16 Tips and Tricks for a New RV Owner | What You Need to Know

16 Tips and Tricks for a New RV Owner | What You Need to Know

2020 has been an interesting year for everyone with all the issues causing travel to be halted.
 
Cruise lines have shut down and they keep pushing back their sail dates.
 
Hotels have limited their occupancy.
 
Flights have presumed to full capacity but under strict restrictions of sanitation and mask coverings.
 
Countries have put 14-day quarantines on travelers or shut down to any outside visitors entirely.
 
All this combined has brought many people to buy RV’s so they can further their summer travels and avoid staying in Hotels. These unfortunate events have also allured people in lowering their living costs.
 
All these reasons could be why RV sales have skyrocketed. New RV owners are growing faster than ever before. 
 
The inspiration for this post came after a conversation I had with my sister-in-law. She and my brother recently decided to purchase an RV themselves.
 
After shopping at many RV dealerships they found that the industry is in high demand. One dealership, in particular, had 60 KZ Travel Trailers on order and 51 of them were already sold. The used lots couldn’t even keep an RV on it for a day before it was sold.
 
This makes me wonder how many New RV owners are starting their RVing journeys for the first time. Maybe they need little tips and tricks to make it easier.
 
If you’re visiting our blog for the first time, we have lived in our RV for over two years now. So, you could say we know a bit about RVing. We know how to make it a comfortable transition.
 
So, let’s get into the tips and tricks that you need to learn as a new RV owner.

Tip #1 – Learn to Hook up your RV

 
When we purchased our RV, we also purchased Husky Sway bars (we have a travel trailer, not a fifth wheel or motorhome). The guys at Route66 in Oklahoma hooked up our trailer for the first time for us and quickly ran through it with us.
 
However, when we got to our destination we ended up having to watch Youtube Videos on how to unhook and hook up our RV with the Sway Bars. It takes practice and time to get it down.
 
At the beginning it took us 30 minutes or more to hook up our RV, but now that we know how it’s much easier and quicker.
 
Also, don’t forget your plug, locks, pins, and chains when hooking up your RV. Make sure the ball is locked, the pins are in place, and the chains are crossed (it is illegal in some states to not have your chains crossed if you have a travel trailer/bumper pull).
 

Tip #2 – Drive Cautiously

 
Towing an RV of any size requires additional safety precautions on the road. As a new RV owner make sure you know your blind spots, give yourself space to brake, make wide turns, and take routes that allow you to clear any bridges.
 
I’ve seen some horrific pictures of brand-new RV’s in a ditch because the driver didn’t make a wide enough turn. There’s also some bad stories of RV roofs being ripped off due to not clearing a bridge.

Tip #2.5 – Learn to Reverse

 
In addition to driving cautiously, you will want to learn how to reverse your new RV. You can take the RV in an empty parking lot and practice there before you hit the RV park or national park.
 
Also, your reversing methods and maneuvering abilities will be different if you have a fifth wheel versus a travel trailer. So, having patience and learning is key.
 
Our Travel trailer is 32 ft long and it is a pain to reverse. Therefore, I let my husband do it every time as I’m better as the lookout to keep him from hitting trees or poles.

Tip #3 – Learn your weight capacity

 
Before you even pick up your RV, you’ll want to learn the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), dry weight of the RV, and your tow vehicle towing capacity. Learn how much you can tow and carry inside your vehicle before you reach your max.
 
We have a Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel that has a towing capacity of 14,000lbs. Our RV is about 10,000 lbs, so we have room to add items in the truck like dogs, and other camping gear before we reach our capacity.

Tip #4 – Read your Manual

 
I’m notorious for trying to figure things out before I open the manuals but reading your manual is important.
 
After all, it’s a home on wheels, and learning how things work as a new RV owner is essential. Many manuals are online so knowing where yours is and how to access it is important.

Tip #5 – Purchase the Needed Equipment

 
While many RV dealerships will give you a new RV owner starter pack, those items are only the minimal essentials. There are many more items you will need to purchase in order to stay safe and enjoy your RV trips.
 
I have provided an entire list of items on a related post here. 

Tip #6 – Learn to level Your RV
 
There are little sticky green levelers you can purchase to stick on your RV. This will make it easier to level your RV if you don’t have automatic levelers.
You will also want to get some leveler blocks just in case you have an RV spot that’s really unlevel. You’ll want to be able to put them under the tires or stabilizers. 
 
Important: Always level by the tire’s first, before you level the length of the RV. Also, if you have slides level the RV with the slides in, not out.

Tip #7 – Learn your Black and Grey Tanks

 
As a new RV owner, it’s understandable that you may be unaware on how the black and grey tanks work. But learning how they work should be a top priority. I can’t tell you how many stories I have read on Facebook RV groups of people flooding their bathrooms because they didn’t release their tanks. This can cause significant damage if not properly cared for.
 
If you have a washer or an outdoor kitchen learn which tank the water goes to. Depending on the RV, some might release in the Grey tank and some might release in the Blank tank.
 
