Kids can often be challenging to travel with. Are we almost there? This is boring! Tell him to stop touching me! Most anyone with children can relate to these common statements heard while traveling.
Kids…it’s all about them!
If you can put yourself in their frame of mind to plan out your travel, it’ll make the trips more fun for everyone.
First, what are their ages?
Depending on how old each child is, you’ll want to be sure to tailor basic things around this factor.
Teens are going to bring more clothing. Teens and tweens want to look cool and so you can count on needing more suitcase space for the. Younger siblings will bring more “stuff,” so make sure they have a bit more space in the vehicle.
Your teens will expect to have alone time, even when they’re with the rest of the family. Ear buds, smart phones and pillows are must-haves.
Tweens and younger kids may be more open to watching movies and playing games while on the road from one destination to another. Having a portable DVD player or individual ones for the kids can be a real life-saver when you’re traveling long distance.
Playing games with the whole family while on the road still seems to be the most popular way to make the time fly by! Let’s take a look at some of the most popular games to play while traveling.
- Name a food with every letter of the alphabet – everyone takes a turn at naming a food that starts with an A, then B….you get the rhythm.
- Find all the state license plates – this is a team game that can be spread out over the course of the entire trip. Designate your “teen” (if you have one) to be responsible for logging each state. There are even FREE apps to make this game fun for everyone. You can even add some trivia about each state as you add it to your list!
- What Am I? – Start with one person who thinks of an animal. Others rotate, taking turns asking one question at a time. Pay attention to narrowing down what the animal may be. If you ask a question, you can’t guess what you think the animal is. You have to use your turn for a single question or a guess.
- The Sign Game – Each person has to shout out a word they see on signs that begin with each letter of the alphabet, in order. This game goes by fast and can get loud, but it’s FUN!
- Word Association – One person begins with a word, and the next person has to name a word that’s associated. This continues from person to person until someone messes up. Then the game starts again.
With all these ideas the trip with kids is sure to be enjoyable for everyone! If these ideas aren’t enough, check out these other games on BuzzFeed.
When you get to your destination, ask in the RV office what activities they offer for kids. Stonebridge RV Park in Sweeny, Texas, offers corn hole, catch-and-release fishing, swimming and many more fun things.
If you love fishing and you love the country, Stonebridge RV Park and Resort is the perfect place to spend some time this year.
Fishing is so relaxing.
Who doesn’t like to kick back beside a pretty lake and throw a line for a couple hours? You can start by setting up your lawn chair, close enough to have a seat while you wait for that bite. Open your tackle box and set it by your chair, so if you need something it’s right there handy.
Here are some of the specific items you’ll need while fishing.
You’ll for sure want to have either live bait, dead bait, or lures. Depending on what you’re hoping to catch, that’s how you’ll decide what you bait you’ll use. When you catch the fish, you’ll most likely need a net. Pliers are also necessary in case the fish swallows the hook. Some fishermen like to have a pair of gloves handy just for such purposes. Other items that you’ll want to be sure and have in your tackle box are extra line, hooks, and weights.
And don’t forget about some of the more “convenient” items to bring along fishing. A wide-brimmed hat to keep some shade over your face and a pair of sunglasses so the glare of the water doesn’t blind you. Also, you’ll want something refreshing to drink while you kick back and relax.
Don’t forget to read up on the park’s guidelines before you head out to the lake and pond.
At Stonebridge all fishing is catch-and-release, so guests of all ages can enjoy fishing for years to come. Because of this rule, you’ll find some monster fish! Be sure to have your camera handy for those quick pictures before you release your catch back into the water.
It’s so nice to see so many different people, from small children to grandparents, having fun fishing while they visit the park. It’s just one of the great amenities the visitors and long-term guests get to enjoy.
Traveling full time may mean you’re staying long-term at many parks & resorts. For this reason, you’ll want specific amenities that will meet your needs.
Long-term parks offer many amenities other resorts don’t.
Full-time RVers or those relocating temporarily for work require more amenities. Having access to grocery items, laundry services, exercise facilities, extended site space and more privacy are important. Let’s take a look at each of these and why they matter.
Access to groceries on a regular basis is a must when you’re traveling long-term.
Full-time RVers tend to cook meals frequently rather than eating out. Not only does eating out cost more, it’s definitely not as healthy. Finding a variety in restaurant choices also poses challenges. For these reasons, cooking meals is more appealing. Having access to fresh groceries is a paramount factor for RVers staying in one place for long periods of time.
Laundry services is also a vital amenity when choosing a long-term RV site.
