In 2022, about 65 million U.S. leisure travelers are expected to take an RV vacation. While summer is a popular time for many families to travel, many choose to take advantage of spring break. Maybe you want to avoid the overcrowded summer resorts and national parks, or perhaps you’re just eager to break out of your winter hibernation. Here’s what you should do to proactively plan a successful spring break trip that you and your whole family can enjoy.
1. CONDUCT MAINTENANCE CHECKS & MAKE NECESSARY REPAIRS
Ideally, you’ll want to conduct regular maintenance checks to stay on top of short-term and long-term RV upkeep. Although they may be inconvenient on the front end, routine maintenance checks alleviate financial stress by preventing surprise breakdowns, increasing vehicle efficiency, and lowering value depreciation. Some key areas and appliances to focus on during routine maintenance include a generator, washer/dryer combo, vent fans, or roof coatings.
If you find yourself struggling to complete these projects, look to alternatives to help you finish them. For example, if you want to complete a DIY project yourself, research what supplies you’ll need, an expected timeline to finish and the total cost. Or if you don’t have the finances to readily make these improvements, speak to a trusted financial advisor to help look for alternatives to fund these projects.
2. PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED
Even if you think your spring break destination will be filled with warm weather and sunny skies, spring travel can quickly be derailed with changing forecasts and road conditions. Even though you may not encounter extreme conditions, you may confront unexpected storm watches or storm warnings. To be safe, pack an RV emergency kit and brief everyone on the items included, how to use them and when to use them. If you have small children, you can even practice simulations before the trip so they feel comfortable and confident.
Another strategy to be prepared is to research and download the best weather apps for your needs. Apps range from all-service weather apps to weather apps that give hyper-local forecasts. Before leaving, be sure you’re clear about any upgrades or features of these apps that might have additional fees.
3. COORDINATE LEGS OF YOUR TRIP WITH LOVED ONES
Before taking off on your spring break trip, use this as an opportunity to see any family or friends that you haven’t been able to. Especially with the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, holidays, vacations, and trips with loved ones have been especially difficult. However, now is a great time to revisit old traditions and establish new ones.
Plan a day trip with your extended family or friends at a location that’s convenient for everyone to get to. Or, check something off of everyone’s bucket lists and visit a national or state park that no one has been to yet. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, gain inspiration from travel Instagram or TikTok accounts or social media influencers.
4. PACK SPRINGTIME HEALTH NECESSITIES
After a long winter season, it’s important to prepare for a change in the conditions. After rain, snow or chilly temperatures, you might forget the seasonal allergies that you or your family experience. Be sure to pack any springtime allergy medications or remedies that you’ve found work best such as eye drops, nasal sprays or inhalers. When packing these supplies in your RV, be sure to keep items like over-the-counter or prescription medicines in safe, locked areas that children cannot get ahold of.
It’s also important to know the springtime climate and conditions of the area you’re going to. While seasonal allergies might not affect you at home until later in the spring, certain areas are known for early or high pollen counts. A great way to educate yourself on your destination is by using an online allergy map. By adding the zip code of your destination to the interactive map, you can see yesterday, today’s and tomorrow’s allergy report, a 5-day outlook and the top allergens that are currently in the area.
5. PLAN SURPRISES TO KEEP KIDS ENGAGED THE WHOLE TRIP
Leading up to the trip, it’s important to allow your kids to be involved in the planning, preparation and decision making. To make your spring break more kid-friendly, ask them what they want to do during rest breaks, what they want to pack for clothes or what on-road entertainment they want to bring. This is not only a great way to keep them engaged and excited about the trip, but it allows them to take the initiative and responsibility to pack any additional items or accessories they might need like chargers or headphones.
Although, you might find that during the trip your kids are becoming bored or impatient, especially towards the end. To keep everyone in a good mood, find some time before the trip to plan little surprises without breaking the bank. A great example of how to do this is with DIY busy bags that you can make with inexpensive items from the drug store.
6. FIND ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO CAPTURE TRIP MEMORIES
Prior to the big departure day, take time to talk with your family about how you all plan to remember the trip. Rather than relying on your smartphone camera the whole time, talk about creative ways that you can document the trip for years to come. If you like to write or draw, buy journals for every family member to use during breakfast or by the campfire.
If your children like collecting material objects like shells or rocks, ask them to pick special items up and keep them in a safe place until the trip is over. When you get home, you can use these materials to create a vacation or memory keeping DIY craft. With options from flower press books to souvenir jars, this is a great way to let your kids’ creativity shine.
By starting preparations early, you can give yourself peace of mind that everything will be taken care of and thought through before day one of your spring break vacation. Remember though, roadblocks and unexpected turns are bound to happen. And when they do, try to find a sense of adventure in them.
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