Staying fit and healthy while on vacation is a struggle for all of us. From fast food stops to long caffeine fueled drives to the next destination, traveling in an RV can sometimes be a real challenge to healthy lifestyles maintained when not on the road. Don’t give up so easily though! There are actually many ways to remain fit and healthy while traveling, and here are a few tips and tricks to help.
Plan your meals ahead of time. Prepare and portion healthy meals and snacks for the first several days and stock your fridge or cooler. Plan additional meals roughly and create a general shopping list that you can execute while on the road. Be sure to pack containers for leftovers!
Visit local farmers markets. Farmers markets are a fun way to connect with local commerce and culture along your travel route. As an added bonus, much of what you will find includes fresh and local fruits, herbs, vegetables, eggs, cheese, and other pantry staples. Healthy food is easy to find if you know where to look!
Eat less, more often. Having 5-6 smaller healthy meals per day is often the best way to both eat less overall and have consistent energy throughout your day. Being 15 feet away from your fridge at all times means that snacks will be available almost all of the time. Help your future self out by stocking up with healthy food from the start.
Be sure to get outside once you reach your destination. Hiking, biking, kayaking… whatever it is that you do when in The Great Outdoors, plan to really commit to doing it daily when you arrive. Don’t forget the camera for the memories!
Bring your workout with you. Most exercises that can be done in a gym setting can be replicated with minimal travel equipment while on the road. A yoga mat, a set of resistance bands, and a small set of dumbbells is a great start. Where possible, scope out fitness courses, pools, and on-site gyms at campgrounds along your route. Where not possible, use your travel equipment and an online planning resource like Fitness Blender to help plan workouts ahead of your travel plans.
Arizona is just one of those places where you can find just about anything as far as climate and landscape is concerned. From the breathtaking Sonoran Desert, to snowy mountain terrain, to the haunting beauty of the Canyon Lands… Arizona has it all! And if that isn’t enough, Arizona is also well known as being spa country in itself! Here is just a taste of some of the best spa and resort experiences you may encounter in this jewel of the Southwest.
A true destination spa resort, Canyon Ranch has been so successful in changing people’s lives that there are now two additional physical locations outside of the original in Tucson. With classes and experiences ranging from physical wellness and weight loss, to relationships and communication, to spirituality and meditation, Canyon Ranch has something for everyone. 150 acres of beautiful facilities and surrounding open space. You will leave a changed person.
Mii Amo is an intimately small spa destination nestled among the sweeping red ochre landscape that is Sedona. Insight, awareness, peace. These are the things one can discover at Mii Amo. Whether it be an aura-soma reading, guided meditation with breath work, body treatment, or sweat lodge, you will be sure to find a transformative experience here.
One of the top resort and spa destinations in the United States, Sanctuary is the very name and embodiment of this Asian Inspired respite. Rejuvenating treatments and luxurious environment blend together in a perfectly peaceful desert retreat. Perhaps you will try the Watsu Aquatic Massage, the Wakai facial, or maybe a little of everything with the Satori Wellness Retreat. Either way, your ultimate relaxation is well within reach.
If it’s romance you’re after, there’s no place better than Royal Palms Resort and the on-site Alvadora Spa. Orange groves and Spanish Colonial architecture greet you at this intimate spa setting specializing in treatments for couples. Private treatment rooms with side by side showers, private patios, and beautifully serene indoor/outdoor courtyards connecting the property. Take in a yoga or tai chi class, followed by a soak in the jacuzzi and an orange blossom body buff. Divine!
We are nearly there, Winter is nearly at a close… or at least that’s what the calendar says. It sure is hard to see the sunlight at the end of the tunnel when the news is full of reports about the polar vortex and extreme winter snow/cold advisories. Maybe the next wave of clear weather is your getaway cue! If so, here are some tips for finding a great destination to enjoy a warmer climate while the next winter storm takes its course.
Try looking for the usual candidates for an RV destination: Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas. Look for smaller towns if the crowds are of concern. If those seem to be a bit overdone and crowded, then perhaps you will find your destination elsewhere, like Puerto Peñasco in Sonora, Mexico. This little town on the Sea of Cortez is only about an hour south of Ajo, Arizona and is an excellent destination for RV travelers.
