While family holidays are often marketed as idyllic, relaxing, fun-filled adventures for young and old, the reality is often the opposite. This is especially true when you’re going by plane.
I mean, who needs the stress of the airport, security, plane delays, and uncomfortable airplanes? Particularly when you’ve got the kids in tow!
Enter RV camping trips.
If you haven’t tried it yet you need to! The best thing about RV trips is the freedom and flexibility you have. Unlike when you’ve got a flight to catch, if you fancy a walk around or you see something cool, you can just pull over and explore.
This guide is aimed at RV newbies. It will talk you through some essentials for your first RV camping trip.
RV stands for recreational vehicle. When most people think of RVs, they think of motorhomes, but RVs come in lots of shapes and sizes.
If you’ve got a big brood, then you’ll want to look for larger RVs like class c motorhomes or bus conversions. These big RVs are also great for those who appreciate luxury.
For a more affordable or paired down experience consider a travel trailer or lightweight trailers like teardrop trailers, or hybrid trailers.
We haven’t got the time to discuss the different kinds of RVs in detail here. If you want buying advice or more info, check out guides like this one that will help with choosing the best teardrop trailer.
Rent or Buy?
If you’re not yet sold on the RV lifestyle, why not rent an RV for a week or so. This is a cheaper option and one that comes with less commitment.
You can try out a few different kinds of RV before striking out and buying your own.
Size or Maneuverability
Driving RVs can be stressful for the first few times. The vehicles are heavier and more unwieldy than your car. Towing trailers or campers behind your car is particularly off putting if you’ve never done it before.
So, if you’re nervous about driving an RV, choose a smaller model. This will make it easier for you to get used to.
Of course, a smaller RV means that you’re going to have smaller living and sleeping quarters. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you have enough room for all your campers.
I know that spending hours in a vehicle with excitable children might seem like hell, but it doesn’t have to.
The first thing I recommend is preparing a travel bag for each child. Fill the bag with snacks, drinks, books, games, blankets, pillows, and headphones. If you’re travelling with infants, prepare a separate bag of essentials like diapers and bottles.
These bags are life savers. They will limit the amount of nagging that goes on and should keep your kids occupied for a few hours.
I also suggest keeping a bag or box of travel sickness remedies nearby. Things to include are:
Ginger sweets, tablets, or cookies.
Motion sickness tablets
Mints or gum
Believe me, its better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!
Another thing I find helps keep people occupied on the journey is to share the details of the route. Keep the kids busy and interested by asking them to look out for landmarks or state borders.
Let them ‘navigate’ by giving them some printed directions or a copy of the map. Trust me, it works! Don’t forget to have your back up sat nav on hand though!
Finally, don’t forget to take frequent breaks. The whole point of RVs is that you can park up and have fun. Stop and explore along the way. The journey is as important as the destination.
You’ll need to book into a camping ground to have somewhere to set up and sleep. Even if you’re only staying one night, you should look for a campground.
Each state has its own rules around where RVs can be parked. Sometimes you can pull over on a street and sleep, other times you can only park up on designated grounds.
Besides the legalities, staying in a campground or RV park lets you take advantage of electric hook up and plumbed water!
This nifty website will help you pick out a campground. It lists RV parks, national parks, and private campgrounds across the US.
When you are parked up, make the most of what’s on offer. Go for hikes, explore the local towns, or just sit back and relax.
Remember to abide by rules for noise, waste dumping, and refuse disposal.
Hitting the open road in an RV is a great way to spend time with the family. You’ll learn a heck of a lot about each other and make memories that will last a lifetime.
So, ditch the planes for the highway lanes and take an RV camping trip!