10 Ways to Stay Safe and Healthy on a U.S. Road Trip

by: Bree Weidman

If you’re planning an RV-style road trip across the United States, you’ve probably got one thing on your mind- adventure! From the endless deserts and painted skies of the “Wild West” to the coastal plains and rolling seas of the Eastern Seaboard, the U.S. has plenty to offer international visitors.

To help you prepare for your trip, we’ve taken into account both U.S. culture and the rules of the road to devise these 10 health and safety tips:

  1. Don’t advertise yourself as a tourist

When you look like you don’t know where you’re going (or if it’s clear you’re “not from around here”), thieves are more likely to view you as an easy target. Keep the road maps in your car out of plain sight, recommends RoadTripAmerica, and “if your vehicle is laden with luggage, park where you can see it from a restaurant or store.”

Don’t want to dress like a tourist? Learn all about American clothing and style with this free guide.

  1. Make frequent stops

Every few hours, pull over and take a break- even if you don’t think you’re sleepy. Use this time to stretch your legs, revel in the fresh air, and get some nourishment. But don’t park on the shoulder or in the breakdown lane unless you have an emergency, says Independent Traveler.

If you’re traveling in a group, rotating drivers will allow you to nap without wasting valuable time. And if you’re traveling solo, the site recommends listening to music, cracking your window, and refraining from using speed control, since concentrating can help keep you awake. If you’re too tired to drive, certainly pull over for a nap!

  1. Understand distracted-driving laws

Hopefully you already know not to drink and drive (and to always wear your seatbelt). But did you know that using a hand-held cell phone while driving is against primary enforcement law in 14 U.S. states? This means you can be cited even without committing an additional traffic offense.

The U.S. has primary enforcement laws regarding the use of seatbelts, too. For additional info on seatbelt laws, DUI laws, and more, check out this Guide to U.S. Culture and Customs. 

  1. Have an emergency plan in place before severe weather hits

Upon arriving in a new location, take time to devise an emergency plan, suggest Jason and Kristin Snow of Snowmads.com. Be sure to find the nearest storm shelter and evacuation spots- especially in areas prone to floods, hurricanes, or tornadoes.

The “snowmads” also recommend that you react quickly to severe weather threats, value your life (and the lives of law enforcement) above the welfare of your possessions, and gather “the most up-to-date weather data available.”

  1. Prepare your vehicle for long-distance travel

Like cars, RV’s need to be properly serviced and maintained. According to Camping World, oil and filters should be changed at regular intervals, roof seals and seams should be inspected every 6 months, and tire pressure and lug nuts should be inspected before every trip. Before jetting off on your vacation, check with your RV rental company to see what your responsibilities are.

  1. Pack an emergency kit

No traveler really wants to consider the possibility of becoming stranded on the side of the road, but emergencies happen- especially on long-term trips. Having these 6 things in your emergency kit can save you a world of trouble.

  1. Invest in physical maps – and a guidebook

While it’s a good idea to load your smartphone with travel apps (Google Maps, GasBuddy, and iExit will all come in handy), there’s still a chance you’ll run into spotty cell service in the U.S. For those times you can’t get a signal, a fold-out atlas is ideal.

A Dangerous Business travel blog recommends a Rand McNally road atlas and a book like The Next Exit, a complete guide to interstate highway amenities.

  1. Get international travel health insurance

Did you know that a broken leg can cost up to $7,500 to fix in the United States? Before departing your home country, it’s your responsibility as an international traveler to find out whether your standard medical insurance policy covers you outside your home country.

If it doesn’t (and many do not), an international travel medical plan can provide coverage for eligible expenses resulting from unexpected illness or injury. Not only do these plans provide financial protection and access to quality medical care, but some plans include benefits like Medical Evacuation, Natural Disaster, and Personal Liability.

  1. Read up on social etiquette

There’s more to feeling safe and secure on a road trip than simply avoiding injury. In addition to prepping your vehicle for travel, following traffic laws, and acquiring insurance, be sure to read up on social etiquette in the U.S. By understanding behavioral norms, you can bypass uncomfortable (or, in worst-case scenarios, threatening) situations.

This Guide to U.S. Culture and Customs has everything you need to know- from general manners, acceptable gestures, and welcome topics of conversation to dining etiquette and tipping guidelines!

  1. Keep your valuables safe

Get in the habit of locking your RV each time you head out, no matter how safe a campground appears. Lock valuables in either the glove compartment or trunk before you reach your destination, suggests Independent Traveler. If possible, luggage should be stored in the trunk.