Usually, though your Blank Tank is reserved for human waste and the grey is for everything else like the sink, washer, and shower water. Read your manual to locate the release valves and always hook up the sewer hose to the dump before releasing the valves. 
 
Also, use a tank deodorizer to prevent unwanted smells from the beginning. The best on the market is Happy Camper.

Tip #8 – Plan Ahead

 
Taking a Road Trip and planning on bringing your New RV, you will want to plan ahead. Figure out where you’re going to stay. Many RV parks require reservations and some parks fill up months to even a year in advance.
 
Another thing to plan for is your route. When you’re pulling an RV you’ll need to make sure you avoid roads or bridges that you can’t easily drive through. There are apps that will help you plan like Roadtrippers. Use this code BTR5QTP for a special $5 off!
 

Tip #9 – a dehumidifier and moisture absorbents

RVs tend to accumulate moisture so having a dehumidifier and moisture absorbents is going to help prevent mold growth

Mold is a huge problem that happens in RVs often, so this is a preventative measure that every RVer does.

Tip #10 – Clean you’re A/C Filter once a month

If you want to keep you A/C running, especially during the heat of the summer months, then cleaning your filters monthly is essential.

Ours are pretty easy to clean, we remove them and shake them out outside. Sometimes we clean then with water and let them dry as well.

Tip #11 – Learn Where your GFI and Fuse Box is located

 
Usually, the GFI reset plug is in your bathroom, at least that is where ours is located. You’ll only need to know where this is if you notice other plugs are not working. This usually means it’s been overpowered and the GFI prevents damage with the electrical system and will just need to be reset.
 
You’ll also want to know where your fuse box is. If you blow a fuse to your A/C or your lights aren’t working, chances are you’ll just need to change a fuse out. These are pretty cheap and can come in a pack to keep in your RV.

Tip #12 – Learn to hook up your propane properly

 
Hooking up your propane properly is essential and can mean safety for all parties. The last thing you want to do is fail and have a propane leak. Propane leaks can be harmful to your health and potentially disastrous is there is fire around.
 
Our Propane tanks run one at a time, once one is empty, we close the valve and open the other tank. It’s easy, but everything must be learned.

Tip #13 – Learn to lubricate your slides (if you have them)

 
If you have slides, it’s important to learn how to lubricate the rubber and metal portions.
 
Lubricating the rubber seals on the slides will keep them from drying out and cracking. This further prevents unwanted leaks when it rains.
 
Of course, lubricating the metal rods and chains under the slide will keep them from rusting and sticking.

Tip #14 – Learn to clean your hot water heater

 
This is important and super easy to do. The reason you want to learn how to clean your hot water heater is that sediment can accumulate at the bottom and you’ll need to remove it.
Another reason is if you have an anode rod, you will need to know how to replace them at least once a year.

Tip #15 – HAVE FUN and Stay Safe!!!

 
I know this seems like a lot of tips and things to learn and remember. However, don’t let them keep you from enjoying your new RV.
Traveling and Camping in your RV is a great experience for the whole family. They allow you to visit and explore places you may not have considered before RVing.

Tip #16 – BE PATIENT

 
Owning an RV and taking your RV out for the first couple of times is going to be a learning experience. So, the most important thing you must do is BE PATIENT.
 
Be patient with yourself, your significant other, and your family as a new RV owner. RVing will become easier the more experienced you get. So, don’t expect the first time you go out to be smooth.

Final Thoughts

 

These 16.5 tips are for the first time new RV owner that is just getting started. The longer you own your RV there are going to more things you will need to maintain like your roof, seals, etc.
 
However, if you just purchased your RV then I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and HAVE FUN!
 
Happy RVing! 

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The Best Place to Get Coffee in Destin, FL | East Pass Coffee Co. Review

The Best Place to Get Coffee in Destin, FL | East Pass Coffee Co. Review

East Pass Coffee Co. Review | My family and I recently visited the Destin Beach Area for our very first vacation together. We chose this area because it’s been on our bucket list for quite some time. The beaches are also ideal for families to enjoy.

You can read about the whole visit plus a 3-day beach hopping itinerary here “Destin, Florida | How to have an Amazing Beach Vacation”.

On our way to the beach, we decided to check out East Pass Coffee. But this got me thinking, “why is it called East Pass”? We have never been to this area before, so I did a little research and found out what East Pass means.

East Pass in Destin Florida is an opening into the Gulf of Mexico from the Panama City Beach and Pensacola bay. It’s been a fishing capital since the 1850s and Destin is famous for being “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”.

So, now we know what “East Pass” is, it’s understandable why this cute little coffee shop is called “East Pass Coffee Co.”

Let’s get into why we stopped, what we ordered, and more.

(Below is an image of the East Pass as described. Destin is on the right) 

Why I love checking out local shops

Checking out new and local shops is what my husband and I love to do when we are on vacation. Supporting the locals anywhere we go is important to us and our economy.

