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Which RV Membership is Right for You?

GreenHeartAdventure No Comments

One of the top questions that we receive on the forums is “Which RV memberships do you recommend” and with so many out there offering so many different benefits it can be quite confusing to determine which are the best ones for you.  Hopefully this will shed some light on the top 6 most popular memberships for Fulltime Families and help narrow it down.

Thousand Trails

Website: https://www.thousandtrails.com

Thousand Trails is a membership based campground system with 81 member parks and 100 additional parks available through their sister program, Trails Collection.

Leavenworth Thousand Trails in Leavenworth, WA

Photo Credit: thousandtrails.com

Benefits

  • Free nightly stays at member parks (some charge $3 per night for 50amp service)
  • 81 Campgrounds available nationwide
  • Up to 20% savings at Encore Parks
  • Membership Rebate available for FTF Members

Cost:

  • $575 annually for a single zone
  • $49 for each additional zone
  • $199 for the Trails Collection
  • Additional membership upgrades with extra benefits are available

The Pros to Thousand Trails

One of the biggest perks of the Thousand trails system is the pricing.  After the initial membership cost and annual dues, members can stay at the 81 parks for 2-3 weeks at no cost.  This is why we consider the Thousand Trails system very budget friendly and a good place for many traveling families to rest for a period time after more expensive explorations.

Another wonderful benefit of the system is the convenient online reservations.  You can make reservations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can change them at anytime with out a cancellation penalty.  We have found this to be very convenient as it allows us to be flexible but still have reservations, so we are never with out a place to stay.

Our favorite benefit with Thousand Trails though is one that isn’t listed anywhere on their site and that’s the opportunity to meet fellow Fulltime Families!  Many of our families use the system so there are wonderful opportunities for meet ups and play dates while staying in the system. So many use the system in fact, that we have a meet up group dedicated to the Florida parks, simply because in the winter they are hopping with FTFs!

South Jetty Thousand Trails in Florence, OR

Photo Credit: thousandtrails.com

The Cons to Thousand Trails

One con that we hear from time to time is the parks are out of the way or not near a major city.  We have found this to be true in some areas and in others, found them to be in the perfect locations.  For instance, TT Diamond Caverns is located in KY and while it is technically out of the way, it is at the entrance to Mammoth Cave National park.  We really enjoyed our quiet stay there and it made exploring the National park a breeze. Another great location we have enjoyed was TT South Jetty, nestled in a tiny coastal Oregon town, we were just outside the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.  TT Williamsburg is also another amazing location, located in the historic triangle in VA, you are close to Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg while nestled in a gorgeous tree filled park.

We have also heard complaints of the quality of up keep at some of the parks and have experienced this ourselves on occasion.  Overall, we feel that the price we pay is on par with the quality we receive. We always have a safe place to stay for the night and we have seen them working steadily at improving the parks since we joined several years ago.  This year we saw them upgrade more sites at TT Orlando to 50amp and add a new pickleball court, work on leveling sites at TT Oaks, new playgrounds and fire pits at others and many other improvements.

The memberships can be confusing!  Over the years, Thousand Trails has had many different membership levels with many different benefits.  This creates a sea of confusion on the internet and even when discussing amongst members. The best way to overcome the confusion is to work with a member specialist who can help you navigate to the best membership for your family.  We recommend working with Alisha Deschene, Fulltime Families dedicated Thousand Trails representative. She can be reached by email alishaplus8@yahoo.com or by phone at 207-270-1121.  Working with Alisha not only guarantees a smooth transaction but qualifies you for the FTF rebate on your membership.

Orlando Thousand Trails in Clermont, FL

Photo Credit: thousandtrails.com

Is Thousand Trails Worth it?

For most Fulltime Families, absolutely!!  Between the benefit of low cost camping, ease of changing reservations and opportunities to connect with other traveling families, it is a no-brainer to make this one of most used memberships in your arsenal.

Passport America

Website: http://www.passportamerica.com/

Discount programing saving you 50% off campgrounds in their network.

Benefits

  • 50% off Campgrounds
  • 1800+ Campgrounds
  • Basic Route Planning to show member parks on route
  • FTF Members receive a discount

Cost:

  • $44 annually
  • $79 for 2 years
  • $109 for 3 years

The Pros to Passport America

The low cost of this program and potential savings are the biggest pros.  With most campgrounds in their network costing an average of $35 a night, this program takes those nightly rates down to $17.50 a night.  This means that the return on investment will be realized in just 3 short nights.