Kampgrounds of America recommends also keeping your shades closed and purchasing devices to protect your vehicle while you’re gone, like a safe, trailer-hitch lock, or motion detector.

If you thought these tips were helpful, find these and many more in this free, downloadable Guide to U.S. Culture and Customs! Following these tips and tricks will result in a seamless cultural transition- no matter where you choose to stop along the way. 

Bree Weidman is a Marketing Specialist for Tokio Marine HCC – MIS Group, a full-service insurance organization offering domestic short term and travel medical insurance products to international travelers worldwide.  Though she’s been writing her entire life, Bree has been a contributing author of the MIS Group blog for about a year now, covering topics paramount to global adventurers: health, safety, culture, and insurance, to name a few. When Bree isn’t writing, you’ll likely find her daydreaming about her next international vacation!

Posted in RV Travel Tips, USA travel, Vacation Planning, vacation tips | Leave a comment

The Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses—An RV Traveler’s Guide

College football fans and RV campers who love a good parade are already making plans to be in Pasadena, California on January 1. Are you planning to join them for the must-watch, hotly contested Rose Bowl Game and the Tournament of Roses Parade?

Marching Band

Marching Band

For one hundred twenty six years, the Tournament of Roses Parade has thrilled parade watchers with flowered fantasy floats, newly-crowned parade royalty and skillful marching bands. The beautiful city of Pasadena opens its doors to hundreds of thousands of parade-goers each year and is more than up to the task.

And if you’re planning to attend the 101st Rose Bowl Game, going by RV makes it comfortable and affordable. If that sounds like a dream come true, there’s still time to make your RV rental reservation and get tickets for all the events.

Here’s what you need to know to plan your trip. Get started now!

Need-to-Know Basics for the Tournament of Roses Parade

    • When? January 1 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. PST
    • Where? Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA
    • Where Can I Camp? Because Pasadena is part of the larger Los Angeles metro area, you may not find an actual RV campground close by the parade route. Here’s the good news: the vendor-regulated parking areas (see Where Can I Park below) and many of the area businesses allow some form of ‘boondocking’ or camping without services. Here’s also a link to a list of campgrounds within 30 miles of Pasadena.
    • Will I Need Tickets? Grandstand seating is reserved and requires tickets. Purchase them here. You can also view the parade for free curbside. The curbside area opens for seating at noon December 31.
    • Where Can I Park? If you’re planning to camp outside the parade route, you may want to reserve parking closer in. The vendor who provides grandstand seating for the parade also makes available car or RV parking adjacent to the seating areas, for up to three days. Here’s the link to purchase parking space for the Rose Parade.
    • Anything Happening Before and After the Parade?  Plenty! Watch the marching bands in action before the parade by attending Band Fest either December 29 or December 30. If you’d love to see the magic that transforms thousands of flowers and natural items into award-winning floats, schedule time to watch float decorating at one of three official venues during parade week. There’s also a showcase of floats following the parade. Here’s a link to pre- and post- parade event details.

Need-to-Know Basics for the Rose Bowl Game

    • When? January 1 – Pre-game activities begin at 1:30 p.m. PST. Don’t miss any of the excitement!
    • Where? Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA. The chance to see this historic, one-of-a-kind stadium is worth the trip. Home to the oldest bowl game in America!
    • Who’s Playing in 2015 Rose Bowl? Oregon vs. Florida State

      Rose Bowl Game

      Rose Bowl Game

    • Where Do I Buy Tickets? Rose Bowl tickets are selling out fast, so click the link for contact information and make the call today.
    • Where is RV Parking Allowed? Along with a special lot for RV and bus parking at the stadium, you can also reserve parking at the off-site lots, some of which run shuttles to the stadium. Here’s a link for more info on RV parking at the Rose Bowl.  Every RV traveler to California should see the Rose Bowl at least once. Choose your events, buy your tickets, rent your RV and reserve a space at the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. You’ll be so glad you did!

We’ve tried to answer most of your questions about RV camping at the Rose Bowl this year, but if we’ve missed one, here’s how to reach the Visitor Hotline for the Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses Parade.

Photo Credits: Marching Band photo: Prayitno, Flickr Commons License ; Rose Bowl Game photo: Keith Skelton, Flickr Commons License

Posted in Big City RV Excursions, Big City RV trips, blog, CA, CA RV Camping, CA RV Vacation, CA Vacation, California local trips, California vacations, California winter vacation, Coastal RV Vacation, College Football Tailgating, Cost effective RV Vacation, family travel, family trips, football, Football and RV's, Football Fun, Football RV Rental, Football Tailgating, holiday, Holiday travel, Los Angeles Camping, Los Angeles RV camping, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Parades, Rose Bowl Game, Rose Bowl Parade, RV, RV blog, rv comfort, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Tailgating, RV Tailgating Blog, RV Vacation, Tailgating info, Tailgating Travel, Tailgating Vacation, Tournament of Roses Parade, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Winter Fun | Leave a comment

Lower Gulf Coast RV Getaway

Are you hoping to get away from ice, sleet and snow when you hit the road this winter? Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast offers fabulous weather, fascinating attractions and top-notch RV camping.

