ATVing can be expensive, and even more so when you’re making a trip out of it. However, there are many ways you can try to make it as easy on your pocketbook as possible.
1. Plan Ahead
A big ATV trip takes a lot of planning. This is especially true if you want to do it as economically as possible. One surefire way to save yourself some moola on your adventure is to plan ahead. Many outfitters and accommodations offer incentives to book in advance, so don’t be afraid to book next year’s trip this year! The devil is also in the details; if you plan ahead, you ensure that you make the most economical decisions.
2. Shop Around
As with any big purchase you make in life, you need to look at all the options. You wouldn’t buy a new ATV based on one price only, so you shouldn’t choose the first motel/accommodations that you find. It never hurts to shop around. Once you’ve selected the area you want to go, be sure to search for the best rates. This is the information age; do not be afraid to ask around about the best place to stay for rates, and speak to people that have made the same type of trip before.
3. Numbers, numbers, numbers.
If you’re following this list so far, you’ve planned ahead, and you’ve shopped around. Luckily, ATVing is a social/family event, now you need to increase your numbers – invite everyone you know! OK, maybe not everyone. However, going in a group drastically reduces your costs. You can negotiate better rates because you’re bringing bigger numbers. And carpooling is now an option; you don’t need four separate people in four separate vehicles, all hauling an ATV. Load those vehicles up and split the costs of fuel.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Stock Up
ATVing generally brings us off the beaten path. It’s the remote locations we’re looking for, those places no one else can get to. Unfortunately, this also means you’re heading to areas that are either touristy – so things cost more, or remote locations – so things cost more. Yeah, you don’t want to be a stick-in-the-mud and not buy anything while you’re out and about, but bringing some things with you can make things a little easier on your pocketbook, whether it be hauling some jerry cans of fuel (so you’re not paying high fuel prices the further from civilization you get), or preparing some simple meals yourself ahead of time (instead of having to hit every chip stand and off-the-beaten-path diner while on your adventure). A nice balance of supporting the local economy and your own bottom line can save you some coin. Just don’t take it too far and become that “thrifty” guy.
5. Go Over Your Machine Ahead of Time
This one is a no-brainer to some, but an often forgotten item to those one or two in your group. You are going for an ATV adventure, and you don’t want to be that guy who breaks down 10 minutes into it. Repairs while away from home can be costly, and sometimes not even possible. Some preventative maintenance is worth a pound of cure. Be sure to go over your machine, or if that is beyond your skill level, bring it to your local dealership or mechanic shop. You wouldn’t jump in your car and go on a 2,000-km trip without checking it over, so don’t do the same with your ATV. Don’t be afraid to change your fluids before you depart, and replace any parts that are in need of attention.
None of these tips are going to make your trip free, but taking them into consideration can make sure some hard-earned cash stays in your pocket.