With limited storage space for clothing, RVers need access to washers and dryers. Some professionals may prefer a wash and fold service, or even dry-cleaning. Some executive RV parks offer pick-up and delivery laundry services, or even have this service on-site. One park that boasts a lovely laundry facility with room to work and relax is Stonebridge RV Park in Sweeny, Texas.
Exercising while traveling is key to living healthy.
Many RV parks and resorts have state of art exercise facilities. RVers who travel for work especially look for this amenity. Being able to get a workout in even when the weather is terrible outside is crucial to maintaining a life-balance. Easy RV, one of our partners in the travel industry, highlights Steve Kamb, who founded Nerd Fitness, in this awesome blog.
Last, but certainly not the least important to long-term RVers, is adequate privacy.
Travelers who need to stay in a particular area for longer lengths of time, look for a little more space. Understandably, if you’re staying in one spot for awhile, you’ll want more privacy than the average RV park offers. Some parks have special spots they reserve for long-term guests or shift-workers. If you’re planning to stay in one location be sure to let the manager know when making your reservation, so they can assign you the most advantageous site.
Most RVers and campers have stories to share about obnoxious families who create such havoc and unrest while setting up. You don’t want to ruin the ambiance for everyone else. This article will help you plan your arrival and your set-up strategy, so your neighbors will invite you around the campfire instead of telling stories about you behind your back.
The Quiet Arrival
Realize how you handle your arrival when there are others nearby will set the tone for your entire experience. Some parks have arrival cut-off times, be there by a particular time or you must wait until the following day. The rest of the parks probably allow for arrivals at any time, such as Stonebridge RV Park.
The impression you make by arriving quietly will go a long way towards good relations with others nearby. The folks who are already there may be in the middle of a family meal, a nap or other activities that require consideration. People appreciate thoughtfulness.
It’s a good rule of thumb to plan on arriving at any location well before sunset. There are a couple of reasons for this helpful guideline. First, you’ll need plenty of light to get parked correctly at your site. Seasoned RVers can vouch for all sites being different and many times this requires some pretty skilled parking maneuvers. Oh the stories that can be told after kicking back on a Friday afternoon and watching the arrival of 100 RVs and trailers pouring into the busiest of parks near popular tourist destinations.
Also, day light is necessary to familiarize yourself with your site amenities. Hooking up your amenities in the dark is no fun. Securing your site and ensuring safety for those who will be walking around the area is important. Once you’re connected to the services, it’s time to personalize your site for comfort and enjoyment.
Setting Up Requires Thoughtfulness and Planning
As you’re customizing your spot with rugs, chairs, table, cooking supplies, lighting and whatever else you like to bring along, keep in mind, setting up quietly and efficiently is key to being a good neighbor. Assigning tasks will result in a quicker set-up, when everyone helps it’s much faster! We love this good tip from GoRVing which is a running list of supplies to remember each time you hit the road. In all your excitement planning for the trip, it’s easy to forget important items that can make camping better.
Fun research and face-time with several groups of full-time RVers helped us develop this list of cool gadgets. We’ve also included links to where you can find these items. Please add your favorite items to our list by commenting below.
Here’s our got-to-have list:
- Electrical Management System (EMS) Hard-wired or Portable – Surge protectors offer complete protection for any RV that uses 30 or 50 amp electrical service. Our faves are from Progressive Industries (hard-wired: EMS-HW30C / EMS-HW50C and portable: EMS-PT30X / EMS-PT50X).
- Freestanding stainless ice-maker by Igloo – No drain required for this plug-in model that can make up to 26 lbs of ice in 24 hours, perfect for an RV.
- Boil Kettle – Stop using propane to boil water when you have an electric kettle! We love Chef’s Star Borosilicate Glass Electric Kettle, 1.7 liter; it boils a quart of cold water in about 7 minutes.
- Portable Satellite Dish – We found the King VQ4500 Tailgater to be the most popular with the fewest negative remarks. Made specifically for RVers, you’ll love this luxury item.
- Instant Pot – Once you begin using this 6 quart, 7-in-1 multi-use pot, you’ll find it hard to do without it. This cooker will help you create some yummy meals on the road.
- Awning Shade – Whether you’re looking for a little extra privacy or a little more shade, you’ll love these new shades by Tentproinc. You’ll attach this to the front or sides of your awning.
- Trailer Hitch Stand and Hammaka Chair Combo – You’ll love lounging in these chairs that can be easily installed to a pick-up or RV.
- Wifi Connections – Really. All the time. All your devices. Check out WiFi Ranger.
- Water Pressure Regulator Valve – Renator makes the best and you’ll be glad you took the time to pack one of these devices. Hence, don’t start running the shower and kitchen sink faucets without it.