Ft. Meyers, Smuggler's Cove

Smuggler’s Cove

The southwestern coast of Florida centers on the sunny islands of Sanibel and Estero and the cities of Fort Myers and Naples. Whether you choose to add to your seashell collection, soak up the sun on a white sand beach or kayak down a tree-lined paddling trail, there’s a place to do it when you get here.

Ride along as we unveil the joys of RV camping on Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast!

Places to Enjoy

With more than a dozen amenity rich RV parks in the Fort Myers/Estero Island area, there’s no reason not to go right now. Find the park closest to your favorite attractions and call today for reservations.

Here are just a few of the reasons RV travelers love the laid-back beauty of the region:

    • Beaches: This sun-drenched region is a haven for beach-loving motorhome travelers. With calm seas and gentle slopes underwater, you can safely enjoy your time in the water. Just a few of the family-friendly beaches you’ll want to explore are Bowditch Point Park, Lovers Key State Park, Lynn Hall Memorial Park and Pier and Lighthouse Park Beach on nearby Sanibel Island.
    • Wildlife: Grab a kayak and paddle the Great Calusa Blueway to spot dolphins and manatees within an oar’s reach of your watercraft. Hike the trails at Estero Bay Preserve State Park for a full day of bird watching in an unspoiled setting. If you have the time, make the jump to Sanibel Island’s J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge. That’s where thousands of migratory birds arrive each winter, to make their home with the resident shorebirds. And did we mention the alligators?
    • Golf: Did you know that one of the biggest draws to Florida’s southwestern coast is the availability of excellent golfing? Thrill your golf playing campers with world-class opportunities to play. Here’s a useful link to golf courses in the region—reserve your tee times before you go and don’t forget the sunscreen!
    • History: Like to visit historic sites? Then Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast is your perfect winter vacation spot, with attractions like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s winter homes in Fort Myers, Sanibel Island Lighthouse and Estero’s Koreshan State Historic Site that includes the remnants of a 19th century utopian compound. From early Native American burial mounds to a museum of railroad history, you’ll find your history fix in the Fort Myers area.
    • Shopping: If someone in your RV camping family likes to shop, they’ll have to pace themselves, because there are literally too many outlet malls and upscale shopping districts to count. Top recommendations are legendary Miromar Outlets, the scenic Coconut Point mall in Estero and Fort Myer’s exciting River District.                        

Ready to roll your RV toward fascinating southwest Florida? We’re ready to help with RV rentals and information on local attractions. Don’t wait—experience Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast this year.

 Monty the MotorhomePhoto credit:  Smuggler’s Cove, Ft. Meyer’s by Jason Helle, licensed under Flickr Creative Commons

Posted in East Coast RV Travel, Family RV vacations, Florida, florida rv vacation, florida vacation, RV Camping Resources, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Sales, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacations Southern States, RV Winter Vacations, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

RV Camping the Cajun Coast at Louisiana’s Lake Palourde

Are you ready to explore one of Louisiana’s largest inland lakes by RV?  Then it’s time to turn your motorhome to southern Louisiana and Lake Palourde.  This scenic lake is part of an enormous collection of swamps, streams and interconnected waterways that make up the Atchafalaya Basin.

Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

Here’s how to get there: Travel US90 about one-and-one-half hours southwest from New Orleans to Morgan City, LA.  That’s where you’ll find the best access for RV campers to Lake Palourde.  Let the city’s Lake End Park be your home base, with affordable, full-service campsites adjacent to the water.

This stunningly scenic park also boasts fishing piers, a boat launch, plenty of hiking and biking routes and a sand beach.  Be sure to make reservations before you come, so you’ll have your prime camping spot secured.

What You’ll Find While RV Camping at Lake Palourde: Here are some of the first impressions RV travelers to Lake Palourde have shared, “Spanish moss hanging low on cypress trees,” “nature at its best, right at your camper’s front door” and “fishing like nowhere else in America.”

Fishing in Louisiana

Fishing in Louisiana

So let’s talk about the fishing first—the anglers in your crew aren’t going to want to leave the water when they realize just how many crappie, catfish and bass make this lake and the area’s canals and bayous their home.  Be ready to eat some of the freshest seafood imaginable, as oysters, crayfish and crabs are also plentiful on the Atchafalaya.

