Friday

Avoiding family conflict in (mobile) closed quarters: 7 things to keep in mind on your next trip


You all know you love each other. 

     Whether it's just you and your partner on your first trip or your 35th vacay with your squad of seven, it's no secret that vacations and road trips are a much-needed way to escape, relax, and recharge. Yet, the obvious can't be avoided - you are a group of human beings, just as capable of banter and arguments as you are of love and laughter. But such is completely normal, and should never be something to discourage you from enjoying your next big adventure to the fullest. Thriving in close quarters for extensive periods of time can feel incredibly frustrating and crowded at times, but with a dash of patience and these helpful tips, you can be sure your trip will be an experience full of nothing but memories of family bonding - not of tension or irritability!

holiday, car, travel


1. Avoid all that excess "stuff." While you obviously need to pack clothes, toiletries, cameras, etc., try to leave things that you're not positive you'll actually use on the trip at home. That being said, of the things you do bring, try as hard as humanly possible not to over-pack. Perhaps bring a board game or two, some DVDs, and a deck of cards to keep you occupied or in case it storms one night; other than that, though, try to keep the objects simple that you're going to have living in your RV.



2. Speaking of stuff...don't worry so much about your outfits or physical appearance for each specific day, other than what you'll need to enjoy the activities you have planned on your vacation. Always try to plan out a set of outfits you know you'll wear, and try to overlap items whenever possible. It's more than likely you could wear those jeans 2 or 3 times instead of once, and you could probably get away with reusing your t-shirt from your first day on the road as a beach/pool/goofing-around-by-the-campfire cover-up, instead of bringing a bunch of extra gear.



3. Make sure each person has his or her space, however small, that is theirs and only theirs for the duration of the trip. No matter where you go or who you're with, it can't be refuted that personal space is a necessity when it comes to ensuring all personalities are cooperating and meshing together well in a tightly enclosed, mobile environment like an RV. Perhaps your spouse would prefer some time to read and lounge in a certain spot; maybe your teenage daughter feels like she needs one drawer to herself rather than sharing a chaotic storage system with her younger brothers. Whatever the case, each traveler should make a conscious effort to give others in the group their space - while also remembering that such personal space is just as important for their own sanity as well.



4. Remember, furry friends and family members should never be excluded from the above conditions. As lovable as your pets may be, they need their own space too, just like any other creature living in a tightly packed home with other living beings! Whether you bring a dog bed or designate a comfy pile of blankets just for them, just make sure they have something - that way, they can recharge just like you do, and will be ready for another fun-filled day once the sun rises again!



5. While we're on the topic of space, organization is key. That's not to say that your RV needs to be in tip-top, feng-shui condition the entire time; you're on vacation, and the occasional mess or disarray of sand-ridden clothes and muddied sneakers can't really be avoided, especially for the sake of a good time outdoors! However, pre-departure preparatory steps to keep your RV storage, kitchen, etc. nice and clutter-free can keep your mind focused on the more important aspects of the trip - getting outside and having some fun with your clan, and not cooping up inside just to clean and rearrange like you might back at home!

Gone with the Wynn's video RV Organizing: Don't be a hot mess!

6. Try your best to plan each day's meals ahead of time, regardless of how much of a success or disaster it might end up being. The truth of the matter is that things can and will come up, and you won't always follow the schedule you make for yourself each and every day. However, budgeting for which nights you plan to eat out and remembering to bring whatever ingredients are required for the meals you do choose to cook can save your endless amounts of money...not to mention time, which you could be spending adventuring outdoors or telling stories around the campfire!



And last, but definitely not least...

7. Remember, we're all human. We're all going to get into fights every now and then, and we're all going to make mistakes at times. We're going to say things we don't mean in the heat of a moment of frustration, and we're all going to drive each other nuts sometimes. While crucial, this one's pretty simple. Just be kind. The folks over at Roadtreking.com hit the nail right on the head with their advice on conflict resolution in mobile environments:

"Apologize when you're wrong, and don't hesitate to forgive when you've been wronged."



Just like any family or group conflict, these things will happen. But these trips are meant for fun, togetherness, and an escape from the everyday environments that cause us unnecessary or materialistic stresses. Let the bumps happen when they will, keep the environment positive, and enjoy the ride. After all, it's RV season.

And we all know
 #RVingIsGood!






Family camping activities from Jellystone Parks: Never run out of things to do on your next trip!

Family Camping Activities

Although summer is winding down, there's still plenty of time to take a camping trip! If you need some inspiration for your next adventure, read on for some family-friendly, kid-approved activities!

Twig castles 

Your kids enjoy making sandcastles at the beach, so why not make some out of twigs they collect all around your campsite? Because you may have some difficulty keeping the sticks together, make sure to bring some glue, strings, and scissors along.

Stories around the campfire 

This old classic is a tried and true favorite. The stories can range from childhood laughs to scary ghost stories; you can even have the group collaborate on a story! Have one person start, then ask the next person to contribute a sentence, and so on and so forth.

