We recently spent an amazing 25 days exploring the Pacific Northwest, and the single most surprising thing was how much we enjoyed our stop in the Mount St. Helens region.
To be completely honest, we pretty much expected a cool photo op and not much more. Look kids…a really big volcano. Smile!
Well. It was in fact an amazing photo op. But it was also so much more.
Mount St. Helens ended up being one of our very favorite experiences, and we all wished we had more time to explore the area. In fact, we are already planning a return trip when the boys are old enough to do the 10-mile round trip hike up to the summit.
So, what is there to do at Mount St. Helens besides look at a big volcano? Here are our top recommendations for your visit.
We’ve recommended a ton of fantastic RV gear over the years, so it’s always hard to narrow down our choices for fellow camping enthusiasts. On this special podcast produced exclusively for Go RVing, we picked some of our very favorite gifts.
We have broken it down into three different categories: Gifts for the Lively Little Campers, Jeremy’s Picks, and Stephanie’s Picks. If you want to find even more great gift ideas, check out our other Holiday Gift guide podcasts available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or at rvfamilytravelatlas.com.
This trivia game is great for long car rides with energetic kids. 600 questions come on cards stored in a hard sided case with a secure carabiner latch. This latch will keep the cards from exploding into a spontaneous game of 52 card pick up. Trivial Pursuit is a great way to pass the time in the car and build your knowledge of national parks. It’s entertaining and challenging for kids and adults alike.
This is a perfect game to keep you entertained through the long winter months especially if you, like us, have to winterize your RV. Monopoly is one our kids’ favorite family games, and even our four year old can play along with a little help from his brothers. The board features 22 of the most popular and scenic national parks. An additional game feature has players match animals to the parks they inhabit. Parents will appreciate the optional 60-minute game speed play rules.
We have been using these walkie talkies for years at the campground, and they have never let us down. Kids love to use these with their siblings and friends. The secret is that they are really more of a present for parents. We can keep in touch with our boys when they are riding their bikes or walking to the playground, even if we are in a remote environment with no cell service. The range is great, and we love that we can lock in the settings so the kids can’t change channels.
Flashlights go with camping as much as the requisite marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. Let’s face it: making smoke sabers in the campfire with flashlights is a right of passage for RV kids. We love this Nebu Poppy because it combines a lantern with a spotlight, making it perfect for finding your way to the bathhouse or reading in bed at night. This product combines functional with fun..the perfect match for an RV-themed gift.
If you really, really love someone, then get them one of these blankets. There is simply no cozier item on the face of the planet. Our boys walk around the house with these wrapped around their bodies. We have the Sequoia Throw for our RV master bed. One snuggle with these throw blankets and you will be hooked.
Nothing gets the heart rate up like making RV beds, and some people brag about the calories burned during this activity. RV beds are not only notoriously difficult to make, they also are tough to keep neat and tidy. Beddy’s bed sets are like one giant fitted sheet that easily wrap around the RV mattress. A zipper runs around the bedding set just like a sleeping bag, but way more stylish. If you know someone who stresses while making the RV bed, this would make the perfect gift!
No self-respecting oenophile should be drinking wine at the campground out of red solo cups. In fact, any sort of plastic cup just doesn’t seem to cut it. However, glass isn’t a good match for RV travel for a lot of different reasons. Enter the stainless steel wine glass. We added these to our camping collection last year and they are one of our favorite RV items of all time. Practical and fashionable equals gift perfection.
Take a stroll around the campground and you will quickly notice that personalized camping signs are a favorite accessory for RVers. We bought our family camping sign just weeks after we came home with our first pop up camper. Etsy has a wide variety of shops with adorable sign options, all customizable with your family’s names, hometown, and even pets’ names. We particularly like the colorful, fun signs from the Creative Designs 77 Etsy shop and the rustic, outdoorsy options from the Black River Wood Shop.
It’s tough for someone with a world-famous flashlight collection to pick a favorite, but if you shined a spotlight in his eyes, Jeremy might pick the Nebo Slyde King. It’s made of high-quality aluminum and is water and impact resistant. Use it as a standard flashlight or slide it open to reveal a work light. Jeremy particularly loves that it’s USB rechargeable and has a magnetic base for when you need to be hands free.