There’s also something here for history buffs, nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts at Lake Palourde.  Brownell Memorial Park and Carillon Tower, just a half-mile down the road from the RV campground, is a delightful place to hike the trails, watch for unusual bird species and photograph one of the world’s tallest carillon towers (if you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the bells ring!)

Another way to savor the character of Louisiana’s inland lakes is to understand their important role in history.  Take the time to ask a local about the Civil War battle in which a much smaller Confederate force came on small boats and then on foot through the swamps to attack and conquer a large Union encampment at Fort Brashear.

But let’s not forget about the outdoor sports enthusiasts who come to the shores of Lake Palourde.  There are plenty of ways for them to spend their time, from biking along the bayous and through picturesque small towns to looking for eagles’ nests from the water along one of the Cajun Coast Paddling Trails.

A beautiful Blue Heron

A beautiful Blue Heron

Speaking of birding, sections of the America’s Wetland Birding Trail can be found throughout the Atchafalaya Basin, including at Lake Palourde.  Keep your eyes open for great blue herons, double-crested cormorants and a multitude of both common and rare birds that make Louisiana’s Cajun Coast their home.

One more suggestion for getting back to nature in America’s favorite freshwater swamp—take a swamp tour!  Local outfitters like Cajun Jack’s are happy to introduce you to the alligators, backwoods trappers and Cajun lore of the Basin.

Coming to southern Louisiana is taking a step into Cajun hospitality and untamed beauty everywhere you look.  Bring your bikes, your hiking shoes and your cameras and set up camp on the shores of Lake Palourde.  You’re going to have a hard time leaving!

We’d like to hear about your Atchafalaya adventures by RV, especially if you’ve visited Lake Palourde.  What keeps you going back?  Share your tips for fellow travelers in the comment section below.  And be sure to let us know if you need an RV rental for the trip!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Top, Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; middle, Fishing in Louisiana by finchlake2000, and bottom, Blue Heron by Andrea Westmoreland are are licensed under Flickr Commons

Posted in bayous and RV vacationing, bird watching destinations, Bird watching vacation, blog, Fall Foliage, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Fishing, Fishing Vacation, Historical Museum RV Vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Louisiana fishing vacation, Louisiana RV Camping, Louisiana RV Vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, National Parks, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, Rural RVing, RV, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Fishing Trips, RV Lake Fishing, RV Lake Trip, RV Lake Vacation, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Sales, RV trail hiking trips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacations Southern States, Southern Hospitality, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation | Leave a comment

Five Day Trips to Take While RV Camping in Tucson

Are you looking for new ways to enjoy the great outdoors while RV camping in Arizona?  Why not try Tucson, home to year-round campgrounds and some of the prettiest desert scenery around?

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

To spark your imagination, we’ve collected helpful tips on five day trips you’ll want to take while in Tucson.  Let’s start our tour by saying that the weather in Tucson is fabulous for a winter holiday vacation.  With highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s, it’s perfect for hiking, biking and sightseeing to your heart’s content.

And that’s a good thing, because our first day trip suggestion is to Saguaro National Park, a hiking and biking paradise divided by the city of Tucson.  Photograph the giant saguaro cacti in the Tucson Mountain District to the west or take one of the Rincon Mountain District’s scenic drives or trails to the east of the city.  Either way (or both!) it’s going to be a memorable experience.

There’s no camping in the National Park, which closes to motor vehicle traffic at sunset, but there’s plenty of camping nearby.  Campgrounds such as Desert Trails RV Park, Prince of Tucson RV Park and Whispering Palms RV Park help keep RV camping in Tucson pleasant and affordable.

The second day trip suggestion we’d like to make for Tucson visitors is a picnic/hiking day at Agua Caliente Park.  Once a warms springs resort and ranch, this lovely spot offers palm tree-lined trails around the springs, as well as historical ranch structures to explore.

Your third day in Tucson wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Sabino Canyon in the vast Coronado National Forest.  Less than thirty minutes from downtown Tucson, this hauntingly beautiful setting can be seen by tram or on one of the many trails.

Day four on your RV camping trip to Tucson can be spent indoors, if you’d like, at one or more of Tucson’s excellent museums.  The Pima Air & Space Museum is the largest privately funded aerospace museum in America, so plan lots of time to take in acres of aircraft and educational exhibits.  Another great choice for a day indoors is the International Wildlife Museum, where hundreds of species have been preserved for study and enjoyment (great day trip for the kids!)

