Road trips of the past used to take place in station wagons loaded with loved ones, Fido the Dog, and luggage piled into the cargo area and strapped tight on the roof. But things have changed.
It’s now becoming increasingly common for families to buy or rent recreational vehicles (RVs) with all the creature comforts of home — such as beds, kitchen, washroom, sofas, furnace, and air conditioner — and then hit the open road in grand style.
Sure, RVs have been around for quite some time, but the economic climate is such that families who want to explore more of what the country has to offer are finding that it can be cheaper, even with the eye-watering gas prices, to travel via RV rather than by plane. The reason, of course, is that an appropriately equipped RV will eliminate the needs of hotels and restaurants.
If you’re chomping at the bit to take your family on a trip across the U.S. in an RV — when the weather is ideal, of course — here are some ideas on what you can see and do.
ARE WE THERE YET?
Before committing to an RV trip, you’ll want to know how long it will actually take you and your family to complete it. According to one source, a coast-to-coast road trip will stretch between 2,500 to 3,500 miles or so. If you put in eight or more hours of driving time each day, your trip could potentially take between four to six days. The specific time will depend on the route.
Of course, you don’t have to be overly ambitious with your travel plans. Instead of trekking cross-country, you might want to spend more time enjoying smaller chunks of the U.S. After all; you can always plan follow-up trips to see different parts of the country later on.
2 OPTIONS YOU CAN PURSUE
California: Even if you live in California, chances are you haven’t seen all of the state with its abundance of beaches and forests, culture and entertainment. At a size of 423,970 km², the state is immense, and there’s plenty you can see if your RV trip involves exploring California. Chances are you won’t have time to see everything in one go. Options include Anza-Borrego State Park, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Klamath National Forest, Grover Hot Springs, Yosemite National Park, and Death Valley. Decide what sorts of destinations tickle your fancy and plan an itinerary that allows you and your family to take in some of the sights and sounds.
Route 66: If you only make one cross-U.S. road trip in your lifetime, Route 66 ought to be high up on the list of options. The trek will take you from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. While this popular route won’t take you through a lot of natural green spaces, you will have the chance to see some of the best of the arts — museums and galleries — as well as some places to hang out and look around — restaurants and roadside attractions. Here are some interesting things you can check out if your RV road trip involves the iconic Route 66: Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum in Illinois, the Galena Mining and Historical Museum in Kansas, Lincoln’s Tomb in Illinois, the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri, the Route 66 Auto Museum in New Mexico, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and much more.
One of the things you need to keep in mind when going on an RV trek across the U.S. is that the rules of the road in the various states you visit and travel through might not be anything like the rules where you live. Consider these odd rules of the road, for instance:
In New Mexico, a booster seat is required by law for a child even up to the age of 12 if he or she does not fit properly in a regular vehicle seat. It’s also against the law to travel with stickers on your vehicle windows in Florida. So, if your little ones have perhaps placed some on the RV windows, take them off before entering Florida…or risk the possible consequences.
Families, RVs, and the open road are the perfect combination for a trip across the U.S. There are lots of places you can go throughout the nation, so head out on a trip to make some memories.