Now not only was this our first road trip with a six-year-old, a four-year-old, and a one-year-old in tow--it was also our very first RVing experience. Honestly, it didn't take long for us to realize what we were missing out on all this time! Life on the road was a dream come true.
Below I'm sharing our top five tips for a successful family RV adventure.
1. Pack light.
Each family member brought about five complete outfits (five tops and bottoms), 7 pairs of chonies, 1-2 pairs of pajamas, one warm jacket, and a pair of slippers (flip flops). For the boys' bottoms I mostly brought swim shorts because they're easy to wash and dry quickly--their favorites include the Euro Trunks
from Naisish Handmade and the Boardshorts
from Seaesta Surf.
Daniel and I each brought our own States Duffle Bag
from Walker Family Goods plus one small backpack. Melibea's things were spread across our bags. The boys each brought one small suitcase plus their Adventure Bus Backpacks
from Lassig. The latter were filled with simple games or puzzles, sketchbooks, and marker sets.
2. Make sure everything has a home in the RV.
One of the first things we did after determining sleeping arrangements was to designate a "home" for each family member's clothes, personal items, and water bottles. We also found a spot to store our slippers (we kept the RV Hawai'i style and maintained a no shoes inside policy). Lastly, we made sure to establish a rubbish bag, a recycling area, and a dirty clothes bag.
3. Stick with a simple routine.
We all know how important this is for our children's well-being but for our own sanity! Our days looked similar in structure: breakfast, outdoor play/adventure, lunch, nap, RV play, dinner, bedtime routine. If the drive was relatively short we would squeeze it in after breakfast, otherwise we would time it for the children's naps. Furthermore, we began each morning discussing the plan for the day as a family--as the hours went on we would remind each other about what was coming up next.
4. Adventure outside every single day.
I mean, why else would you be RVing anyways?! We filled our days with chasing waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park and playing on the river--rafting on the McKenzie with High Country Expeditions and sunbathing on the Illinois at the magical Cedar Bloom Farm. Once we crossed over to California we even walked amongst Giants in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
To help us get an early start each day, the night before we would lay out our clothes for the next morning as well as decide on breakfast options. Once we were out the door the keiki were free to roam, climb, and explore. It was so convenient to have the RV nearby storing post-adventure snacks!
5. Encourage children to share a highlight from each day--this could be via storytelling, a drawing, a journal entry etc.
Tamayo, our four-year-old, sketched some of his favorite spots but preferred to tell us about his favorite moments as we tucked him in each night. While Kahlo, our six-year-old, kept a travel journal where he would draw a highlight of each day then briefly describe it in Hawaiian. It was so fun to see and hear about our shared experiences from each of their perspectives.
And there you have it, we cannot wait to put these tips into practice again on a future RV trip. Our adventure with Cruise America showed us how easy and fun RVing with young children can be. So what are you waiting for?
See more of our adventures on Instagram @kauailife or on my travel blog www.thesewilddays.com.
To find more travel inspiration visit Cruise America on Instagram, or if have your own stories you want to share with us, tag your photos with #BeThereNow for a chance to be featured on our social channels.