In a previous article, we told you how we brainstorm about every 6 months. Today we want to talk about one of our favorite memberships. This one not only made the cut but has a bright future as far as our memberships go. It is Passport America.
You Save 50%
It’s a 50% off membership that we have seen advertised many times before but somehow never came up in one of our brainstorming sessions. Why I am not sure.
One day when we were in Mystic and I was surfing the web looking for possible routes down to Florida, I noticed an ad for Passport America. I have seen it many times before and I even have it on our RV Clubs, Passes, and Associations page. For whatever reason, this time we decided to take a closer look at it.
Low Yearly Rate Of $44
The basic idea of the membership is you pay a yearly fee of $44 and for that, you can stay at selected campgrounds for half price. Sounds good right? It sounded too good to us. What’s that saying, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is?
The first thing we did was read all the reviews. Boy, was there a lot. Like most other things you read reviews on there was a mixed bag. Some people were totally trashing it saying they would get to parks and not be allowed to use it, some said the parks were run down, and others said there were a ton of restrictions.
Time For A Little Research
This is what we noticed in our research. There are a lot of participating campgrounds. There are also a lot of restrictions. Some of the restrictions we found were things like “not valid on Saturday & Sunday,” “must make a reservation and mention Passport America during that reservation call,” ”no reservations accepted/drive-ins only,” and “cash only.”
Sound confusing? Maybe a little but here’s the thing. When you join Passport America you get a catalog yearly. It lists all the participating campgrounds and their individual restrictions. They also have a website. We like the website better as the information on the participating campgrounds and restrictions are easily kept up to date. We have used both the catalog and website with success.
Wait/What? I Can’t Use My Membership?
If you look at the campgrounds whether it be through the catalog or online, each campground lists any and all the criteria to use Passport America. It is spelled out quite clearly. That being said, I am not sure why a lot of the reviewers of Passport America said they got to the campground only to find out they couldn’t use it.
Below is a snapshot from Passport America’s website of the criteria for one of the campgrounds we stayed at recently. This was at a campground in Florida where we saved over $100!!! As you can see, all the information is laid out in detail. Regulations and restrictions? Absolutely, but you can’t say you didn’t know about them.
Every campground listed on their website or catalog is laid out in this format. We found it to be extremely useful in our travels.
So Is A Passport America Membership Worth It?
In one word…maybe…lol. It really depends on how you travel. If you are a weekend warrior and only go to your state and local campgrounds, then I would say it’s probably not worth it unless of course, those campgrounds are participating Passport America campgrounds…lol.
If you are a weekend warrior that stays local most of the time but ventures a little further away a couple of times a year (my preferred way of RV’ing for many years while I was working) than I would say it’s definitely worth a look.
Who Wouldn’t Want To Save $100?
In the example above, if you took your family on the week-long trip at the campground we stayed at, you would have saved over $100. That’s over 2 years membership fees on one trip!!! So is it worth saving $100? We think so.
The bottom line is to do your research. We don’t know how you travel or what campgrounds you are going to stay at. When you are planning your family vacation and know what area you want to go to, take a look at the Passport America website and see if there are any Passport America campgrounds close by.
2 Nights= Membership Fees Covered!!!
If there are, make sure you check out any restrictions or notes on that campground for the specific time you are staying. All it usually takes is two nights somewhere and you made back your membership fees. Anything after that is pure savings!!!
If you are a full-time Rv’er that moves around at least a couple of times a year, we feel like this is a no-brainer. Even if you stay at a campground with not a lot of amenities, who cares? It’s only one night as you travel and are passing through!!! You will now have a safe spot with hook-ups to spend the night and get a great night’s sleep for half price!!!
3 Years Covered So Far
In our opinion, this membership is well worth the $44 a year you will pay. We have spent more than that on other things that have absolutely no return on investment. At this point, we have already saved about 3 years of membership fees, so it’s a no-brainer for us.
If you have any questions or comments about this article feel free to post them down below.
It has been a couple of years since we joined Passport America and you may be wondering if we still have/use it. The answer is … absolutely. This membership continues to amaze us. We have saved so much money with it. It is April of 2021 and we just recently traveled to Montana for our summer workamping gig. Even though we only used it at one park, we stayed two nights and saved about $45 dollars. That’s another year’s membership fee…lol.
The bottom line is we still highly recommend this membership.