I’m working my way through answering some basics about our upcoming RV trip, namely, the what, when, where, why and how questions I know you’re asking yourself. Don’t worry, I asked myself the same things.
If we only had a couple months to travel or if our kids were older, I could see us mapping out our trip with a day-to-day itinerary. But I have learned, especially after three kids, that plans are more equated to guidelines. And guidelines seems to be another word for wild abandon, at least for my kids. It seems that every time I make big plans for my family, such as a major holiday or a birthday, something goes awry and those expectations I had of the perfect get-together unravel. I am still working on all these expectations in my head, not lowering them, but just refocusing them on the heart of the matter.
When we have a contract on our house and it’s nearing crunch time, we may conjure up a loose itinerary for the first month. But I’m prepared for two weeks of transition time to find our new daily routine, re-establish good sleeping habits, determine the best and easiest way to prepare meals, learn the daily maintenance needed for the RV, carve out time for James to work each day, etc. Even once we get our ducks in a row on the road, I don’t see us traveling every day, or even every other day. Sure, there’s so much we want to see, but not at the expense of our sanity. We’re not taking this trip to mark places off a list; we’re taking this trip to embark on new experiences together, as a family unit.
Considering the never-ending energy of the Rowdy boys, our strategy is to follow the weather as much as possible. This means we travel north in the summer and south in the winter to allow for optimal time outdoors. Of course, there are some places, such as Colorado, where we’d love to experience summer and winter. So we will have to adapt our travel plans as needed.
Because our kids are so young (ages 4, 2 and 1), we plan to avoid visiting most large cities. Just the thought of keeping up with them in a city such as San Francisco leaves me on edge. They would love riding in a cable car for all of five minutes, until they realized they were supposed to stay seated to view the various cityscapes. Pure torture for little boys. Instead, we’ll focus on the bountiful natural sights in this country, with the hopes of staying in many National Park campgrounds where the boys can hike and explore at will. Then maybe one day, when the kids are a bit older, we’ll tackle sightseeing in major cities.
Because we live on the East Coast, our biggest desire is to travel out West. The scenery is vastly different from Georgia and there are so many natural wonders and awesome state parks out West. We want to see the major sights, such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone in Wyoming, countless national parks in Utah and Colorado, the Oregon coast, Glacier National Park in Montana, Yosemite, the Redwood National Forrest and Wine Country in California…and that’s just a start. And I’m sure we’ll travel many more places based on word-of-mouth or blog recommendations.
We also have to think about timing as it relates to James running Atlanta Affiliate League events throughout the year. He graciously offered to fly home for each event and leave me alone in a campground with all three kids (ha!), but I quickly shot down that idea and told him we’d just drive home each event instead of spending that money on airfare. This way, we can see both of our families for a week or two before heading back out on the road. (Unless the grandparents want to come and stay in a campground cabin beside our RV while he’s gone, because I’m totally ok with that!)
Any suggestions on amazing places to see–with kids?