Kids sitting in front of RV

Trip Planning

Roaming with the Family: A Contemporary Guide to RV Travel with Kids

Planning to go on an RV trip with your kids? Check out these tips and tricks from Gretchen Watson to plan an RV road trip that the whole family will enjoy!

Traveling with kids can be both fun and challenging. One of the ways we make it a bit easier on everyone in our family is to include our kids in the planning process. From deciding where we want to visit to planning the itinerary, we include our kids in this process to ensure everyone has a fantastic time. Here are a few essential tips to help you plan an RV trip while including your kids.


Deciding on the destination- Since we travel with our 5 children ranging in ages from 8-16, we include our kids in the decision process of where they would like to go. Sometimes this could be a particular event or destination such as a National Park, or maybe just a location, such as the beach. It always makes our trips more memorable when we include our children in the decision process.

Route planning: After we determine where we want to go, then we map out our route including stops for gas and stretch breaks. Thankfully, we are traveling with our RV, so bathroom breaks are included in every stop. We try to plan stops every 100 miles, allowing us to get out, stretch our legs and use the restroom, grab a snack, or make a quick lunch. Overall, we plan our travel day to include 300 -400 miles allowing everyone to have a decent break at the end of the day and reset before another travel day if needed. 

Selecting the Right Campground: If the mileage to our destination exceeds the distance that we are comfortable with for one travel day, then we plan stops at campgrounds along the way.  When choosing campgrounds, we strive to find family friendly destinations, ones that preferably have amenities such as pools, mini golf, playgrounds and etc.  After a long day of travel this definitely allows our kids to get their energy out as well as allowing the adults a time of respite.

Planning your Itinerary: Now that you know where you want to go and how long it will take to get there, it’s time to plan your agenda. We love to find family friendly activities that one might overlook such as cave exploring or beach glass hunting; as well as trying the local foods popular to that area. I have had countless experiences of planning a stop somewhere and uncovering a hidden gem that I never knew existed. We once planned a stop through Traverse City, Michigan and found out it was the cherry capital of the world, as well as cherry picking season. We were able to google a local U-pick cherry farm and enjoyed an afternoon of roaming the cherry orchard picking our fair share to eat and make into a pie. Whether it's a short trip or a longer stay, I always make it my goal to find something new and exciting in the areas we visit. Visitor guides, google, and even campground recommendations are a great way to find exciting adventures you might have never considered. Just keep in mind that while having an itinerary is great, you always want to stay flexible for new discoveries you may encounter along the way.  


Meal Planning- Meal planning is one thing that might seem to be forgotten in trip planning, especially with kids. When you plan to be out adventuring all day, the last thing you want to do is come back to your RV and spend the rest of your day deciding what to cook. When prepping for an upcoming RV trip, we always plan out lunches that can be had on the go as well as quick meals we can make ahead for busy days out. With five kids, eating out can be pricey so planning our meals along with our agenda, helps save money and allow for a smoother trip. We definitely include our children in this process, kids can be picky, and we want to have meals on hand that can be enjoyed by everyone. Don’t forget the travel snacks as well. Riding in the car or RV seems to make kids hungry, so we make a point to keep snack friendly options with us on travel days. 

Packing Essentials – Now that you have planned your trip this far, it’s time to decide what to pack. When planning an RV trip with kids, we make sure to pack essentials, such as toys, stuffed animals, iPads and iPhones for travel days, special mementos, books, arts and crafts, or even schoolwork. You also need to consider what clothing to pack based upon what activities you have planned. Be sure to take into consideration what the weather might be, temperature changes, and even what special clothing you might need for activities like swimming.

Most importantly, when planning an RV trip with your children, don’t forget the most important thing, have fun and make memories. Including your children in the trip planning process not only allows them to feel important, but it also allows them to take ownership of the trip. It may not be easy to include them in this process, however the joy and excitement it brings is definitely worth it.