on other memberships, like Harvest Hosts, too.
Another one of my favorite memberships that have saved us so much, is a membership to the WNC Nature Center that we purchased for $75 for the family for the year. This membership gets us into AZA Zoos across the country for free or half price, and into ASTC Science Centers and Museums for free also! We have used this so many times for free zoo and museum visits, which are always fun and educational! We will renew this membership every year! There are other places where you can purchase zoo or museum memberships and get other organizations benefits that we may do in the future, but the AZA and ASTC combination has been working perfectly for us right now.
We have always loved Amazon Prime. We used it even more before we went on the road. Honestly, most of what I bought besides groceries, I got on Amazon Prime. But now it can be a little harder to get packages. Some RV parks will accept them for you, or there are Amazon Lockers in some areas where your packages can be sent, or you can have it delivered as general delivery at some post offices too! Most of the time the purchase isn’t worth the run around for us, but when we really need something, it comes in handy!
For more deals, I look on Groupon to get extra savings and find fun activities that I think the kids will enjoy in an area. We can try out a play area, dance class, karate, or something like that for a great deal!