It’s undeniable — summer is at an end.
Well, kind of. The official last day of summer doesn’t actually take place until late September.
But regardless of what the Farmer’s Almanac says, the kids are either back in school or headed back soon, which means it’s back to the day-in, day-out grind. Monday through Friday, you’ve got to be up early to make sure there’s a fresh bowl of Cheerios on the table before seeing little Suzy and James to the bus. And come 3 p.m., you’d better be around to help answer homework questions… assuming you can figure out this “new math” they’ve got going on.
Of course, it’s not all that bad. It’s nice to get some peace and quiet during the day and not to have to worry about what to do with the kids while you’re at work.
But if you were hoping to squeeze one last RV camping trip with the family out of the summer, you might be disappointed with how quickly its end snuck up on us.
Well, not to worry! You can actually still take some fantastic RV trips while school is in session. It just takes a little bit more planning than it does during the long, lazy summer days.
Got school year travel questions? Here’s our best advice if you want to travel during the school year.
School Year Travel Restrictions
So, what’s keeping you from taking a dream trip during the school year?
Well, for one thing, you’ve almost certainly got less time on your hands. Unless you work from home and your kids are home schooled, you and your family have commitments that require you to be home for a certain number of days during the school year.
However, even while school’s in session, there are ample opportunities for shorter trips taken over three day weekends. (In fact, one great opportunity is right around the corner — Labor Day!)
Of course, weekend RV trips do have a few special considerations that longer, lazier summer trips don’t. For instance, you’re a lot more limited in your choice of destination, since you’ll need to be able to get to and from wherever you’re going in a shorter period of time.
But don’t lose heart. You might be surprised at how much amazing stuff there is to do right around the corner… no matter where in the USA you live.
Weekend RV Getaways
First things first: What should you know if you want to rent an RV for a weekend?
Well, for one thing, you might not get as good a deal as you would if you were renting for a longer period. That’s because many RV rental dealerships and agencies offer special incentives to customers who plan to rent their RVs for longer — including discounts when you book for a full week or more.
However, on the other hand, since you’ll only need the RV for a short period of time, you won’t have to worry about the rental price getting too high on a per-day basis. Once you find the best daily rate and ensure there are no hidden fees the dealership or agency isn’t advertising, you’ll know exactly how much your weekend RV rental will cost. In most cases, it’ll probably be about on par with how much you’d have spent on hotel accommodations.
Although spontaneity is one of the most attractive parts of RVing, when you’re only traveling for a weekend, it’s important to book your RV sites and campgrounds ahead of time. Otherwise, you may find yourself without a place to stay after a long day of driving!
Finally, make sure you don’t leave home without an essential item. You can check out our weekend RV packing list and camping checklist here to make sure you’ve got everything covered.
Cheap Weekend Breaks
Want to know another great thing about weekend RV trips? They don’t have to be very expensive!
After all, most RV rental dealerships charge based on how long you keep your rental vehicle and also how far you drive it. Since you’ll only have the RV for a few days and are unlikely to travel more than a couple of hundred miles, you’ll get away with a lower RV rental cost than you’d have for an epic road trip over the summer.
And as we alluded to before, it’s worth checking out the state parks and public campgrounds available in your area. One of the best parts of our country is its devotion to preserving and enjoying wildlife and natural spaces, and every state has some knock-out park options if you’re just willing to look for them.
And hey, even if your nearest state park doesn’t spark your interest, don’t underestimate the power of a staycation. You could rent an RV and “camp out” in your own driveway and still end up having a fun, relaxing time with your family… without any concerns about whether or not you’ll be able to get home in time for school on Monday!
Travel with Kids
Although fall might be a good time to take a romantic getaway with your partner if you can find a sitter for the kids, if you do travel with your family this season, there are a few important keys that will help make sure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.
For one thing, make sure if your kids have any homework to do over the weekend, they either bring it along — or, ideally, complete it before the trip. After all, who wants to sit still with a book and a pencil when there’s exploring to do and s’mores to be had?
Secondly, be sure you bring along entertainment items specifically for your children, whether that’s a favorite movie, toy, or book. That way, when mom and dad want a few moments of peace and quiet, the kids will have something to keep them occupied.
We hope this post has helped you learn (get it?) that travel during the school year isn’t just possible — it’s awesome. Wherever you end up this fall, enjoy the trip!