Pima Air and Space Museum

Pima Air and Space Museum

On Day Five, let’s take a quick road trip about an hour south of Tucson to Kartchner Caverns State Park.  Pack a picnic lunch in that convenient RV kitchen and then head underground for one of the tours through these caves’ most spectacular rooms.  It’s southern Arizona from a whole new perspective!

These are just five of the ways travelers to Tucson can amuse themselves on a camping trip.  Take the bikes, hiking gear and cameras and take full advantage of the natural beauty in and around this exciting Arizona city.

We’re happy to help with an Arizona RV rental, so be sure to give us a call as you make your plan.  The comfort of an RV, combined with hundreds of ways to have outdoor fun in the Tucson area, make RV camping in Tucson the way to go this winter.

What are you favorite day trips when camping near Tucson?  Let your fellow readers know by commenting on this post.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Saguaro National Park by Jimmy Thomas ; Pima Air and Space Museum by Clemens Vasters; all are licensed under Flickr Commons

Posted in AR RV Camping, AR RV Vacation, Arizona hiking trips, Arizona motorhome trips, Arizona motorhome vacations, Aviation vacation, AZ RV Camping, AZ RV Vacation, City Fun and Outdoor Adventure RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, Desert vacations, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, National Parks, National Scenic Byways, Native American History, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, Recreational Vehicle, Rural RVing, RV, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Sales, RV trail hiking trips, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Winter Fun, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment

RV Adventure to Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia’s Atlantic Coast can be your RV camping playground year-round.  One of the best places to experience the wild beauty and unspoiled nature of the area is with a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Cumberland Island Shoreline

Head out on this inviting boardwalk to the Cumberland Island shoreline!

As Georgia’s largest barrier island, this paradise is just two hours north of the El Monte RV Rental location in Orlando, Florida.  With fifty miles of hiking trails, an amazing collection of wildlife and a wide range of historical sites to discover, isn’t it time you took a trip to Georgia’s island treasure?

We’ve put together a guide for RV travelers planning to visit Cumberland Island, with answers to your most frequent questions.

Where Can We Camp Near Cumberland Island National Seashore?

The National Seashore itself is undeveloped, with no paved roads and access only by the Cumberland ferry system.  Plan to camp nearby and take advantage of the ferry for an authentic wilderness experience.

Here are some suggestions for RV parks near Cumberland Island:

Crooked River State Park, located in St. Mary’s, GA, is just seven miles from the Cumberland Island Ferry landing.  It features campsites with electricity in a beautiful setting worth discovering after your day on the National Seashore.

Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, FL, is right across the Cumberland Sound from St. Mary’s GA.  Enjoy their full-service campsites in a scenic setting, with quick access to the Cumberland Ferry.

A Big Wheel RV Park adjacent to Crooked River State Park is a privately run campground that receives rave reviews.  It accommodates any size RV!

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

How Should We Prepare for our RV Camping Trip?

Glad to hear you’re the kind of RV camping enthusiast who plans ahead!  It’s especially important, when visiting a natural, undeveloped setting, to know what to expect.  Here are some things to consider when making your plans:

    • You can only reach the Island by ferry (passengers only, no vehicles) so be sure to make reservations in advance.
    • Only 300 people are allowed on the island each day.
    • Ferry passengers not on dock at least 30 minutes ahead of departure lose their reservations, so arrive early!
    • Pets are not allowed on the ferry.
    • If you’d like to rent a bike to travel around the island, be sure to tell the ferry concessionaire when you call.
    • There are no services on the Island other than water to refill bottles.  Bring your own food, water and normal hiking necessities like hats, sunscreen and insect repellant.
    • Take along a trash bag, as this wilderness island has a ‘pack in, pack out’ policy for all visitors.
    • If you plan to fish while visiting Cumberland Island, purchase a Georgia fishing license and make sure you have the required Saltwater Informational Program Permit attached.

What Kind of Weather Can We Expect? 

Like any well-prepared RV adventurer, you’ll want to know what kind of weather to expect when you go.  The weather in November at Cumberland Island National Seashore is magnificent, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.  Even in December, expect to enjoy 60 degree weather, with nighttime temps in the high 40s.

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

What Will We See on Cumberland Island?

History!  The Island was once mostly owned by the Carnegie family, and the ruins of their mansion, Dungeness, are just one part of its historic appeal.  Reserve a seat before you come on one of the Lands and Legacies Van Tours if you’d like to learn about the Native Americans who once inhabited the island, the large slave population who built the First African Baptist Church and, of course, the Carnegies and their opulent island lifestyle.  If you’re up to a lengthy hike or ride through variable terrain, you can also travel to these sites on foot or by bicycle.

