There are so many places to camp and so many destinations to see, how can you possibly choose? Start by creating a bucket list of everything you’d like to see and do in the upcoming season. Where do you want to go? Would you like to boondock or stay in an RV park? How far do you want to drive? Do you have any must-sees? RVT has compiled some key tips to help you organize and plan your camping bucket list for the upcoming season.
How to Plan Your Upcoming Camping Season
Plan Your Camping Dates
First, decide when and how often you want to travel. You may want to travel at the peak of the season or on the shoulder (with summer as the peak season, spring and autumn are often considered “shoulder” seasons). Choosing to camp on weekdays and off-peak seasons means fewer crowds and less competition for campsites and parking stalls at popular destinations like theme parks and national parks. Write down your dates and use them as a base for your bucket list.
Determine Your RVing Distance
Decide how far you want to travel in your toy hauler, fifth wheel, or other RV. Do you prefer a series of “near-cations,” or do you want a long-distance trip? How far is too far? Consider the length of time you are able to take for each trip, plus the time it will take to reach your destination(s). This will help determine how far you can travel.
Choose Your Camping Locations
Do you have any must-sees for the season? Any landmarks you want to visit? Do you want to camp at the beach? In the forest? In the desert? Do you want to challenge yourself by camping in the snow? Brainstorm a list of all the places you would like to go, then see which ones line up with your dates and distance. Need inspiration? Check out these articles on camping destinations.
Plan the Activities for Your RV Vacation
What do you like to do? Hiking? Fishing? Swimming? Kayaking? Birdwatching? Or maybe your ideal vacation is relaxing at the campsite, drinking a coffee and reading a book. Consider activities you can do right at your campsite or in your RV. Card games, board games, making campfire snacks, storytelling, skygazing, or watching wildlife are just some possibilities. Your favorite activities will help you choose where to go and where to stay.
Research Your Camping Destination
Take time to research your chosen destination(s), the activities in the area, and the campgrounds available. Once you’ve narrowed it down, check to make sure your RV is welcome. Not all tourist attractions or campgrounds can handle all sizes and types of RV. Check peer reviews for the attractions you’re planning to visit.
Plan Your RV Travel Route
Plan your route out in advance. Take note of places where you’ll likely be able to get fuel, stop for snacks or meals, or get your RV serviced, if needed. Look for interesting sightseeing spots and other tourist attractions on the way to your destination. If any look like they’re worth a longer stay in your diesel pusher or other RV, look for available campgrounds in that area and adjust your travel schedule as needed. You may find a new favorite you didn’t realize existed!
Reserve Your Campsites
Now it’s time to book your campsite(s). Many campgrounds take reservations months in advance, so plan ahead. State/Provincial and National Parks typically have an online booking system. For RV Parks, it’s usually best to phone. The front desk staff will have the most up-to-date information regarding types of sites, availability, and possible cancellations. Don’t forget to check peer reviews for the locations you’ve chosen. For more campsite reservation tips, check out these campground booking mistakes you want to avoid. If you’re boondocking, check to see if there are any limitations in the area. You don’t want to make these boondocking boo-boos.
Pack Up Your RV and Hit the Road
You’ve created your bucket list, chosen a destination, researched, planned, and made your reservations. Now it’s time to pack up your RV and hit the road. Remember to plan for the unexpected. Weather, detours, closures, and other unforeseen events happen. When you expect the unexpected, you can be flexible and roll with it.
We hope this list of tips will help you plan your bucket list for the upcoming camping season. If you have any tips you use, or destinations you can recommend, feel free to leave them in the comments. If you’re looking for a new or used RV to join you on your next camping adventure, check out all the units available on RVT.com.
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