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The Cheapest States in America

Can you guess which US states are the cheapest to live in or visit? Are they cheaper because there aren’t as many attractive or fun things to do compared to other states? 

We think not!

We’re taking a look at seven of the cheapest states in America. You may just want to plan your next RV road trip to one of these destinations. 

Let’s explore!

The Cheapest States in America

Americans love to keep tabs on which states are the cheapest. With housing costs on the up and up, it’s no wonder these statistics seem so vital. But housing costs are not the only factor that makes a place more affordable. 

Average household income makes a difference. For example, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is $14.50 versus $7.25 in Kansas. 

Most of the cheapest states are in the south. Everyday items like food, clothing, and transportation tend to cost less. On the other hand, local taxes and health care costs are all over the map. As you can see, determining which are the cheapest states is complex!

The most expensive states tend to be those with dense urban hubs. Hawaii, however, tops the list because it’s an island. Essential goods and certain foods need to be shipped in, which drives up the cost of living. 

California is not only one of the most expensive states but the world’s fifth-largest economy. Two surprising pricey places are Oregon and The District of Colombia (DC.)

But let’s get back to where we can save a buck or two. Here are the seven cheapest states and why you might want to check them out.

Woman holding map of America.
Certain states in the U.S. are much more expensive than others!

#1 Mississippi

About the State: As of spring 2022, the cheapest state to live in is Mississippi. Median home values hover around $128,600, a dream come true in today’s housing market. This southern state is known for being the birthplace of both the blues and Elvis Presley. Lovers of swamps, bays, and warm summer nights will love exploring Mississippi. 

Why You’d Want to RV There: Mississippi is typically not thought of as a top destination for campers. But it’s an incredibly RV-friendly State, with campground and Harvest Hosts a-plenty.

The variety of camping options is unique. Cajun RV Park and Gulf Haven Campground offer camping by the beach. Try Mimosa Landing Campground or Magic River Campground if access to rivers or lakes is more your speed.

Most Popular State Attraction: The historic Natchez Trace Parkway is one of the most well-known roads in the National Park System. Headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, the parkway is a top ten ride for bicyclists. 

Visitors can enjoy the 444-mile path by car, bike, horseback, or camping. Have you ever camped near a swamp? It’s open year-round, so here’s your chance!

Visitors can learn about the 10,000-year history of The Natchez Trace Parkway through its historic sites, literature, and wayside exhibits. 

#2 Oklahoma

About the State: Oklahoma sits just north of Texas in the Great Plains. It’s one of the most geographically diverse states in the country. Fun Fact: Oklahoma has produced more astronauts than any other state. Is it the chicken fried steak or biscuits?

Why You’d Want to RV There: There are over 100 RV parks in Oklahoma! Greenleaf State Park and Marval Family Camping Resort are two of several sites ideal for families. 

If you’re a rock climber, try Quartz Mountain Nature Park. Oklahoma is sunny almost all year round. The State has much to explore, especially if you’re good with dodging Tornados.

Most Popular State Attraction: It’s no wonder that The Oklahoma City National Memorial is the state’s most popular attraction. Honoring the victims and survivors of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the site offers a beautiful place to sit and reflect. Visitors can learn about the attack and why it matters by visiting the museum.

Pro Tip: While traveling through Oklahoma, make sure to avoid these Most Dangerous Creatures in Oklahoma.

#3 Arkansas

About the State: This landlocked southern state is home to abundant natural hot springs and caves. Nicknamed The Natural State, Arkansas’ natural resources include bromine, silica stone, forested hills, and fertile planes. Key industries include metal and timber products, Aerospace, and Defense. 

Why You’d Want to RV There: Arkansas is a very RV-friendly state. A drive through The Ozark National Forest is one of several RV road trips to explore. Cyclists will love the abundance of highly ranked mountain biking trails, like the Upper Buffalo Trail.

Most Popular State Attraction: Arkansas contains one of the most unique national parks in the country. Hot Springs National Park is southwest of Little Rock, and it’s free! No wonder Arkansas made it on our cheapest states list.

