Family Vacation: RV Travel Makes Memories on a Budget
Summer may be over, but it's never too early to start planning your next family adventure. Whether you enjoy a sojourn over the holidays, taking advantage of a long fall break, or look ahead to next summer, an RV vacation can be the perfect ticket for family fun.
Best of all for families watching their budget (and who isn't?), a recent study found that RV family vacations cost 28 to 59 percent less than car or plane travel. Of course, rising gas prices increase the cost of any trip, but the ability to combine transport and lodging into one all-purpose vehicle makes significant cuts into your overnight expenses.
In addition to state and national parks, where campsites with full hookups (water, electricity, sewage, and even internet) range from $15 to $50, those willing to go a night or two without those amenities can often find camping for less than $10 (or even free) in some incredible places. Websites like FreeCampgrounds.com list over 2000 free sites on a map that covers the entire lower 48 states. Although they're not all free, my favorite sites for family RV camping include Horsethief Lake Campground in South Dakota and the Squaw Flat Campground in Utah's Canyonlands National Park. On the east coast, I've enjoyed amazing vacations at RV campgrounds in both Mt. Desert Island, Maine (the home of Acadia National Park), and Key West, Florida.
For most families, the decision to travel in an RV boils down to the quality of the family time spent together without cramming the kids into the backseat, where long drives almost inevitably lead to somebody getting upset. In an RV, everyone can relax, play board games, and share meals while you roll on to your destination. With the perfect campsite chosen for the night, evenings are the perfect time for tossing a ball, going for a swim, or sharing s'mores around a campfire. And on an RV vacation, you don't even have to leave your dog at home. Each family member gets to enjoy the trip.
Don't think that because you're traveling in an RV, you need to drive every day. It's okay to find that perfect campsite and stay put for a while, taking your days to go on long hikes as a family, perfect your fishing cast, or just relax in a hammock and read a book. It's great to know that at the end of the day, you can retire to your bed on wheels, without having to check into another hotel or even set up a tent.
If you're looking for a way to connect with your family and generate real memories that are far more meaningful than watching TV in a hotel room, consider traveling in an RV for a family camping trip you'll always cherish.
Have you taken an RV vacation? What were your favorite parts? What aspects did you not like as much?
Picture Courtesy of Flickr