Now….this is when the rubber hits the road.  You have talked about going on a trip, got your family on-board with the idea, maybe recruited some other families to partake in your adventure and now…you need to find some RV’s to rent and a place to camp…  There are many variables that could make your grand idea to rent a camper and visit an epic destination turn into the trip you and your co-adventurers wish you never went on…and for that reason, we are going to make you look like you knew exactly what you were doing by bringing you through this process!

My Trip Planning Credentials

I grew up tent camping a bit,  but was never exposed to the world of RVing until later in life when my in-laws, who are avid RVers, introduced my wife and I to a lifestyle that we have fallen in love with!  We have graduated from being “weekenders” to earning our wings as RVers through our time as full-time RVers galavanting through National Parks, BLM land and more ..all very distinguishable rights of passage that have left scars, a close call with our camper dropping down a 20′ baranka and a whole lot of wisdom…and now, I have my way of doing things that is a culmination of a little of this and that.

Trip Planning 101

Here we go!  Let’s plan a trip so y’all can get out there and enjoy some of this Fall camping.  We will go through how I plan my roadtrips.

Knowing your family and friends is key to the success of your planning, assuring everyone has some options and is excited for the trip as much as you are.  I like to plan loosely, but have key pieces in place to assure the flow of the trip keeps moving forward and there are some back-ups for any shifts that could happen for any reason. I have some basic questions that I run through every trip;

  1. What is my/our your goal for the trip?
    1. WE want to go somewhere we haven’t been.
    2. A place for our kids to hang and have fun as much as the adults.
    3. We really want to go to an event of sorts; Balloon Fiesta, Air show, some festival in a town on the coast or other fun place to visit in New Mexico, Louisiana, or Colorado.
    4. If we can sneak in a fishing trip for the Dad’s, that would be amazing…but, not a deal breaker.
    5. We want to stay inside the Fiesta grounds with the thousands of others to get the full experience of watching the Dawn Patrol* in the wee hours.
  2. Create a wish-list of destinations. 
    1. Corpus Christi
    2. Galveston
    3. Port Aransas
    4. Rockport
  3. List the activities you think are ideal for your group.
    1. Exploring coastal towns + shops
    2. Local Eateries for lunch and dinner
    3. Beach access for the kids to have a beach day or two
    4. Guided fishing trip
    5. Nice campground with pool and playground for kids
  4. What is your groups budget? You don’t need an exact budget, just an idea to know what to/not to do.
    1. 4 nights/5 days $1,500 per family
  5. What type of camper should we rent?
    1. We will have 4 families that are big enough to each have their own camper.
      1. We will be going with bunk model for three of them and a nice 20′ travel trailer for one.
  6. Timing…This can be tricky if you dependant on your kid(s) school calendar.  
    1. Spring Break 2018…Not the most ideal time to be planning a trip for, but it is the time your kids have off, so this is what we have to work with.  Campgrounds are going to be busy, hard to find campsites if you wait to reserve even just 2-3 months before.
  7. The most important question…who is cooking what?
    1. Four families can be tough to coordinate meals for, but w manage this by everyone doing breakfast on their own as each family wakes up at different time…on some occasions, we will make a group breakfast 1-2 days, Lunch will be broken up with group cookout with more of a potluck style with a theme….hot dogs and hamburgers, sandwiches or a comb of leftover from the previous nights dinner.  Dinner is where the fun happens…each family has one night (or more for a longer trip) and chooses their meal to cook.  It seems most everyone comes armed with a go-to recipe that they like to make, some are pretty simple and other times it can be an all-out spread of food.

You now have some direction and can start to shape up your epic trip with your family and friends.  In the next blog we will get through the details of the trip, how to book an awesome campground and some tips + tricks to make your crew think you are a pro camper!

Safe Travels!

Justin is an avid RVer with deep experience adventuring with his family in their RV through the West Coast, PNW, SW and have now spent time exploring the South!