Explore ancient thermal springs, beautiful mountain views, and cool historic bathhouses. Unless you call ahead, best to leave your swimsuit at home – no soaking in the springs without prior approval!

#4 Kansas

About the State: Kansas is located squarely in the middle of the United States. Politically speaking, things lean a little more to the right. Natural beauty, however, is boundless. The locals have a list called the 8 Wonders of Kansas, including a salt museum and space artifact center.

Why You’d Want to RV There: Kansas is relatively warm year-round and cheap to RV in. Topographically, the State is pretty flat, which means there are plenty of parking options! 

State Parks such as Cedar Bluff and Little Jerusalem Badlands are home to incredible rock formations and other natural wonders. If rocks aren’t your thing, Kansas has 26 other State Parks to explore.

Most Popular State Attraction: Can you say Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve five times fast? No worries if you can’t! This National preserve, located in Flint Hills, is the most extensive stretch of tallgrass prairie left in the world. The preserve is open year-round, with grasses reaching their peak height in late September.

#5 Missouri

About the State: Missouri is another cheap state located in the middle of the country. Known for Budweiser and BBQ ribs, Missouri is the place Mark Twain called home. The climate ranges from cold winters to hot, humid summers. Rivers and lakes crisscross the area, making it an ideal destination for fishing and boating.

Why You’d Want to RV There: The famous Route 66 got its name in Springfield, Missouri, and runs right through the state. If that’s not enough reason, check out Elephant Rocks State Park or the Mina Sauk Falls.

Most Popular State Attraction: The Gateway Arch is one of the most well-known American monuments in the world. Located in Downtown St Louis, The Arch symbolizes Missouri’s role in the US Westward expansion of the 19th century. It’s a symbol of freedom and opportunity. Gateway Arch National Park surrounds the monument. 

Pro Tip: Check out these 9 Best Things To Do on Route 66 in Missouri while exploring this affordable state.

#6 Georgia

About the State: Georgia is the cheap state that’s always on our minds. What a peach. Did you know that Atlanta has become one of the most prominent film locations in the country? There’s so much to say about this Southeastern gem! 

Not only is it one of the cheapest states, but the quality of life index keeps rising. Located just above Florida, Georgia’s rich history and diverse landscape provide numerous reasons to visit.

Why You’d Want to RV There: Georgia has options, whether you want to go to the beach, canoe down a river, or hike by a waterfall. Camping destinations range from rustic to luxury. You can park your RV on the mainland and explore Cumberland Island. 

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is another unique destination to explore. At the very least, take a load off at one of the many campgrounds in Atlanta, and have yourself a bourbon, peach, and ginger cocktail.

Most Popular State Attraction: Located just outside Atlanta, Stone Mountain State Park is the State’s most popular attraction. Family attractions within the park include a Dinosaur Park and a Swiss cable Skyride. Nature lovers can get into the Songbird habitat and fifteen miles of gorgeous trails.

#7 Alabama

About the State: Last but not least on our list of cheapest states in America is Alabama. Located between Mississippi and Georgia, this Southern State is known for its hospitality. Local traditions include greeting strangers with kindness and offering new friends a big home-cooked meal. 

The climate is subtropical and humid. Summers in Alabama are some of the hottest in the United States.

Why You’d Want to RV There: Alabama is a great place to RV during the winter. You can enjoy everything from beaches to waterfalls. Check out Cathedral Caverns State Park and Dismals Canyon for uncommon hikes. For a summer adventure, try bouldering at Horse Pens Nature Park or a music tour of the Shoals.

Most Popular State Attraction: Interestingly, the most popular state attraction in Alabama is the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Located in Huntsville, this large museum showcases rockets and artifacts of the U.S. Space Program. The area is also home to the second-largest space research park in America. 

Which Of These Seven Cheapest States in America Will You Visit?

The cheapest states in America are rich with activities and places to explore. With a little bit of planning, you may save some money on your next RV excursion. 

Which one of our picks will you be traveling to this year? Let us know in the comments!

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As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

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