RV travel has never gone out of style, but it’s certainly experiencing a boost this year. And where there’s a trend, there’s always a way to one-up it.
Enter Harvest Hosts, a membership-based network that allows users to stray away from the usual RV parks, and instead stay for free at over 1,200 wineries, breweries, farms, and other attractions across North America, Matador Network reports. Each host site has its appeal, but some of the more unique options include an aviation museum, a wildlife rescue facility, a moonshine distillery, an alligator ranch, and a maple sugar farm.
Access to all of these sites is affordable, too. An annual membership costs $79, which is equivalent to the average price of two to three nights at a budget-friendly RV park, according to RV rental firm Cruise America. For an additional $40 per year, RV travelers can also add 350 golf courses and country clubs to their membership, according to Matador Network.
With limited international travel options pushing Americans toward more domestic vacations, Harvest Hosts not only offers out-of-the-ordinary RV stays, but it also helps members avoid parking issues in a now more crowded landscape.
"Many state parks and campgrounds are either closed or have limited their parking spots. Also, RV sales are at record highs, so there are more people competing for the parking spots that are available," Harvest Hosts member services manager Lisa Manning told Business Insider, adding that the company has seen a surge in memberships this year.
Locations are currently spread across all of the lower 48 U.S. states, as well as Alaska, Canada, and Baja California. To keep up with the demand and ensure members have plenty of parking options, Manning says the company is recruiting an average of 100 hosts and locations per month.
Members can use the Harvest Hosts app to book their spot at one of the sites — no additional fee necessary. The only requirement is that travelers have a self-contained RV, meaning no sleeping in tents or cars. According to Matador Network, guests are also strongly encouraged to spend money at the site as a show of appreciation to the hosts.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach (no cheesiness intended). Find her on Instagram.
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