Nature! Not only has the Atlantic formed a sixteen-mile stretch of perfect beach for you to explore, you’ll also find lush maritime forests, salt marshes and picturesque dunes here.  Stay on the marked trails to help preserve the wilderness for future generations and be sure to bring your camera!

Wildlife!  From feral horses to armadillos and alligators, this island has plenty to appeal for wildlife lovers.  No domesticated creatures call this island home, so keep that in mind while hiking or biking the area.  Keep a sharp eye out for the island’s famous wild horses, the sea turtles that nest here in early autumn and a surprising variety of shore birds.  Have we convinced you it’s time to visit Georgia’s barrier island paradise?  Here’s a link to more information, courtesy of the National Park Service.  We don’t often find unspoiled beauty that’s open for everyone to explore.  Let us know if we can help with an RV rental.  Please don’t miss the chance to discover Cumberland Island National Seashore and all it has to offer!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Cumberland Island Path by db rolenrock, Cumberland Island Boardwalk by Jon Dawson, and Wild Horse Along Shoreline by Doug Anderson; all are licensed under Flickr Commons

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RV Football Tailgating – It’s Game On!

The college and NFL football seasons are in full swing, so what’s your game plan for the best RV tailgating season ever?

Syracuse University Football

Syracuse University Football

First things first; don’t own an RV?  No worries – we’ve got the plays mapped out for an affordable RV rental close to the game.  With that detail off your mind, let’s talk about your winning strategy for epic RV football tailgating.

Play #1: Do Your Tailgating Homework!

Parking the RV and firing up the grill is your ultimate goal, but first, you’ll need to do a little homework.  Find out before the game where you can park your motorhome, whether the stadium allows tailgating and how soon you can stake out a parking spot.

Whether you’re gearing up for college football tailgating or a pro football game is in your future, we’ve gathered a lot of advance intelligence.  Be sure to also contact the stadium if you have questions!

Play #2: Pick the Best RV Tailgating Recipes

Already have a respectable tailgating repertoire? Good for you!  Why not kick things up a notch this season by adding new game day desserts?  It’s easy in an RV kitchen!

Another way to build your fan base is by adding a sizzling side dish to your favorite barbeque or champion chili.  Grilled veggies, cheesy mini biscuits and rice & veggie salads are already emerging as MVPs this season.

But if you’re brand new to RV football tailgating, the field’s wide open!  Pick your favorite recipes for a crowd – your convenient RV kitchen makes prep time and cooking a snap kick.  If you need a little help planning the menu, sites like Chow.com have dozens of ideas for your pre-game feast.

Play #3: Game Day Tailgating Success

Every successful tailgating chef has a super secret sauce, brilliant barbeque brainstorm or spectacular side dish strategy, but what they all have in common is a plan.

Rent an El Monte RV and Save

Rent an El Monte RV and Save

  • Where will you park the RV on game day?
  • How much does RV parking cost?
  • Will you need electrical hook-ups to cook?
  • How many football-loving friends will you be feeding?
  • Who else is bringing game-time goodies?
  • What cooking and serving utensils will you use?
  • What groceries do you need and how will you pack them?
  • Will you bring the grill or cook for the crowd in your well-designed RV kitchen?
  • What beverages complement your menu?
  • RV storage is always an added plus; pack it up for any kind of weather!
  • For more ways to save visit El Monte RV’s Newsletter for RV specials!

Once you’ve got your tailgating playbook planned, it’s time for kickoff!  The convenience, comfort and affordability of RV tailgating at football games make it a tradition for thousands of fans.  Why not find out how tailgating in a motorhome can make your football season even more fantastic?

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: football photo is an El Monte RV stock photo.

Posted in Big City RV Excursions, College Football Tailgating, family trips, Football RV Rental, Green RV'ing, Motor home vacation blog, RV blog, RV destination, RV Rental, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Tailgating, RV Travel Tips, RV Winter Vacations, Superbowl RV Trip, USA travel | Leave a comment

Winter Beach Camping at Mustang Island

What could be more perfect than sand, sea, and an average daytime temperature of 72 degrees?  Winter RV campers should definitely make plans to visit Mustang Island, off the coast of Texas in the Gulf.  Beach camping at its best awaits, so what are you waiting for?

How to Get There

This Texas barrier island is easy to reach by RV; travel to Corpus Christi and then across the JFK Causeway to Padre Island.  Mustang Island is minutes away on Hwy 361.  By the way, if you don’t own an RV, El Monte RV Rentals in McKinney and Palmer, Texas will be happy to help!

