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  1. Default early stages of planning

    hello everyone. this is my first post here, i'm very pleased to have found such a great website!

    we are thinking of taking some time out. the time depends on costs really but i'd imagine around 6-8 weeks. we have been talking the last few days and my husband has suggested the west coast. i've had a look on the net, and my goodness it has a lot to offer!

    so "we" are my husband, myself and our 2 year old son, and we live in spain. i really don't know what kind of trip is feasible with a young toddler. we have travelled quite a bit, but never this kind of trip.

    is an rv the way to go? i really think so many weeks in loads of motels might be daunting with a little one.

    is there anything we really wouldn't be able to do/visit/experience if our son is there?

    any opinions are greatly valued. this trip, if it happens, will be a month or 2 down the line so i need to get cracking!!

    many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    A RV would be a lot less unsettling to the toddler than a different room each night. He at least would be going to sleep in the same surroundings.

    6 to 8 weeks would be enough time to experience the whole country if you wanted to, flying into a city, renting a RV, and returning to the same city for your return flight. We call this a "loop" trip. Start pricing RV's, and make sure you understand all the costs - excess mileage charges, kitchen equipment, fuel at 10 miles per gallon, taxes, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Lifestyle choice.

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A. forums.

    is an rv the way to go? i really think so many weeks in loads of motels might be daunting with a little one.
    If you are familiar with, or really want to do the trip in an RV then go for it !
    But if it is based on your child being unsettled by Motels I am not sure that is good enough reason. I expect that after a day of fresh air and excitement he won't mind where his bed is.
    The RV will be more costly then Motels and a car by the time you have added all the additional costs plus extra fuel consumption and campground fees.

    Having said that it's my favourite way to travel and if it's a lifestyle choice you can't beat those nights around the campfire.
    If you want a little idea of how it is and you have the time, have a look at our RV trip in the West.

  4. Default

    If I were in your shoes -- unless there's some special reason for this summer -- I'd consider taking this trip NEXT YEAR instead of this year. Three-year olds are much more easy to deal with than two-year olds. They can understand "wait a minute", and they're much more verbal -- they're delightfully verbal! They're much more aware of their surroundings, and their little brains (and fingers) just seem to explode with new abilities every day. I think it would be much more fun to share this type of trip with a three-year old.

    In addition, I'm not sure I could be ready in two months!

    I don't think the child will care a bit whether you have an RV or a hotel -- my kids always loved new places, and they never had any difficulty settling into bed anywhere. Always having an RV bathroom nearby could be a big benefit with a small child. If you use hotels, I'd suggest that you have a "quick bag" for the room each night, which would include his pajamas and a couple toys so that you can get him into the room and settled down immediately -- then you can go back for your own things at your leisure.

    Do check the cost of each option before you decide. The RV will be considerably more expensive.

    Also, I'll give you a traveling-with-children tip I used extensively when my daughters were small: I used to make them homemade books. They were just typing paper doubled over and stapled in the middle, but I'd make them specifically to prepare the child for the upcoming trip. Say we were going to spend a weekend at the beach, I'd make a book titled "Emily goes to the beach". The first page would have a hand-drawn picture of suitcases, and it would say, "We will pack our clothes and our beach toys." The second page would have a picture of our car, and it'd say, "We'll drive for a long, long time. You can take your books and your crayons." Etc., etc., etc. My girls always behaved better and were more relaxed on trips if they knew what to expect. I used to make those books for trips to the dentist, learning to take care of a goldfish . . . anything. They'd color the pictures, and we'd read the book together for a couple nights at bedtime.

    For a lengthy trip, you'd need a notebook -- or a series of small books for the places you plan to visit.

  5. Default

    thankyou for your replies.

    southwest dave, i've read your report, and it has made me really want to go there!! really great report :)

    mrs pete, those are great tips, thankyou!

    yes, there is a reason that it HAS to be now - we are closing down our business, and before we start working/new projects, we wanted some time out. i really don't know if we'll ever have 1-2 months free again to do a trip like this.

    the rv thing is something that really appeals to my husband, and i imagine it would be great fun. i have checked out a few places for price and WOW are they expensive! way more than i had expected, especially compared to other countries.

    does anyone have any websites with good deals or cheaper prices??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Search for current deals.

    Hi shauna,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the report and yes, RV's can be expensive. Luckily [in some respects, anyway !] my kids are grown up, and having our son and wife sharing the cost of an RV makes a big difference to the budget.

    The two big company's in the US are Cruise America and El Monte and Road bear is an option. I would decide where you are starting out from and then type in City name/RV rental and see what offers are available.
    I have booked with Cruise America this time as they had a special deal on and was a lot cheaper than anyone else at that time so it will be worth going to there website and clicking on the "Hot deals" logo to see what specials [if any] they have at the moment.

    We have used the family company operated by the Graners and have been very happy with the service but being a small company they get booked out quickly and only operate from the San Fran area. Very helpful people and they also offer collection and drop off from the airport.

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