Most RVs come with exterior bluetooth speakers, but most of the time we don’t want to broadcast our music to the entire campground. The UE Wonderboom speakers are compact, lightweight, and waterproof. We use them by the grill when cooking, at the picnic table while eating, and around the campfire at night. The cute colors are just an added bonus.
Can a man camp without a flannel-lined canvas shirt? Well, Jeremy certainly can’t. It’s hard to find an option that is warm and comfortable without being too bulky. This is his favorite wardrobe addition in a long time. Jeremy is no fashionista, but this shirt makes him act like one.
We have bought our own fair share of these See America prints over the years, but they are also one of our favorite gifts to give friends and family that love to travel. If there is a national park or historic monument that your loved ones visited this year, a framed picture from See America will bring back those wonderful memories for years to come.
Picking out the perfect gifts for your friends and family is part of the joy of the holiday season. We always like to remember, however, that the holiday spirit is really about spending time and creating memories with the people you love.
Just like RVing.
A very, very happy holiday season from our family to yours. See you at the campground in 2018.
If you are shopping for your first (or next!) RV, the good news is that there are a ton of great choices out there right now. However, the number of options can be quite overwhelming.
On this special episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, developed exclusively for Go RVing, we are helping you find your perfect RV, starting with a break down of each RV ‘type’.
From towables to motorized units, we will describe each major type of RV, plus give some of the reasons it may or may not be for you.
We wrap up the episode by adding a few of our own tips for smart RV shopping.
You can take a look at the pictures below while listening to get a better idea of the RV features that we discuss. We also highly recommend checking out Go RVing’s Compare RVs page, where you can learn more about each RV type and also get some personalized feedback using the “Find My RV” tool.
We believe the perfect RV is out there just waiting for you to bring it on some amazing adventures. But for now, enjoy the shopping part of your RV journey!
10 Best RV Resort Features for Those Who Love to Camp in Comfort
When you hear the word ‘campground’, do you picture a rustic setting in the forest, far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, where you can relax and commune with nature? If so, there are certainly hundreds of campgrounds like that throughout the United States.
But there’s another kind of campground that is winning the hearts of many RVers: the resort campground.
Resort campgrounds are becoming more prevalent and more popular with each camping season. These campgrounds offer the opportunity for RV owners to experience the benefits of all-inclusive vacations while also enjoying the comfort of their own RVs.
When I was a little boy, my mom and dad never had money for family vacations. Thankfully, my grandparents did. They had seven kids and eight grandkids, but they still managed to take all of us to Disney World for four different family reunions.
We stayed in a hotel for most of those trips, but the one I remember most vividly involved a Winnebago RV rental, an epic road trip, and a campsite at Fort Wilderness. My grandfather always recalled that trip as his favorite too. He loved renting the RV and getting out on the open road–and he LOVED the wild west theme at Fort Wilderness. That trip with my grandfather happened over thirty years ago, and I have been dreaming of replicating it with my own children for many years.
This past winter we finally had the chance to take our three boys to Disney in a Winnebago rental of our own–and it was epic. We brought the boys on classic rides like Space Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean at the Magic Kingdom, and we ate wiener schnitzel and yodeled in Germany at Epcot. But more than anything else, we all loved our time relaxing together at Fort Wilderness, which is truly one of the world’s greatest campgrounds. Our boys have not stopped talking about this trip to Disney World, and they probably never will.
Is your family considering an epic RV adventure to Walt Disney World? If so, here are 10 tips to make your trip magical and memorable–and worth talking about for years to come.
Camp at Fort Wilderness:
There are other campgrounds nearby, but if you can, book a site at the Fort. It may cost a little more, and you do need to book months in advance, but it is worth the extra effort and money. The Fort is often called America’s favorite campground–and for good reason. It is packed with Disney magic around every corner, and it makes visiting the theme parks incredibly easy. Plus, you get all the perks of staying at a Disney Resort like early dining reservations and extra Magic Hours.