Taking Children on an RV Vacation
by Fran Crawford>b /> Planning a vacation with kids or grandkids? A trip in a recreational vehicle could be just the ticket. A break from routine in a motorhome, fifth wheel, travel trailer or tent trailer can be an exciting adventure for all ages.
Here are some great thoughts and ideas to make the RV journey a memorable experience. There should be something about traveling to interest youngsters of any age and those old enough to participate should be given an opportunity to help plan the trip.
Discussions with your travel companions should turn up ideas of fun places to visit. Of course finances may set limits on distances and activities, and the kids should be given some idea of what will fit your budget.
Get out the maps and plot out directions, destinations, rest stops and places to see along the way. Use the internet to check out attractions to visit and RV parks, resorts and campgrounds where you might spend a couple days in orders to see all the sights in a chosen area.
For the sake of any of the kids who have not traveled, slept in an RV or been away from home overnight it is a good idea to have a practice session of staying in the motorhome or trailer. This could be the night before the trip was to begin... or perhaps a couple of days earlier, right there in your driveway. It is a good thing to get used to the rig before you have to get used to a whole day of travel and a new location. The younger children will not have to be worried about where they will sleep at night and therefore can be free to enjoy the travel.
Tips for Surviving RV Trips with Kids
It only takes a little planning and you can actually survive... even enjoy! ... an RV trip with youngsters.
Unless it is absolutely necessary to be somewhere at a certain time... allow extra time for each day. Never rush. There will be places to explore along the way. Kids need frequent stops. And stop soon enough to enjoy the evening.
A plan to keep children entertained, amused or busy along the way is worth the time you have spent time preparing. In a motorhome they have space to play various table games. Moving about in the coach when it is moving is not advisable. Kids must realize that they cannot play active games... tag, hide and seek, etc.... in a rolling home.
Audio tapes, DVDs and CDs to keep their minds occupied are options, especially in close quarters of an RV tow vehicle when towing a fifth wheel or travel trailer. If you are traveling with teens remind them to load up their iPods with some good listening before you start.
Playing license plate poker and alphabet letter hunts entertain for short periods of time. More frequent stops may be necessary traveling with youngsters, but, unless you have a tent trailer, you are pulling an accessible restroom and refrigerator.
Before departure, for school age children, provide each one with some paper, a clipboard, pencil and pen. Have some places you will be visiting printed out from Google Maps for each child so they can follow along. Print out other sheets with things to look for ... a railroad crossing, a stop sign, a helicopter, a motorcycle, etc. and they can check them off as they find them.
Pick up some cheap items from a dollar store to use for 'special awards'. These places often have magnetic checker/chess sets and other games that are great for in car entertainment. Hold back some of the treasures you bring along for use in emergencies.
The thought of an RV Resort with a swimming pool and playground area is something the children can look forward to. When they ask how much longer give them a reasonably accurate estimate and a fresh thought as to what they might do or look for along the road.
RV Parks have restrooms, showers and sometimes laundry rooms. If you are traveling with several children this is a good thing.
Children can be very helpful in setting up and striking camp. Before your RV trip begins children should be assigned chores that will be their responsibilities ... first their own belongings to keep together neatly in their assigned space; but also each should have 'family' chores such as trash to the dumpster, meal prep and clean up to help the cook, pet care, etc. so that everyone including parents and grand parents may enjoy the vacation.
There is fun for everyone out there in our great nation. Try a little dry camping on BLM land, then stay in a state or federal park with trees and wildlife (and no sewers) or go to a commercial or private RV park with full hook-ups, wifi, swimming pool, rec hall... the works. It's ALL FUN!
You can take an RV vacation even if you don't own a recreational vehicle. Find information on how to rent an RV at the How to Rent an RV.com website.