RV RESORT CAMPING

 

Ziplines, waterslides, cocktail bars, and decked-out patios might not be the first things that come to mind when you think about camping. While the word “camping” conjures up images of tents in the woods and rustic simplicity, RV resort campgrounds turn these notions upside down.

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AN ALL AMERICAN ROAD TRIP

Two summers ago, my family and I took a memorable road trip through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Oregon with a travel trailer in tow. I can easily remember the day we set out to hit the road for an all-American road trip as if it were just yesterday. When I think back at all the memories we have created on this trip, it brings nothing but a smile to my face.

 

We were on the road for eleven days, and each morning we would gather around the table to have breakfast as a family before we started the day. There was no need to rush and get the kids ready to head out somewhere to get breakfast. Instead, I allowed the kids and the husband to sleep in just a little more while I woke early and started breakfast from the convenience of our little kitchen on wheels. When all was ready, I would wake them, and they would greet me with their beautiful morning smiles.

 

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GO RVING ON ANY BUDGET

Before buying an RV, people want to know just how much their RV vacations will cost. Well, one of the best things about RV travel is that there are options for every single budget. You are in control of so many price points including the type of camper you purchase, how far you travel, and where you stay.

 

When we bought our first RV, we were teachers with lots of time to travel, but a pretty tight household budget. RV Industry Association estimates that RV vacations cost up to 59% less than other types of vacations. We have found that statistic goes hand in hand with our personal experience. Sure, we love to splurge on RV resorts, special activities, and dinners out when we travel. But if we need to stretch our pennies, RVing lets us control the budget in so many ways.

 

So, whether you are about to take the trip of a lifetime or you want to plan the most affordable vacation ever, here are five ways you can manage the budget when planning your RV travel.

 

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I RV SO I CAN COLLECT EPIC ADVENTURES BEFORE RETIREMENT

 

Did you know that the average person retires at the age of 62? Pair this up with the average life expectancy age of 78.7 years in the U.S, it doesn’t leave much time to enjoy life after retirement.

When Luis and I decided to be “crazy” and sell almost all of our belongings, buy an RV, and hit the road with our kids in July 2016, it was because we didn’t feel we had to wait until retirement to collect epic adventures.

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FATHER’S DAY CAMPING TRIP

Father’s Day Camping Trip – Our Newest Family Tradition

I’m convinced that if you fall in love with the RV lifestyle, your perspective on so many aspects of life changes. It’s not that you don’t enjoy new gadgets or other material things, but to me, you learn to adjust their place in your heart. For me, I’m a self-confessed gadget guy. I could spend hours wandering the aisles in stores like Best Buy. So, when my wife approached me and asked about a gift for Father’s Day, it would be easy to point her towards the last “must have” gadget but all that has changed…

 

On Father’s Day, dads get celebrated for all we do for our kids. New gadgets have supplanted gifts of cologne or ties. This year I was determined to make it a special day because my birthday, once again fell on Father’s Day. That double whammy gave me the opportunity to ask for a different type of present; I wanted to go camping with all five of my kids! While you might be saying, “What’s so hard about that?” Let me share that I have a blended family.

 

 

My older two kids are from my first marriage and they are both college age. I’m blessed that all my kids enjoy and love each other, yet, we have never really been camping together. Yes, my daughter has enjoyed some time with her little brothers at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, and who wouldn’t? But never have I had all my kids on a camping trip.

 

 

Do you want to know why this trip was so important to me? I truly love just about every minute I’ve spent RVing with my wife and 3 young boys. It has meant so much to our family and we have created and experienced some incredible, memorable things.  While my older daughter and son have only seen those experiences through our social media or pictures, I’ve always felt a little guilty that the older two weren’t getting the same experiences or sharing in the memories with us.

 

 

This Father’s Day, I was determined to give the same gift of family memories to all my children. That gift of all of us together doing something I love would be the perfect Father’s Day gift.

 

 

I had such lofty plans, a 150-mile trek to nearby Chattanooga, TN. We would visit a few of their best local sites, while still leaving plenty of time to enjoy and relax at the campground. Since, I assume, Father’s Day would be a busy weekend of camping I made reservations well in advance. I have to say, I was very proud of myself (patting myself on my back).

Then Murphy’s Law decided to turn my trip upside down. Thank goodness RVing has taught us to be flexible in travel plans. To save money, I decided that we would move the trip back in state and take advantage of our awesome local state park, Stone Mountain. Bonus, we are members of Stone Mountain, so we enjoy discounted campgrounds fees and full FREE access to everything the park has to offer.

 

 

 

So, with that change, I just shifted our plans and we were all set. I planned a weekend of the typical fun things we do while camping such as hiking, swimming in the pool, a fun excursion, etc.

 

Hiking to the Top

 

Knowing the temps would reach the mid 90’s, we decided to hike to the top of Stone Mountain for Saturday morning. We gathered at the base of the walk-up trail and took the “before picture”. It had been more than 5 years since I made the trek to the top.

 

 

This is a very known and well-traveled hike. I’ll admit, I was nervous. The entire mile would be a mile up and all hard rock. I wasn’t sure if my back and knees would survive.

My wife assured me that if I made it up I could take the sky ride down if I was hurting and I was….HURTING.

 

Ride the Ducks…

 

We have always enjoyed excursions like “Ride the Ducks” tours to learn more about the area we are exploring.

 

 

So, of course, I felt compelled to take my oldest two on the ducks ride. They had never heard of Ride the Ducks let alone taken a ride. My 20-year-old son, Storm, even got to drive the duck!

 

 

I was very proud of them both for really getting into the ride loudly quacking the horns along the way.

 

Campfire Cooking & S’mores Anyone?

 

What’s a camping trip without a campfire and some s’mores? Well sometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t work with you while you are camping. This weekend she wasn’t on our side. The first night the charcoal fire got completely washed away in a thunderstorm.

 

The next evening, I at least got the chicken kabobs basically cooked before the skies opened up.

 

 

Finally, we were able to enjoy some campfire s’mores time.

 

 

Pool Time….

 

With the temp in the 90’s each day, we certainly had plans to take a cool dip in the pool. That weekend the pool was the most popular place in the campground.

 

Wrap Up…

 

I’ve always enjoyed Father’s Day weekends.  I truly believe being a father is one of the greatest honors that God has given me. To spend that weekend doing what we love to do, camping, as an entire family was priceless. The memories of all five of my kids and me hiking, swimming, and camping together will stay with me forever. With my older kids reaching the age where they are living their own lives, it was so nice to take a weekend to slow down and just be a family together; sweating together, swimming together, eating together, and just plain being together.

 

 

Father’s Day camping trips will be a new tradition in our family. I hope this weekend has given my older kids the same appreciation and love for the RV lifestyle that their dad so enjoys…

 

We’ll see you and your family at the campground…

 

Keith Sims

Soulful RV Family Dad