6 Life Lessons Kids Can Learn from RVing
Hitting the road with your family offers plenty of good times in the moment—plus important takeaways for the future
No matter where you travel, the best family vacations have two things in common: they supply family inside jokes to laugh about for a lifetime, and they teach kids important life lessons that will be remembered just as long. Traveling as a family in an RV checks both of these boxes. So hitch up the trailer and get ready for a vacation full of quality time enjoying nature together and learning these invaluable life lessons.
1. Appreciate the Small Things
Sure, you’ll likely see life-list sights like the Grand Canyon, but some of the great joys of an RV vacation are in the small stuff. Parking your home for the weekend at a campsite anywhere is like getting front-row seats to Mother Nature’s show. Experience the excitement of exploring a trail lined with vibrant wildflowers, jumping into a sparkling alpine lake, or watching the sun go down on the horizon. Another small moment of appreciation: two scoops of ice cream are always better after a big outdoor adventure. Bonus points if it’s served from a local shop in a tiny roadside town. Back at the campsite, little luxuries we often take for granted—cozy camp blankets and a warm campfire—make nights spent under a starry sky feel magical in all their simplicity.
2. Enjoy the Journey
Road trips are all about finding joy in the time spent on the road. But when you’re an eight-year-old in the back of the family car for hours on end, it can take some time to develop that level of appreciation. With an RV, families have the flexibility to savor the journey—the cute local restaurants, quirky attractions, and major landmarks. You’re never late for check-in when your home away from home is always with you and you have the kitchen in tow. So take the next exit when you see a sign for a waterfall hike, reptile park, or the world’s biggest pistachio. Stop for lunch and a round of Go Fish at a scenic overlook. Because when the inevitable “are we there yet?” comes up, traveling in an RV means the answer is always yes.
3. Value Teamwork
Setting up camp goes a whole lot faster if everyone pitches in. From prepping camp meals together to getting bunk beds ready, RVs make it easy for kids to have age-appropriate jobs. The more quickly the work is done, the sooner everyone can get to the fun stuff.
Older kids can help with the planning and logistics, too. They’ll love having ownership over part of the trip. Imagine their excitement when it’s time for the activities and stops they helped plan. This team effort to bring the trip to life also helps them learn how to be prepared, from reserving the campsite to bringing the right clothes for the weather.
4. Connect with Nature
Time spent outdoors is beneficial for everyone, especially kids. Research shows that kids who spend time outside are happier, have less trouble paying attention, and less anxiety. Besides those inherent benefits, connecting with and respecting nature helps create future stewards of America’s public lands. So start the kids young. Foster your family’s connection with nature through fun memories while hiking, fishing, swimming, identifying constellations, or observing wildlife. Make time for them to explore in their own way, and give them opportunities to learn along the way. (Ranger-led tours at national parks are a great option!)
5. Find Fun Without Screens
It’s no secret that screens dominate modern life. That goes for parents, too. Want a great way to cut down on screen time? Although you can choose campgrounds with Wi-Fi and full cellphone service, RV travel makes it easy to seek out places that let the family fully disconnect. With so many fun outdoor activities, your kids won’t miss their electronics. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to create new types of entertainment as a family. Ghost stories around the campfire, skipping rocks, taking a walk, swinging in a hammock, and spending quality time together make for better family memories all around.
6. Acquire New Skills
An outdoor-focused vacation offers so many new and important skills to learn. From the do’s and don’ts of camping to fishing or reading a map, there are endless opportunities to gain new wilderness skills. Practice cleaning up camp as a family. Let older kids help build a fire and learn safe campfire practices. These experiences help kids learn the value of hard work, preparation, patience, and safety. Plus, they’ll build your kids’ confidence more and more each time you take a family RV trip.
Don’t just go on a trip, go on a real vacation. There’s a real vacation for every occasion and everyone. You can go when you want, where you want, and however you want. Learn more at GoRVing.com and follow @GoRVing on Instagram for more inspiration to hit the road.