- Quick-Zip Sheets – It’s tough to put regular sheets on most RV beds, so we guarantee you’ll love Quick-Zip Sheets because they make bed-making hassle free!
As you meet other travelers at Stonebridge RV Park or on your road trips, you’re bound to be introduced to other awesome gadgets that make rving a little more comfortable, so be sure and check back in with us and let us know if you’ve found something you think others will want to hear about.
Sticking to a good exercise program while traveling in an RV is very attainable. The challenge for many travelers is making a regular workout a priority when many times your location can change on a daily basis. One of the many things people like about traveling, is getting outside, and not staying cooped up indoors. At Stonebridge RV Park in Sweeny, Texas, guests have plenty of room for exercise. Travelers tend to apply the same thought to exercising while on the road. Who wants to be inside a gym when there is so much outdoor space to explore?
When it comes to working out, there are as many fitness experts handing out advice as there are DVDs, magazines and other resources offering up exercise routines and so much more. A favorite standout in the niche of working out while traveling is Steve Kamb who founded Nerd Fitness. Steve’s exercise routines are made for everyone, no matter if you are a beginner or life-time exerciser. One of the most amazing motivational pieces we’ve come across about working out while on the road, is Steve’s Basic Workout You Can Do Anywhere that we found while reading through Nomadic Matt’s traveling blog about staying in shape.
Kamb focuses on basic strength training that works out your muscles, joints & tendons each time. Take a few minutes and watch the video he provides in his travel work-out plan. This workout targets every muscle with just a few moves that help you get stronger and stay healthy. Find a park or a playground where you have enough space on the ground to do your squats, push-ups and something to hand from for your pull-ups (don’t worry if you can’t do pull-ups, he gives you the option to throw in anything you can use to do rows instead).
Here is Matt’s exercise starter kit:
- 3 sets of 10 body weight squats
- 3 sets of 10 push-ups
- 3 sets of 10 lunges
- 3 sets of 10 crunches
- 3 sets of 10 backpack lifts
That’s it. Do this routine 2-4 times weekly and you are bound to feel a difference in your energy level. While you’re traveling, you’re probably already doing some hiking, walking tours, biking or other fitness activities that make staying healthy much more fun…keep it up!
The great thing about Steve’s basic exercise routine, is you can truly do it wherever you are…even inside a trailer or motorhome if it’s raining! Check-out the floor plan of this beauty that’s for rent through Easy RV and visualize yourself getting your workout on!
After a full day of traveling, your kids are bound to be in search for some fun when you finally stop for the night. You’re not alone when you start thinking about what to do after you get hooked up. You can bet the kids are thinking the same thing.
Rather than listening to all the complaining, pack up these ideas and take them along on your next road trip
- Corn Hole Contest – You can buy these game sets out of a variety of materials, but some of you handyman types may want to make your own. This Old House provides easy DIY instructions for building your own corn hole set & fun ways to personalize it. All ages can play.
- Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest – If your kids like watermelon, they’ll love gathering the seeds and spitting them as far as they can. You get the watermelon, you set the rules, and get ready for some laughs!
- Rock Painting – Let the kids take a walk in search of smooth rocks (big enough to paint or write on) while you get out the markers and/or paints. Have the kids wash the rocks in a bucket outside and dry them. Everyone can enjoy this activity, they make clever gifts for friends or family!
- Balloon Challenge – All you’ll need is a blown-up balloon (bring a bag of extras for when they pop). The challenge is to keep the balloon from hitting the ground. It can be played with two or more people. Hit the balloon from person to person, counting the number of hits until it touches the ground.
- Eye Spy Scavenger Hunt – A little competition and just plain fun, there are many ways to play this game. One of our favorites is from The Joys of Boys site, called Eye Spy Nature. Click HERE to link to their free printable list, or better yet, make your own. The items on your list should vary depending on the ages of your kids.
- Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Toss – For less than $10 you can find this night-time game at most Walmarts and it will provide hours of fun for the whole family.
- Build a Campfire – Everyone should learn to build a campfire, and all the safety tips too. Be sure to check first if campfires are allowed at your campsite. You’ll need tinder, kindling and firewood which you should be able to find in your surroundings. Don’t forget to brush up on your campfire songs.
- Make S’mores – Once you have a nice fire burning, get the kids to find a few 2-3′ sticks. One of the older kids or an adult can whittle one end of each into a point for the marshmallows. Your camping s’mores kit should include graham crackers, chocolate & marshmallows in one gallon baggy. Mmmm good!
- Flashlight Tag – This is the classic game of hide and seek, but played with flashlights.
- Fun Campfire Recipes – Your family will never tire of the kid friendly camping recipes that we found on the Dating Divas website. The meals are nutritious and super fun to put together. Let your kids pick the meal and do the cooking.
- Tin Can Lanterns – Don’t throw away all those tin soup cans, wash them out, file down any sharp edges and put them in a craft bin/bag with a couple permanent markers, a small hammer, a couple of nails, and some tea lights or votive candles. The kids can make a design with dots on the outside of their can and then take the nail and place it on the dots and lightly hammer the nail until it makes a hole in the tin. Once it’s dark, light a candle inside and they’ll be delighted with their handiwork. The lanterns will add ambiance to any campsite.
- Wiffle Ball – The game has been around for decades and is the perfect outlet for pent-up energy. The bat is light enough for kids of all ages and the perforated plastic ball keeps players safe. Play in a field, shallow water or on pavement. Remember to yell WIFF whenever someone swings and misses.
- Round Robbin Storytelling – A round robin story is one that each person adds to. It’s most common to create a story sentence-by-sentence, going around in a circle. This is a fun way to end a day while sitting around the campfire.
- Map Making – Understanding what a map is, and how to read one is a great skill for kids of all ages. The area surrounding your campsite is a perfect spot for your kids to try and make their own map. You can talk about landmarks and teach them about directions. All they’ll need is some some paper, pencils and crayons.
- Arts & Crafts – Just like at home, it’s a good idea to pack a bin of arts & crafts when you travel. Some of the items that can be used to make a variety of crafts include string, beads, popsicle sticks, markers, glue, scissors, pipe cleaners, feathers, colored paper, pom poms, ribbon, sequins, shells and whatever else you want to include. Add to these items things the kids can pick up around your camp site like leaves and twigs and let their creativity run wild.
Plan your next family vacation at Stonebridge RV Park and use this list to help pack and your kids will undoubtedly make lots of memories!
Pets are welcome to join their owners at more places than ever before. There are pet friendly restaurants, hotels, and beaches. But are pets welcome at all national parks? In a nutshell, they’re welcome at many of our National Parks, but not all of them.
If you’re one of millions traveling to one of these amazing destinations this year and you want to bring along your furry buddy, be sure to research the guidelines for the specific park(s) you plan to visit.
Can you imagine planning a phenomenal vacation and finally making it to the entrance of the park you’ve waited your whole life to visit and the sign at the entrance says in bold print NO PETS ALLOWED? Worst case scenario, you’ll be scrapping your visit to the Park all together. Moral of the story, do your homework before you hit the road.
The NPS (National Park Service) offers a good deal of information on pet friendly parks recapping where your pet will be permitted, and the Travel Channel recently listed the Most and Least Pet Friendly National Parks .
Below we’ve compiled a brief overview of some of the more popular parks and what they do and don’t allow when it comes to pets. One commonality at all parks mentioned here, pets must be on a leash 6 feet or shorter and never left unattended.
- Acadia National Park : You can bring along your pet. Due to rigorous conditions, you’ll want to keep your pets off the beaches and more difficult trails.
- Arches National Park : Pets are welcome, but you’ll find activities you can do with them to be limited. Nearby Devils Garden Campground is pet friendly as well.
- Glacier National Park : Feel free to bring your pets in drive-in campgrounds, along park roads open to motor vehicles, and in picnic areas. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on any park trails.
- Grand Canyon : When hiking the south rim, pets are allowed only above the rim. When hiking the north rim, they are only allowed on the bridle trail (greenway). While in Tuweep, keep in mind they are only permitted on established roads and in the campground. You cannot take pets on shuttle park buses so you must walk in and out. There is the South Rim Kennel for boarding if you want to hike the other trails.
- Grand Teton : A good rule of thumb here is that a pet may go anywhere a car may go. This includes roads and shoulders, campgrounds, picnic areas and parking lots. You cannot take pets on any trails.
- Great Smoky Mountains : Dogs are welcome on two trails (the Gatlinburg Trail & the Oconaluftee River Trail) as well as in campgrounds, picnic areas and along roads.
- Olympic National Park : You can explore six different trails and areas ( Olympic National Park Pet Friendly Trails ) in this gorgeous park. Because of the length of the trails, you’ll want to bring plenty of water for your pooch!
- Yellowstone National Park : You cannot take your pets on trails, boardwalks, in the back country or thermal areas throughout Yellowstone. They may accompany you in developed areas of the park (any area within 100 feet of roads, parking areas and campgrounds, excluding thermal areas). Keep in mind there are no kennels in Yellowstone, but you may find boarding options in surrounding communities.