Still too difficult to get your RV that far through inclement weather? Maybe a two-leg trip is called for. Many RV dealerships have rental programs and some even rent new models for you to try out before buying. Others may even have a delivery service where you can have your RV rental delivered to a campsite at a specific campground or RV park. Find a dealership near one of your destinations and see what they can arrange for you.
Finally, agencies like Cruise America, Jucy, and Escape Campervansall have commercial RV rental programs for RVs and converted vans. Consider flying into a large destination city like Los Angeles or Las Vegas and renting a vehicle to drive to your destination in the warm southern sun.
When it comes to road trips in the United States, we are gifted with some of the most beautiful driving vistas in the world. Whether it be the Pacific Coast Highway or Old Route 66, there is so much in store for the RV enthusiast. Besides the better-known routes, here are a few byways you may not have considered, and perhaps should!
Arkansas: Talimena Scenic Drive
At only 54 miles, this winding drive includes some of the most beautiful autumn colors you will see. Equally breathtaking in Spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.
Indiana: Ohio River Scenic Byway
Spotted with vineyards, art galleries, and historic small towns, this 303 mile stretch of beautiful forest and meadow is simply magical. Clifty Falls State Park is along this route with its gorgeous limestone cliffs for a change of scene.
Massachusetts: Mohawk Trail
One of the most scenic drives in New England. As the name suggests, the original trail was a part of life to Native Americans. When you see how beautiful this stretch of highway is, you will understand why.
Missouri: Highway 19
The Ozark National Scenic Waterways are some of the most beautiful terrain in the world and Highway 19 runs right through much of it. Nearly 200 miles of lakes and mountains.
North Carolina: Blue Ridge Parkway
This 470 mile stretch through Appalachia is simply one of the most charming drives in America. You will need to plan for more than a single day in order to take it all in, but it will be worth it for sure.
Utah: US Highway 89
This is 124 miles of every terrain that the diverse State of Utah has to offer. From sweeping canyonlands to gorgeous mountain passes, it will take your breath away.
The trails are alive with food! Sometimes, it just takes a keen eye to locate it. Fruits like blackberries and apples are pretty easily identified, while mushrooms, for instance, require more rigorous identification before eating. It is always best to have a field guide for the region you are visiting in order to identify edible plants in the wild and many are available for purchase online or to check out from your local library. When staying at National and Regional Parks, be sure to check in with rangers and campground hosts about collecting edible plants in the wild. Here are a few universal plants in North America that you may come across, and taste, on your next hike.
Dandelion – The humble dandelion can be eaten entirely, from flowers to leaves to roots. Young leaves and flowers can be added to salads or eaten raw, while older leaves and roots taste best boiled.
Cattail – This easily identified marsh plant is another plant that can be eaten nearly in its entirety. Young shoots just appearing out of the water are great chopped and steamed like leeks and have a wonderful nutty flavor. Roots are a little fibrous, but can be peeled to the soft, white inner core, chopped, and fried like potatoes. Be careful to inspect the water source where the cattail grows and avoid plants growing in polluted water.
Wild Onion – If it looks and smells like an onion, it can be eaten like an onion. If it does not smell like an onion, leave it be. Related and smaller garlic and chives can be used in the same way and can add some wonderful flavor to any foraged plant on this list.
Purslane – If you are a gardener or tend to your lawn at home, you are probably already familiar with this widely available “weed”. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is a wonderful addition to other mixed greens collected on the trails. Purslane is high in beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids and grows low to the ground like a miniature succulent.
Milk Thistle – Milk thistle leaves take a little work to prepare, but the resulting cooked greens are both nutritious and delicious. Use gloves or a bandana to collect the leaves from the plant, cut the spines from the leaves, and boil for an easy meal with other greens, roots, or fruit.
Boondocking is not for everyone. It takes resilience and an open heart to rely completely on yourself and what you have within your RV… no hookups, no wifi, no facilities, and often no other people. Some national and regional parks offer a happy midline between basic amenities and “roughing it”, and are a great way to see if boondocking is for you. The key is knowing what is available in the surrounding vicinity should you need things like food, water, or additional shelter. Here are several locations to consider trying out this unfettered approach to camping.
