Here at our house we’re busy counting down the days until our spring break RV adventure. Our kids are excited about their upcoming week off from school, but they’re also getting excited about all the things we will be able to see and do on our visit to Charleston, S.C. We’ve been talking about and planning this trip for months now. (Quite frankly, we’ve been plotting our return ever since our last visit to Charleston when we got SNOWED in at the campground! Crazy fun memories!) Sometimes I think the anticipation of the next adventure is as much a part of the experience as actually taking the trip, which is why we start building our kids’ excitement for RV travel months before any of our trips.
One of the ways we help build excitement is by involving the kids in the planning process. Now that they are older, we like to give them options for what we get to see and do so that everyone feels like they had a say in the planning process. This is especially important when your kids’ interests are varied: Some kids love outdoor experiences while others could spend all day at a museum. Curating a trip that incorporates everyone’s interests will go a long way to getting everyone excited about the next family road trip.
Of course the internet provides a wealth of information about what to see and do in every area of the country. Pinterest is one of my favorite places to start researching a new region. For younger children, though, you might prefer to contact the region’s visitors bureau and request an information packet.
If you are planning to visit any National Park Service sites on your next trip, consider contacting the park office a couple months in advance and request the park’s Junior Ranger booklets. We have found this is a great way to start preparing the kids for our visit, and it is often helpful to work on a few of the activities before we even arrive. Then our visit is less hectic because we aren’t trying to complete all of the activities in just a few hours.
Although I have a love-hate relationship with the television, some stations like PBS and the History Channel will feature special programs related to places we are planning to visit (or have already visited). These specials are great for helping our whole family understand the broader context of historic places and people, and they usually help us appreciate our visit to the location even more.
There are also a lot of wonderful resources at the library and bookstore they can help families build their kids’ excitement as they plot their next adventure. Below I share some of our family’s favorite trip planning books … and how you can enter to win two of them!
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- National Geographic Kids U.S. Road Trip Atlas
- The National Geographic Kids U.S. Road Trip Atlas provides an overview map of each state plus pull-out boxes with information about “5 Cool Things to do Here” and other fun roadside attractions.
- Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America
- The Our 50 States picture book follows a family as they RV their way around the United States. Each state’s spread features an eclectic collection of trivia and unique places to visit.
- The Most Scenic Drives in America
- Jarrett turns to this Reader’s Digest book any time we head to a new region of the country. It’s given us some great inspiration for getting off the freeway and onto scenic byways.
- Amazing and Unusual USA
- If you like adding quirky stops to your road trip itinerary–think Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch or Longaberger’s basket building–then this book (or several others like it) is a helpful resource.
And now for the fun part: a giveaway! To help you build your kids’ excitement for your upcoming RV adventures, we’re giving away two of our kids’ favorite trip-planning books: the National Geographic Kids U.S. Road Trip Atlas and Our 50 States. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter form below. (Please note: This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents, 18 years of age or older. This giveaway concludes at the end of the day March 8, 2020.)a Rafflecopter giveaway
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