For many of us, the daily grind can be exhausting. Working, parenting and trying to keep up can be mentally draining. One of the ways that some families recharge is to take a trip together. However, this can be intimidating for some who may be afraid of all the inevitable ups and downs that come along with family travel.
Being in the outdoors has immense benefits for families. It’s a wonderful way to get away and spend time connecting without the usual distractions of home. One of the ways you can get outdoors and travel with your family is to try RVing.
RV stands for recreation vehicle, and the term covers motorhomes, trailers, and camper vans (just to name a few). It is often a cheaper alternative to hotel traveling, and provides a unique experience for you and your family to get out into the wild together. Despite all the points in favor of this method of vacationing, some people may have some reservations. Additionally, RV's can be costly, and although some folks may be interested in trying it out, they might not be ready to commit to making such a big purchase.
This is where Outdoorsy comes in. Outdoorsy is a community that helps to connect RV owners with people who are wanting to try out RV travel. Think of it as like a vacation rental, but for motor travel. Their mandate is to help everyone experience the unique benefits of outdoor travel, even if they are not ready to become RV owners.
Moms.com had the incredible opportunity to talk to Outdoorsy Co-Founder Jen Young to get some of her best tips on how to make a great RV family adventure, and asked her take on dispelling some of the myths that surround RV travel.
When it comes to family travelling, planning is key.
We asked Jen Young for some of her best tips for successful family travel, and she delivered with this incredible advice:
"When planning your itinerary, think it through: How much driving are you prepared to do each day? Would you prefer to rush to see as much as possible or would you prefer to spend more time in fewer spots?," she says.
"When you do hit the road, make sure to have one or two road trip games up your sleeve to keep the kids entertained, but off their screens," Young suggests. She says games like, "iSpy, road trip bingo, and the Alphabet game are popular options."
"Also, take advantage of those historical markers and lookout spots – they're a great place to stretch your legs and get reinvigorated for the road ahead," she advises while not getting too hung up on the little things, like mess. "Embrace the messy," Young says. "There will be inevitable spills, bumps, mosquito bites, and sandy/dirt covered bed sheets. These are the memories that lead to family traditions."
Now one of the barriers for many families is cost.
We asked Young about how to make a family adventure affordable and realistic. Much of her advice again showed the power of planning, and how a little research and thought beforehand can help you create a worry-free plan that fits your budget and lifestyle.
Young advises, "create a 'non-negotiable' budget beforehand, but allow for a little 'slush' money in case of those unique-one-of-a-kind experiences." She goes on to explain a little more about these experiences. "The wonderful thing about RV and road trips are the quirky, off the radar, roadside attractions that just seem stumbled upon".
She also recommends doing some legwork to find the freebies. Young drops this advice that will help out with your entertainment budget- "Look into free activities taking place at National Parks in advance. Many times National (and state) parks host free, public events, from star-watch parties to guided nature hikes".
But what about those little costs that sneak up on you? Young advises planning for those too, and gives a tip about travel food: "Pack snacking essentials so there's no marked up spending on gas station sundries."
Although RV travel can be an incredible bonding experience for families, there are unfortunately some common misconceptions that people have that can result in them missing out on even trying it. This is one of the wonderful things about what Outdoorsy provides, a chance to try out a different and unique method of travel with relatively little commitment. We asked Young about the most common misconceptions people have about RVing.
She states the main misconception as that "all potential RV options are expensive, cumbersome, and restrictive. What consumers may not understand is that you aren't stuck renting one style of RV like traditional RV rental fleets. On Outdoorsy, you can choose the perfect rig for any family lifestyle and any size. We see our platform as selling experiences, and the RV is the vehicle to get you to have any experience you desire.”
And there are stats to back up the benefits of this method of travel. Young states some states from a recent 2018 poll:
"American families who camp (especially those in the millennial age group) say that it has a great deal of impact on reducing stress (45 percent of U.S. campers, as well as 45 percent of millennials), contributing to their emotional well-being (41 percent of U.S. campers, 43 percent of millennials), overall health improvement (39 percent of U.S. campers including 39 percent of millennials) and leading a healthier lifestyle (36 percent of U.S. campers, and 37 percent of millennials).”
With all the travel methods available, why try RVing? Well as it turns out, there are a few reasons that make RV travel a great option for modern families that are looking to get away. Young explains: “The traditional family vacation is shifting. Parents are realizing the hassle planning an entire trip entails; from flights, accommodations, transportation, eating out, and activity entry fees, the cumulative tally of costs alone can make a massive dent in household finances. Now, with social media and internet accessibility influencing travel purchase decisions, parents are getting resourceful and seeking different ways to optimize their time and resources spent with loved ones.”
She continues, “To add to the cost and convenience benefits, families are craving unique experiences that flee away from major tourist destinations. The antidote? There’s now a resurgence in road travel.”
While some families may be eager to try RV travel, it may seem overwhelming to try and plan a trip like this if it is something you aren’t accustomed to. This is where Outdoorsy shines. Not just a service to connect people and RV’s, Outdoorsy will also go a step further and help you plan a family trip that you will remember for years to come.
Young explains, “Outdoorsy takes the guesswork out of planning a family vacation. Renters can book the perfect RV, campervan, trailer, or adventure vehicle for their needs, gain expert recommendations on where to camp — and even which park has the coolest summer hiking climate — and they’re set. Their flight, accommodations, transportation, and miscellaneous finances are rolled into one easy process (and package). The time saved alone is a unique benefit, but RV travel is the domino effect of perks.”
Having all those ducks put in a row for you sounds like the ideal setup for most parents. She brings up another unique perk of this method of travel: “Another benefit? Normally, a mom’s biggest vacation hassle is ensuring everything has been packed for the whole family. In an Outdoorsy rig, you can pack whatever you want – no weight limits, baggage fees, or begrudging baggage claim lines required.”
So if you’re sick of the rat race and looking for a family adventure that will be memorable and hassle-free, take note of these tips and visit Outdoorsy today!