Another benefit to the program is the volume of parks that participate, with over 1800 parks across the US, Canada and Mexico, meaning that there are plenty of places to choose from.

The Cons to Passport America

One of the biggest cons are the rules for the discount are set by the campgrounds.  Some of them are very generous while others only let you stay a night or 2 at the discounted rate or the rate is only available on week days.  Be sure to read the rules for the campground you are looking to stay at, to ensure there are no surprises in cost.

We have heard also complaints of the quality of certain parks.  We find using RV review sites helps us to better pick parks and we have stayed at some really cool and interesting ones, like Faywood Hotsprings, a RV park and Hotsprings resort.

Faywood Hotsprings in Faywood, NM

Photo Credit: Instagram.com/theroaminghome

Is Passport America worth it?

If you are traveling, absolutely!  Since it’s so quick to pay for itself and there are so many locations, we highly recommend it.

Good Sam

Website: https://www.goodsam.com/club/

Discount programming saving you at campgrounds, Camping World and Pilot/Flying J

Benefits

  • FREE SHIPPING at CampingWorld.com – No Minimum Purchase Necessary
  • Save up to 10% Every Day at Camping World SuperCenters! Plus, Members-Only Specials & Double Discount Days
  • Save 10% on Camping World Installation Fees
  • Save $10 on the Posted Hourly Service Rate at Camping World SuperCenters
  • Save up to 10% Every Day at Gander Outdoors Retail Locations! Plus, Members-Only Specials & Double Discount Days
  • Save 5¢ off gas & 8¢ off diesel instantly at select Pilot or Flying J locations
  • Save 10% off Good Sam Campgrounds
  • FTF Members receive a 1 year membership for free

Cost:

  • $27 annually
  • $50 for 2 years
  • $79 for 3 years

The Pros to Good Sam

One thing we love about this program is its FREE for one year when you join Fulltime Families!  And who doesn’t love a free membership! But seriously, the biggest pro to this program are the discounts and free shipping from Camping World as well as the discounts on gas, diesel and propane.  While the campground discounts are nice, your return on investment if you were to buy this one would be longer if you only used it for the camping discounts

The Cons to Good Sam

As we mentioned above if you are only using it for the camping discounts, it won’t save you as much but as travelers the savings on the gas or diesel and the savings at Camping World make up for it.

Is Good Sam worth it?

Maybe, since you receive a free year of it with FTF memberships its worth seeing if it would pay off for your family.  For ours, most years it does based on the shopping discount at Camping World alone.

 

Escapees

Website: https://www.escapees.com/

A support network for RVers

Benefits

  • 10-50% Discount on club affiliated parks
  • 19 Escapee parks that offer low member only rates
  • Discounts on mail service that provides a domicile address
  • FTF Members receive a 1 year membership for free

Cost:

  • $39.99 annually
  • $895 for lifetime

The Pros to Escapees

Many Fulltime Families use their mail service and address as a domicile.  They offer addresses both out of FL and TX and you must be an Escapees member to utilize their mail service.

Other benefits we love are the private Escapee parks, while there aren’t many of them, they are well maintained and we have found the staff and other campers to be very welcoming to families.

The discounts on the club affiliated parks are also a nice perk, just be sure to check with each park as they set their own prices

The Cons to Escapees

Isn’t that the club for retirees?  Yikes! we have heard that one a few times over the years and while yes for years Escapees served mostly those who were retired, they are now embracing the younger generation with their Xscapers club.  Membership in Escapees gives you access to both and the Xscapers are an active group hosting rallies and meet ups themselves.

Is Escapees worth it?

We feel it is, for those looking for a trusted domicile and mail handling but also for those looking for education, weighing services and for the park discounts.  Members of FTF receive their first year free with Escapees

Harvest Hosts

Website: https://harvesthosts.com/

Harvest Hosts overnight stays are a special opportunity to meet people and enjoy wine tastings, farm tours and museum visits.

