Ever feel like you’re in a rut? You know … same ol’, same ol’. I never thought it possible, but you can get into a rut when RVing. The good news? You can make small changes. And small changes can make a big difference to your RVing experience.
Change up the route
We’ve been fortunate to travel to Florida for the past several winters. Our RV has made it possible to enjoy warm days filled with sunshine. It’s been great! All except the drive to and from the Sunshine State. You see, we’ve taken the exact same route for years now. It’s a fairly direct route and the roads are no worse or better than those we travel at other times of the year. The thing is, we no longer enjoy the journey as we have in the past. Our “Whoo-hoo!” has become “Ho hum.” We’re definitely in a rut.
So, one small change we plan to make is to research and drive a different route to Florida. We have several choices, and none will significantly add to the trip’s total mileage. In changing up our travel route we’ll get to see different cities and new-to-us attractions, and experience different campgrounds, too.
If you make an annual trip, perhaps a change in your travel route is one small thing you can do that will help make your RV trip exciting once again.
Get to know your fellow campers
Another small change you can make that will keep RVing interesting is to talk to fellow campers. My husband naturally does this. It’s in his nature to approach others and strike up a conversation. I tend to be more reserved and introverted (more on how we deal with that here) and I think I’ve been missing out by not talking more to those we meet while camping.
Last year, for instance, I was walking past another RVer’s site. Little children were playing outside and I said, “Hello.” I hadn’t noticed the children’s grandfather sitting nearby, but he jumped up and replied, “Hello to you!” We spoke only briefly, but in the days that followed, I got to know his fascinating story.
Raul immigrated to the U.S. in his teens, raised a family while working in the sugar industry, and recently retired. He purchased his RV and now fills his days with travel and helping out with family.
I cheered Raul on as he attempted to teach his 4-year-old grandson how to ride a two-wheeler. He showed me how to cut a hole in a coconut and drink its juice. A friendship formed over a bicycle and a coconut and brief conversations. The small change of talking to fellow RVers made a big difference for me on that trip. I intend to continue this change as we travel in the future.
The extra day
Another small change that has made a big impact on the way we RV is taking an extra day. Here’s what I mean: We plan to stay in a location for one night only to discover that there are many things we’d like to see and do before we leave. We’ve attempted to cram a marathon of tours, hikes, and attractions into our one scheduled day, only to find we’re exhausted and still haven’t seen or done it all.
I realize that schedules may demand otherwise, but being retired means our schedule is quite flexible. A small change I hope we continue to make is taking that occasional extra day. Those additional hours enable us to more thoroughly explore an area at a reasonable pace. Yes, we may need to extend our campground reservation, and we might arrive a day late at our final destination, but if it means we can see and do more, it’ll be worth it.
We used to tell ourselves, “We can always come back sometime.” The problem is that we never seem to go back. You don’t know when circumstances like ill health, family issues, or finances will impact your ability to travel. That’s why taking an extra day now and then makes sense to me.
So, there you have it. Three small changes we’ve made and hope to continue. I realize everyone RVs differently and I’d love to hear about small changes you’ve made to make RVing more enjoyable, too. Please share them in the comments.
Perhaps if every university offering limited access freeway engineering had to require an advanced engineering class that involved the students to be strapped into a seat on the front bumper of a vehicle traveling at the accelerated speeds of rush hour traffic (computer simulations not allowed) traffic highway engineering would be considerably better. Food for thought.
I totally agree with you! We have a son and his family who live in Texas and so always travel through there to visit them. Even tho that’s a “big” state, we’ve made it our mission to use just about every route there is to get to and from him over the past 10 years so we see something new each time! I must say, we’ve really gotten to know Texas! 😉 It has made it fun, and kept some of those long stretches worth it. Adding extra days really pays off too, because like you, I’m the shy one in our duo, and it takes me that extra time to be able to meet the folks my husband has made friends with! Of course it also gives you that surprise of finding discoveries you didn’t know were there too. All good stuff!
After a whirlwind 30 day trip last summer, we wished we had added extra days to some of our stops. We had crammed so much into one day that we were exhausted! In our planning for our trips this year, we have added a few days where we can to easily see all the attractions in that area! Great suggestion!!
We did this several years ago for a trip from Central Texas to the east coast of Florida. Took I-10 all the way, but would make an overnight stay the first night, then the next stop we would stay 2 days to take in the interesting sights in that area. We continued to do this for the full trip: 1 overnight, then 2 nights. We thoroughly enjoyed that trip.
I enjoyed the article. And if we can rearrange our annual cycle of medical, dental, eye appointments, will likely do much as you suggest for our seasonal moves south & north. But add an extra travel day or so rather than alter our route.
The flip side to seeing new ground on our 1,600+ mile seasonal migration is a certain comfort and mostly stress-free level that our highly customized routing is tried & tested and baked into the GPS and highlighted in the atlas. You see, we try really, really hard to avoid large cities and stay the heck off the Interstate Highway system (where in my opinion RVers are not welcome), yet not drive hundreds of miles away from the fairly direct routing those “I-” named highways represent.
I love this article. I’m now looking for an alternate route to our campground in South Carolina. I’m the one who talks to everyone in the campground. We have met so many interesting people. To me, this is one of the best things about camping. It’s difficult to strike up a conversation with people staying at a motel. Staying an extra day is a little more difficult. There are some places we buzzed through that I wish we could have explored more. However, if a campsite is available that’s great but it probably would involve moving from our original site. That’s one of my least favorite things to do. Ugh. Though moving sites could offer up a new group of people we haven’t met yet. Camping is so fun!
The way the article started I thought it was going to be about rerouting your trip. I was going to say the trip from TN to Fl is fine except for the Atlanta fiasco. I have determined the only safe time to travel through Atlanta is between midnight and 4AM. Even the I 285 bypass is a rat race, traveling north on I 75 in the left lanes suddenly you find yourself heading to Charlotte, NC on I85. That’s as bad as Nashville where you merge onto I 65 from I 24 and must cross 3 lanes to continue on I 24W. Whoever designed these should be jailed for stupidity. Lol
My father use to say the people who design these roads have never been to the area nor driven there.
Bob P, Having driven thru Atlanta many times I have finally decided going thru downtown better than the by-passes. Having flown thru Atlanta, I would prefer driving – I never want to spend a night stranded in that airport again. As to Nashville on the Interstates, I seem to be in the wrong lane all the time and often forced to exit and visit the city trying to find my way back on the the Interstate. Living in the Tampa area, I know better than to get on to the I-75 / I-4 network mess. I think Eisenhower had a good idea, but never could have envisioned how engineers would befuddle drivers trying to get thru cities.
If you are interested, read “The Big Roads” by Earl Swift. FDR actually had the idea, it was only funded during Eisenhower.
Good tips! Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest difference.
Geez. You are smart guy!! Like your saying. Tried it on The Princess & got the look I was looking for!!!