Save Time, Money and Sanity
Save time by planning ahead. Make sure you have all the essentials including food, drinks, snacks, bug spray, medical supplies and sunblock. Try to avoid stocking snacks that are sticky or crumble easily and limit the sugary drinks. Remember that hungry kids get irritable. Research the trip prior to travel to find RV-friendly eateries and picnic areas.
Make use of apps, message boards and technology when traveling. Allstay’s Camp & RV app has rave reviews on Apple’s App Store, many praising the feature that allows you to search for camping data by type, state and city, without requiring users to be online.
Add time to the schedule for exploration and fun. If you are visiting an expensive theme park or tourist attraction, consider buying your souvenirs elsewhere. “When I go to Disneyland I stock up on Disney items at the Dollar Store in my hometown and keep them stashed in the RV to give to the kids later,” said one California traveler.
“Make up games and map out planned educational pit stops, such as historical monuments, so kids can learn something while stretching their legs,” said traveler Melissa Donaldson. “Involve them in the mapping process. Let them see the GPS and tell them what exit number you’re looking for, keep them busy.” Before the trip, download educational apps, music, and videos so they do not have to be streamed. Whatever you do, don’t forget the chargers.
Campgrounds with amenities such as a pool can offer a refreshing pit stop and really wear out the kids so they will sleep well. Be sure and pack sunblock, bathing suites, beach towels and any swim aids for the younger ones. “Bring bikes, paddle boards, roller blades, scooters and fishing poles for when you get to the campground,” said Donaldson. Not only will it keep them busy, but they will also make camp buddies quickly.
Encourage kids to capture these moments with video, pictures and audio using their own mobile devices. Help them create a slideshow of the trip with their commentary. Give children responsibilities when traveling, such as picking up their own clothes, toys or dishes. Don’t let them get into bad habits that may carry over into home life.
Be sure kids are safe and secure when traveling in an RV. Have a first aid kit handy and be sure the smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguisher are all working.
AAA suggests a few tips for safe RV travel:
- If there is another adult besides the driver, it is best to let them manage the children when on the road.
- Secure loose items that can be thrown around such as laptops and tablets.
- Get proper rest. Tired drivers are a factor in nearly 17 percent of fatal crashes.
- Buckle up. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3 out of 4 safety seats are not installed correctly. Know the child passenger safety laws in the states you will be traveling through.
- Don’t drive in bad conditions and try to do more driving during the day than at night.
The gorgeous area of San Diego has an ample amount of attractions and activities for people of all ages. Besides the endless beaches, here are some are kid-friendly stops:
- SeaWorld and Aquatic San Diego – Rides, marine life shows, close encounters with penguins and dolphins.
- LEGOLAND – Sixty rides, shows and attractions.
- San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park – Home to over 3,700 animals, 650 species, and subspecies.
- Stephen Birch Aquarium-Museum – Interactive tide pools and “under the sea” exhibitions.
- San Diego Botanic Garden – See events and participate in activities at Hamilton Children’s Garden.
- San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum at Balboa Park – The nation’s largest multi-sport museum
- California Surf Museum – Surf’s up! See vintage surfboards, surf art, memorabilia, surfing equipment, photographs, magazines and watch videos.