One of my team members at work frequently takes his family on vacation on a whim. He often asks me for travel advice, so I have become fairly privy to many of his plans. He books air travel and hotels in places like Puerta Vallarta and Palm Springs. He is aware that my family and I are avid RV travelers so he often asks me about it. He has suggested that he should rent a small RV for his family, but he is so accustomed to flying that he is wary of trying a new way of travel. I have had discussions with him regarding the price comparisons of RV travel vs. travelling by air.

He is a very astute person and loves to research information. He seems to be in general agreement with me that RV travel is less expensive, even with the inflated gas prices, than other forms of travel.

So, some day he may rent an RV for his family but for his next trip he has decided to travel to Los Angeles instead of Palm Springs. I told him that Palm Springs was not really an ideal place to take small children, and that the LA area is much better. His initial idea was to fly to LA, rent a car, and drive around to the attractions. Then we got into the discussion regarding the value of the family road trip.

Most RV owners know the value of road trips. Back in the old days growing up, many of us engaged in road trips with our families. There is no better way to bond with your family than spending hours in a car. Of course, it can result in family communication break-down as well, but this is not the norm. Road trips are a great opportunity to see the country and educate the kids on the world around us. My co-worker has never been on a road trip, but I think I was able to convince him of the value of such a journey. Taking it up a notch, RV road trips are the ultimate family experience. I have raised my children on road trips, and now my daughter continues the tradition with her children.

Fort Stevens, Mt. St. Helens, LaConnor Tulips, Our Disney Brick

I am sure I am largely preaching to the choir, since most readers of this article will be familiar with the RV lifestyle, but in case you are new to it, or are just thinking about it, the road trip experience is one of the foundations of RVing.

If you have pre or school age children, there is sometimes the concern how much patience the kids will have to sit through hours of driving. Of course, in an RV, this problem is somewhat mitigated by the distractions that can be provided in a recreational vehicle, but even in a car, it’s important to provide activities to keep the kids engaged. This can be done by using travel games, attractions to stop at, or just the scenery and activities going on outside the vehicle. There is no better way to educate and entertain the family. And perhaps most importantly, see the country. I know many people who have either never been outside their city, or have flown from place to place, never having seen some of the beautiful geography between the two locations.

The impact of family road trips, either by car or RV, can’t be understated. In the Pacific Northwest, we are blessed with such a diversity of ecology and geography within only a few hours. For instance, in Vancouver, B.C., we can ski in the morning and go sailing or paddleboarding in the afternoon for much of the year. Road trips can last a day, a week, or more. They are only limited by the amount of time you are able to take to make it happen. The longer the road trip, the more you can see.

So, if you are an RV owner, continue with your road trip adventures, and if you haven’t experienced the family road trip, I highly recommend it. Involve the entire family in the planning and research different routes and attractions to maximize interest. You will find that not only will you experience new opportunities, but also your family dynamics will be the better for it!

Questions? Comments? Please add your thoughts below.

Steve Froese
Author: Steve FroeseEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Steve Froese is a Licensed Professional Engineer in British Columbia, as well as an Interprovincial Red Seal RV Technician, which is equivalent to a Master Certified RV Technician in the USA. Steve was a personal friend and colleague of the late Gary Bunzer (“the RV Doctor”), and works closely with FMCA as the monthly “Tech Talk” columnist, as well as being a member of the Technical Advisory and Education Committees. Steve and his family are lifelong and avid RVers, mostly in the Pacific Northwest.

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