RVing with grandparents can be an amazing, unforgettable experience for everyone in the family. But it can also bring up unexpected concerns and conflicts if you aren’t used to traveling together.
Shellie Bailey-Shah form Kidtripster.com has a ton of real-world experience in this area. One of her best childhood memories is an epic family RV trip they took in a 28-foot Class C with her grandfather. Years later, Shellie knew that she wanted her kids to have the same type of memories with their grandparents. So she made an effort to incorporate them into the family RV adventures.
And along the way, she learned a thing or two about how to make it a better experience for everyone involved. Shellie’s giving us eight tips for having an amazing time RVing with grandparents.
You can listen to Shellie talk about all these tips on The RV Atlas by pressing the play button at the top of this article. Or you can listen to this episode of The RV Atlas in your favorite podcast player. And a big THANKS to the folks in The RV Atlas Facebook Group for providing these inspiration pictures of RVing with Grandparents. They melt our hearts!!!
Tip #1: Get feedback on the itinerary.
Some of us are natural planners and are used to leading the charge on scheduling RV trips. If you will be RVing with grandparents, get feedback as you do the planning. Let them know they aren’t just guests on your trip. Everyone’s opinion counts.
Tip #2: Plan to stop more often.
Remember when the kids were little and bathroom/stretch breaks were a very regular thing? Get yourself back into that mentality and embrace slow travel. Grandparents will probably need more frequent bathroom breaks, and it will benefit everyone to move around or stretch their legs.
Tip #3: Be clear about expectations.
It’s important to communicate expectations about money, chores, and other uncomfortable topics in advance. Don’t assume grandparents are going to understand the costs of gas and campgrounds if they have never been RVing before. Have a candid conversion about driving responsibilities and meal prep before you hit the road. This can save everyone from misunderstandings and frustrations later on.
Tip #4: Really think through your destinations and activities.
Find destinations and activities that will be fun and engaging for people of all ages. If you normally visit National Park sites, consider finding a park that is more easily accessible for anyone on the RV trip. Although every activity does not have to involve the entire family, it’s important that grandparents don’t feel left out of a majority of planned events.
Tip #5: Choose campsites wisely.
Think about mobility and access to amenities when choosing a campsite. Patio sites might be more comfortable when RVing with grandparents. They might also want to be closer to the pool or camp store. A golf cart rental might be the perfect splurge that will help grandparents more easily navigate the campground.
Tip #6: Know your grandparents’ medications.
Have detailed list of all medications taken before hitting the road with the grandparents. It’s easy to forget to take medication when the normal daily routine has been disrupted, so check in on a daily basis, or set a reminder on a phone.
Tip #7: Plan for the worst case scenario.
It’s a good practice to be prepared for a medical emergency no matter who you’re traveling with, but it’s even more important when RVing with grandparents. Have phone numbers for their doctors programmed into your phone, and locate pharmacies, urgent care facilities, and emergency rooms in advance. Also make sure that the grandparents’ health alerts are up to date in their own phones as well.
Tip #8: Build in downtime.
We learned that packing the schedule from dawn to dusk was a terrible idea when traveling with young kids. The same is true of RVing with grandparents. Don’t wait until exhaustion hits to take a break. Build plenty of downtime right into the itinerary. It’s often the quiet moments at the campground that make the best family memories anyhow. Make time in the schedule for plenty of card games, hammocks, and campfires.
Camping and RVing with grandparents is an amazing way to make memories that will last a lifetime. We are so very grateful to Shellie Bailey-Shah for coming on the podcast and sharing these great tips. For more great family travel advice, head on over to kidstripster.com. Also check out our trip planner for Niagara Falls. Kerri Cox visited this iconic American destination while RVing with Grandparents, and it was a family hit!
And if you need a little bit more inspiration to start your trip planning, check out more of these heartwarming pics of RVing with grandparents from the folks in our Facebook group…
See you at the campground!
Stephanie + Jeremy