Just out of curiousity, I did a quick search to see how RV was trending… so often we seem like the only families at campsites during the off-peak week-day visit. I was encouraged to see that it is on the rise in the 35-48 age group telling me that more families are opting to use a RV instead of investing in another time share property or staying in a hotel.
So it got me thinking… as a mom to five kiddos what are some of my favorite things about RVing?
1. Bathroom breaks while traveling are MUCH easier. If the kids need to use the restroom, no need to stop and use an unsanitary bathroom at some truck stop or fast food restaurant where you worry if you’re picking up some virus — nope, with a RV, you just alert the driver that you need to “go” and at the first available exit that offers a large parking lot or wide road shoulder area you can simply open the door to your RV bathroom and take care of business quickly and back on the road. Easy peasy — especially with kids!
2. It’s MUCH cheaper than getting a hotel room. With five children and two adults, we would either have to get two hotel rooms or a hotel suite that has a common area with two adjacent rooms — at the time of this posting that runs about $150-$200. A typical RV overnight, full hook-up site runs from $35-$55 depending on the time of year and the amenities offered — even cheaper than that if you are off season and stay a month! That’s about a 77% savings per night putting money back into our pocket to see and do more.
3. I get to sleep in my own bed. Call me a germaphobe, but I really like using my own pillow, my own sheets, and sleeping in my own bed. No bed bugs. No wondering what happened on my bedsheets the night before. I can rest easy knowing what has been on my bed and in my bed. ZZZzzzzzz…
4. No hidden cameras. No wondering if some hidden hotel camera has someone watching me sleep, get it on with my main man, or watching me change. Believe it or not, this is something that creeps me out about staying in someone else’s condo or in a hotel room. It should creep you out, too. Unless you’re an exhibitionist of course. (Of which I am not.)
5. I feel more relaxed. Yes, you still need to honor quiet hours and be courtiuos to your RV neighbors, but it wasn’t until we stayed overnight in a hotel room not too long ago that I realized how stressful it felt to keep kids quiet because people were on the other side of the wall.
6. Feel more connected to the outdoors. I have four sons and a daughter. I am convinced that kids need to be outside, exploring their world and learning thru those experiences. And there’s something comforting about sitting around a campfire and breathing it all in — these are magical moments for our family where we feel connected.
7. A door that will lock. OK, my husband laughs at me on this one, but I love the Jim Gaffigan joke about being pre-packaged for the bears. I seriously like keeping bad things out and good things inside of my RV. Maybe that’s silly, but for this girl, it helps me get my guys outdoors while also meeting my need to keep them safe. Win-win.
8. A sense of community. I absolutely love how RVers will reach out and say ‘hello’ to new neighbors and share from their resources. In a recent trip to the Florida panhandle, we had a neighbor give us a bag of satsuma oranges (delicious!) and another neighbor brought back oysters from the sandbar they went out to and some conches to show the boys. You do not get these kind of experiences in a hotel or in renting a condo — at least I haven’t experienced that and I’ve done a good bit of traveling over this life of mine.
9. I don’t have to get on a plane to experience another part of the world. Planes are great if you want to get somewhere quickly far, far away, but I really don’t like the process of having to micro-manage the packing for the kids, worrying about getting thru security in one piece with five kids in tow, and then keeping the kids content on a plane so that they don’t disturb nearby neighbors. This probably would also fit under #5, but feeling less stressed means I live longer, my husband is not as stressed also, and we can travel at a pace that works for everyone without worry about offending a fellow passenger.
10. I get to bring everything I need for comforts from home and the kitchen sink. Literally. Well, within reason of course – there are weight limits. But I am not limited by a 50 pound piece of luggage… I can plan ahead and bring along things that will make our travels easier and more enjoyable. So instead of always having to eat out, we can actually cook a meal and save money so we can explore more!
11. I like a good adventure. For fun, my grandparents use to take us for “rides”. They lived out in farm country and as a child I would question their mode of entertainment, but they would take me to the lake where we would look at the geese and the newly hatched gosslings… they would take me to stop and look at the miniature grand canyon feature near their home… and we’d drive thru the nearby park to see what the tourists were doing and do some people watching. What they taught me was to notice. To pause and take in my world. And this has stuck with me over the years I think. I want my children to never stop noticing the little things. I want them to grow an appreciation for history and the diversity of people. I want them to experience new things and grow as a person in a positive way from those experiences.
12. As we experience new things as a family, we grow as a family. Sharing new experiences together is not only fun, but it also is deeply satisfying to me personally. I’d rather make a new fun memory than spend money on a toy to keep my child occupied. I only have them for a short season. The time to explore and be together is now.