By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Family vacations are a tradition as old as travel itself. But these days with far-flung family and dwindling free time, planning a trip that’s fun for everyone takes on greater importance.
Many people are finding that traveling by RV offers the perfect scenario for vacations. Hitting the highway in an RV is an increasingly popular choice for families who want to arrive at their destination happy and relaxed. With an RV, families can travel at their own pace and take in sights without worrying about finding lodging and meals.
No more searching for a restaurant when hunger pangs strike. In an RV everyone can eat when they’re hungry — without succumbing to over-priced junk food from the drive-through. Picky eaters or those on special diets are no problem when you travel with your own kitchen. Bring along a portable grill for barbecue meals, or pop in a pizza. On-board refrigerators make it easy to stock up on healthy snacks like fruit, veggies and dip.
RVs also mean comfort for every member of the family — including the four-legged ones. You don’t have to choose between kennels and cargo holds. More and more campgrounds and parks are pet friendly (provided you follow the rules), though you should double-check before you pull in. Most pets enjoy traveling, but do a few test runs in the weeks prior to your trip to make sure your furry friend doesn’t have issues with motion sickness or anxiety. Remember to tag your pet with your local address and to bring copies of vaccination records.
Pack as much as you need. RVs have plenty of storage whether you’re traveling for a week or for several months. As airline carry-on restrictions become tighter, it’s becoming more difficult to bring all the items you need for a family vacation. Packing cribs, car seats, toys and clothes can take up every square inch of space in the family car, and all of it needs to be carted across parking lots and up stairs at each stop. An RV means everyone can take along the items important to them, and you’ll still have room for fun extras like board games, in-line skates, musical instruments, art supplies and craft projects.
Prior to departure, ensure your safety and peace of mind by performing a thorough check of your vehicle. Careful planning and preventive maintenance can help you avoid bumps in the road, but it makes sense to be prepared just in case something does happen. A stocked toolbox could save you time-consuming and costly repairs. For a real feeling of confidence, consider joining an auto service club. The Good Sam Club, which began in 1966 as an association of RV owners, offers many benefits to its members, including roadside assistance. Even better, Good Sam members enjoy a 10 percent discount at hundreds of RV parks across the U.S., access to trip planning services and discounts on insurance rates.
Remember to use your travel time as an opportunity to connect with your family. Share stories, start traditions and make memories. Traveling by RV offers the opportunity to explore the scenic vistas, national parks, vacation hot spots and top destinations with comfort and convenience. Hitting the road gives families the chance to reconnect, relax and rejuvenate.
Photo: R&T De Maris