If you’re a travel bug, the past year and a half have likely been a bit tortuous. COVID-19 forced so many of us to cancel our trips and postpone our bucket list adventures.
Finally, things are starting to get on the right path, and many travelers are looking for a safe way to travel this summer. Our top suggestion? Rent an RV.
Traveling in an RV allows you to minimize your contact with other people, as well as reduce the risk of canceled hotel visits or exposure to COVID-19 at restaurants/public places. You have full control over where you sleep, who you see, and how many people you are around.
However, if you’ve never been on an RV adventure before, there are some things you should know.
We’ve compiled a short step-by-step guide for planning your first RV road trip in 2021. Take a look at this guide, then start the process of booking your own summer adventure.
First things first: you need to decide where you’re going and how to travel there safely during COVID-19.
Are you hoping to go somewhere cool in the mountains? Looking to book a beach vacation? Shooting for a cross-country road trip with many stops?
There are many choices to evaluate. Think about the one that makes the most sense for your current location, hobbies, interests, and budget.
After over a year of travel restrictions and canceled vacations, RVing in 2021 is a little different.
The most noticeable difference is the popularity of RV bookings. Tons of people are planning safe (but exciting) RV trips this summer – so if you want to book a recreational vehicle or buy one, you need to act immediately and check with the trusted RV Dealers for the best options.
Just like RV bookings, campground reservations are filling up faster than usual in 2021. Once you’ve determined where you’re going, you’ll need to reserve a spot ASAP. This is especially true if you plan to visit some U.S. national parks.
Start by mapping out your path to your final destination. What stops will you make along the way? Will you be staying for multiple nights at places, or will you be on the move frequently?
Then, when you’ve planned your stops, start researching campgrounds. We recommend looking for RV sites that offer:
- Access to the activities and sights you’re most interested in.
- All of the hookups your RV will need to cook, wash, and sleep comfortably.
- WiFi if you’ll want to stay connected to work or friends/family.
- Nice facilities for bathing or cooking out (if that’s what you want).
Once you’ve got your recreational vehicle and your campsite reservations locked and loaded, you can start focusing on the more fun element of your vacation: activities.
Keep in mind that even if you’re interested in hiking or exploring nature, you may still need reservations for certain areas/activities. Do plenty of research to ensure you’re planning ahead now so that you can fully enjoy your vacation when it comes around.
Step 5: Meal Prep or Plan Stops
Food is a big part of every travel experience, but when you have an RV, you won’t necessarily dine the same way you do on other vacations.
If you want to save money, you might want to consider grocery shopping ahead of time and planning meals for the road. This is an especially good idea if you will be traveling through areas where grocery stores and restaurants are limited.
On the other hand, if you do want to hit some awesome restaurants and pit stops during your journey, ensure you’ve done your homework. When are they open? Are they still serving food during the pandemic? Are they actually on your route?
Preparing your meals or restaurant visits in advance will make your entire trip more enjoyable. Don’t just wing it or you might wind up eating gas station food your whole trip.
Step 6: Purchase Necessary Supplies
Most RVs come with basic gear, but you’ll need more than some PB&J sandwiches and a first aid kit to prepare for your road trip. When people rent recreation vehicles, we recommend that they also travel with:
- Jumper cables
- Battery chargers
- A tire pressure gauge
- Bungie cords
- Flashlights with batteries
- Road flares
- A basic toolbox
- Extra fuses
- Tape (electrical and duct)
If you don’t have some of this on hand, talk to your RV dealers or service provider. They may be able to provide you with it or rent something to you.
Step 7: Plan for the Trip Back Home
Lastly, don’t get so caught up in your trip to the destination that you forget to plan for your trip on the way back. Ensure you have fully mapped out your route and planned for any overnight stops you may need to make.
Your first RV adventure is exciting, but remember that a lot of planning and research goes into any successful road trip. Take the time to properly reserve, prepare, and pack for your upcoming summer vacation.
Have you traveled in an RV before? If so, what are your top tips for first-timers? Let us know in the comments below!
Kevin is a proud San Diegan originally from Iowa. He loves hiking, surfing, rock climbing, and experiencing the outdoors in as many ways as possible. His love of exploring and writing motivated him to start Impulsive Wanderlust – a travel + leisure blog providing recommendations to travelers around the world.
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