Canyonlands National Park – Utah
Besides being one of the most breathtaking parks you will likely encounter in the United States, Canyonlands consists of miles and miles of back-country camping for both tents and RVs. Nearby Dead Horse Point State Park has simple pull in camp spots with no hookup and no water, but with a nearby visitor center on site.
Imperial Sand Dunes BLM Land – California
Located in the Southeast corner of California, Imperial Sand Dunes has been a snowbird RV destination for years. You will encounter many other RV enthusiasts here, so plan on being surrounded by many others with their sport ATVs and dirt bikes. There are no hookups or facilities, but overnight camping is permitted and amenities are nearby in Winterhaven, CA and Yuma, AZ.
Big Cypress National Preserve – Florida
Big Cypress has many “front country” pull in campgrounds with no hookup and no facilities, as well as miles of backcountry preserve. Visitor and welcome centers are limited in the park, but offer enough amenities if you find yourself in a bind.
Since its release on Netflix, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has become a buzz in households across the country. The KonMari Method espouses downsizing clutter, keeping only those household items that spark joy, and efficiently organizing to save time and space. The great thing about the KonMari Method is that it can also be applied to how you clean and organize your RV.
First of all, you will want to deep clean your RV. This is most easily done by removing everything that is inside of the RV, including everything in drawers, cabinets and storage spaces. Keep like things together in stacks or in boxes, but remove them all from the RV. After all things have been removed, start by cleaning all surfaces, appliances, drawers, and shelves, starting from the ceiling of the RV and moving down. Finally, vacuum furniture and floors, and then mop. Voila, a clean palette to start from!
At this point, you’ve seen which cleaning products work best for you. Restock on everyday products for your RV and keep a list of what those products are so that they can be purchased and stored in your RV. Start with the cleaning products you just used. Add consumable items to this list as well, like toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, shampoo, and cooking oil and spray.
Next up, go through the items that you removed from the RV, one by one. Does the item have utility or “spark joy” for you? Can it be replaced with something newer or more utilitarian? Is there another tool or item that would work better? Perhaps your spice rack needs an overhaul with newer, fresher herbs and spices. Maybe the dollar store set of holiday hand towels in the bathroom could be replaced with something a bit more luxurious. Donate the items that you no longer use or need in your RV and replace them with items that will be a joy to use on your travels.
Finally, organize for tidiness and efficiency. Washable plastic bins and trays are inexpensive and can help keep items separate in drawers and cabinets. Closet and pantry organizing systems can be installed to maximize useable space. Other RV organizing hacks can be found on the internet, like this article. Keep like items together and within reach for the spaces in your RV where they will be used.
We know what you’re thinking. Bringing the kids with you on an RV trip just seems more like a hassle than a good time. Let us assure you that is not true. Like any camping trip, there are going to be ups and downs. How many of the “downs” do you really commit to memory though in comparison to the “ups”? Chances are, not many. The truth of the matter is that bringing the kids along for the trip is actually a great idea for several reasons.
First and foremost, family time is at a premium when camping in an RV. Distractions are often at a minimum, or at the very least can be mindfully controlled. Electronics can be left out of the equation except for during the drive, when a little distraction is a good thing. After arriving at a destination however, the real fun begins. Expect a little crankiness and attitude at first, but watch how quickly it begins to settle.
Children are natural explorers and adventurers. Placed in the relative safety of a campground, they can experience some of that on their own, with a light watchful eye from parents and guardians. Many of the places you go may even have youth programs and sponsored educational activities like guided hikes, art and history presentations, wildlife viewing, or astronomy outings. Invest in the inquisitiveness, creativity, and independence of your children while they are young and they will grow to become healthy, happy adults. As an added bonus, they will likely meet other kids and develop great friendships.
RVing with your kids also means not only having full charge over meals, but also enlisting their help to prepare and serve them. You get to chose the menu instead of whatever might be available at the amusement park or arcade. S’mores and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies are always a treat at the end of a day along with some stories and jokes around the campfire, but you can opt to leave the corndogs and mac ‘n cheese out when preparing lunch.