Benefits

  • Free overnight stays with hosts listed on the site
  • FTF Members receive a discount on membership

Cost:

  • $49 annually ($45 if you sign up for auto renewal)
  • $115 for 3 years
  • $300 for lifetime

The Pros to Harvest Hosts

Gorgeous settings for overnight stays are certainly a big pro for Harvest Hosts.  Instead of camping in a Walmart parking lot for your quick stop over you can settle in between the grapes for a quiet nights rest.  

We also love that we get to support small businesses and learn about their business. We have found them to be very welcoming to our family at all the hosts we have stayed with and loved chatting with everyone we met.

Harvest Host site in Virginia

Photo Credit: facebook.com/theroaminghome

 

The Cons to Harvest Hosts

Harvest Hosts may sound like a dream, free camping and wine tasting, what’s not to love right? Well some of our members have mentioned that having to arrive during the businesses operating hours can pose a challenge on long travel days, if you aren’t an early riser.

Others have mentioned that its not technically free as you are asked to support the business with a purchase.  We don’t really see the con in this as even if you aren’t a wine drinker, most sell other locally sourced products to purchase.  We enjoyed blueberry pie at one, scored some delicious wild flower honey at another and dined at a café at another.

Is Harvest Host worth it?

For our family it has been worth it.  We spent last Memorial day bouncing around California’s wine country, avoiding the crowds and spending time with some amazing winemakers.  FTF members receive a discount off of the annual membership and with the cost around the price of a single night a resort, it pays for itself quickly.

Fulltime Families

Website: https://fulltimefamilies.com

Fulltime Families is the only RV organization dedicated to support Fulltime Families in their unique journeys.

Benefits

  • Private members only forum
  • No Kid Tax (extra fees for children) at 350+ campgrounds
  • Planned events, rallies, meet ups and hang outs
  • Family Finder, locate other traveling families
  • Discounts on mobile internet, accounting, doctors visits, and much more
  • Free year of Escapees and Good Sam’s
  • Discounts on Harvest Hosts, Boondockers Welcome, Passport America
  • Rebate on Thousand Trails
  • Over $1000 in value

Cost:

  • $45 annually
  • $295 for lifetime

Photo Credit: fulltimefamilies.com

The Pros to Fulltime Families

We may be a little biased but for fulltime families the pros of the Fulltime Families Membership is numerous!  First you receive both Escapees and Good Sam memberships for the cost of your FTF membership. This is a $67 value you right there, but then you also receive discounts off of other popular memberships like Passport America, Harvest Host and Boondockers Welcome, plus FTF gives you a rebate when you purchase a new Zone pass or upgrade your Thousand Trails membership with their dedicated TT rep, Alisha Deschene!

Another perk that can’t be translated into a dollar figure is the support that families can receive both in person through the many events they host annual but also online in the private member forums.  In the forums you can pick the brains of those with experience and make lasting friendships. FTF hosts several in person events each year all over the country, from large rallies to smaller hang outs to field trips.  After attending these events most families find that they have made friends for life and have started to establish their mobile neighborhood.

If you can’t make it to an event or if you are just wanting to see if there are other fulltime families around you, we have a tool for that….the Fulltime Families Finder.  You can update your location and share a little bit about your family and then see other members locations. You are always in control of your information so you can share the exact park or just the city you are in and because its only available to other FTF members you don’t have to worry about prying eyes knowing your location.

Photo Credit: fulltimefamilies.com

The Cons to Fulltime Families

Could FOMO (fear of missing out) be considered a con? Perhaps, I know it’s something we experience.  Seeing all the amazing pictures of our friends in other gorgeous locations, knowing that time won’t let you make all the rallies and meet ups (though some of us try really hard) can cause those feelings.  

Or perhaps that you might have to drop your very well-planned route, cancel all your reservation and head in the exact opposite direction to meet up with friends or attend an exciting event.

Is Fulltime Families worth it?

We absolutely believe it is, there is over $1000 in savings if you take advantage of the benefits but even if you didn’t the social aspect alone is worth it we believe.  Finding the connections on the road, meeting a circle of friends who can become your traveling neighborhood, those people you can meet up with every once and while, or caravan with all the time, whatever is your style, is priceless. 

Things to know about Fulltime Families Facebook participation

GreenHeartAdventure No Comments

The Fulltime Families Facebook group is sponsored by Fulltime Families, LLC, a company that connects and supports traveling families by providing education, support, discounts, and community. This group is a small part of the resources Fulltime Families provides to families living or seeking the fulltime RV lifestyle.