Plus, sometimes you find hidden gems that need to be supported and their product turns out to be amazing.

This is the case for East Pass Coffee Shop in Destin, Florida. It’s a little hidden gem right off Harbor Blvd as you drive through.

Why we chose East Pass Coffee

Driving to our beach destination at Crystal Sands, we wanted to stop and grab some iced coffee. I always like to use my google maps app to search for any places nearby. This is exactly what I did when I found East Pass Coffee.

I clicked on the location on the google maps app and pulled up the star reviews. We are all about the reviews and like to only choose places that are at least 4 stars or more. This tells us the place is worth checking out.

East Pass Coffee has 5 stars on Yelp, therefore, we had to stop and check it out.

Side note; they are previously known as the “JumpinGoat Coffee Trailer”.

East Pass Coffee Information

Hours of Operation: 7:30 am – 2:00 pm Daily

Address: 529 Harbor BLVD Unit 104, Destin, FL 32541

Phone Number: 850-353-2906

Website: https://www.eastpasscoffeeco.com/

How to get there…

Locating East Pass Coffee is a little tricky because it’s hidden behind a couple of other shops off Harbor Blvd. But don’t let that stop you from checking this place out.

It’s located right behind Red Onion Organic and Burrito Del Sol. Once you turn in, there’s plenty of parking and you’ll quickly see the location entrance to your right.

What We Ordered

While everything on the menu was super tempting, I love a good classic iced latte. I’m not into all the extra flavors and sugar in my coffee.

My husband however ordered the White chocolate mocha, which I did taste, and it was really good as well.

What they offer (Menu)

They have multiple combinations that you can choose from. Including different flavors and you can choose to have you drink either hot or iced.

East Pass Coffee also has 4 signature menu items. They are the Vietnamese Cold brew, Coco for Mocha, Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold brew, and German Chocolate Cake.

If you’re looking for a quick breakfast, lunch, or snack to go along with your coffee they have Acai Bowls that start at $10, sandwiches, delicious toast options.

Wanting something smaller, try their bites that include Fresh Fried Donuts or Energy balls.

They also offer some great smoothies starting at $7.95. There is the Green Drink, Peachy Pineapple, and Chocolatey Peanut Butter smoothie.

Their menu has something for everyone and it’s the perfect place to come and enjoy a cup of joe and yummy brunch.

Why everyone needs to go when they’re in Destin

If you’re the type of individual that enjoys supporting local business, I highly recommend East Pass Coffee in Destin, Florida. The menu is fantastic, the coffee is delicious, and the people are cheerful and always happy to help every customer.

The service we received was quick. We waited only 5 minutes from ordering our drinks until we received them.

Also, if you’re looking for a place to hang out and get some work done then bring your laptop or tablet. It’s a cute and cozy Coffee Shop that has indoor and outdoor seating to accommodate everyone.

Final Thoughts

We hope to make Destin, Florida an annual family vacation spot, I am confident in saying East Pass Coffee will always be a stop while we are in town.

It’s the ideal place to grab a cup of joe with a cute beachy vibe.

Also, supporting local shops means a lot and it keeps the economy going and dreams alive.


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Destin, Florida | How to have an Amazing Beach Vacation (3 Day Itinerary)

Destin, Florida | How to have an Amazing Beach Vacation (3 Day Itinerary)

When I think of a Beach Vacation, I think of Destin, Florida!

Destin is also known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Spot”. This destination was named after the fishing captain Leonard Destin from the mid-1800s. He and his descendants built their homes and lively hood across this beachy area.

Yet, it wasn’t until 1984 when Destin gained substantial growth from tourists.

Today, the area receives about 4.5 million visitors a year but is only home to 14,247 fulltime residents according to the U.S. Census.

This strip of emerald coast and white sandy beaches is a vacation dream destination. Destin, Florida has been on our bucket-list of travel for a while.

We’ve been on many beach vacations including Hawaii, San Diego, and Daytona to name a few. However, we always heard how beautiful the white sand beaches were on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Now, we live in the Dallas/FortWorth area, so for us, it is about an 11-hour drive. That seems like a long trip, but when you have two drivers it’s not a bad drive. Plus, we love a good Road Trip!

Therefore, Destin seemed like the perfect place to take our first vacation as a family.

So, here is our beach vacation to Destin, Florida as well as some tips if you plan a visit yourself!

Where we stayed | Hilton Honors

Since we didn’t stay in the RV, we chose to stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Navarre, Florida. Price, location, and accessibility to different beaches is what intrigued us.

I am a Hilton Honors Member and I get Travel Agent prices with an IATA card since I work for Avoya Travel. Therefore, we were able to get a good deal on the room available.

Navarre, Florida is located in between Destin and Pensacola. This gave us the opportunity to check out 3 beaches during our stay without traveling too far for each one.

Why we didn’t take the RV

You may be wondering why we chose not to bring the RV on this trip.

Well, since we live fulltime stationary in our RV we decided to take the opportunity to enjoy a nice hotel stay.

