How to Pick the Right RV Park when Traveling with Kids
When you are traveling with kids, picking the right RV park isn't as easy as you may think! For example, have you ever heard of a kid tax? Ok, to be honest that isn't really what it is called, but it is the name we gave it.
The Dreaded Kid Tax
What is a kid tax? That is the extra fee you have to pay at the RV park for your kids. Yup, it is a real thing and I can't tell you how many RV parks do this. Basically, the rate says $40 a night for two people and an additional $5 a night for each extra person. When you are traveling with four kids that means an extra $20 a night! As you can imagine, we try to avoid these RV parks.
Top reasons to avoid parks with a kid tax:
1. If there is a kid tax it usually means it isn't the most family friendly RV park. In other words, the kid tax keeps people like us (people with kids) away from these parks. I think that is part of the intention.
2. If they don't want kids there, then we don't want to be there. It makes it more stressful for ALL of us.
My #1 tip for picking the right RV Park when traveling with kids is to avoid RV parks with the kid tax. As a side note, whenever I am making a reservation I always mention that we have kids and a dog. The last thing I want is to pull up somewhere thinking we are going to pay $40 a night and instead it ends up being $60. So, it is always good to mention this when booking.
Kid-Friendly RV Park Checklist:
Once you rule out the kid tax, check to see if the park has any of these amenities. The more the better when traveling with kids!
Playground - When traveling, kids still just want to get out and run around and play. Having a playground at the RV park makes it easy for kids to burn energy before or after you go out site seeing for the day.
Open Space - Not always easy to find in an RV park, but if you can, look for one that has open grass for the kids to run in. Or try to check out the park map before you pick your site, to see if you can get one close to a field or open area
Pool - Assuming the weather is nice you can't go wrong with a pool for kids. Just be sure you have allowed time in your trip for at least one, if not two days, to just hang out and have a pool day.
Things to Do Nearby - Anyone with kids knows that piling them into the car to head out for the day is a lot of work. That being the case, if we can avoid doing that we will take it! Finding an RV park that has hiking trails attached to it, is close to public transportation, a pond, or within walking distance of activities is always a bonus.
Site size - As you can imagine with four kids, we are rarely quiet. It is nice if the RV park has LARGE sites, so we have room to spread out and our neighbors are a little ways away, so they don't have to listen to us all day.
We obviously take up a lot of space at our site. Six bikes, toys, and six people means we need a little room.
RV Park Alternative
The other option is to skip the RV Park completely and instead go to a State or National Park Campground. Granted you aren't going to get the pool or playground normally, but we have found that people at these campgrounds tend to be a lot more laid back and accepting of kids than people we meet at RV parks. Not saying we haven't met nice people at RV parks, because we have. But we always feel more comfortable being at a State or National Park campground.
Many of our favorite sites are at National or State Parks. You usually have more privacy and a more chilled atmosphere.