Toddlers, adolescents and teenagers love traveling in the summer the same as adults do. Believe it or not, after a few days they adapt fairly well to their new environment. However, it can be a little shocking and overwhelming, if this is their first summer RV vacation. To make the transition more comfortable and easier on everyone, use these tips while taking you and your family on the road for the first time.
Let your kids know ahead of time you are planning to take them on a family RV vacation this summer. They may have no other choice but to come along, but they deserve to know the plan weeks or even months before the trip begins. When planning the family itinerary, give them options to choose from of sites and activities where you can stop along the journey. If the vacation shapes into their decision too, there will be much more excitement beforehand and during the course of the trip.
This task is a lot easier with toddlers. Toddlers rarely play on electronic devices to start with. Their attention spans will easily be distracted towards something new and exciting along the way. However, with adolescents and teenagers this can become more challenging. The pocket gameboy, laptop, tablet or cell phone may be a regular pastime in the home. Kids have their habits just like we do. Plus, they may have friends they want to stay in contact with during the summer. Ripping all the devices away at once will cause some panic and even a little resentment. Set up a new rule for the RV camper. They will view it as a compromise. 2 – 3 hours of electronic device use per day. Don’t be surprised if you get some huffing and puffing from them. As they begin to become more accustomed to less electronic use, you can start decreasing the hourly device usage.
Once school ends and summer hours begin, your kids may already be sleeping later than usual. RV travel requires getting to each destination on time and making good time along the way. You may be tempted to drive while everyone is asleep but it is recommended to find a safe and friendly location to park for rest at night. This will allow you to join in on the family activities for the following day. Noone likes a grumpy gus! Have the kids do chores around the RV before the day begins. If there is summer reading to be done, set a specific time everyday for reading to take place. Give your kids an extra pat on the back for accomplishing tasks especially in an RV camper. No need to be a drill sergeant, it is summer vacation after all!
The RV camper is nothing like the size of your house. Your kids may have their own bedrooms at home. When there is a pile of clothes in the middle of the floor, you can close their door and ignore it for a few days. This does not fly in an RV camper. You have to ensure the rule of cleaning up after yourself and taking daily showers is instilled as a top priority on the family vacation. Provide each family member with a 1 – 2 labeled rubber bins. Be sure they only pack the amount that can fit in their bins. Make it a rule that everyone must have all of their belongings in their bins before the day begins and before bedtime. If your camper has the luxury of a full shower, be sure everyone is washed up for the night. Smells can start to creep out when living in close quarters. Deodorizers for the bathroom and air fresheners are essential to help keep any unpleasant aromas from overtaking the environment.
Taking the kids on a summer RV vacation is rewarding for the entire family. It is an experience they will never forget. If you follow these tips, it is an experience they will look forward to every summer. Balancing discipline and freedom is no easy task. Once you find that perfect balance, you and your family will be smooth riding on the open road for years to come!