Accomodating family visits when you are on the road.
Since we moved to California 16 years ago our British family members have enjoyed several vacations to the west coast, visiting us and seeing most of the sights that the Golden State has to offer. When we sold our home and no longer had a spare room to offer, things got a bit more complicated for them. During our first year on the road we have had visits from our parents and have tried to organize each one a few different ways. These are our experiences of getting together with family on the road and the pro's and cons of how we organized each visit.
Book a hotel nearby. During our first few visits from our parents we stayed in a campground and they made hotel reservations within 20 miles of where we stayed.
- Pro's: They got to choose the hotel that suited them.
- Con's: We were always on a schedule to meet them at a specific time, and also had to do a lot of driving back and forth between the campground and hotel. Because they were on vacation and we weren't this was not ideal.
Take a vacation together: Another time we actually booked a vacation home (in our case in Hawaii) and used that time to visit with each other.
- Pro's: We all got to go on vacation which was fantastic. It was a relaxing setting and none of the strains of some of us being on vacation and some of us not.
- Con's: Obviously vacations cost money so this is not an ideal solution every time.
Combined RV Park & Hotel. This last week we found a great solution for visiting family that worked out really well. Our family visited from the UK, and we reserved a week at Longhorn Ranch RV Park in Dubois, Wyoming that also had lodge accommodation. They stayed in the lodge a short stroll from our rig and came and went as they pleased.
- Pro's: Much more convenient than a hotel that is a drive away. They could relax outside our rig, while we were inside working. No rigid schedule to adhere to.
- Con's: We prefer staying on public lands, so an RV Park is not always our first choice, in this case the one we stayed at was extremely nice. Some of the lodges and cabins attached to RV parks are not always the highest quality, and vice versa some of the RV parks attached to hotels we looked at were glorified parking lots.
Visiting them instead of them coming to you. For people who have family in the US this works really well, especially if they live somewhere that is on your planned route. If it is too far, or if like us your family is mostly overseas, you can always store your rig and fly to them. We plan to do this later this year with a trip back to the UK.
- Pro's: If they have parking for your rig then you get free camping. If they have a spare room you get all the comforts of home. (Long showers people!)
- Con's: If they are not nearby, you have the expense of flying to them and storing your rig while you are "away".
We are still learning after our first year on the road, but we'd love to hear your ideas of how to get together with family as you travel.