Scavenger hunt with a nature walk 

Mix two activities into one! Go on a nature walk or hike and have a list of things to find Some ideas include:
  • A heart-shaped leaf
  • A feather
  • A pinecone
  • Something a raccoon would like to eat
  • Something of every color of the rainbow
  • Something fuzzy
  • Something that makes noise
  • Two pieces of garbage (to throw out, of course!)
  • A piece of treasure
Whoever gets the most on the list wins a prize!

Fairy Houses 

Make houses for homeless fairies! Collect wood, twigs, rocks, and feathers for your construction materials, and place a little door next to a tree trunk - this will let the fairy know she is welcome there! Remember to make it as beautiful as you possibly can, because fairies are picky, and obviously only deserve the best!

Book Your Trip

When you're ready to make your vacation plans, be sure to check out Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, with 84 locations across the U.S. and Canada! 

Click here to find a campground near you today!



Wednesday

Roadschooling 101: Free planning tool!


Your guide to educational adventures,
 the Roadschool Moms' Roadschool Planner tool is FREE for a limited time!

You may have heard of homeschooling.
But have you heard of roadschooling?
 

     Right now, thousands of kids are getting ready to get back to their roadschool!  Like traditional homeschoolers, these students learn in their familiar "home" environment, with their parents serving predominantly as their home-educator. Roadschoolers and homeschoolers might even utilize the same curriculum for subjects like math, writing, foreign languages, etc...but that's where the similarity ends. The youngest segment of America's full-time RVing population, these kids are on the road with their parents, exploring the country and learning history, geology, geography, social studies and science via hands-on activities and first hand experiences. 


     A weekly internet radio show, Roadschool Moms (www.roadschoolmoms.com) provides tips, advice and connections to America's roadschool families across the miles, and just released the 2016 - 2017 edition of their number one selling tool, The Roadschool Planner. Whether you're a roadschooler or a family who's looking to add some educational value to your next family adventure, this planner is the perfect place to keep track of “what you want to learn where." Like no other planner available, this print-on-demand tool can be personalized for each of your students. It integrates your travels with learning opportunities so you don’t miss valuable lessons, enabling you to easily capitalize on your journey – making your time on the road a true learning adventure!


To get your free copy of the Roadschool Planner click here!



Tuesday

RV Season: The Coast to Coast Road Trip

11 states.
3,098.9 miles.



Just one depiction of what your next cross-country RV trip could look like, VA to CA...

Friday

RV Hidden Gems: 5 best-kept secret parks


       This summer, forget the country's most frequented RV parks, and treat you and your family to the adventure and wonder of these five "best-kept secrets" when it comes to places to take your RV. From coastal beaches to natural waterfalls, these alternative destinations garnering extremely high ratings by both loyal patrons and surprise encounters alike are sure to provide memories of the outdoors to last a lifetime.



Rifle Falls State Park (CO)


With dense, rich greenery surrounding an incredible 80-foot triple waterfall, this awe-inspiring environment of limestone caves and picturesque picnicking spots offers an ideal destination for weddings, special events, and impromptu day trips alike. With only 13 drive-in spots, the falls can be extremely busy during the summer - so planning trips for the autumn months or early spring may be key when it comes to the most serene and untainted outdoor experience possible. A number of popular RV destinations have been known to offer scenic waterfall views - but three, and at the height of a multistory building? Don't waste your precious vacation time visiting other locations when you can treat yourself to the ultimate falls experience at Rifle Falls State Park!
Our campsite, Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle, CO

Read more about Rifle Falls:


La Wis Wis Campground (WA)

In the Tatoosh Wilderness Area of Washington's Cowlitz Valley River District sits the comfortable, easy-going La Wis Wis Campground. Perfectly situated in Gifford Pinchot National Forest at the intersection of three different waterways, this popular long-stay camping location provides a refreshing escape from the everyday. 

With close proximity to Mt. Rainier and easy access to Purcell Falls and Blue Hole trails, this locale proves itself more than fitting for travelers looking for scenic place to overnight, or for those searching for a good home base to explore the surrounding natural areas. 


Read more about La Wis Wis:

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (WI) 


          Nicknamed the "Jewels of Lake Superior," this chain of 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland off Wisconsin's northern coast provide an incomparable outdoor experience. Cruise the crystal tides of the bays, hike the numerous nature trails, or try catching salmon and trout in the local waters. Meet locals and other adventure-seeking families by joining a variety of guided activities, ranging from lighthouse tours to fishing camps and more. What's more: who said you had to be in tropical waters to get an amazing scuba-diving adventure? Between abandoned quarries, shipwrecks, and numerous cliffs and sea caves, opportunities for exploration never end on the Apostle Islands!


Read more about the Apostle Islands:

Jetty Fishery (OR)


Family run for over thirty years, this adored coastal gem has been hailed as one of the best locales for fishing, crabbing, and all around coastline-loving family trips. Comfortably nestled on the waters of Nehalem Bay, this destination is only feet from tide pools, classic cabled docks, and just a 2 minute boat ride from the great Nehalem State Park beaches. Take a peacefully scenic stroll on the Peninsula to grab an ice cream cone at the classic coastal town of Manzanita. Rent a boat and fish your heart out, as the infamously friendly staff will be waiting for you upon your return with buckets of boiling water to steam your catch in. Between the abundance of Dungeness crab and both natural and cultural sights to see, this place could never disappoint a family looking for a seaside retreat full of both adventure and relaxation!

