Save over $200 a night by choosing RV travel for the 2024 Eclipse
With the Great North American Solar Eclipse just months away, and accommodations quickly booking to capacity, we researched different lodging options in Texas and their price points to find out what travel option is the most cost-effective. We found that in all cases RV travel, considering both RV rental prices and campgrounds fees, came to be significantly less than hotel/vacation rental costs. You can save an average of $200 a night by choosing RV travel for the eclipse in Texas. Not only are RVs the budget-friendly options but also the best choice for families or big groups. Let’s explore why, starting with this interesting quote shared by the RV Industry Association on the matter.
“According to a recent Priceline survey of flights to and hotel rates in some of the cities in which the eclipse will be seen, the average airfare is $587 per person and the nightly hotel rate is $238. Alternatively, the cost of camping in a scenic park or a family-friendly campground is a fraction of that with many campsites available under $75. For those looking to rent an RV for the occasion, RVs that sleep up to 8 people can be rented for less than $100/night.”RV Industry Association
Rving to the Total Solar Eclipse in Texas is a great alternative to traditional travel. Whether you are a Texas local, or flying in for the event, this price guide is going to shed light on your different lodging options and their costs.
We studied the average cost per night, before taxes, for 4 popular locations in Texas that will be in the path of totality. To keep things simple, we looked at prices for a one-night stay, for two people on April 8th.
*A note-worthy reminder is that the eclipse takes place on April 8th, 2024 starting at 1:30pm local Texas time.
RV vs. Hotel Price Comparison
|Dallas – Forth Worth
How Much Does it Cost to Travel to the Eclipse in Texas?
The average daily rate for April 8th, 2024 in San Antonio is $280 for a 3-star hotel. The price quickly increases for hotels in the downtown area or with more amenities. We found prices on booking.com upwards of $700 a night for a 4-star hotel. To be fair we also looked at vacation rental prices, the average was lower on this lodging option coming at $190 a night for two adults. However, the prices increased to over $400 a night for accommodations that offered more than one bed. Although our RV rental inventory for the San Antonio area is low, we found RVs for $120 a night. Most offered sleep accommodations for five people or more.
Most campgrounds in the area had some availability still open. Rates vary greatly between campgrounds and depending on the amenities you need and want for your site. The average rate for an RV site in a campground for the eclipse came to $30.
- Find campgrounds near San Antonio.
- Book a $30 campground with eclipse availability.
- Book a $55 campground with eclipse availability.
Downtown hotels have a daily average rate of $550 a night for one night for 2 people, whereas vacation rentals average $200 a night for a one-bedroom option. RV rentals in the area average $120 a night and can sleep four people or more. Campground availability in the area is low but we found a few options in the $40 range.
- Look for RV rentals in Austin.
- Find campgrounds near Austin.
- Book a $45 RV site with eclipse availability.
Waco is almost fully booked out for the Eclipse. Occupancy is high, looking at booking.com, the market shows 2-star hotels for one night at $600 a night before taxes. There is also low availability on vacation rental websites, making one-bedrooms up to $900 for one night. And if you have more space, multiple-bed rentals are upwards of $1,500 a night. There are also very few RVs left in the area but we found some at $120 with delivery in Waco. Campgrounds in the area seem to be completely booked, but Hipcamp has some available in the $50 price range.
Dallas area is also booking up quickly. Downtown hotels have a daily average rate of $240 and vacation rentals are low in inventory offering shared rooms for $100 and entire rentals for over $500. Like in the other locations, RV rentals averaged $120 a night and are capable of hosting parties of four or more.
There are a variety of available campground options in the area. And some campground sites we found were as low as $20 a night.
Some additional areas to consider when it comes to budgeting a trip that are not covered in our price comparison.
- If your group is bigger than two people you’ll have to calculate additional expenses, which in the case of hotels can add up quickly. Or in the case of RVs can divide the cost and make it cheaper per person.
- Transportation: if you are renting a car, taking a flight, or using shared rides. Add these costs to your budget beforehand to get a big-picture idea of what the actual travel expenses will be.
- Food and dining: another big spend category that can add up, especially in the case of hotels where options are limited.
And the most important one is that the eclipse is trending to be a popular event, which means bookings are increasing as we get closer and prices too. Our best advice, and the most budget-friendly, is to book now to avoid missing out on options for this once-in-a-generation event.
Why RVing is the best choice
Not only will RVing get you out of the city but also place you outdoors with an unobstructed view of the eclipse. Some additional reasons why RVing is the best choice include:
- A Full kitchen: stock the fridge and the pantry with everyone’s favorite snacks and meals. With access to a stovetop, fridge, and in most cases microwaves and ovens these little homes have big kitchens for happy campers.
- Sleeping capacity: although RVing is smaller than other lodging options in size, most RVs are built to host comfortably multiple people. Making it an accessible alternative for families and bigger groups.
- Amenities: unlike tent camping, an RV rental offers all the conveniences mentioned above plus full bathrooms and temperature control. Which makes it completely different than camping.
Before you go
Here are some useful links to help you with your eclipse planning.
- We made an RV guide to the Total Solar Eclipse for all the states in the path and lots of other resources.
- Make the planning easy with a premium package RV + campground experience from our friends at Spot2nite.
- Find State Parks in the Path of Totality.
- Want to attend an Eclipse-watching event?
- Want to try an alternative form of camping for the event? Our friends over at Hipcamp have some great private camping alternatives.