Weekend getaways in your RV

Mar 22, 2020

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If you’ve got a weekend, plan a getaway.

If you’ve got a weekend, plan a getaway.

This time of year, cabin fever reaches critical levels. The sky is gray, the weather is iffy, and the general mood is a whole lotta “meh.” Even if you can’t spare the extra vacation day, it’s the perfect season for a day trip or long weekend getaway. After all, this time of year, the roads are usually clear of snow and ice, the traffic is lighter, and the lines at the rest stop bathroom are shorter than ever. Here are some tips as you plan your great escape.

Set your limits.

When you’re planning a short trip, it’s essential to budget your time—and your money. How long will you spend away? How much are you willing to spend? These questions will determine how far you go and how many activities you fit in. For most weekend getaways or day trips, try to stay within a few hours of your home base. Any farther, and you’ll spend more time behind the wheel than you will with your feet up.

Put a pin on the map.

The key to a good weekend getaway? Location, location, location! Look for nearby cities you’ve never seen, state and national parks, and landmarks you can visit within a few hours of home. And don’t forget regional festivals, live music shows, amusement parks, museums, athletic events and wineries. Odds are good that there are plenty of hidden gems you’ve probably blown right past on longer road trips.

Plan it—on paper.

The shorter the trip, the more you have to strategize. Make a wish list and map it ALL out—drive times, meal stops, fuel stops and sights to see. A detailed plan lets you factor in drive time, visit destinations during operating hours, and set aside time for breaks and meals. If you plan to make stops on the way to your campsite—to hike, explore or take a guided tour—set aside a bit more time than you think it might take, just in case.

Don’t forget downtime!

While planning is essential, it’s best to keep it simple. Whereas you might be inclined to “do it all” on a typical trip, there’s only so much you can realistically squeeze into a short getaway—and you don’t want delays to derail your fun. Leave some space in your itinerary to expect the unexpected. Prioritize one or two activities a day and tackle others only as time and your energy level allows. This also gives you the freedom to explore roadside attractions you spot along the way.

Book in advance.

With such a limited budget and schedule, you can’t afford to wait in line or “wait and see” on activities and reservations. To make the most of your adventure, reserve your campsite, buy tickets in advance, and make restaurant reservations ahead of time. Check social media for special events at your chosen destinations that may make them busier than usual—and have a back-up plan in mind in case you run into a crowd that’ll slow you down. In lieu of reservations, have a handful of local restaurant options in mind so you don’t have to search the web or scan the horizon for a drive-thru at the last minute.