Childhood summers were once a time of total freedom. But summers are different for families these days. Even family vacations can be wrought with stress. It really doesn’t have to be that way! An RV Family Vacation is an easy way to recapture the nostalgia of decades past and put “family” back in family vacations.
RVing is rapidly becoming a trend among every demographic, from retirees to young families. My family gets it. We became full time RVers five years ago this month. The affordability and ease that comes with RVing transformed the way we travel. It, literally, brings my family closer together. From the planning to the journey, and ultimately to the destination, we are all intimately involved.
We’ve become incredibly vocal advocates of family RV vacations. The entire experience from start to finish is amazing, but family bonding has to be the top reason we embraced the RV lifestyle. We thought we were close prior to becoming a full-time traveling family, but we are exponentially closer now.
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You may not be able to quit your jobs, homeschool your kids and travel full time, like we do. But you can Go RVing on a week-long family vacation and enjoy many of the same benefits.
RVing is one of those life changing activities, a life hack, if you will. It keeps on giving back long after the family vacation is over. It changes your perspective, it changes your outlook and it changes your family. Here’ how a typical RV day looks for us:
Following are some of the amazing ways RVing has enhanced our life and our family’s relationships. Even after a week-long RV family vacation you will start to experience these benefits..
Every Day is Like Christmas
Sounds crazy, I know, but RVing truly does make me excited to wake up in the morning, eager to see what the day has in store. And I’m NOT a morning person!
RVing gives us the freedom to relax enough to observe and take in the little things in life, the roadside water park, the kids’ laughter, a quick stop at a friend’s house you haven’t seen in years, a detour to show the family your childhood home. There is just so much freedom and leisure afforded through RVing that I cannot imagine any other way of traveling.
I am a firm believer that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. But, so many of us forget to stop and breathe. We are such a busy culture, oftentimes we forget to have fun. We’ve lost our ability to just be. An RV family vacation offers the chance to restore the childhood art of living in the moment and waking recharged and excited for every new day.
Oftentimes, meals while traveling are hurried and rushed, especially when staying in hotels. Breakfast is often dry foods, lunch on the go, and dinner is often fast food. When RVing, every meal can easily be prepared and eaten together, as a family, just like at home. If you aren’t in the habit of eating together as a family, there is no better time to start. It’s old school Family 101.
Eating together is foolproof. Have you ever met a kid who doesn’t love to eat? Lay out the food and they will come and they will chat.
And, since most RVs have full kitchens it is so easy for families to eat daily meals together inside, at their family table. And, just like at home, cell phones, laptops, schoolwork can all be banned, so the only thing left is old fashioned talking, bonding and discovering.
At the table is often where I find out who has a crush on who. It is where I learn about the old man at the pool who yelled at one of the kids for splashing. It is also where I am able to dole out light-hearted advice and have it actually register with the kids.
Vacationing in the RV either helps continue this tradition of eating meals together or provides the perfect environment to begin.
An RV vacation is leisurely travel at its best.. There is no set-in-stone schedule, no rush, no baggage claims or fees, no delays. Instead, you depart on your time, at your leisure. No yelling, no screaming, no tears and no frustration.
It is also the perfect opportunity to plan for detours, making the road trip just as much about the journey as it is the destination.
We’ve been able to plan visits to family and to friends that we hadn’t seen in years because we had the flexibility to do so. The kids have mapped out interesting touristy things to do as well as hikes and climbs and even found whitewater to kayak as we plan our trip. For us, allowing them to be involved in the planning is an integral part of their education as lifelong travelers.
And, let’s not forget about the spark of spontaneity. I’ll tell you this, there has never been a road trip where one of our kids discovered something along the way, that we didn’t veer off to go explore. It happens every time.
Now I’m not going to lie We started RVing because it was the only feasible way for our family of 14 to travel. This might shock you, but until we purchased an RV we didn’t travel anywhere. The cost of hotels, airfare, eating out, etc. for a family of our size priced us out entirely. But an RV is a triple whammy–it serves as our travel vehicle, our accommodations, and our meal plan, all rolled into one.
In fact, according to Go RVing, an RV family vacation can cost a family of four up to 59% less than other modes of travel! That’s crazy substantial and explains why we are able to swing it.
Plus, you can tack on even more savings when it comes to renting gear. RVs have an incredible amount of storage space. That means you can bring your bikes, skateboards, surfboards, kayaks, golf clubs, boogie boards, and whatever else your heart desires. We actually bring all this plus a set of dumbbells. What’s a family vacation without fun, right?
The way I see it, an RV is an investment in your family.
Home Cooked Fare
I’m a health food nut. I generally abhor the idea of eating out because I like to know what is in the food I am serving my family. RVing has transformed the way we eat when traveling because we eat exactly the same on the road as we do at home … real food.
It’s so easy, it’s almost crazy. Many RVs come equipped with full service kitchens—some even rival residential kitchens. From granite countertops to induction burners and convection ovens, you will never find yourself at the mercy of a fast food restaurant when traveling in an RV.
And, because everyone asks us, two additional major kitchen hacks are our Vitamix blender and the our new Instant Pot. We don’t leave home without them! Proof that an RV is a very convenient extension of your home.
Get Unplugged (At Least While Outdoors)
While smart phones, tablets and notebooks certainly make it easier to stay connected to the world, they also make it nearly impossible to “Find Your AWAY” and equally as difficult to connect with your family. If everyone’s eyes are glued to screens, how do you bond?
An RV vacation gives us the freedom to go beyond the reaches of airports, and hotels and wifi signals. As a fully self-contained vehicle, we can take our family into the most remote places and find peace, joy, solitude and adventure with nary a sacrifice.
There are so many amazing destinations in North America and beyond that are more conducive to RVing than any other form of travel. Our national parks have RV campgrounds and offer incredible family adventure, or you can venture off into the wilderness in places like the Rocky Mountains or the rugged Oregon Coast, to name a few. Truly, there is no shortage of wilderness for you to explore.
Without any distractions, some of our best memories are, in fact, from unplugged vacations!! We left refreshed, revived and physically rejuvenated!
Life Slows Down
We have found that life slows to a crawl when traveling in our RV. While most of our travels take us to the most remote of places, and while our focus is specifically on adventure, we also have a penchant for the quieter moments in life.
RVing is funny that way. It seems the days and nights are longer and we have more time with each other than we ever did. We find that, even after a day full of kayaking or climbing or whatever, we have plenty of time to relax and just be with each other.
Our evenings consist of games, sunset hikes, exploration, reading, Slacklining, hammocks, stargazing, bonfires, S’mores, ghost stories, etc. And, when we crawl into bed, we are content and filled with joy. Our minds are calm and peaceful. We are family.
So many things these days separate families. It’s our job, as parents, to keep the focus inward. An RV family vacation is truly a way to stay connected, to bond, and to renew the relationships within.
As a mom to 12, I’m fully aware how difficult travel is, or was. But, RVing changes all of that. A family RV vacation literally gives you the ability to focus on all the important things and none of the unimportant things. It is a life changing experience, where each member of the family slowly transforms from the social, public them into their real, true authentic self.
And the simplest, most organic vacations are, surprisingly, the ones you and your kids will remember the most. That’s why RV family vacations are so amazing. You can literally drive down the road or across the country and have the most amazing, incredible vacation.
So, why not Find Your AWAY?