As much as we would have loved to take the RV, we found it cheaper to drive the truck and stay in a hotel. This saved us gas money!

Also, since we only planned to stay 3 days, taking the RV wouldn’t have been worth it for us unless we were staying longer.

We did, however, scoop out some RV parks along the way for a future 6-month trip that we want to plan.

Is the Destin area a good place to bring kids?

YES! Destin, Florida is the perfect place to have a family beach vacation! No matter the age of your children, the beaches are perfect and shallow enough for all to enjoy the water.

I would always take precautions depending on your child’s swimming capabilities.

There are some beaches that do not have LifeGuards on Duty. If this is something you require, I would research this ahead of time. Also, know the beaches we went to that had a lifeguard was Crystal Sands Beach and Navarre Beach.

One thing to note is the sand is not packed like some beaches you’ll find in Daytona. So bringing anything with wheels like a stroller or a wagon isn’t recommended. We made the mistake on the first day of bringing the stroller and we ended up having to carry it while on and off the beach.

Besides the white sand and emerald clear water, the Destin area has wonderful places the whole family can explore.

What we brought to the beach

  • 4 beach towels
  • A canopy cover from Academy Sports
  • Sunscreen
  • Tanning lotion
  • Baby sunscreen
  • A couple of baby toys
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks

It’s been a while since we’ve been to the beach, so next time we have a beach vacation, we are going to bring some chairs.

We saw some at the local Alvin’s Beach store less than $10 each. The beach chairs and cooler was the only thing we didn’t have with us that we will have next time.


3-day beach hopping itinerary

Day 1: We left Dallas/Fort Worth at Midnight. My husband is a night owl, so driving at night is his feasible for him. Plus, leaving at night prevents us from wasting any time with traffic in the big city. Also, it allowed our 7-month-old to sleep in the car seat longer than he would during the day.

After an 11-12 hour road trip (including stops) we made it to Navarre Beach right afternoon. Since we couldn’t check in to our hotel until 3 pm, we took the opportunity to check out our first beach.

Navarre Beach, also known as “Florida’s Most Relaxing Place”, was semi packed with people. But there was still enough space to have a great time and enjoy the sand and waves.

Navarre Beach has plenty of parking spaces and provides easy access to the beach. If you’re looking for a place to eat, Windjammers bar and grill is located right off the pier.

We were only at this beach for a couple of hours then we decided to pack up and go check in to our hotel.

Day 2: This was the day we looked forward to the most during our beach vacation because the sun was supposed to come out. Also, the whole day was dedicated to relaxing on the beach.

The beach we chose to go to is called “Crystal Sands Beach”. It’s about a 45minute to an hour drive from Navarre where we were staying. Since we have Luka (who is 7 months old and needs a couple of naps a day) the drive gave us the perfect opportunity for him to sleep.

It’s also a nice drive through the towns in between Navarre and Destin to get the entire experience. I love looking at all the different styles of houses along the coast.

Once we arrived at Crystal Sands Beach, we realized the location is more of an upper-class area. There are many resorts and the cutest beach cottages you will ever see. People were riding their bikes, driving golf carts, and running along the sidewalks.

It’s a busy little area with little access points to the beach. We got there around 11 am on a Friday morning, and drove around to find parking. There isn’t as much parking as there was at Navarre Beach. Thus, if you are looking to check out this beautiful beach, get there early. Also, I overheard that parking would also cost up to 5 dollars starting in July 2020.

After driving around for about 10 minutes, we found a great parking spot with a short walk to a beach entrance. Once we crossed over the wood bridge to get to the beach, I understood why it was rated top beautiful beaches in Destin by TripAdvisor.

The water is clear, the sand is white, and it stays shallow for about 50 feet with gentle waves! Perfect for families to enjoy a beautiful day on the beach.

If you don’t want to bring your own canopy or chairs, there are some options to rent on this beach. There are also lifeguards and a snack/snow cone stand to help hydrate and re-energize you from the sun.

Now, I have been to many beaches in Florida, Mexico, Bahamas, Hawaii, California, and Texas. The experience I had with my family on Crystal Sands Beach is one of the top beaches I would recommend anyone to go to! Crystal Sands Beach in Destin, Florida is a top 5 favorite beach on my list.

After a day at the beach, we decided it was time to go. The humidity and sun were draining our energy and we needed to eat a real meal.

Now, when I’m on the coast I love checking out the local spots that have great fish options. We decided to eat in Navarre at Dewey Destin. It was exactly what we needed. I got a fresh mahi-mahi fish basket with hush puppies and a salad.

Day 3: Our plan for today was to check out early and drive up the coast to Pensacola Beach. After all, we wanted to get the feel of 3 different beaches before heading back to Dallas.

The drive from Navarre Beach to Pensacola Beach is only about a 25-minute drive on the highway. However, we chose to drive the island road, which is 20-30 MPH the whole way and an average 45-minute drive. Plus, the view of the ocean, sand, and colorful beach house rentals was nice to look at.