There are many Fulltime Families groups, including several dedicated groups for paid Fulltime Families Members, including a general member group, consisting primarily of traveling families, a bookclub, and a boondocking group.  Some other Facebook Groups sponsored by Fulltime Families, and open to all, are dedicated to Special Needs, Military Families, Solo Parents and more.

We appreciate that the members of all our sponsored groups are kind, respectful, helpful, and show restraint when necessary. We are more than a group about travel or living in an RV, so we allow conversations that aren’t specifically related to those things. However, to keep the atmosphere positive, we will not allow religious or political debates, cursing, or belittling fellow group members. In addition, there are a few topics that we will allow to be discussed for informational purposes, but as soon as they become debates or opinion based will need to be closed for comments. Those topics are traveling with guns, car seats, and safety of motorhomes.

We do not allow our groups to be used for advertising, sales, or market research. If you would like to partner or advertise with us please email sales@fulltimefamilies.com. Please do not private message other members or ask them to private message you as a method of selling or obtaining sales people for your organization. If you want to post a job opportunity or fundraiser please private message a group administrator for approval.

If you are looking for information on how we can all afford to travel fulltime, what various acronyms mean, and other FAQs, check out our FILES section.

We’re so excited to have you as a part of our community.  Please review all these tips, enjoy the community and help here, and consider taking the next step by becoming a Fulltime Families Member. We hope to see you down the road!

 

 

Finding the Sweet Spot for Trick or Treating on the Road

Kimberly No Comments

One of the benefits of being a full time rving family in the fall, is the opportunity to set your gps and move your house to one of the country’s best cities for trick or treating!   Every year, Zillow publishes their top 20 list.  According to Zillow’s website there is a significant amount of number crunching that goes in to developing this list.

Methodology

Zillow takes numbers seriously, even when it comes to trick or treating. Taking the most holistic approach, the Trick-or-Treat Index is calculated using four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index, population density, Walk Score and local crime data from Relocation Essentials. Based on these variables, the Index represents cities that will provide the most candy, with the fewest walking and safety risks.  For more info, visit: http://www.zillow.com/blog/trick-or-treat/

Graphic from Zillow: http://www.zillow.com/blog/trick-or-treat/

Graphic from Zillow: http://www.zillow.com/blog/trick-or-treat/

If one of these cities isn’t in your travel plans this October, fear not!  You can still find the perfect neighborhood for the ghouls and goblins in your rig, no matter where in the world your rig is parked!

Best-Trick-or-Treat

Our best tip for finding the “sweet spot” by you is by calling some locals.  You can start with the police department or the Children’s’ Librarian at the local library.

Hang out at the park?  Ask another mom! or talk to the local elementary school secretary.

Looking for Fall Festivals and Howlin’ Holiday activities?  Check out Family Days Out.com for all the events going on in your area!

Update: While these tips have worked in the past, this year, I found the best spot by locating an Elementary School via Google Maps and then making sure the streets around it were in a accessible, grid like pattern for easy navigation.

We found our ‘sweet spot’ and after an hour left with full bags of loot!  It was a trick or treating success story!

10 Best Father’s Day Field Trips Around the Country

Kimberly No Comments

Looking to celebrate your FtF Dad with a Special Day Out?

We’ve collected the 10 Best Dad’s Day Field Trips in the country!

10. Take Dad for a FREE Ride

Take Dad to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, NH where Dads are FREE
and there really is such a thing as a FREE Lunch!

with paid child admission
Dads will receive FREE admission and FREE Lunch (lunch served Noon-3pm) when accompanied by a paid child’s ticket at Canobie Lake Park on Sunday, June 15, 2014.

Click here for all the details: http://www.canobie.com/specials.php

9.  Take Dad out to the Ball Game

Every Father’s Day & Mother’s Day the Boston Red Sox offer fans the opportunity to “take a walk in the park.” Families and loved ones can stroll around Fenway’s warning track and see the left field scoreboard, dugouts, and bullpens up-close.

Visit http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/community/events.jsp for all the info!

