Apr 112015

A few days ago I posted a blog about Camping With The Elks that was well received so today I thought I’d tell you about two other low cost alternatives to traditional campgrounds.

We first met Don and Kim Greene, founders of Harvest Hosts, at one of our Gypsy Journal rallies years ago when they were first starting out and we have been delighted at how well their business has grown. Harvest Hosts offers members a network of wineries, farms, and agri-tourism sites in the U.S. and Canada where self-contained RVers can visit and stay overnight for free.

Harvest Hosts is growing bigger all the time, and some of the places where members can spend the night include farms, wineries, orchards, u-pick fruit and vegetable operations, cider mills, wildlife rescue facilities, alpaca ranches, dairy farms, open air museums, exotic animal parks, breweries, and distilleries. It’s a great way to save money and meet some great people in your travels.

While the program is set up for one night says, many RVers have found that if the business isn’t too busy they may be allowed to stay longer. In cases like that, making a purchase or offering to help out with chores is a nice gesture. Most of the hosts are small mom and pop operations and will gladly welcome some extra help. At $44 a year, Harvest Hosts is a great investment that will pay for itself the first couple of times you use your membership.

Another neat program we were recently introduced to is Boondockers Welcome, which is a network of hosts that invite traveling RVers to dry camp on their property, from coast to coast in the United Sates, as well as Canada and Mexico, and even far off locations like Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Members pay $24.95 a year and have access to hundreds of overnight camping opportunities. The host profiles on the company’s website include not only the user names and locations of the hosts, but also detailed information on what type of RV parking is available, the size of RVs that can be accommodated, road conditions, and whether water or electric might be available. Since the hosts are all RVers themselves, they understand the needs of their guests and look forward to meeting fellow travelers.

With programs like Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome, coupled with camping opportunities at places like Elks and Moose lodges, who needs campgrounds?

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Death On The Pedernales, the fifth book in my pal George Wier’s great Bill Travis mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

If you’re a fan of my friend Mike Meyer (and if you’re not, you should be), Mike is running a sale this weekend on Triangle of Hope for just 99¢. It’s the story of three unlikely allies who come together on a lonely stretch of Galway Bay in Ireland, each with their own baggage, and then find themselves bound together to try to bring hope to a tiny village where none has existed for a very long time. Check it out, and I bet you’ll become a fan of Mike’s books, too.

Death on the Pedernales Audio

Thought For The Day – Everybody comes with baggage. Find someone who loves you enough to help you unpack yours.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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