*a guest post by Hannah Stevens*
We have all been there before at one point or another in our lives. Maybe it was as children on that cross-country trip to see the Grand Canyon. Maybe it was a few years back on a road trip with our old college roommate, or it might have even been last week on a family trip with the kids and the grandparents. You have the itinerary all planned out; where you are going to go, the places and sights you want to stop and check out, the restaurants you want to grab a bite at, and even the campgrounds you plan to spend the night in.
And then it happens, an obstacle here and there, a wrong turn or two, or one roadside headache after another all working to derail your trip before it even gets going. You might have forgotten a crucial item when packing, failed to bring the right documentation for border crossings, or just plain realized that something important you planned to do isn’t going to be feasible for some reason or another.
Regardless of what trials and tribulations may befall you when you and your family are traveling down the highway, one fact remains; you’re still on the open road, and that is an awesome place to be. While no one would purposefully intend to embark on a messy vacation with their loved ones, the truth is that even the worst trip in an RV can still be a lot of fun and provide a lifetime of memories, no matter how many little bumps in the road you might hit.
With all of these things in mind, we thought it might be helpful for those of you who are planning to pack up and hit the road for your next family getaway if we took a look at a few of the most common issues people run into when traveling and vacationing in an RV. Investing a few minutes to go over these little problems and their simple solutions could make the difference between enjoying a smooth ride and battling a rough road for the duration of your trip:
This is something that you can neither predict nor control. Mother Nature has a tendency to do what she wants, when she wants and the rest of us are pretty much stuck having to deal with it. While this is usually no big deal on regular days when our biggest priority is going to work or to school, it can be beyond frustrating when it interferes with the activities we have been planning on enjoying for months.
The best way to handle this is to have a backup plan in case something happens to your outdoor activity. So, what if that state fair or traveling carnival you were planning on checking out has to close down early due to thunder and lightning storms? There are most likely several options in any given area for indoor activities that would be equally fun. Have a few alternative choices picked out in case the elements decide not to cooperate on a certain day.
Traffic Jams and Road Closures
This one is certainly no fun for anyone, and it is just as uncontrollable as the weather. And heaven help you if it’s bad one that causes traffic to be backed up for hours. Under normal circumstances a person would understandably become highly frustrated and bored beyond belief, but wait a minute; you’re basically in a house on wheels!
You can take this time to enjoy games with the family, watch a little TV, surf the internet, or even fire up the stove and have a snack. Look, we know nobody in the family (especially the kids) wants to be stuck on the road and moving at a snail’s pace, but planning for the possibility by bringing games and other fun activities you can enjoy from the inside of your RV can definitely make the hours pass much faster. And if worse comes to worst, you can always just take a nap!
Not Enough Money for Food
Something else to consider is that all of that stopping at different restaurants and eateries to sample various treats and regional fare you may not be able to get at home can put a dent in the travel budget. If you find that you have spent a little too much on food and you still have a ways to go, try checking out some of the local farmers markets or grocery stores to pick up meals and snacks that can be prepared right in the comfort of your own RV.
After all, it doesn’t have a refrigerator, stove, oven, and microwave for nothing. And if you get one with a pop out option you can set up camp and break out the barbecue pit for burgers and hot dogs. How can you go wrong with that?
Wrong Turns and Missed Exits
It happens pretty often, especially on long trips to unfamiliar destinations. No matter how recently the GPS updated… At some point it is going to tell you to make a turn or take a road that leads you off course. Other times it might be that you didn’t realize how quickly you were coming up on your exit. You just didn’t have time to get over. Regardless of the reason… There is simply no reason to let these minor annoyances ruin what is otherwise the vacation of your dreams.
The idea isn’t to make perfect time and keep an exact schedule right down to the refueling stops. The point is spending quality time with the people that you love the most; your family. No matter how many hiccups you might run into from the time you leave your driveway to the time you pull back up to it… You only have this finite amount of time to make the most of this incredible opportunity you have to get out and see the country.
Roll down the window and let that open road air fill the cabin. Soak up that sunshine from the West Coast. Take in the beautiful scenery of rolling hills and majestic mountains. Watch the sunlight dance and sparkle on the surface of the ocean.
This is freedom. This is family. And this is an experience to be shared and enjoyed. Nothing worth doing ever goes perfectly. Make the little inconveniences and annoyances part of the trip. When you look back on it years from now… They will be nothing more than minor footnotes that you and your family crack jokes about.