We drove into Pensacola beach town to check out the eatery and shopping. It was about 10:30-11 am and it was incredibly busy. The parking lots were already packed.

After grabbing some quick pizza, we headed back down the coast from which we came and found a great spot with fewer crowds.

Pensacola Beach has a lot of options for those who enjoy crowds and those who want a more private space on the beach. The area we went to did not have a lifeguard on duty, so this is to keep in mind.

Also, the beach was a little different than Crystal Sands Beach. The waves were a little more powerful and the beach didn’t stay shallow and clear to the bottom as the other beaches were. The only good thing about this beach, when comparing them to the other two, is it was private. There weren’t many people occupying the area that we chose.

We stayed at this beach for about 2 hours before we made our way up to Gulf Shores, Alabama, and then on home.

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering taking a family beach vacation to Destin, Florida I highly recommend the area.

As mentioned before, Destin is the place for a perfect beach vacation for families. With its emerald coast, clear water, and white-sand beaches.

Honestly, we hope to make this trip a yearly beach vacation for our family.


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6 Important Things You Need To Do Before a Road Trip

6 Important Things You Need To Do Before a Road Trip

Taking a road trip sounds like a fun adventure, however, there are unpredictable things that could happen along the way.

Now, I’m the kind of person that likes to think about the “what if” and do whatever I can to prevent the bad things from happening.

For example, a flat tire. Sometimes these are unpreventable depending on where you’re driving, but being prepared with the right tools and a spare is important.

Other items to be prepared with are car insurance coverage, survival items, and up to date Identification to name a few.

So, let’s get into the 6 most important things you need to do before taking your adventurous road trip!

Related: How to Plan an Amazing Family Road Trip

1. Check your vehicle insurance

This is an important thing to do so you understand your coverage. The last thing you want is to be in an accident of any kind and not have the proper or updated insurance. Make sure you know what coverage you have so there are no surprises if something happens. For example;

  •  Liability or Full Coverage; I personally have always had full coverage on all my vehicles. Full coverage also covers your vehicle if there is any damage, whereas, liability only covers the damage you cause to another vehicle. Having full coverage has provided me with peace of mind while driving. Whichever you choose, it’s important to know the ins and out of what coverage you have.
  • Medical Coverage; Having Medical on your car insurance is important. If the accident is your fault and the passengers must be hospitalized, then your insurance will cover the costs. Well, at least the amount that you opted to purchase for coverage.
  • Road-Side Assistance; Our insurance with USAA offers the option to add Road-Side Assistance to our plan. I think this is important! If you run out of gas, need a tow, or a spare tire change they are available with your insurance coverage. This is also available with companies like AAA, but knowing your insurance may have the option as well if you don’t have AAA is good to know.

These are just a couple of things to investigate when it comes to your Auto insurance before taking your road trip. I would give your agent a call or log in to your insurance website to go over all the different coverage opportunities.

2. Car Maintenance

Having your car get proper maintenance before you take a road trip is a safety measure that you need to take. Making sure your mode of transportation is going to get you to your destination is key to a successful road trip.

Here’s a list of items to check for your car before you head out.

Change your oil
Check car fluids (Windshield Washer Fluid, Brake Fluid, Steering Fluid, etc)
Change or Air up the tires
Get a Spare Tire
Get an alignment
Check your lights (interior and exterior – headlights/brake lights)

Many of these can be checked if you run your car by a Kwik Kar or other type of car maintenance shop. Often, when you get your oil changed, they will check all your other fluids too.

3. Check/Update your ID’s

Making sure your driver’s license is completely up to date is important. Driving with an expired license could potentially be a heavy ticket if you get pulled over.

This is super simple to do if you need to renew by going online at your local DMV website.

Tip: If you have kids, it’s a great opportunity to get them ID’s as well. Even if you make them yourself with their picture, name, and your contact information on a laminated paper or in an ID lanyard.

4. Take out some cash

I know everything is electronic in today’s world and almost every place takes debit or no-touch pay, but having spare cash is a good thing.

You never know if you stop for gas and their card reader is out of order. Or you may want to stop at a local market and cash is the only option.

Another reason to have some extra cash on hand is in case you lose your debit card. I have lost debit cards in random places and have had to call the bank to deactivate them. It is super-inconvenient but having the cash could save you if you lose your wallet or purse.

5. Tell a loved one where you’re going and with whom

Whether you plan on taking a road trip with a group of people, a significant other, or by yourself, always tell someone where you’re going.

You will also want to tell them other details like; How long you’re staying, when you will be back, who you’re going with or meeting up with, and any other important and emergency information.

6. Create a survival bag

I know this sounds a little like prepping, and out of the normal since we have cell phones.

However, there have been many recent stories of people getting stuck with no cell service and out of gas in the middle of nowhere.

This is a huge “what if” but I would rather be safe than sorry.

