RV Road Trip Etiquette 101

It’s a fact—RV road trips can bring families and friends closer together. Shared vacation experiences can highlight the differences and similarities that keep relationships interesting. But there’s a dark side to vacation travel that needs to be discussed, as well—the road trip that disintegrates until everyone is wondering why they came. What’s the difference? It all comes down to road trip etiquette, the fine art of exercising respect and courtesy while traveling together.

Our tips for traveling sanely with others could be called “RV Road Trip Etiquette 101”. They can make all the difference between the RV trip you’d like to forget and the vacation you’ll always treasure.

It’s a Vacation, Silly!

It’s so easy, especially for those of us who live highly organized lives, to take our vacation planning too far. If you love to plan your trips to the smallest detail, you may have noticed not everyone you travel with is appreciative.

The first lesson of RV Road Trip Etiquette 101 is to remember, “It’s a vacation, silly!” Leave room for spontaneity. Back off organizing every experience and watch for cues from your companions that you’re over the top.

Plan reasonably—book campsites during peak seasons and reserve tickets for popular attractions. There’s nothing wrong with knowing you’ll have a place to rest at the end of a long day of travel. But if the kids are begging for another day at the beach, and you’re determined to march along to a faster beat, step back, take a breath and consider the goal of any RV vacation—to relax.

Plan Something for Everyone

No one likes to be dragged along on someone else’s dream vacation. RV road trip planning etiquette requires us to ask what everyone hopes to do on the trip.

Kids might request quick stops at quirky roadside attractions. Plan the time in your schedule. The spouse who accommodates your need to shop at every mall on your route might be dreaming of time spent on mountain trails. Work-weary friends might enjoy hitting the spas, but you won’t know unless you ask!

What we enjoy doing on vacation can be different for everyone in your RV. By discussing ahead of time what each person’s looking forward to, and allowing time to do it, you’ll cut down on grumbling and maybe even learn to enjoy something new.

Give Each Other Some Space

Here’s the thing about vacation travel, whether it’s spent in airplanes and hotels or on the road in an RV; there’s such a thing as too much time together!

One of the best things we can do for each other to keep vacations relaxing is to allow for time spent alone. Even small children who require our supervision can be allowed to play in uncrowded space. Teens who can’t take another minute cooped up with their siblings will appreciate a time out, too. The closest of friends can begin to grate on each other’s nerves when too long in close quarters.

Skip the assumption that every vacation minute must be spent together. Encouraging fellow travelers to walk, swim, shop, see a movie or otherwise release vacation claustrophobia can go a long way to keeping the peace while traveling.

Traveling together by RV is a wonderful way to strengthen the bonds of friendship, build family memories and rekindle romance. The trick to keeping things friendly and relaxing is practicing basic courtesy. Allow others to indulge their interests. Squelch the need to over-plan. Give each other time off from togetherness. These basic principles are what we call, “RV Road Trip Etiquette 101”, and they’ll go a long way to building pleasant, relaxing vacations.  

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