By Christina VanGinkel
Travel in an RV has been a time-honored pastime for many families. This summer, I see there is even a comedy starring Robin Williams that is a spoof on this type of travel. Yet, for many families, this type of vacation is the one type that can allow even large families on a budget to travel together. As more baby boomers come into an age that they not only have older children, but also grandchildren, many people believe there is going to be a renewed surge in this type of travel. Even with most RV vehicles being anything but a gas saver, when compared to the combined cost of travel by other means, such as air combined with other costs such as hotel stays and eating each meal out, RV travel can still offer huge savings. Figuring out how to travel and keep your sanity is the last major hurdle for many families in the decision making stage of whether or not to choose this type of vacation.
There are things to consider, and tips to follow, but if you are serious about having the vacation of a lifetime, in an RV, it can be done. Just ask the millions who have gone before you and done just that.
Many companies rent out RV’s from basic to deluxe models. Rental can be for various timeframes, from a few days to a month or more. Even if you plan to purchase an RV, it might be wise to rent one first, to be sure that this sort of travel is really for you. It is best if you rent one that will be equal to the size that you plan to buy. Some companies even offer a rent before you buy plan. These plans allow you to use an RV that you intend to purchase on a trial basis first. Most people continue through with the purchase, but a select few realize that RV travel is not for them. Others become so enamored with this type of travel that they spend as much time as they can doing it, some even retiring to RV parks for their golden years.
Choose a destination. Too often first time RV travelers feel that the RV itself is the vacation. It is not. You and your traveling companions can only be impressed by the inside of the RV so long, and then you will need to focus on where you are going and what you will be doing once you arrive.
Who will all be going with you? Will you be taking any pets or young children along? If so, what extra accommodations will need to be made? RV travel can often find various age groups traveling together, and in close quarters such as an RV, they get to know each other well. It is hard not to see grandma first thing in the morning when you are sleeping just a few feet away from each other. Bring along a card and board games to keep from becoming bored between attractions. Books and magazines are also necessary, and if traveling with small kids, make sure to pack a few favorite toys and their bikes if you will be staying in parks that will accommodate their use.
Make sure rules are in place before heading out, and that they are followed. Simple things like everyone having a few simple chores will keep the vacation a vacation, and not leaving a big mess at the end of each day with everyone arguing about who is going to clean it up. Institute a few mess avers too, to help keep down on the chores. Everyone, including kids should take off their shoes before or upon entering, especially if you are parked anywhere that might feed the mess problem, such as in a muddy campground with it pouring rain outside.
Traveling by RV is a great way to explore your state or the whole United States for that matter. There are RV parks that offer rustic camping to deluxe parks that have swimming pools and restaurants. If you are considering trying this much-loved form of travel, do not let this summers expected high gas costs deter you. When compared to other forms of travel, an RV vacation is still a bargain.