RV Vacations: Drive Across the Country in Style

Vacation is about exploring somewhere new and escaping the rigors of everyday life, and what better way to explore than in a camper or motor home. The comforts of home and the open road combine to create the ultimate RV vacation experience. Road warriors take advantage of good food, ultimate freedom and an inexpensive mode of transportation. Oftentimes after a trip filled with exotic terrain and fun activities, the road-trip jokes and conversations leave a lasting impression. RV traveling emphasizes comradery and leads to lifelong memories.

Before you hit the highway, school yourself on these time-tested road rules.

RV Vacation Rules:

Spring for Insurance: Whether your renting an RV or driving your own, vehicle insurance will cover your RV in the case of an accident on the road. Be careful inside, however, many road insurance providers don’t cover interior damage.

Inspect the RV: You can’t eliminate the risk of a breakdown, but checking the RV’s tire pressure and liquid levels will start your trip with the right foot forward. Fill up tires to their ideal pressure, which is listed on the tire wall, and check that oil and coolant levels are stable.

Plan for the Worst: Hopefully, you never need to use it, but a thorough medical kit is a necessity when traveling cross country. Basic items such bandages, ibuprofen and and gauze should be included as well as more involved items like an EpiPen and burn relief ointment.

Map Your Stops: Positioned near some of the most beautiful terrain in the U.S., campgrounds offer a great opportunity to meet like-minded travelers. The wind may blow you in a unique direction, but planned stops will help you make the most of your trip. GocampingAmerica.com lists information on RV parks across the U.S.

Don’t Pack Too Much: Only pack enough clothes and food for a few days. You can do laundry at campgrounds and buy food in towns you visit. A camper may feel like home, but that doesn’t mean you have to bring your entire wardrobe.

Don’t Overbuy: When you purchase souvenirs, take care not to overcrowd your motor home; you can ship large items home.

Limit Driving: Try not to drive more than 400 miles each day. Take the time to stop and enjoy sites. Too much driving dulls your senses and increases risk plus, vacation is about enjoying the ride, so why not take a look around?

Plan Meals: Plan your meals as best as you can. Most RVs come equipped with a limited kitchen, so it’s possible to stock a freezer with meat and produce. Take advantage of grilling at camp locations as much as possible to avoid lingering smells in the camper and to avoid clutter.

Look for Bargains: Search the Internet for inexpensive local campgrounds.

Travel Off-Season: Plan your trip during less popular vacation times for big savings and less-crowded attractions.

The time is now to start planning your cross-country road trip adventure. Take the time to map out your route and find fun and unusual attractions and sites to visit along the way as you explore Americas roads.

Post by Dee Paulson

A retired world history teacher, Dee travels the world and shares cultural and political viewpoints in her stories online. She visits Cairo and Italy every year.

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Take Part in the NWF’s Great American Backyard Campout

backyard campout

The team at Jellystone Parks is all for getting more kids playing outdoors, so we wanted to pass this message along from the National Wildlife Federation.

Spend the night under the stars with National Wildlife Federation and take your family’s first step into a lifetime filled with healthy, outdoor fun.

Did you know that today, 25% of kids play outside daily—as opposed to 75% a generation ago? Be a part of the Great American Backyard Campout and set an example for children that will get them excited about the great outdoors. Join thousands of campers on June 23 (or you can choose another day that’s convenient for you). Embrace an active, healthy outdoor lifestyle—we’ll show you how.

Improving your Kids’ Health is Rewarding for Them…….and for You!

You have the option to help support NWF’s work to connect kids with nature for their overall good health by raising money for our programs. You can set a personal or team fundraising goal, invite your friends and family to support your Campout, and earn the official Campout t-shirt. It’s easy—we’ll give you all the tips and tools you need to be successful plus the added reward of happier, healthier kids.

Visit www.backyardcampout.org for more information and to sign up.

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Garbage Can Dinner for Camping

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Looking for an easy campsite recipe that will feed a hungry group? Check out this Garbage Can Dinner from Jellystone Park Campground guest Stephanie Miller. This hearty meal is cooked over the campfire and feeds 12-18 people.
 
18 ears of corn, unhusked
5 lbs. medium potatoes, washed but uncut
5 large onions, peeled
8 lbs. sausage (any kind)
1 lb. carrots, peeled
 
Prepare a 30-gallon galvanized garbage can, including the lid, by heating over your campfire until it’s black inside and out. When cool, wash well. This process removes the galvanizing chemical, which is toxic.
 
Stand up corn in bottom of can. Top with whole potatoes, onions, carrots and then sausage. Fill with water just to cover food by an inch.
 
Arrange two concrete bricks on either side of your campfire. Set the garbage can on the bricks; cover and cook one hour. Remove can from fire and serve, using a large slotted spoon.

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Celebrate National Water Safety Month with Safe Swimming Tips from Experts

girl jumping in pool

Although May is officially Water Safety Month, it’s something we should practice year-round. Check out these great water safety tips from the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and be sure to visit www.nationalwatersafetymonth.com for more great information and resources to keep your family safe and happy at home and on vacation.
 

always practice water safety

• Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
• Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
• Appoint a “designated watcher” to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools.
• Equip doors and windows that exit to a pool area with alarms.
• Install a poolside phone, preferably a cordless model, with emergency numbers programmed into speed-dial.
• Post CPR instructions and learn the procedures.
• Keep rescue equipment poolside. Don’t wait for the paramedics to arrive because you will lose valuable life-saving seconds. Four to six minutes without oxygen can cause permanent brain damage or death.
• Keep a first aid kit at poolside.
• Install four-sided isolation fencing, at least five feet high, equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates, that completely surrounds the pool and prevents direct access from the house and yard.
• Maintain constant visual contact with children in a pool or pool area. If a child is missing, check the pool first; seconds count in preventing death or disability.
• Don’t use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. Never allow a young child in a pool without an adult.
• Don’t leave objects such as toys that might attract a child in the pool and pool area.
• Never prop the gate to a pool area open.
• Don’t rely on swimming lessons, life preservers, or other equipment to make a child “water safe.”
• Never assume someone else is watching a child in a pool area.
• Don’t leave chairs or other items of furniture where a child could use them to climb into a fenced pool area.
• Don’t think you’ll hear a child who’s in trouble in the water; child drowning is a silent death, with no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble.

Here’s to a safe swimming season in 2011!

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Campfire Safety

The Jellystone Park Campground franchise is a proud partner of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors. 
 
We know how much fun a safe, responsibly-managed campfire can be – that’s why this recent blog post from Leave No Trace caught our eye. 
 
For your next campfire, keep the following in mind:
 
• Ask about pertinent regulations and campfire management techniques.
• Restore the appearance of the fire site.
• Judge the wind, weather, location, and wood availability. Decide whether it’s safe and responsible to build a campfire.
• Where there are no fire rings or grates, bring a fire pan or set aside time to build a mound fire.
• Have a trowel or small shovel and a container for saturating the ashes with water.
• Never leave a fire unattended.
• Don’t try to burn foil-lined packets, leftover food, or other garbage that would have to be removed later.
• Burn the wood completely to ash: Stop feeding the fire, and give yourself an hour or more to add all the unburned stick ends.
• Saturate the ash with water. Make sure it’s cool to the touch, and remove any trash.
• Scatter all the ashes widely with a small shovel or pot lid.
 
Log on to www.LNT.org to learn more about how you can Leave No Trace when you play outside.

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Get Moving! Staying Active This Winter

Indoor Swimming

Short, cold, snowy winter days make it tough to keep the family active and healthy! Add school closings to the mix, and cooped-up kids (and parents) start to long for the outside weather of the rest of the year. With spring still a long way off, it’s easy to resign yourself to being sluggish – but don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to burn off extra energy, keep the whole family active and even have a great time between now and Daylight Savings Time!

Lace up your skates! Ice skating is a perfect wintertime activity to get the family moving – and have lots of fun doing it. If no one knows how to ice skate, sign up for group lessons and learn something new together. Then there’s roller skating; what better way to revisit your youth than to take the kids to the roller rink? And they even have those awesome disco balls.
 
Let Rover lead the way. Your dog just may miss the outdoors more than anyone. And he doesn’t care if he gets snow in his coat. Romping with him outside in the snow will warm the kids up in no time and give them a great workout.
 
Just too dang cold to go outside? Plug into the Wii (or PlayStation, or Xbox.) There are plenty of games out there that will get you moving, but a family favorite is the Let’s Dance series. Great music, groovy moves and perfect for family night.
 
Don’t forget the old standbys! Sledding, skiing and snowshoeing are wonderful exercise and perfect for making great memories. Our new Jellystone Park in Madison, Maine , with its heated cabins, is a great home base to explore the area rich in winter activities including snowmobiling.  
 
Get your swim on! Find an indoor water park at your YMCA or community center, or just swim laps. Jellystone Park Campgrounds in Frankenmuth, MI and Canyon Lake, TX have indoor swimming pools that create a wonderful wintertime destination.

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Camping Is Always In-Season!

snow fun with yogi

While the weather has turned frosty in most of the country, campers need not despair – there are still plenty of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Campground open year round!

You’ll find our friendly staff and top-notch hospitality still very much in working order during the winter months, so don’t give up on camping fun just yet. In addition to RV campsites, many of our campgrounds offer heated cabins and lodges, as well as access to winter-time activities at northern parks. With rates at their off-season lowest, it’s the perfect time for a quiet getaway. And further south, you’ll find Yogi Bear-style fun (and warmer temperatures!) at Jellystone Park campgrounds.

From Larkspur, CO (nestled in Pike National Forest), where you can rent a premium cottage for $99 and enjoy the quiet of the Colorado winter, to Burleson, TX , where you’ll find yourself perfectly positioned to explore the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, and plenty of places in between, now’s the time to see a new side of camping. Visit here for a full listing of year-round parks.

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Family Camping Ideas in New GetawayUSA Magazine

GetawayUSA online magazine promotes Campgrounds and RVing depicting four states monthly with spectacular photography and interesting editorial on what to do in each state. Camping and accommodation options are covered with campground and state park features. Interesting topics like recipes, traveling with pets along with plenty of competitions and prize give aways make the magazine a must read for those interested in camping and RVing. The pages promote family values, getting back to nature and spending quality family time together.

“The USA – You own it but have you experienced it yet? GetawayUSA is all about introducing you and your family to the Natural Wonders, the Historic sites, the Varied Culture and the interesting Places and People of this great land”

The current issue features four states, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Oregon with the November issue featuring Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Arizona. Be sure to register and receive your issue of GetawayUSA.
The magazine is free but those that want to receive discounts are asked to pay a yearly subscription of $12.
Click here for the latest issue: http://issuu.com/industryenews/docs/getawayusa2 when open click the full screen button on the left for best viewing.
Click here to subscribe: http://www.getaway-usa.com/competitions.html

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