HITTING THE ROAD WITH DARLEY NEWMAN OF BUDGETTRAVEL.COM

Author Darley Newman (center) enjoys roasting s'mores on a recent multigenerational camping trip. Watch Darley's brand-new videos to get inspired for your own RV escape. (Chip Ward)

 

Why would you choose to go RVing? We may be biased, but we think there’s a lot of great reasons. But we get it – sometimes you need to hear it from someone else in order to really believe it! That’s why we partnered with BudgetTravel.com and Travels with Darley to show you what a real-life family experiences while traveling together in an RV and what they learned in the process! We hope you enjoy.

 

A NEW ENGLAND RV ADVENTURE

Editor’s note: Heather K. has been RVing for a couple of years, and in that time she has traveled to 15 states, RVed with friends across the country, and fell in love with RVing as a way of life. She loves traveling with her husband and two kids, but drags her friends into any travel opportunity possible. Her motto is always, “the more the merrier.”  You can find her adventures on her blog Mamas Spot.

As the leaves start changing and cool crisp air rolls in I start getting antsy to hit the road and soak it all in. It’s time to leave the city and see some amazing fall beauty. The place I want to be whisked away to is New England, for it has some of the best foliage in the world. The best way, and in my opinion, the only way to see all that New England has to offer is by RV. There is no better way to revel in the most unforgettable trip you will ever take. If you haven’t seen fall foliage in New England you haven’t really seen fall and if you haven’t done it in an RV you haven’t done it right! When visiting New England in the fall you will want to give yourself at least a week to do it. We decided to embark on our journey mid-October; going at this time had its challenges and its upsides. We found that a lot of the RV campgrounds have closed by the beginning of October or sooner, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time, and with more RV campgrounds closed it just meant that we weren’t fighting our way through other tourists.

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READY. SET. GO RVING! LET’S GET STARTED FROM KEY WEST, FLORIDA

The first week of our journey from Key West to Alaska has gone wonderfully well. Of course, how could a week in the Florida Keys not be wonderful? Especially when your RV is parked right on the Gulf of Mexico.

The Keys are a chain of islands off the tip of the coast of Florida. There are 1,700 islands total with only 43 being accessible by car. These 43 islands are connected by a 127 mile long highway, the Overseas Highway. It’s a fairly easy drive in an RV, and we didn’t have any problems with our 40’ fifth wheel. Although take note, if you are driving or pulling a larger rig, parking lots big enough to stop in are somewhat scarce, so you may want to plan accordingly.

The drive through the Keys is one of our favorites in the country. Crossing each bridge, you take in a stunning display of color where deep brilliant turquoise gives way to the light aquamarine of shallower waters, and then the soft tans of sandbars. The islands are filled with charm and whimsy. Small colorful beach shacks sit alongside large modern beach homes in visual harmony. You’ll find everything from small local health food stores to touristy shell shops.

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TAILGATING AROUND THE NATION

Summer may be a great time to get away and explore in an RV, but fall is the perfect time to find a parking lot and let the fan-tastic fun begin. With college and professional football coming back into full swing, fill the fridge and grab the grill, then take your tailgate party on wheels to these top football tailgates:

1. Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Just seeing this massive stadium (lovingly known as the Horseshoe) is worth the trip. With some of the most passionate fans and students in the country, you have the recipe for a weekend of tailgating you won’t forget. So, park your RV and hoist a flag for the Buckeyes. (Must-visit weekend: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, 9/28.)

2. Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Loyal Chiefs fans take their tailgating seriously, so you’ll want to get there before the gates even open. This also allows for time to get to know other RV tailgaters as you stake out your party zone. Of all the tailgates for NFL games, perhaps none take tailgate food as seriously as those at Arrowhead Stadium. Remember to load that RV full of bacon, the “official” currency of Kansas City Chiefs tailgaters.

3. Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Tailgating here means one thing: cheeseheads. The sleepy little town of Green Bay comes alive when the Packers (of which many fans are shareholders) play at home. Green Bay tailgaters also have a reputation for being hospitable and friendly, so you can be sure your RV caravan will be welcomed with open arms.

4. O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Bring your pig! RV tailgaters begin as early as Friday night, and the food of choice is whole pig. Raiders fans have a reputation for being passionate, rowdy, and barrels of fun. With so many other great sights and sounds in the Bay Area, you’ll have plenty to do before and after the big game.

5. Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
Few college football teams have storied histories like Notre Dame. Here, you can tailgate with Touchdown Jesus in sight and be part of one of the oldest powerhouse college football programs in America. RV tailgating here means participating in pregame traditions such as Trumpets Under the Dome and a walk to the stadium. These traditions, matched with Midwest hospitality, make this a must-visit. After all the activities, you’ll be glad you have a comfortable RV to relax in. (Must-visit weekend: Notre Dame vs. USC, 10/19.)

6. Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
The phrase “everything is bigger in Texas” may be overused, but it is also true. This year, the University of Texas Longhorns square off against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry on October 12. These teams, who are known for throwing amazing tailgates, may just produce 2013’s best tailgate environment in all of football when they combine at the historic Cotton Bowl. Whether your tailgate party is Texas-size or a few close friends, you won’t want to miss this chance to tailgate along with thousands of other RVers at this showdown.