By Danielle Garrett, PlanIt Itineraries for The Aha! Connection
RV vacations are on many people’s bucket list, but many wonder if it’s one that their family would enjoy. There are many things to consider when pondering an RV vacation. My family took a nine night RV trip this past summer through Arizona, Southern Utah and Southwest Colorado. It’s one that has been on our list, but admittedly higher up on my husband’s list. He’s an outdoors-man, grew up camping and loves adventure. Camping is at the bottom of my list for a way to spend a vacation, but I was game for the RV experience. It was the summer before our oldest left to college, so I figured it was the best time for forced family togetherness!!
My husband took to RV living like he had been doing it his whole life. For me, it took a little longer. It grew on me more every day and by the end of the week we were discussing what we would do different and where we would go next time. There’s something about an RV trip that forces the family to become a team and work together from the first Walmart run, who’s going to help navigate in front with Dad, helping Dad back into the spot, hooking up the RV to scouting out the RV campground. Everyone comes together to make this happen. Yes, sometimes there was complaining but it became routine and the RV became our home quickly.
Below are some of my thoughts to help you determine whether your family should take an RV vacation.
Are you adventurous? This trip is well suited for those who seek adventure, love to explore and enjoy figuring things out on the fly. An RV trip is a self guided trip that feels like you are on a great exploration. There is relaxing time, but it’s not a relaxing at the beach kind of vacation. TIP: Even though this is a self guided vacation, having a plan before leaving is important. This includes knowing your stops and pre-booking your RV parks (a must during peak season).
The more flexible you are the better. Space is tight, wifi is sketchy at best, privacy is non-existent and the mattress is not like being at home. A “go with the flow” attitude will come in very handy on this vacation! TIP: Go bigger, if you are a family of 4-5 pp get an RV that sleeps 7. Also, make sure to book full hook-up spots and research the RV parks amenities. You learn a lot about the wifi strength, the quality of the park, etc.
Does your family argue well? I know, I know…your kids never fight! Ha, I don’t believe you!! 🙂 Every family has arguments; especially the kids. If you have grudge holders in your clan, the close quarters could make for a long vacay! If you fight like us where there’s an argument, then 5 minutes later it’s like it never happened then you are good! TIP: Have a family meeting before you depart. Discuss the tight space and the need to be patient. It always helps to mentally prepare your kids.
One of my favorite memories was sitting outside one night in our camping chairs watching falling stars. In addition to the beautiful scenery on this trip, it was these simple things I loved most. RV trips have a way of stripping away life’s complexities and distractions. Life for those nine nights was reduced to the bare essentials, yet our hearts were full as we were reminded of what’s most important in life.
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