8.  Let Dad get his ‘car fix’

The California Automobile Museum wants to make your Dad’s day extra special!What a great way to make Father’s Day memories! Enjoy rides to Old Sacramento in some of our most amazing classic cars, hoods-up in our exhibits, free admission for your special Daddio!

Go to http://www.calautomuseum.org/event/free-classic-car-rides-fathers-day/ for more information.

7.  Treat Dad to a Pig!

Celebrate Father’s Day in grand style at Four Sisters Winery as they pay tribute to all dads during our annual Father’s Day Pig Roast. Roasted suckling pork is the focus of this wonderful day on the farm. No need to worry about the weather as the celebration takes place under the party tent.

For more details go to: http://foursisterswinery.com/event-calendar/fathers-day/

 

Don’t Miss Out!  Submit Your Favorite Foto of Dad for your chance to win a Yeti Tumbler from DishForMyRV!

6. Take Dad Fishing

The City of Knoxville presents the Father’s Day Fishing Event, where dads and their kids can catch a memory or two while fishing together on Father’s Day. Prizes are given for the top three largest fish caught.

Click on http://www.cityofknoxville.org/recreation/fathersday/fathersdayfishing.asp for more info

5.  Make it a Sweet Day for Dad

Dads are admitted free to Hershey Gardens in Hershey, PA.  For more info and to see what’s in bloom, go to: http://www.hersheygardens.org/events-programs/19/Fathers-Day

4.  Get your Dad in the Fast Lane!

The North Shore Corvette Club in Libertyville, IL is hosting its 14th Annual Corvette and Classic Car Show and Fathers’ Day Charity Fundraiser.  To check out all the sweet rides visit: http://northshorecorvetteclub.org/

3.  Give Dad Wings!

Every Fathers’ Day the RC Airplane Hobbyists of the Flint Aero RC Club host a ‘fly in’ over the fields of Flint, Michigan.  About 50 planes will take to the sky above Lennon, Mich., Sunday, June 15 performing stunts, maneuvers and acrobatic moves that even the Red Baron couldn’t match.

Check out: http://www.flintaerorcclub.com/

2.  Take Your Dad on a Ride on the Rails

This Father’s Day bring your Dad, Grandfather, Uncle and friends out to the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. Climb aboard living history on a steam train ride through the forest and foothills of Mt. Rainier. Dad gets his own train engineers hat and at our destination in Mineral you’ll enjoy a good ole fashion BBQ.

Get your tickets at: http://www.mrsr.com/

1. Get ‘in tune’ with Dad at a Music Festival

The 39th Annual Father’s Day Festival is right around the corner with another spectacular lineup of national headliners, impressive California talent, workshops, camping, jamming and more, all under the pines in the scenic Sierra Foothills.

Find the events schedule here: http://fathersdayfestival.com/

 

Where ever you are this Fathers’ Day, make it special.  Check out the local listings in your area and make it a great day for Dad!

Don’t Miss Out!  Submit Your Favorite Foto of Dad for your chance to win a Yeti Tumbler from DishForMyRV!

Here are last year’s submissions:

 

 

 

 


 

8 Great Destinations to Watch 4th of July Fireworks – Guest Post by The Road Trip Teacher

Kimberly 1 Comments
Want to watch 4th of July Fireworks with your Fulltime Families Friends?  Save your spot for our upcoming Hang Out!
This month’s guest post from the Road Trip Teacher blog reveals some of the best places to watch fireworks in the country.  Head on over to her site to get a free copy of her newest Fourth of July Curriculum!
8greatfireworks

The first Independence Day fireworks celebration reportedly took place in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1777, on the first anniversary of America’s birthday. Although this pyrotechnic pastime has became common for many other holidays and special events, there’s still something extra-special about July 4th fireworks. The Road Trip Teacher crew has these 8 great destinations on their leap list for places to celebrate the country’s independence.

 

Natural Hot Springs are Soaking Spectacular – with Video

Kimberly No Comments

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On this episode of One Epic Adventure, the Traveling Travaglinos, together with the Felty Foursome, hiked to Fifth Hot Water Springs in  Diamond Fork canyon, south east of Provo, UT.

This family friendly hike to the springs is approx 2.5 miles along a large and sometimes fast flowing stream.

We choose a spring weekday for this adventure, to avoid the crowds that arrive on the weekends.

