Planning your first-ever RV trip might fall short of, say, welcoming your first born or getting married, but it’s a pretty darn exciting time. You’re about to take on the wide-open road, zipping off anywhere the wind might be calling, all with your very own private villa (and favorite people) in tow.
Of course, the exact same factors that make first-time RV trips so thrilling can also make them a little overwhelming for the eager road trip planner. That wide-open road we’re talking about is… well, wide open. There are so many places you can go, after all. It only takes a quick glance through your favorite road atlas to be struck with decision paralysis. With so many amazing sites to see, how on earth will you ever choose?
From hiking through the lush green forests of the Pacific northwest to laying out a blanket in the sand on the sunny eastern shore, the USA has so much to offer an RV adventurer. And if you’re already dealing with learning your rig’s ropes, putting together an itinerary can become more of a duty than a delight.
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone put together a list of easy, yet exciting RV road trip ideas so you could simply choose?
First Time Road Trip Ideas
You know we’ve got your back here at RVshare. So to make your first time RV experience easier, we came up with this list of easy American road trip ideas to help get you on the road as effortlessly as possible — or at least give you some great brainstorming material!
Of course, which of these trips will work best for you will depend in part on where you’re starting your journey from, how much time you have, and the type of vacation you’re after. For instance, a weekend ski trip at Lake Tahoe might make perfect sense for a San Franciscan’s February getaway, but it’ll be less doable if you hang your hat in Atlanta. (Or if it’s July by the time you’re reading this post, for that matter!)
That said, hopefully these fun and simple road trip ideas will help make life a little bit easier when you hit the road for your first RV outing.
Ready to dive in? Here are some of our favorite first-timer options.
Quick Road Trip Ideas
If you’re looking to get off the internet and onto the expressway, this list is for you! Here are some simple road trip ideas to get you going.
1. Southern Charm Sojourn
The American south has so much more to offer than comfort food — not that we’re turning down a plate of chicken and waffles anytime soon. One great route is to connect the following southern cities, each oozing with its own unique brand of charm: Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and St. Augustine, Florida. The only thing you’ll get more of than historical knowledge is Spanish moss and sunshine!
2. Gulf Coast Gambol
Take a trip from Galveston, Texas to Florida’s Emerald Coast — and all the way down to the keys, if you’ve got the time. Sweeping waterfront views and exciting cities will greet you at every stop along the way — not to mention an abundance of fresh, delicious seafood.
3. Pacific Coast Paradise
Everyone should take the time to meander all the way up (or down) California’s Pacific coast highway at some point in their lives. Whether you start in Eureka or San Diego, you’ll be treated to some of the most breathtaking byways in the country — a turbulent, crashing ocean flanking you on one side and majestic redwoods on the other. Potential stops include Los Angeles and San Francisco, of course, but also Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, San Luis Obispo, and a whole host of others. You honestly can’t go wrong.
Easy Road Trip Ideas on a Budget
Want to see the world without wiping out your wallet? Yes, it is possible — especially in an RV! Not only will you be able to save on your road trip food budget by cooking your own delicious, healthy meals in your RV’s kitchen, but you can also save 50% on every single campsite you stay in with your Passport America membership. It’s less than $50 per year to join, and almost 1900 campgrounds across America participate offer this insane discount, so it easily pays for itself in just one trip.
Looking for even more concrete ways to save money while still satisfying your inner explorer? Here are some of the best cheap road trip ideas we’ve come across.
4. State Park Promenade
There’s a lot that’s awesome about living in America, but one thing we particularly love as RVers: the fact that no matter which city you call home, you likely have a beautiful state park only a short drive away, filled with all sorts of outdoor activities and views to discover. (Plus, they’re usually dirt cheap to camp in!)
Just head on over to our State Parks guide or do a quick Google search to see what’s nearby. You might be surprised by what you didn’t know was in your own backyard!
5. Beachy Break
You don’t have to live near an ocean to plunge your toes into the sand. Whether it’s one of the Greats or South Dakota’s Horsethief, any lake shoreline will do — and you’ll be so busy relaxing, you won’t even have a chance to run through your travel budget on souvenirs or touristy activities!
Check out this article on how to RV on a budget to help you create an affordable travel experience that you and your family will never forget.
Weekend Road Trip Ideas
Sometimes, the best family road trip ideas are the ones you can take at the last minute. Here are some quick-fix ideas when you need to get out of town… now.
6. Woodsy Wonderment
Even if you make your home in a large, metropolitan area, there’s likely some woods or wilderness nearby. New Yorkers, for instance, can find themselves in the Catskills in just a couple of hours, and Floridians can retreat to the state’s central springs. No matter what, getting away from the rush and bustle of an urban center will do you good!
7. Active Outdoor Outing
From extreme adventures like mountain climbing to simple biking and hiking trails, America is host to some of the best landscapes for outdoor activities in the world. Exercise and enjoyment at the same time — now that’s how to do it! Once again, you can turn to our directory of state parks to see what’s available in your area, or simply run a search online.
Enjoy your first camping trip, RVers! We’re sure you’ll have many more to come.
- National Parks RV Length Limits
- The Ultimate Driving Route to See Some of the Most Popular National Parks!
- The 10 Best RV Destinations in the United States
- The 10 Best RV Trips to Take in Texas
- The 10 Best RV Trips to Take in Oklahoma
- The 10 Best RV Trips to Take in North Carolina
- Our Guide to An Epic Road Trip Across the U.S. East Coast
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