Finally, camping with your children assures that they will get plenty of exercise and fresh air. They may get to try new things like kayaking, rock climbing, or mountain biking, and don’t forget all of the hiking too. With more and more stimulation from television and video games these days, it is important that kids also get enough exercise, sunshine, and fresh clean water and air.
One of the greatest joys of being on an RV excursion is how it brings us closer to the natural beauty of the world we live in. For some, that means simply going on a hike with a spectacular view as a destination. However, none of us are unfamiliar with the thrill of encountering wildlife along the way. Indeed, some of us camp for no reason other than to see spectacular wildlife in their natural habitat. By following some of these tips, you can make your wildlife viewing excursion even more successful.
The general rule of thumb for viewing wildlife is three-fold… be patient, be early, and be quiet. You will want to arrive at your viewing destination in the early morning, in most cases before dawn. Once there, you will need to find a comfortable place to be still and quiet. Don’t forget that wildlife often strive not to be found by predators, meaning they will remain hidden until things are quiet and peaceful. Waiting for that right moment can take a while, sometimes up to an hour. Do not give up! Wildlife viewing in itself can be like an act of meditation.
Come prepared with field guides so that you are able to identify the wildlife that you encounter, or anticipate natural habitat where specific wildlife might be found. Pay attention to edge spaces in particular, such as where forest gives way to meadow or a stream cuts through a canyon. Using binoculars or a telephoto lens on a camera is a good way to approach these habitats without being noticed by the local fauna.
Learn to interpret various animal signs, like tracks, markings, or droppings. These can lead you to areas where herd animals like bighorn sheep or bison congregate. Move slowly, quietly, and deliberately while tracking and keep an eye out for viewing areas where you can remain out of sight from approaching animals.
Many rules of etiquette also apply, like leaving pets at home so as not to ruin other wildlife viewers’ experience. Additionally, leave things that make noise behind, like cell phones and iPods. Some wildlife have such a keen sense of hearing that even headphones with music can scare them off. Respect private property and sensitive habitats, as setting foot in these areas can disrupt the natural habitat of the wildlife you are seeking.
Lastly, be sure to bring a journal to document your excursion and the wildlife you encounter. While a photo can sometimes be captured successfully (be sure your volume is turned off if using a cell phone), a journal entry is always effective for capturing how you felt in the moment.
What is Workamping? The term was coined in 1987 by Workamper News to describe anyone who works, volunteers, or runs a business while on the road camping in a tent or RV. Some would question why in the world someone would want to take a relaxing escape like camping and mix it with the one thing most of us are trying to get away from for a little while… the daily hustle of our jobs. The answer to the question is really quite simple though. Workamping gives you the freedom to make your getaway longer and more sustainable. You get a new environment to live, work, and play in whenever you want to change, and an income that makes it possible to stay on the road.
Workamping can take on many different forms, from internet based writing jobs to campsite hosting to a temporary work position at a store or restaurant in a small town for the summer. The possibilities are really quite endless. The one thing that the jobs often have in common is freedom of place: being able to visit and work from any place you’d like for as long as you’d like.
Workamping typically does not require a full-time 40 hours per week for work. If it did, you might find yourself working more than enjoying your new environment. Workamping is also probably not going to be a lucrative career choice to build a 401K and retirement benefits. What Workamping does offer is enough stable income to live modestly and comfortably. In many cases like campground hosting, benefits might include a free campsite for the duration of the work agreement.
What do you need to get setup? A really good way to get started is to ask yourself what things you are both good at and enjoy doing. If that is knitting for instance, perhaps your trip can coincide with well-attended craft shows along a route to several destinations you would like to see while traveling. If you have the benefit of family traveling with you, then a partner can drive while you do your knitting. If freelance writing is more your thing, search for jobs that have flexible deadlines based on number of items written and make sure that your campsites have wifi enabled service.
For more inspiration getting started with a new job on the road, check out Workamper News where you can sign up free for information on Workamping delivered right to your email inbox.