Survival is key and if you find yourself in the position of your car breaking down with no cell service, then some food, water, blanket, and whatever else you need will keep you alive.

Here’s a small list of items you can add in your survival bag;

Water
Trail Mix
Granola Bars
Beef Jerky/Turkey Jerky
Warm but Lightweight Blanket
Small Pillow
Toilet paper
First Aid Kit
Purified Drinking Straw and Bottle


Final Thoughts

If you’re heading out on an adventurous road trip, I hope these tips are beneficial.

I know for us; they have made a huge difference.

When you make sure these items are checked before heading out on the open road, you could prevent a potential tragedy like being stuck in the middle of nowhere with no ability to survive. As I said, that is a worst-case scenario, but it is better to be prepared than not.

So I highly recommend all 6 tips, especially telling a loved one when you’re leaving, when you’ll be back, where you’re going, and who you’re going with!

If you’ve enjoyed these tips and found them to be beneficial, please share so others can benefit from them as well!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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Top 12 Unique Places to Stay for a Texas Getaway

Top 12 Unique Places to Stay for a Texas Getaway

Texas Getaway | When it comes to unique places to stay Texas is the place that has it all!

Being Born and Raised in Dallas, Texas my family would take road trips to Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Galveston, and New Braunfels.

Based on my Texas Travels growing up, I know there are some amazing places to stay and visit.

Now, if you didn’t know, Texas is the second-largest state in America at 268,596.46 square miles after Alaska.

It became a State on December 29th, 1845 as the 28th state to enter the union.

The size and location of Texas gives it the unique ability to have 4 different climate zones spanning across the state.

As you drive through Texas you will experience the hot and dry climate in the west desert terrain to the south-east of subtropic and humid climate. In the middle of the state, you have the Texas Hill Country and in the far East, there is the Piney Woods.

Now that you know a little about Texas, let’s explore some of the most unique places to stay. Maybe you’ll find one that you will add to your bucket list.

Tipi/Teepees

Tipis on the Guadalupe

Availability: 8 Tipis

Accomidations: 6 Guests Per Tipi

Other Amenities: Private Bathroom, Grills, Hammocks, Waterfront, and Fire Pits

Hosting by River Road, these Tipis are located on the Guadalupe River near New Braunfels, Texas. There are eight different Tipis that you can choose from with all modern amenities. So invite your family and friends and enjoy this unique stay in Texas for a weekend getaway.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Romantic Tipi on Canyon Lake, Texas

Availability: 3 Tipis

Accomodations: 2 Guests Per Tipi

Other Amenities: King size beds, Linens, Towels, 50 Inch TV, Fridge, Outdoor Pool, Dog Park, Volleyball court, Horseshoe pit, hammocks, Fire pit and more

The perfect weekend getaway for couples looking to reunite and rekindle their love. This Unique Tipi Texas Getaway has the perfect recipe for adventurous couples. There is so much to do it’s like staying at a Glamping Resort.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Waterfront Family-Friendly Tipi in Seguin, Texas

Availability: 4 Tipis

Accomidations: Sleeps 8 Guests

Other Amenities: Kayaking, Fishing, Swimming, Hot tub, Kitchenette, Private Bathrooms, Paddleboards, Game room, BBQ’s, Fire pits, and more!

Hosting by Premier Partner, these Tipies are located right on Geronimo Creek and offers many watersports. If you have an active family or group of friends, this unique Texas getaway is perfect for a weekend of fun!

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Yurts

Availability: 1 Yurt

Accomidations: 4 Guests

Other Amenities: All Modern Amenities, Private Bathroom, Private Kitchen, Slipper Bath Tub and Fire Pits

Located in Wimberly, Texas between Austin and San Antonio. This yurt is unique and perfect for a weekend getaway. It has all the accommodations you will need including a separate living space, kitchen, and outdoor living space. It is available to rent by a private host.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Dome

Availability: 1 Private Dome

Accomidations: 3 Guests

Other Amenities: 1 Half bath, private kitchen, Pets allowed, National Park, WiFi, Shower, Deck/Patio, Coffee, and More.

If you’re a Star Wars fan and wanted to stay in a dome-like structure as you see in the movies, then this is the place to stay. Hosted privately by Trevor, you can rent this dome located in Big Bend National Park and make memories that will last a lifetime.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Treehouses

One-Room Tree House Rental in Austin, Texas

Availability: 2 Private Treehouses

Accomidations: 2 Guests per Treehouse

Other Amenities: Coffee/Tea, A/C, Pool, Barbecue, Small Lake, Picnic Tables, Zip Lining Tours, and INCREDIBEL VIEWS!!

Dreaming of the perfect treehouse getaway? These houses are perfectly nestled in the woods for a cozy and secluded Texas getaway. Great for couples to relax and get back to nature. Kids are allowed, but only over 10 years old. Pets are not allowed.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Stunning Tree House in Spicewood, Texas (Near Austin)

Availability: 1 Private Treehouse

Accomidations: 2 Guests

Other Amenities: Shared Outdoor Pool, Coffeemaker, Bathtub, Fresh Linens and pillows, Hammock, Barbecue, Picnic Area, Deck/Patio and more.