Read more about Jetty Fishery:

Manatee Springs State Park (FL)


Did someone say manatees? Yep, we did, and this full-facility campground with a first magnitude natural spring is a retreat and relaxation hotspot for both these marine mammals and outdoor travel enthusiasts! As this spring is able to produce 100 million gallons of crystal clean water a year, on average, West Indian manatees are known to navigate upriver during the Winter months to the comfortable temperatures of this state park's waters, making them perfect swimming companions.


Embraced by a canopy of red oaks, the worn, historic route of the old Atlantic Coastline Railroad in Nature Coast State Trail and Fanning Springs State Park is directly accessible from Manatee Springs, as is the well-loved Fanning Springs State Park on the Suwannee River. Snorkel, scuba-dive, or bicycle around this beautiful natural spring- and when you're tired and hungry at the end of the day, there's a full service takeout BBQ joint considerately placed on the waterfront!


Read more about Manatee Springs State Park:













Thursday

You and Your Dog Could Win Big with DISHforMyRV!



Man’s best friend is often man’s favorite travel partner. 

DISHForMyRV is celebrating their new team member HaRVy with the Dog Days of Summer Photo Contest. Submit a photo of your dog enjoying the outdoors for a chance to win the Lucky Dog Travel Package, 
valued at $500! Upload your photo between July 5th and July 31st


HaRVy and our staff will vote on their favorites and announce the winner on August 1st

Grab a phone and your dog and take a selfie and you could win big.



How to Enjoy the RV Lifestyle Now - By Workamping!





 By Jody Anderson Duquette, Workamper News Editor


Burned out from the daily grind and ready to hit the road now?  Is retirement approaching and you’re looking for something to do other than just stare at the camp fire?  Consider Workamping! Over 28 years ago, Workamper News Inc. coined the term Workamper and defined it as “adventuresome individuals, couples and families who have chosen a wonderful lifestyle that combines ANY kind of part-time or full-time work with RV camping.”

Since our focus is about educating people on the Workamping lifestyle and helping them live it successfully, we encounter many RVers when they are just starting out.  The age of Workampers today ranges from teenagers living fulltime in an RV with their family, to hearty seniors in their 80’s – and everything in-between.  One of my favorite Workampers bought herself a truck, an Airstream trailer, and began her Workamping adventures at the age of 72!

Workamping jobs can be short-term or long-term, so you can be a part-time RVer (who goes back to another residence for part of the year) or a full-time RVer.  It is up to each individual to decide what his/her financial needs are, how often he/she wants to travel, and what places he/she would like to see. These are factors you need to decide on before embarking on finding your first Workamping opportunity.

The majority of Workamping jobs deal with the outdoor hospitality industry, but as you review the job listings at Workamper.com and read through the many articles about different Workamping experiences, you’ll begin to see the huge variety of options and industries that Workampers can be a part of.

Although it may feel more like a vacation, at the root Workamping is still…work.  Businesses hire Workampers intending that they will be a beneficial part of their staff, fulfill the position as it was defined, and - in some cases with limited-budget entities - help keep the doors open.  The benefits of Workamping are more than just financial – you will discover a diverse and welcoming community, get to experience places and things you haven’t even imagined, and continue to learn and feel useful.


















Friday

Be My Guest – Free Camping Offered by Fellow RVers

Are you tired of paying for a full-service RV park for a simple stopover? Possibly, all you really need and want is a place to park for a night while you pass through or briefly explore an area.  Isn’t this exactly why truck stops, casinos, and Walmart parking lots are such popular stops?


Now there’s a more appealing option: Boondockers Welcome can connect you with more than 1,000 fellow RVers across the continent, who invite you to park for free on their private property for a night or two. Many also provide electric, water, and a better wi-fi signal than you’ll get at most campgrounds. No matter what route you choose, you can arrange safe, legal, free overnight parking all the way to your destination.

Moreover, you might begin amazing new friendships, include a bit of social time, be able to borrow a tool you’re not carrying, find out about the "must-sees" of the area, and the stops you shouldn’t miss on the road ahead.  Who better than locals to hand you maps, point out their favorite hike, best restaurant, cheapest fuel price, nearest RV dump, and a trusted RV repair facility?

The Boondockers Welcome website (boondockerswelcome.com) facilitates invitations between like-minded RVers. Annual membership is less than the cost of one night in a campground. For those who cannot offer parking themselves, there’s a guest-only option. You can view all the details of every host location before joining so you know exactly what you’ll get. 

As one reviewer of the site noted, “The simple ideas are often the best and most innovative”.  This simple idea is not just an online community; it is fostering new friendships among RVers in real world settings. At a time when some RVers may be on the verge of hanging up the keys or traveling less because of increased costs, it offers a cooperative way to fight back so we can all stay where we belong – on the road.