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

Dude and Guest Ranches: The Affordable Family Vacation

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Have you ever dreamed of going to a place where you can experience the beauty of the outdoors and leave “real life” behind? Do you dream of a vacation destination where you can take the whole family and feel confident that there will be something that appeals to everyone? You need not look any further than then a Dude Ranch Vacation.

Many people have this dream but are often under the assumption that a unique Duder Ranch getaway for the whole gang is too expensive and not doable. Another misconceived notion is that all-inclusive Dude Ranch vacations often have hidden fees and that paying for items a la carte is a more affordable option. While that may be the case for some vacation options, you can rest assured that an all-inclusive stay at a DRA-accredited  Dude or Guest ranch is truly all-inclusive, and there are no hidden fees. At a dude or Guest  ranch, everything is included in the rate so you know exactly what you are going to pay for upfront and can plan your budget accordingly. There are never any additional charges for valet parking or resort fees. Plus, the forests and deserts these ranches are located in never charge you for the beauty that will surround you. The fresh air and the joyful noises of nature are priceless.

 

 

Following is a cost comparison between what an average Dude Ranchers’ Association Dude Ranch and Guest ranch would might cost for a week for a family of four (not including airfare, taxes and gratuity) and an a la carte trip where the same family would take part in all of the same activities:

 DRA Ranch 

  • Lodging  - Included
  • Meals – Included
  • Horseback Riding (everyday) –  Included
  • River Rafting – Included
  • Rodeo –  Included
  • National Park Trip/Tour  - Included
  • Evening Entertainment –  Included
  • Car Rental/Gas –  N/A

Total Average Cost: $6300 0

A La Carte

  • Lodging  - $1600
  • Meals  - $2200
  • Horseback Riding  - $2000
  • River Rafting  - $300
  • Rodeo –  $100
  • National Parks Tour  - $620
  • Evening Entertainment  - $500
  • Car Rental – $900

Total Average Cost: $8220

As you can see, you can make your dream a reality with a dude ranch vacation! In addition to the budget-friendly price tag, dude ranches offer much more. There is such a wide variety of activities that there will be something the kids, parents and grandparents will enjoy. And with all activities happening on the ranch property, you don’t have to worry about getting lost or arranging transportation.

The atmosphere is also hard to beat as you can’t put a price on the personal interaction and sense of family you feel at a  Dude  or Guest ranch. Many guests will leave the ranch at the end of their stay having made lifelong friends with the owners, staff or even other guests. I have 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 to be their second home. Dude ranches pride themselves on going the extra mile to make their guests feel special which is why over 60% of all dude ranch guests are repeat customers.

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

 

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