Staying at this stunning and luxurious Glamping Treehouse is the perfect unique Texas getaway. Super cozy with spectacular views of the Texas Hill Country, this treehouse has it all for an amazing weekend stay. Hosting is by Cypress Valley.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Family-Friendly Treehouse near Austin, Texas

Availability: 1 Private Treehouse

Accomidations: 4 Guests

Other Amenities: Pets Allowed, 1 Queen Bed, 2 Twin beds, Zip Lining Tours, Outdoor Pool, Barbecue, Private Kitchen, Private Lounge area and more.

If your kids are above the age of 10, then this is the perfect Family Texas getaway. The kids will have a blast exploring the treehouse and zip lining on the tour. Hosting is by Cypress Valley.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Romantic Treehouse Nestled in the Texas Hill Country

Availability: 1 Private Treehouse

Accomidations: 3 Guests

Other Amenities: Private Bathroom, Private Kitchen, 1 King Bed, 1 Extra bed, Outdoor Pool, Barbecue, Private Lounge and more.

Another Beautiful Treehouse Hosting by Cypress Valley. This gorgeous treehouse is perfect for couples to enjoy a romantic glamping texas getaway. The views are spectacular, especially from the bathrooms soaking tub!

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Safari Glamping Tents

#1 – Luxurious Private Safari Tent Near New Braunfels, Texas

Availability: 1 Private Safari Tent

Accomidations: 4 Guests

Other Amenities: Private Bathroom with soaking tub, Fireplace, Firewood, Private kitchen, Luxury Linens, and Outdoor Living Space.

This gorgeous Glamping location is located just outside of New Braunfels, Texas. If you’re looking for a luxurious Texas Getaway this Safari tent is perfect. It is surrounded by 100 acres of land and trees for the perfect secluded setting.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

#2 – Luxurious Private Safari Tent Near New Braunfels, Texas

Availability: 1 Private Safari Tent

Accomidations: 4 Guests

Other Amenities: Private Bathroom with soaking tub, Fireplace, Firewood, Private kitchen, Luxury Linens, and Outdoor Living Space.

#2 of the Luxurious Glamping Safari Tents located in New Braunfels near Canyon Lake, Texas. This rental property is elegant and perfect for outdoor and adventurous Texas Getaway without giving up modern luxuries.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

#3 – Luxurious Private Safari Tent Near New Braunfels, Texas

Availability: 1 Private Safari Tent

Accomidations: 4 Guests

Other Amenities: Private Bathroom with soaking tub, Fireplace, Firewood, Private kitchen, Luxury Linens, and Outdoor Living Space.

#3 Luxurious Safari Glamping Tent is located in the same place as the previous two. They are three amazing Texas Getaway vacation spots that are perfect for anyone looking to have a new experience.

You can check out more information about renting Here. 

Final Thoughts on Texas Getaways

I hope you’ve enjoyed these amazing and unique places to vacation in Texas. I know I’ve added a few of these places on to my own bucket-list. Whichever one you choose, each one has its own unique desires that will guarantee memories that will last a lifetime.

(All Images and rental information provided by GlampingHub.com

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How to Plan an Amazing Family Road Trip | With FREE Road Trip Planner

How to Plan an Amazing Family Road Trip | With FREE Road Trip Planner

Planning an amazing family road trip? Well, you’re in the right place!

If you’re taking a family road trip to a specific destination or doing a roundabout trip, memories are bound to be made.

As a kid, the youngest of 6, we would road trip anywhere we were going because flying was too expensive.

My family road-tripped to Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. We even rented an RV in Alaska and drove around for a couple of weeks. That was a long and eventful road trip I will never forget.

Now, we live in the Dallas Texas area and pretty much road-tripped around the whole state too. After all, Texas is the second-largest state and there’s so much to do and see. Driving to Port Aransas, Texas from Dallas is a 7 to 8-hour drive depending on how many stops and how fast you drive.

I remember as a kid getting so excited about family road trips. My parents would always find cool places to stop along the way. Some of these places included a cool car museum on the way to Tennessee and the Inner Space Caverns to name a couple. Plus, all the games, music, movies, and family time were what I looked forward too.

Now, family road trips always tested our relationships. But in the end, they made us stronger and more connected.

So, when you’re planning consider these ideas to help you prepare for a family road trip. They will get you started in making it one of the most memorable vacations ever! Including the best road trip planner app to use.

So, let’s get started!

Types of Road Trips

First, let’s discuss the three types of road trips you can take.

1. A Destination Road Trip. This is the main type of road trip my family would take. We always had a single destination that we headed too. For example, Dallas, Texas to Phoenix, Arizona where my grandmother lived. We took this trip many times growing up.