McKinney, TEXAS, El Monte RV Location

McKinney, TEXAS, El Monte RV Location

What You’ll Find on Mustang Island

The whole family will find a new favorite activity on Mustang Island. Besides seaside RV camping, you can spend your winter vacation days hiking the dunes and soaking up the Gulf Coast sun.  Nature lovers in your crew will find an amazing abundance of birds to watch here; in fact, there are several local stops along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.

And the Gulf itself has so much in store for Mustang Island RV campers!  Snorkeling, scuba fishing, windsurfing, swimming, dolphin watching, shelling and beach strolling are just the beginning of what you’ll find to do on eighteen miles of public beaches.

Soothing Waters of Mustang Island, Texas

Soothing Waters of Mustang Island, Texas

Mustang Island State Park, the heart of this barrier island, not only offers scenic 50-amp RV campsites, it tempts winter Texas travelers with its unspoiled beaches and fascinating variety of wildlife.  Plenty of fishing awaits at the Park, too; you can even borrow fishing gear if you forget to bring yours!

When you’re ready for a bit more civilization, roll into the scenic island town of Port Aransas. A wide range of shops and museums (and a convenient trolley system) offer delightful ways to pass your time.  And the food!  You’ll find the freshest seafood on the Gulf right here in Port Aransas.

Speaking of seafood, we also hear a trip to Keepers Pier will keep the fishermen in your party happy – Cobia, Red Drum and several varieties of Shark are pulled from these waters regularly!

One more excursion idea – take the family on a water tour around the Lydia Ann Lighthouse in Aransas Pass.  For an even more memorable experience, bring the kayaks and paddle the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail that winds through black mangroves and tidal waters near the lighthouse.

We’ve already mentioned the RV campsites available at the State Park, but there are plenty of other places on the island to park an RV.

Spots like On the Beach RV Park will welcome you for Gulf-side camping and easy access to the entire island. Nearly a dozen RV campgrounds in the area ensure there’ll always be a place to call home on your Mustang Island RV camping trip.

Winter camping at the beach builds memories for a lifetime! Get to know the Gulf Coast of Texas this winter with an RV camping expedition to Mustang Island.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits:  The Mustang Island photo is licensed under Wikimedia Commons and the El Monte RV location photo is an El Monte RV stock photo.

Posted in Coastal RV Vacation, Corpus Christi vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, Dallas, Family RV vacations, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacations Southern States, RV Winter Vacations, TX RV Vacation, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Planning, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment

Winter RV Camping in Natural North Florida

What if you had the chance to travel by RV in Florida this winter, away from the crowded theme parks and beaches?  Here’s the scoop on Natural North Florida, a perfect winter RV camping getaway.

Orlando. Florida, El Monte RV Location

Orlando. Florida, El Monte RV Rental and Sales Location

Plan to pick up your RV rental at the El Monte RV location in Orlando and drive north to Gainesville on I-75.  Head west toward the Gulf and you’ll find three North Florida counties filled with rivers, trails, and the towns that have offered hospitality since long before South Florida exploded.   When looking for campgrounds to stay at while on the road, you’ll find a good selection from which to choose listed at this link: Campgrounds in Northern Florida.

There’s a winter RV camping activity for absolutely everyone to enjoy in Natural North Florida! Here’s a sampling:

Natural North Florida’s Rivers and Coastline   

Five scenic rivers roll to the Gulf in this wild and natural section of North Central Florida. Whether you plan to paddle a canoe or kayak, you’re going to find a trail to follow. A regional favorite is the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, 170 miles from White Springs, FL to Suwannee on the Gulf.

Here’s a link to more information about Natural North Florida’s water trails. While you’re exploring this area’s rivers, don’t miss the fishing opportunities! Fish the Steinhatchee, Santa Fe, Withlacoochee and Ichetucknee Rivers for unforgettable scenery and angling adventures.

Florida Gulf Coast Setting Sun

Florida Gulf Coast Setting Sun

Florida RV travelers can also explore dozens of hiking and biking trails along swamps, coastal wetlands and riverside habitats. And did we mention the Gulf Coast? Whether it’s conquering the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail by kayak or watching for dozens of bird species in spots like Cedar Key, this Coast still boasts uncrowded, peaceful shores to savor.

Natural North Florida’s Laid Back Beauty

Winter visitors to beautiful North Central Florida have learned to love the towns and villages that seem to defy time. Towns like High Springs, Old Town, and Trenton offer RV campers plenty of charm, without the crowds.

Be sure to enjoy the area’s many natural springs as you wander from town to town! Clear, blue water bubbles up to offer winter campers the chance to take a refreshing dip in unspoiled Florida beauty.

