We’ve traveled a lot over the years, and we haven’t enjoyed any mode of transportation as much as we’ve enjoyed RVing. In light of COVID-19 and the recent surge of RV sales, which some are calling “covid campers,” here are 10 reasons why we prefer traveling by RV:
- Our own bed: We have our own bed, our own sheets and blankets, our own pillows, and we know they’re clean and washed without detergent that’ll cause allergic reactions. Traveling pre-RV was fun, but it was always so satisfying to get home to our own bed. Not we get to do that every single day we travel.
- Our own kitchen: This is especially important when traveling with celiac and food allergies. All the research, questions, and restaurant managers’ promises in the world can’t prevent the one food prep incident that ruins our whole trip. I do miss the days of discovering new restaurants in new cities, but it’s just not worth the gamble and potentially spending weeks in bed recovering. (This makes our few, limited discoveries that much sweeter!) But even without celiac disease, there’s a lot to be said about enjoying your favorite foods at home and watching the sunset (or your favorite Star Trek reruns), or waking up to your favorite tea in your favorite mug. And if you enjoy alcohol, you can always have a drink with dinner without worrying about finding a ride home!
- Our own bathroom: Need we say more? We have our favorite towels (and as many as we want!), our favorite toiletries, and we never have to worry about forgetting our toothbrush. We also get to skip the public toilets, even when we stop for gas!
- Check-out time: I include this one with some caveats. Unlike hotel stays, we don’t have to worry about being out of the room at a certain time in order to avoid holding up the housekeepers and their busy jobs. (On the flip side: we have to do our own housekeeping.) We aren’t waking up to the sound of doors slamming, as other guests hurry out of their rooms to check out and get on with their day. The best parks have late checkouts, but the majority of parks seem to be clinging to outdated and misplaced ideas that RVers must check out by 11am. Long Long Honeymoon has some great opinions about why this ridiculous practice needs to stop.
- Companion animals: Finding a pet-friendly hotel was one of the most annoying parts of hotel travel. “Hotelling” with one cat (Ginger) was tough enough, but hotelling with four is nearly impossible. Ginger loved new hotels, and would often spend an hour each night in a new place just rolling around on the carpet, meowing happily. Then she’d wake us in the night, prancing around the bathroom and meowing loudly because she enjoyed the echo. Traveling with a litter box was also an extremely annoying chore. In an RV, the cats have their beds and toys, and their litter boxes are always in the same spot.
- No packing! Sure, we’ve got to remember to put away anything that could shift in transit, but there’s no dedicating a a day before departing to making sure everything we need for our trip fits into one or two suitcases. Likewise, there’s no forgetting David’s favorite trimmers at a hotel (on our honeymoon!) or having to wake up extra early to cram everything back into those one or two suitcases before check-out time.
- No unpacking! Other than unhitching and bumping out the slides, once we’re done traveling, we just kick back and relax, and everything is exactly where we left it. (Unless anything shifted in transit, because we were lax about #6…)
- It’s cheaper. Like everything on this list, there’s caveats, like the price of gas and the price of the RV itself, but generally speaking, a night in an RV park is less expensive than a night in a hotel. It’s also easier to save money on meals, since we can cook at home.
- No bedbugs. Bedbugs are awful.
- More trees and more fresh air. Not only do we get to avoid the allergies and asthma problems that come with stale recycled air in planes and hotels, but trees have tremendous physical and mental health benefits.
What are your favorite reasons for traveling by RV?