2. A Round-About Road Trip. This is the kind of trip where your ending destination brings you back home. These are fun because the whole idea of the road trip is to stop at interesting places. For example, there are some great National Park Roundabout Itineraries. You can check this awesome week-long Round-About Itinerary through the National Parks in Utah created by Nextdestinationunknown.com.

3. A One-way Road trip. We never took this type of trip because we always came back home. But, if you’re moving to a new city or state, this a single destination road trip.

Now that you know what type of road trip you will be making, consider who is coming and plan the route!

Consider who’s coming along

This is an important step because everyone has different tastes and ideas of fun.

Some people may hate the idea of taking a road trip to their vacation destination and others love it. When you understand who’s coming along, you’ll be able to plan better.

Plan the Route

Planning your route ahead of time helps you understand time, mileage, gas, and where you will need or want to stop.

There are plenty of sites and apps that can help you out with this including Google Maps.

But, there is one website/app I enjoy and recommend called Roadtrippers.com. Here is a link and if you want to get the Pro Version, use this code for $5 off. (BTR5QTP)

It’s perfect for anyone planning a trip and used by a lot of full-time traveling RVers.

Plan Cool and interesting places to stop

By using the Roadtrippers app you’ll be able to see the different places that you can stop along the way. The map highlights interesting places like Museums, Outdoor and recreation areas, and more.

When my family road tripped through Austin, we would always stop for an hour or so at the Inner Space Caverns. Stopping and exploring the caverns is a memory I will never forget!

Take your time

I know how tempting it is to see the time on the google maps directions and try to beat it. Also, I know there are some who only like to stop when someone must use the bathroom or get gas.

Depending on the type of road trip you are taking, I suggest you take your time. Enjoy the drive, the scenery, and if you do stop don’t be afraid to linger around and explore.

Like I said before, we use to stop at some cool places like the inner space caverns. We would spend an hour or so exploring.

Create a playlist

This is a must! I remember as a kid, way back in 1999 or 2000 my best friend and I would listen to the radio all day with blank cassette tapes. As soon as a song we liked came on the radio we would hit record. That is how we use to make road trip playlists.

Then came CD players, MP3 players, iPods, and now there is Apple Music and Pandora on our Phones.

Creating Playlists is super easy today! Also, the availability of music is world-wide, so get creative and have fun.

Pack healthy Snacks

Packing healthy snacks for your road trip is a great idea! It will prevent spending too much on gas station junk food.

Another plus to packing healthy snacks is no one gets a tummy ache from eating too many chips or candy.

Tip: Make Sandwiches ahead of time and pack easy options like apples, pears, grapes, and more. There are also some great applesauce pouches for kids you can purchase as well. These are great ideas to keep everyone happy, healthy, and full!

Bring a case of water

Seriously, this is the best advice because a case of water is like $4 or less. But if buy water at rest stops, you’re looking at 4 bottles of water for $1 or more each.

That’s a waste of money for water.

You can even pack some soda or juice boxes. Whatever the family or those joining on the road trip choice of beverage.

Don’t forget the Cooler

You will definitely want to bring along a cooler to keep your drinks cold. It doesn’t have to be anything large, just something that can fit a few drinks.

There are so many options to choose from including coolers that can plug into your 12v in the car. This eliminates the need for ice!

You can also choose a cooler bag that attaches to the back of the seat. There are now so many options to keep organized and keep your family road trip drinks cold.


Check the Weather

Depending on what time of year you will be traveling and also your desired destination, it will determine the weather. Winter brings a lot of snow and icy conditions, while spring can bring flooding.

Therefore it’s important to check the weather before you head out so you’re not surprised if you hit a storm.

Play Road Trip Games

We all know the classic games like iSpy or Slug Bug. These were my favorite road trip games to play. They kept us busy and having fun along the way.

If we weren’t playing those types of games, we had our handheld game systems like Nintendos.

Today almost everyone has a phone with downloadable app games. However, there are still some really cool handheld devices like the Nintendo Switch for kids who don’t have phones.

Tip: I suggest downloading some games on your phone while you have WiFi before you leave.


Watch some Movies

Some vehicles have DVD players already installed. However, you can always purchase one like this that you can take anywhere with you. These are great for all ages.

A movie is on average an hour in a half to two hours long. The time length is a great way to make a couple of hours go by, especially if anyone begins to get moody or tired.


Enjoy the opportunity to be together

This is one of my favorite reasons why I love taking road trips. It brings everyone closer together! Yes, there may be some arguments along the way but that’s a part of the experience.

I reflect back on all the Road Trips we took as a family growing up and they are some of my favorite memories. Family Road Trips are vacations that your kids will remember forever.

Get started in planning your family road trip with the downloaded and editable road trip planner below! 

Final Thoughts

Like I’ve said plenty of times, I LOVE taking Road Trips! They are fun and they get everyone out of the house and exploring. After all it’s great to explore new sights.

I hope you feel inspired and ready to plan your next road trip. Stay safe out there, take your time, and enjoy exploring!

What are some of your favorite road trip memories? Share below, I love good road trip stories!

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