And save time to visit the region’s extraordinary wilderness areas. Prime spots to be immersed in natural wonder are Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf, Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and numerous locations along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.

The most difficult part of planning your trip will be deciding what to save for next time! With magnificent Gulf Coast scenery, inland freshwater rivers and delightfully unspoiled rural Florida towns to capture your interest, you’ll wonder why it took so long to try winter RV camping in Natural North Florida.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits:  The Florida Gulf Coast sunset is licensed under Wikimedia Commons and the RV photo is an El Monte RV customer photo.

Posted in Beach RV Vacation, Coastal RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, East Coast RV Travel, Family RV vacations, family vacations, Florida, florida rv vacation, honeymoon vacation ideas, Motor home vacation blog, North American RV Vacation, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Fishing Trips, RV Rental, RV Sales, RV Vacation Ideas, State Park RV Camping, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment

Short on Time, But Want to Experience Long-Distance RV Adventures?

Taking an RV vacation has many advantages over staying night after night in various hotels.  For instance, you can’t beat the convenient mobility perk of motor homes by taking all your possessions with you, in addition to the privacy and comfort of having your own “home” away from home at any vacation destination you’re visiting.  The convenience that RVing affords families with children and pets is well worth the effort, time, and money spent on experiencing an RV rental vacation!  Some people never consider renting an RV for long-distance vacations, like going to the Grand Canyon from New York, believing they would have to drive the entire distance in the RV.  Fortunately for the vacationers who enjoy convenience and luxury, El Monte RV offers a wonderful solution to make that kind of a trip possible!

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

El Monte RV motor home at the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

For this type of traveler, a “Fly and Drive” RV trip might be the perfect solution.  In a nutshell, travelers looking into this manner of vacation will fly to an El Monte  RV rental location near their destination in order to pick up an RV before staring on their adventure.   There is an upward trend building in this “Fly and Drive” travel experience for several good reasons.

Probably the top and most obvious reason at hand is not having enough time to drive the entire distance just to get to your final destination.   Depending on the kind of trip you have in mind, this aspect of the “Fly and Drive” option is a win-win!   While road trips are a lot of fun and enhance the RV trip, it may not fit into your time schedule.  It serves a better purpose for some people to get there quickly so that they can start using their RV the way they want to.  Another reason to fly and drive is that it can be the most economical way to visit a national park or other destination on the other side of the country.  Instead of paying for all of the gas just to get to your destination, a plane ticket may be a cheaper alternative.

If you decide to fly and drive to your destination, there are a few simple steps to follow to make your trip a success!  Early planning is the best policy; it is usually the cheapest way to go, as well as having the increased availability for campsites and RV selections!   After deciding where you want to go,  you’ll need to do a little research first.  You will want to locate the nearest RV campgrounds or other sites that allow overnight RV parking before making your RV reservations.  Especially when considering a stay in a national or state park, you’ll want to know the size of your RV rental first because the RV size can make a difference in whether or not there will be site availability.  Before reserving your camping spot, find the closest El Monte RV location to reserve and book the RV that will be perfect for you, remember to take note of the size of your motor home.  Then make a call to the campground and reserve your RV camping spot!

Next, you’ll need to book your flight tickets!   El Monte RV offers shuttle service at their larger store locations.  You will want to verify upon booking your RV rental whether or not that particular location provides shuttle service.  An alternate choice for a low-cost way to get from the airport to your El Monte RV location is using a car transport service such as Uber.  This modern and popular alternative to taking taxis is usually the cheapest and easiest way to get to your El Monte RV location, and you’ll be able to use it to get back to the airport at the end of your vacation as well.  Make sure to download the app to your smart phone before you leave on vacation, as this will allow you to hail an Uber car as soon as you walk out of the airport!

If you’re thinking about taking an RV vacation this year, don’t hold yourself back from anywhere in the U.S. that you’ve thought about going in an RV.  If the nearest El Monte RV location isn’t within easy driving distance, consider doing a Fly and Drive vacation instead!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

 

Posted in Beach RV Vacation, Big City RV trips, Disney World RV vacation, Family RV vacations, Florida National Parks, Football RV Rental, Los Angeles RV camping, Motorhome Camping, Music Festivals, NASCAR RV Vacation, National Parks, North American National Preserve vacation, North American RV Vacation, One-Way RV Rentals, Orlando RV locations, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Rentals, RV Sales, RV Theme Park Vacations, RV trail hiking trips, RV travel in the western states, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, San Francisco RV Vacation, State Park RV Camping, State Parks, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Planning, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment