Raising your family on the road comes with both unique challenges and advantages. Many families pursue full-time “on the road” lifestyles as they seek adventure across the country, living in their Recreational Vehicle or RV. A nomadic lifestyle may not be for everyone, yet for those who seek adventure and travel, raising your family on the road can be invigorating and memorable. Now more than ever, all different types of family dynamics are trying life on the road as they trade in their traditional lifestyle to experience and see the world around them. Before adopting this lifestyle, there is much to consider, significantly depending on your family makeup and dynamics. According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), there are an estimated 1 million families living full-time in their RVs. While some of these families may be a family with children, other families are living this nomadic lifestyle as well, including elderly retirees or single adults looking for adventure in their lives. Proper planning and thought should be given to raising a family on the road. This can ensure your travels go smoothly and your family gets the most enjoyment from your trip.
As previously mentioned, a primary reason people choose to live in RVs and raise their kids on the road is due to a sense of adventure and the ability to travel without being tied down to one specific location. However, there are other reasons as well, including economic reasons. For some, owning an RV can be a more cost-effective way to provide a home for their family without having to rent or own a home. Some families choose to live the RV/road life while their children are still young and are not tied down to a specific school district.
The length of time spent raising your family on the road is completely up to you. Each person’s individual preferences will vary, but the average time spent on the road is about 18 months. Others pursue this lifestyle long-term, while some eventually decide that they seek a traditional home and lifestyle. Living on the road can provide a unique opportunity to create memories for your children that are different from a traditional childhood.
Financial planning when considering a life on the road is as important as any other type of financial planning. It can be costly if you do not properly budget and account for potential expenses. When planned, it can be a cost-effective way to travel and enjoy a nomadic lifestyle. Determining how often you will eat out at restaurants vs. make food in your RV is one thing to consider. For a family, eating out too frequently can be a huge expense. Finding a good balance between the two will allow you to save money while still trying local foods and experiences in the places you travel.
Of course, the start of this lifestyle begins with purchasing your very own RV. This RV will be your home! Whether you’re looking for a new RV for sale or used RVs for sale, there are great options available on the market. A great place to start is rvwholesalers.com. Rvwholesalers offers options in both new and used RVs at an affordable price. They offer a long-term relationship with their customers built on trust, integrity, fairness, service, and support. Check out our website to learn more about RV options and our excellent customer service team.
As with all life decisions, there are both pros and cons to living this nomadic RV lifestyle. The first year on the road can be one of the most difficult times in starting this journey. For first-time RV families, there is a period that requires patience and adaptation, which may be unexpected. It is common to be homesick and miss a sense of routine in your life. People often miss pets, friends, and family. Other common hassles include breakdowns or malfunctions of your RV or your items within it or potential health concerns. Before embarking on raising your family on the road, it is important to consider the harsh realities that may be associated with this lifestyle.
Checking in with your family and children is important throughout the entire process of living life on the road. There may be differing opinions and attitudes regarding your family’s lifestyle, so it is important to make sure open lines of communication encourage a positive bond between you and your family. Make sure your children know that their opinions and feelings are heard and that you will do your best to accommodate their concerns about living on the road. Depending on the age of your children, they may not fully understand why you’ve chosen this lifestyle or what it really means. Education and communication are some of the essential components of nomadic family life.
There are several things to consider when considering raising your children on the road. For many families, this means no time apart from your children for a prolonged period of time. Without other supports, like childcare or family support, this can be an obstacle for parents that can be pretty overwhelming. Depending on the age of your children, this may be a primary concern for people considering this lifestyle.
Of course, each family differs in their priorities and concerns regarding raising children on the road. Accommodating children on the road will require flexibility and adaptability on a daily basis. For example, frequent naps, child-friendly activities and restaurants, and other adaptations that may not be required for an adult-only adventure.
Nap Time: Here’s one thing we can all agree on- naps are great! Both children and adults can benefit from naps on the road. Traveling can be exhausting and can be best experienced after proper sleep. A great strategy can be to enjoy early morning adventures, plan for a mid-day or post-lunch nap, and recharge your batteries so you can thoroughly enjoy the rest of the day’s adventures. Depending on the age of your children, several shorter naps could be preferable.
Staying Occupied: A life spent on the road means just that; lots of time viewing roads and highways. This can be both interesting and exhausting. For children, proper activities are essential to learning and staying occupied. Depending on the nature of your travels, travel time could be short or lengthy. Make sure to bring necessary items to keep your children occupied for long periods of time, including movies, toys, books, iPads, etc., which can keep them calm and entertained. Of course, balance is recommended as it is important that they put the entertainment down at times and explore the world around them.
Child Development: There are many important things to consider regarding your child’s education because early childhood is a critical period of their development. The best way to ensure a proper education is to make it as close to a traditional lifestyle as possible. Set aside time for educational time, toys, and interactions with your children. Expose them to different cultures when possible and explain the sights included in your travels. In some ways, raising your children on the road can actually enhance their education and ability to think broadly. Lessons and educational experiences are all around us in our beautiful world. Traveling can provide wonderful opportunities for exposure to education all around us.
Sleeping: Sleep is critical to an enjoyable life on the road. You will likely need to take shifts when it comes to parenting and sleeping. Each parent will need a break at certain times, so coming up with a schedule or system can help manage this. Perhaps a parent has an individual interest that they seek alone time for, or maybe one parent is a morning person vs. a night person. Whatever the reason may be, make sure to develop a system to get the most out of your travels on the road.
Friends & Family: Staying connected with friends and family is another important thing to consider when leaving for a life on the road. It is important not to isolate your family, as relationships and family are critical to a child’s development. Perhaps you schedule visits to friends and family within your road trip or stay connected via technology.
Boundaries: Creating boundaries is a great tip when living in small spaces. With this lifestyle, sharing things is critical, yet boundaries are still important to set. This will avoid arguments between children and let them feel like they truly have their own things.
With these tips in mind, you should have a happy and healthy time raising your family on the road!