- Yosemite National Park : You can take your dogs on fully paved trails and roads. But not in the back country, beaches, meadows, on shuttle buses or in public buildings.
- Zion National Park : Pets may accompany owners on the Pa’rus Trail ONLY. All other trails and wilderness areas are off-limits to pets. You’ll find boarding kennels in surrounding communities.
Begin planning your next vacation to one or more of the incredible national parks. Just be sure you’re in the know about where your pet will have the best time as well!
Image by dogtrekker.com
Try it before you buy it…there is no better way! Have you ever bought something and realized soon after that you wish you would have bought a different model? A different size? A different color? When it’s something small it’s not that big of a deal, but when you’re spending big bucks, it’s a huge deal. Buying an RV or trailer is one of those big things that you absolutely want to try it out before committing to the purchase. Being able to really check it out takes some time, and that’s why we LOVE the idea of renting out RVs and trailers. There are so many choices when it comes to RVs and all the models, amenities and options. Unless you’re an RV guru, it’s literally impossible to make an informed decision. Which RV or trailer to buy requires some serious consumer research.
NADA Guides lists over 2,000 RV manufacturers. Each manufacturer typically makes multiple models and within each model there are multiple sizes, all with varying options and amenities. The decisions and choices are endless. Type A Motorhomes, Sport Utility Trailers, Travel Trailers, Type B Motorhomes, Folding Camper Trailers, Type C Motorhomes and Fifth Wheel Travel Trailers are all sold by recreational vehicle dealers. Prices range from $10,000 to well into the millions, and everything in between. No matter your budget, you can find an RV that fits your wants and needs.
If you’ve decided to try RVing, chances are you’ve seen RV parks where you live, where you’ve traveled, or where you want to travel. If you’ve gotten a little more serious about getting an RV, maybe you’ve stopped by Camping World , RV Station , or one of the hundreds of other crazy-big RV dealerships throughout the US and already started shopping. So many people get to this point and begin to get overwhelmed by all the choices and end up taking a step back. But there is a better way! Login to Easy RV and scroll through the listings near you and rent an RV or trailer first. Try it before you buy it!
One of the many reasons Easy RV was established is to assist consumers in the try it before you buy it strategy. Renting an RV let’s you experience all aspects of the RV over a period of time. Spend the night in the great outdoors with your family. Tow it to the beach and enjoy sitting under the awning. Whip up some lunch while you listen to the waves roll in. Head to the mountains and leave all your worries behind.
Renting gives you time to check out all the gadgets and how everything operates.
Is the space to big? Too small? Can you fit in the bathroom? Is it easy to drive? Is there enough storage space? Can your vehicle tow it safely? Do you want more features and options or do you prefer just the basics? Renting allows you the freedom to try before you buy without diving right into a major, long-term financial commitment.
There are many obvious reasons why renting is a good first step before buying. Stonebridge RV Park partners with Easy RV allows you to scroll through hundreds of listings & photos, communicate with RV owners, and check out how much money YOU can make on the side by renting your RV once you’ve settled in and made that purchase!
Image by Gorving
You’ve made the exciting decision to rent an RV, so now what?!! You’re about to join millions of others who are stepping away from the traditional hotel and houses to embark on accommodations that are way more fun and more adventurous. There are many reasons for renting an RV, the most popular…a family vacation. These tips will get you off to a great start for creating memories that will last a lifetime.
- Have a destination in mind. Explore any restrictions that may be in place. Reserve a rental site with full hook-ups (fresh water, electricity, and sewer). Without hook-ups, you’ll be operating off the grid , and unless you’re an experienced RVer, it’s not advised.
- Plan your route, including stops for fuel.
- Book your rental well in advance so you can find the perfect RV that fits your wants and needs.
- Create a checklist and get answers directly from the owner (What are the cancellation & refund policies when renting? What is required to tow a trailer? Can the awning be used? Can our pet come along? What are the pick-up and return times? Are kitchen items and bedding included? Is there a generator? Is there A/C and/or heating? What happens if something breaks down?)
- Ensure you, or the owner, has reliable RV rental insurance.
- Take time with the owner to learn all features, systems and operations of the RV, internal and external.
- Know all the fees involved (mileage fee, generator fee, dumping fee, cleaning fee, pet fee, etc.) and don’t hesitate to bargain for unlimited mileage or free generator use. Do keep in mind, owners have many expenses to upkeep their RVs.
- Last, and most important, take your time, vow to laugh, relax, and enjoy your adventure!
Here are a couple other of our fave sites for helpful tips:
Do you have an RV rental story to tell? Share it here!
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