Just "Dude" It – The Dude Ranchers' Association Blog
Helping People Find Quality Dude Ranches and Guest Ranch Vacations Since 1926

Dude Ranches: The Affordable Family Vacation

Have you ever dreamed of going to a place where you can experience the beauty of the outdoors and leave “real life” behind for a while.  The noises of construction and sirens…and your boss…are left at home and replaced with the sounds of a gurgling stream, birds chirping, children laughing and even silence.  If you have ever fantasized about leaving commute traffic  behind and replacing it with horses on the trail or cattle being guided to summer pasture…then…a Dude Ranch is the place for you!

Lots of people have this dream but think it’s too expensive for them.  Many of these same people have the misconceived notion that a cruise or a trip where they pay for items a la carte will be more affordable.  The one thing you can be assured of is that when our DRA ranches state all-inclusive it means just that.  The rate at our ranches includes your lodging, meals, horseback riding and most of the other activities offered.  There are no additional charges for valet parking or resort fees and the forests and deserts these ranches are located in never charge you for the beauty that will surround you because fresh air and the joyful noises  of nature are priceless.

Following is a cost comparison between  what an average DRA ranch would cost for a week for a family of 4 (not including airfare, taxes and gratuity) and a an a la carte trip where the same family would take part in all of the same activities and pay and plan for everything separately:

DRA Ranch A La Carte
Lodging Included

$1600

Meals Included $2000
Horseback Riding (everyday) Included $2200
River Rafting Included $300
Rodeo Included $100
National Park Trip/Tour Included $620
Evening Entertainment Included $500
Car Rental/Gas N/A $900
Total $6300 $8220

 

As it turns out, a dude ranch vacation is a bargain!
Additionally there is so much more to a dude ranch than a cold hotel room with a bed and a restaurant in the lobby.  The part of a dude ranch vacation you can’t put a price on is the personal interaction and sense of family you feel at a ranch.  Many guests will leave the ranch at the end of their stay and will have made lifelong friends with the owners, staff or even other guests.  I have even heard stories of several families that met on a ranch vacation years ago and continue to see each other once a year on that annual trip to what many families consider their second home.  Dude ranches pride themselves in going the extra mile to make their guests feel special which is why over 60% of all dude ranch guests are repeat customers.  If the ranches weren’t doing it right, the guests wouldn’t come back year after year…some for 2,3 and even 4 generations.

So the next time you are planning a vacation consider the value of a dude ranch and the memories you take home will last a lifetime.

For more information about the 100+ ranches in The Dude Rancher’s Association or if you need assistance in choosing the perfect ranch for YOUR vacation, please visit www.duderanch.org or feel free to give us a call at 866-399-2339.

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