Summer is just around the corner, and vacation planning discussions are heating up in home living rooms and employee break rooms across the country. For many, the dream may be to buy or rent a travel trailer and spend a week driving around the country to introduce the kids to some of America's state parks and recreational areas. Families with toddlers, however, may long to experience this type of vacation fun, but have concerns that their children are too young for travel and camping out in a recreational vehicle. But with these proactive tips and some careful planning, even young families with small children may be surprised to learn that they can begin to make wonderful memories this summer by hitting the road in a travel trailer.
Start by choosing the right travel trailer
The first step in making sure that your vacation is truly memorable for all members of the family—toddlers and parents—is to choose the right recreational vehicle. This means finding the vehicle that will offer safety, comfort, and convenience to all. To do this, consider looking at travel trailer models that offer:
- easy-to-clean surfaces, including flooring, cabinetry, upholstery, counters, tables, and surfaces
- bathing and toilet facilities that will accommodate small children easily
- storage options, such as cubbies, drawers, and space under benches and beds for clothing, toys, strollers, and other items needed for young children
- plenty of storage for food, especially drinks and snacks suitable for children
- simple operation of leveling jacks and other equipment, hoses, and cables to make camp set-up and take-down fast and easy
Do some practice runs to help acclimate kids and parents
Once you have chosen the right model of travel trailer or recreational vehicle for your family's size and needs, the next step is to practice camping in it before leaving home. To do this, park the vehicle in a safe spot in your driveway or backyard and tell the kids that the family will be camping out. Make it seem like a wonderful adventure, but remember that sleeping in the travel trailer may be very upsetting to them the first night or two. This may be due to strange surroundings, noises, or lighting. To help them feel secure, make sure to bring along their favorite toy or blanket and talk to them soothingly to let them know they are close to mom and dad.
Depending on the age of your toddlers, plan fun activities to make sure that the practice camping trip is full of activities that the kids will enjoy and remember. Reading their favorite story outside around a small campfire or enjoying a picnic-style supper on the floor of the RV will help them become familiar with camping and the vehicle that will be their home away from home.
Schedule a short, leisurely trip for the maiden voyage
To make sure that your camping trip stays pleasurable and stress-free, parents may want to consider choosing state parks or other destinations within a few hundred miles of the home. Break down the trip to limit each day's drive to just a few hours, with plenty of opportunities to stop along the way.
When choosing camping facilities for overnight stops, look for those that are advertised as being "family friendly." In addition, consider booking the campsites in advance and using online diagrams of the campground to choose a site that offers convenient access to playgrounds and other attractions, while being safely away from any high traffic access roads that might go through the campground.
Traveling the country in a recreational vehicle is one of the best ways to foster a love of the outdoors in children and allow young families to enjoy vacations and long weekends together without breaking the budget. To find out more about what the purchase of a recreational vehicle or travel trailer can mean for your family, take time to visit a reputable RV sales business in your area.