Tips for Planning an RV Trip with Friends
Touring the Lakes & Falls of the Canadian RockiesWhat's better than going on an RV trip to a destination that's been on your bucket list for a long time? Going with friends and caravanning there! After months of planning together and anticipation, we recently took the trip of a lifetime up to Banff, Canada, with two other couples. We can't encourage others enough to plan an RV trip with friends, it's true what they say, "the more the merrier."
Our Caravan Crew
The six of us often tell people that the road brought us together. We truly believe that we may otherwise never have met. We met Jon and Nadia (who also happen to be fellow GoLife contributors now) the very same month we decided to become full-time RVers and had just bought our first RV that we were getting ready to call our home on wheels. They were a huge inspiration to us and every conversation we had with them, they were very encouraging about the lifestyle and got us even more excited.
Fast forward a few months and we were living on the road and loving it when Lindsay received an email from Jordan. She was months away from marrying Pete and they were considering RV life right after the wedding. It was so cool that we got to be the same inspiration that Jon and Nadia were for us, to another couple. And before long, we were having dinner with Pete and Jordan, who had taken the plunge into full-time RVing and were able to cross paths with us!
When we all six finally got to meet up together at an event, it was amazing how quickly we instantly connected. So, it was no surprise when we began talking about our summer travel plans and before we knew it we were choosing dates to go to Banff together. But, we had to have a pretty organized way of planning the trip, since after the initial discussion, we all went our separate ways and ended up in completely different parts of the country. By the time we all met up for the big trip, there wasn't a minute wasted because we had worked so hard during the planning process.
Tips for Planning a Group RV Trip
If you're considering planning a group RV trip, we have tips to help you. These tips will ensure that everyone gets a say in what's planned, everyone knows what to expect, and everyone can focus on having fun and enjoying each other's company the moment the trip begins!
The Dreaming Phase
This is the fun part! If you haven't chosen a location yet, everyone can share their ideas. Maybe put the top choices in a hat and draw a destination! This is also the time to discuss possible dates that work and bucket list activities for the destination chosen.
Putting it on the calendar
It's best to give your group as much time as possible to plan and make arrangements. We planned our Banff trip about five months in advance, which was perfect. This was enough time to get reservations, but close enough to start looking forward to it! Before you commit to dates though, it's important to research the best time to visit the destination you choose. You might choose the month with the best weather, or shortly before or soon after "high season" to avoid crowds. Another tip is to check for popular events that are happening in the location you choose. You may find an event you want to plan the trip around to attend, or you'll avoid attending during certain events that will attract crowds and increase costs. Lastly, be sure to put meeting dates on the calendar, too.
Divide and conquer
The most effective way to start planning the trip is to choose roles for each person. One person could be in charge of researching and booking the campgrounds, another person could handle planning the activities and tours, etc. It's best to have clear, defined jobs for each person so that everyone feels included and the planning runs efficiently.
Stay on the same page
Communication is always key in any relationship or shared planning project. One thing that helped our group stay connected and informed was to have a shared Google folder. In this Google folder, we had spreadsheets and documents that everyone had access to view and edit. This is how our itinerary got planned and shared. Another tip is to have regular phone calls to check in with each other and additional planning that needed to be done.
The final countdown
In the final weeks leading up to the trip, make a to-do list. This can include final preparations and reservations, things to pack, and important reminders. For example, since we were going to be crossing the border into Canada, we had to make sure we remembered our passports, pet records, and other things we weren't normally accustomed to carrying around with us in the U.S. It's important that everyone helps with the to-do list and checks in on it so that nothing gets forgotten! It's also helpful to have a final conversation about meet-up and travel plans, and review the itinerary. Make sure everyone has each other's phone numbers, too!
Let the good times roll
After months of planning as a team, it's so rewarding to finally be enjoying the trip together. You'll say things like "I can't believe we're finally here!" It's the ultimate bonding experience. But, it also requires everyone to be aware and respectful of each person's different routines and personalities. Some of you may like getting up early while others prefer to stay up late and at times, everyone will need a little space and alone time to recharge. Just remember to adjust your expectations to fit everyone's personal preferences.
Traveling with others is a lot of fun, especially if it's caravanning in RVs! It pushes you to do things you wouldn't normally do. We went whitewater rafting and did other adventurous activities that we don't typically do on our own because they are more fun with a group! Potlucks and nightly campfires are also a must. We hope we've inspired you to plan your own RV trip with friends!