Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Why full-time RVing limits holiday gift shopping… for the better!

By Nanci Dixon

In this holiday season of buying, buying, buying, and spending, spending, spending, and wrapping, wrapping, wrapping, and returning, I am reminded of the time, money, effort and stress that gifting for an ever-expanding list took.

I have learned that an advantage of full-timing in a limited-space RV and being far from family and loved ones is being virtually Black Friday and holiday-shopping-frenzy free! I have abstained from Black Friday for four years now, and forgone being up at 3 a.m. to race to a full parking lot to race others to the door for the best deals of stuff, stuff and more stuff! 

Stuff for kids, grandkids, husband, sisters, brothers in-law, dad, mom, friends. Stuff, despite whether they needed it or not, to check off the list.

Stuff from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday season sales and even after-Christmas sales. 

Sure, I fed the Christmas morning opening frenzy in the past. Worse yet, I created it! That doesn’t mean I don’t miss it: the kids and grandkids ripping through gifts; their squeals of delight or a restrained “thank you;” Christmas morning puff pancakes, juice and hot chocolate. But those times are gone and remain as treasured memories and really bad photos!

Now I see the ads on TV, the news reports of fights to get into stores, the packed parking lots, aisles devoted to nothing but gift wrap – and I breathe a deep sigh of relief.

Can’t buy more stuff for us in the RV without throwing something out, don’t know what the kids and grandkids really want and need from two thousand miles away, so I don’t have to wrap a thing. My husband and I agree we don’t need or want anything (but I did like a bracelet when we were in Mexico…).

This year we created cards electronically from the comfort of the RV, and picked out a couple of cards at the dollar store to send the kids and grandkids a check.

Let them brave the crazy holiday sales and accumulate all their own stuff… or better yet, put it in savings!

How much holiday shopping did you do this season? And where did you do most of it? Online? In stores? On Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Tell us in the comments!

Nanci Dixon is a full-time RVer living “The Dream.” She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodburyhttps://www.rvtravel.com
Emily Woodbury is the editor here at RVtravel.com. She was lucky enough to grow up alongside two traveling parents, one domestically by RV (yep, Chuck Woodbury) and the other for international adventures, and has been lucky to see a great deal of our world (and counting!). She lives near Seattle with her dog and chickens. When she's not cranking out 365+ newsletters for RVtravel.com she's hiking, cooking or, well, probably traveling.



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Johanne Cardinal (@guest_59314)
3 years ago

This is very true for us too. Since full timing (this is our 2nd set of ‘holidays’, I’ve asked our adult kids and “old enough” grandkids to pick a charity of their choice and tell us why they selected it in a short email. We make a donation to the grandkids’ chosen non profit organizations and ask our adult children to donate to their own chosen ones. Roughly the same amount of money is being spent but it goes to causes that really need it. It makes for interesting Skype chatters on Christmas Day! 🙂

Deborah Mason (@guest_59299)
3 years ago

Have been making custom T-shirts, etched glassware, etc the last couple years. The rest of the shopping online. We’re 2 hours from the nearest city of any size. Sadly, for a few families, the only way we know their gifts arrived was by checking the tracking numbers.

Sue (@guest_59442)
3 years ago
Reply to  Deborah Mason

My advice is to cross anyone off your gift list, kids included, if they don’t have enough appreciation for a gift to thank you for your effort — even if they don’t like it! Just sayin’.

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