As a mom, the idea of taking an RV trip with the family is one that appeals to me in more ways than one. First, I hate flying so it’d be nice to take that out of the equation for a family trip.
At the same time, I hate long car rides, but in an RV you have to wonder if those rides would even be so bad.
It also seems great to be able to bring a lot of your own things with you, and create the comforts of home in the RV, plus there’s just a general sense of excitement and adventure that goes along with traveling this way.
RV trips give you a lot of freedom and flexibility in the overall planning and execution of your trip as well.
So what’s not to love?
Of course, I have relatively young kids, and then I think about my brother who’s the father of two one-year-old twins. How would he take an RV trip?
Flying isn’t really an ideal option for his family right now because it’s just a lot of struggle with the babies, but how would he keep his kids safe if he were to travel this way?
I started thinking about it and doing my own research since I know it’s something we’d both like to do.
The following are some of the tips and ideas I came up with in the process.
Renting an RV
This isn’t specific to having kids, but there is a great site called Outdoorsy that lets you rent RVs directly from owners. They are the ‘Airbnb’ for RV rentals. You can name your pickup location and date, as well as when you’ll be dropping off and search for what’s available in your area.
It seems much simpler and less expensive than having to rent from somewhere like a dealership, and much like Airbnb, you can see plenty of pictures and read reviews. It’s an excellent concept if you’re considering a family RV vacation.
When you’re driving, it can be tempting to avoid car seats and seat belts, but that’s not a good idea. In fact, it’s recommended that kids stay buckled in at all times while you’re on the road, and if you have younger children as my brother does, they’ll need their car seats.
While kids aren’t intended to ride in the front seat of regular vehicles, in an RV this might be the safest area for car seats, because these front passenger seats might be the only ones that have the proper level of restraint for a car seat.
You may find based on the layout of the RV you rent that riding with the littlest kids in a separate passenger vehicle can be best. That can be a plus not just from a safety perspective, but then you’ll also have another car on-hand when you get to your destination. You can also rent a trailer instead of an RV and tow it behind your passenger vehicle.
Once your kids are older, you can forego the separate vehicle or trailer option, but they should be buckled in anytime you’re driving.
When you’re choosing campgrounds for your trip, try to find some with kid-friendly offerings, such as a pool or a game room. Getting to know your neighbors can be one of the best parts of RVing, so the parents can enjoy getting to know one another, while your kids might find some other little ones to play with as well.
Also, if your kids are a bit older think about choosing an RV with room for their bikes or outdoor toys that they can bring along.
When you’re choosing your campground keep in mind that you’ll want hook-up options as well unless you want a really rustic trip.
Regarding actual destinations to visit, national parks are always amazing, or you might want to go somewhere coastal. Both types of trips seem to be a big hit with kids.
As a final note, when you’re planning your RV vacation with children, think about the sleeping arrangements.
A lot of RVs will have a layout that includes the main bedroom, and then they’ll have lofted or bunk beds throughout the vehicle. If you have young kids and the beds are up high, make sure you bring your own bedrails.
This will keep little ones from falling off in the night, and it will ensure that you get to take advantage of all the available sleeping options in your vehicle.