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How do You Get the Best Value For Your Travel Dollar?

What costs less? Travelling to Disney in a luxury motorhome or Driving the family car and staying at a WDW resort

How much does a family have to spend to travel from the middle of the US to CA or FL. How much is left over after meeting the travel and accommodation expenses of the trip. Let’s see…Shall we?

Thing to Consider:

  • Budget
  • Comfort while travelling
  • Convenience
  • Overall Value

People across America are being led by the media to believe that all large motorhomes cost millions of dollars. Many salespeople at motorhome dealerships throughout the industry believe that these rigs are toys for the rich.

I am a musician and have not hit the lotto yet. Though I have owned the big rigs over the past several years and put tens of thousands of miles over a relatively short period of time. Our motor coach experiences changed families and my outlook on travel and change. We are able to look at a motor coach as a fun and exciting way to go through life at any stage. We were not retired and travelled the continent for work, but would explore in between venues.

If you love your popup and the great outdoors, Stop reading right here! Since we are talking about a motor coach instead of a camping trailer or pop-up, the budget should be commensurate to the level of our mode of travel and accommodations

Our subject family consists of two adults and two teens; the starting point will be St. Louis, MO. Our Winter Holiday vacation budget will be $5,000 for 1 week at Walt Disney World Resort and a few more days exploring Florida before heading back to the cold.

Since I am from Florida, I am choosing Disney World Resort. When most of us think about a 40 foot to 45 foot motor coach, we might jokingly say that it does not pass too many gas stations!

Actually, a 150 gallon tank needs one fill up at each end of the trip while the family car will need to stop about 6 times to fill up when they stop to eat.

While the fuel mileage of the supersized motor coach is less than one third of an average luxury car, the cost for the drive back and forth is almost identical in this example. Plus, the trip is very relaxing with the only stops being to use the coach’s bathroom and maybe a stretch. All the amenities of the coach are available while cruising at 60-65 MPH down the interstate.

The Minimum expenses for our conventional vacationers will consist of: Fuel: 1990 Miles @26 MPG or $2.70 x 77 Gal.$208

Hotel and 6 meals for 4 people at Cracker Barrel Restaurant both ways. Hotel $80 plus ($35 x 6)$210 $290 x 2 = $580, which when added to fuel should total about $788 for travelling both ways- Resort Hotel – one room. Package deal which includes park tickets, food and hotel. $3,570

Total: $4,358, which leaves a balance of $642 that can be applied to a number of budget adventures.

The Minimum expenses for our motor coach vacationers will consist of: Fuel 1990 Miles @7.5 MPG or $3 x 266 Gal. $798 Campground )6 Nts @$107) $642 Park Tickets $964

Groceries purchased in the store on the way down south that is prepared in motorhome. $300

Total $2,704 which leaves discretionary funds of $2,296 that can be used for lunch at the parks or gifts and mementos to bring home or you can put it towards a trip to Kennedy Space Center followed by a Disney Cruise.

This comparison does not represent unexpected expenses that may be incurred in each situation.

In a best case scenario, the vacation in the luxury motorhome costs about $1,650 less than the hotel room and car ride which will take a couple of hours longer each way due to stopping at the Cracker Barrel.

Another plus for the motorhome is that there are two spaces separated by a lavatory vs a single room with 2 beds and a TV. The ride each way is also much more comfortable in the motorhome and much more interesting due to the fact that you can see over the guard rail. After the first day you will spend the night at an inexpensive RV Park, rest area or “My Favorite”, the Walmart Super Center where you can do you’re shopping for the next week.

My #1 reason for taking the coach is that we never have to leave home to take the trip because we are home all the way to Disney and back!

Your stories about vacationing at Disney are welcome!


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