Ah yes, the family road trip! What an amazing way to travel and spend time with the people you love.. If you grew up anything like me, then you were accustomed to taking the family car for vacations. Depending on your family dynamics, this was either a time of great exhilaration and excitement or utter trauma. So as my husband and I began to grow our family, we did not know what to expect when it came time to pack up the kids and hit the road on a long trip.
Now we were lucky, in that our kids have always been easy to travel with during long car trips. But that is not to say that there weren’t any issues along the way. Traveling with three kids in car seats, activity bags to keep them entertained, bathroom stops, snacks, and the occasional stretch break were all things that we had to consider before hitting the road.
All of that changed when we purchased our RV, and trust me, I will never look back. Having a motorhome has been a blessing to us and our kids in more ways than we could have imagined. That said, having an RV has changed our whole approach to traveling and we have learned some valuable life lessons from RVing.
#1 Slow Down. Life is a Marathon, Not a Sprint.
Let’s face it, typically when you are traveling in the traditional sense, you focus on your destination and how much time you have for your trip. That usually translates into getting to that destination as quickly as possible in order to maximize your time in that one spot.
When we planned our first trip in the RV, we implemented this very same idea. The intent was to take the kids to visit extended family. We planned it like we would have planned any other road trip. We loaded the RV with all of our necessary supplies and endeavored to drive from Georgia to New Jersey round trip in one week. Yes, this was a bit ambitious for first time RVers but we had a plan and we were committed to stick to it.
There was no problem with that plan on the face of it, but it left us no wiggle room to make stops along the way and explore other states, historical landmarks or interests. In the end, we felt rushed and so exhausted from the trip that we needed a vacation to recover from the vacation. Since then we have learned to research our routes and make a couple of short stops at campgrounds along the way. This way we were able to enjoy the journey rather than just focus on the destination. It forced us to slow down our pace which made the trip more relaxing and enjoyable.
#2 Be Prepared.
My uncle has this saying that he always preached to my cousins and the family. He made sure that we all knew that Proper Planning Prevents Probable Problems. Whether or not you currently believe in the concept of Murphy’s Law, one thing is for certain, owning an RV will make you a believer. Oh but don’t let that scare you! Making the decision to begin RVing has been one of the best things that we could have done for our family life. However, as with life itself, things go much smoother when you are prepared for them and RVing is no different. You wouldn’t (at least you shouldn’t) set out on a road trip without having your cars’ tire pressure checked, oil changed, and overall roadworthiness inspected. Well, the same should go for your RV.
RV maintenance is not the only thing you need to focus on in your trip preparations. What about the daily essentials that you will need? Making sure that you have a travel checklist will ensure that you don’t forget any of your essentials for your trip.
First aid kits, over-the-counter medications, and ice packs are some of the items that you don’t necessarily think about until you need them. The worst feeling is having a sick child in the middle of the night and not having the items to provide them comfort.
#3 Adventure Awaits!
Since we have begun RVing, we have seen and experienced things that we never would have by staying in our hometown. Our travels have taught us that we need to occasionally try something new and get out of our comfort zone, expanding our horizons. Our kids are watching us, and we are not just teaching them through words but also through our actions. Kids will repeat what they see us do, so let’s teach them the importance of trying new things and challenging yourself.
The lessons learned from pushing ourselves beyond our realm of comfort have really taught our kids how to support each other through the hard times. They have also learned to move together as a team and celebrate each other’s victories.
Overall the lessons learned from RVing have helped us to come together as a family. Rving has certainly played an important role in the lessons that we have tried to impart to our children.
Even as adults we are constantly learning more about ourselves. Rving has just made our life much richer and fuller. We look forward to whatever new lessons await us on our next adventure.
About the author: Tia Sims is the CFO (Chief Family Officer) of Soulful RV Family. We are an African American family loving the RV lifestyle and traveling as we homeschool our 3 preteen boys exploring all this great country has to offer. Keep up with the Soulful RV Family on Instagram!