This blog entry was written by a contributor author – Darla Preston. Darla has come up with some great tips in an easy to read format, and hopefully it helps you plan out your next adventure!
It’s that wonderful time of year again. The weather is warming up, symbolizing the commencement of prime RV season, and many enthusiastic travelers are starting to think about where they would like to go for their first big road trips of the year.
Whether you plan on going to the warm depths of the South or the breathtaking atmosphere of the Northwest, it’s helpful to do a bit of research when picking your next travel destination. While there is something liberating about being spontaneous, you’ll be much better prepared for unexpected variables if you have done a bit of research of where you plan to journey towards.
That being said, here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin to set your sights on the road:
What Is the Weather Prediction For the Dates That You’ll Be There?
There are very few of us out there who haven’t experienced a moment when we’ve worked hard to plan a picnic, hike, camping trip, etc. without it literally raining on our good time. In those moments, it’s easy to realize that taking two minutes to research the weather would have prevented the disappointment from happening, which is why it’s a smart idea to do this before a big RV trip.
Weather reports are rarely 100% accurate, but by researching the current prediction of the place you want to visit, as well as weather trends from the past, you can save yourself a big headache. After all, many RVers love to bask in the awe of the outdoors, but if a storm were to hit, lounging outside wouldn’t be nearly as fun (or as safe).
If you have your heart set on a certain spot but your research shows that the location is in the pique of its rainy season, it may be better to save that option for later down the road.
Is There a Fire Ban?
It’s hard to imagine camping and RVing without picturing yourself sitting around the fire at night, roasting gooey marshmallows, and talking about subjects that are immediately more interesting over the flickering flames. However, fire bans everywhere are increasingly more common. Sometimes this is because the general area has a dry climate and an increased risk of forest fires, and other times it’s simply the campground’s own policy. Nevertheless, if you’re set on the sentimental nature of the campfire, you’d be better off calling and asking the campground staff if you’d be allow to have one.
If you mostly like fire because the light allows you to stay up later in the dark, consider alternative lighting options, such as:
- LED add-ons for your RV awning. These attach easily to your awning so that you don’t have to retire to your rig when the sun sets. Many are remote-controlled and come in variations of colors, making them a fun and practical addition.
- LED lanterns. Just like with the RV awning lights, these allow you to extend the outdoor fun time into the night. For best results, look for ones that are waterproof.
- Flashlights. If you’re wanting to keep things simple and nostalgic, you can always use a couple of these age-old camping favorites.
Are You Going To a Popular RV Park?
If you’re going to a much sought-after campground, you always want to call in advance to reserve your spot. Many popular RV destinations get booked weeks and even months in advance, so remember that the early bird does get the worm.
Another thing that you want to consider is space. If you’re in a packed RV park, will there be sufficient space between spots? Do you mind having little elbow room, or would you rather seek out a campground that offers a bit more solitude?
You should be able to access this information on the RV park’s website or by simply calling and asking. Another way to see if the park has a comfortable vibe is to read the reviews other campers have left.
Is This the Best Place For Your Unique Needs?
A town might be beautiful and have a great deal of praise in the RV community, but an impressive reputation doesn’t necessarily mean that destination will meet all of your unique desires. Here are a few things to ask yourself when researching possible places to travel towards:
- Town/City. Does the town itself have any landmarks or history that interests you?
- Recreational activities. Does the campground have amenities, such as a pool, clubhouse, hiking trails, etc.?
- Access to town. Will the RV park be close enough to town so that you can visit the local attractions if you want?
- Food. If you do plan on leaving the RV park and going into town, do they have restaurants that will cater to your dietary choices/restrictions?
- Scenery. Does the campground have the type of scenery that interests you the most?
- Pet policy. Does the park allow dogs, and if so, do they have to be leashed at all times? Is there a special place at the campground for the dogs to run around?
Will You Have Time to Enjoy the Journey, or Will You Feel Rushed?
A common occurrence when planning a trip to uncharted territory is to get so excited about the new experience that you end up overbooking yourself. You want to stop at every landmark, check out every little town that you pass, take a picture of every beautiful mountain, etc. While this is completely understandable, it can often make your trip feel rushed instead of relaxing, especially if you have taken time off of work and have to be back at a certain time.
If you want to have a leisurely vacation that allows you to stop and smell the roses, avoid picking a destination that’s too far away. Unless you like the hustle and bustle type of traveling, try to choose a spot that allows you to mosey on down the road and have a few days to truly take in the feeling of freedom that RVing allows. If you’re in a time crunch to get back, your journey will feel like more of a deadline than a break from everyday obligations.
Choosing where to go is half of the fun of hitting the road in your RV. Hopefully these tips will help you find a location that will leave an everlasting happy memory in your mental scrapbook of RVing. Happy trails!
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This article was originally posted here.