IMG_2455

During the hike, the skies opened up and pelleted us with hail for about 10 minutes.
When you arrive at the springs there are several sparkling pools that have been made for your soaking pleasure.

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The pools closer to the water fall are considerably warmer then the lower ones which you’ll encounter first (and the fact that there was a gentleman bathing au’natural in the first one) made the upper ones far more appealing.

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Most of the pools create a convergence between the cool river and the very hot thermal springs.

Depending on your preference, you can find your “sweet spot” where the two bodies of water blend to your perfect temperature.

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We loved our time soaking in Fifth Hot Water Springs and recommend you check out this hike when you’re in the Provo Area.

Check out our short video and subscribe to our Youtube Channel to check out our other Epic Adventures.

Announcing the Winner of the 2017 Fulltime Families Mother’s Day Contest

Kimberly No Comments
Moms are the glue that hold Fulltime Families together.  They are teachers, cooks, navigators, route planners, activity directors, grocery shoppers, and dollar stretchers.
They are usually the ones that have to change the bunk bed sheets, comfort the sick children, kiss all the boo boos, and wash those mountains for clothes!
If you missed the announcement on Sunday Night’s Roadschool Moms Show; How to Choose the Right Curricula for Your Roadschool, we’re here to tell you that the winning entry is….
Maternal , Outdorsey, Teaching, Hard-working, Encouraging and Remarkable – an Acroustic poem by Amelia Kearney about her mom, Ann Kearney! 

Congratulations Ann, you now have the opportunity to camp for FREE at wineries and farms across the country with your free annual membership to Harvest Hosts.

 

Fulltime Families Members can also get an exclusive savings off a Harvest Hosts Membership, through our new partnership with this fine organization.  Log onto to the Members’ Only Area for the promo code.

Here are some honorable mentions from the submissions we received:
Owen 13, says of his mom, Crystie, “A mothers love is the glue that holds it all together, a mothers love will last forever, she loves you, you and me, loving each other in harmony, we may not be the perfect family, But I love her and she loves me.”
Molly 3, says of her mom, Ana, “What do you like best about your Mom? She fixes us food. She puts ban bans on boo boos.”
Cathy Strait, age 13, shared this poem for her mom, Sally;
Dearest Mother
I just want to tell you
   in my own special way.
That everything for me you do,
   gives me the strength for each new day.
Though you’re day’s may stressful be,
   You always find time to spend with me.
You love me more than I’ll ever know,
   and that love is what makes me grow.
I know I’m  painting a picture rosy red,
   these word are coming from my creative head.
The words I use are right from my heart,
   I know nothing could break us apart.
You are the greatest Mom in the world,
   and you’re a loving, kind, God-fearin’ girl.
I hope you have the greatest Mother’s Day ever,
   greater than previous ones all put together.
I love you.
Thank you to all who submitted entries. Be sure to check back for our upcoming 2017 Fulltime Families Father’s Day Foto Contest!

RV Trader Supports Fulltime Families

Kimberly No Comments
RV Trader knows members of the Fulltime Families community have needs different than other RV owners. While some RVers only need certain amenities for vacations or weekend getaways, RV Trader knows you are in your RV year-round, and it’s important that it feels like home. Whether you’re seeking more bunk space, a larger kitchen or the miles on your rig are adding up, RV Trader can help you find the perfect fit for your family.
 
RV Trader has worked with Fulltime Families for many years. We’ve helped sponsor rallies and co-promoted the #ThisisRVing tour alongside the Fulltime Families crew last year. RV Trader also has a special member benefit for Fulltime Families members to upgrade their units on RVTrader.com. When visiting the website, we allow you to compare thousands of units, prices, images, videos and more to make searching for your dream RV easy and fun.
Fulltime Families is the go-to community for families living the full-time experience, and RV Trader is proud to be a long time Official Partner. Visit RVTrader.com to get started today and don’t forget to use your discount code to get $20 off RV Trader’s BEST Sales Ad – One (1)  Year sales ad with enhanced features and video upload. (reg. $99.95)  Go to RV Trader and  and the Promo code found in the Fulltime Families Members Only
Cheers to many more adventures together!

A Local’s Guide to the Best of Tucson with Kids

Kimberly 2 comments

Thank you to Tucson (former) local, Jennifer Miles who compiled this list for the World’s Best Roadschool Convention Attendees.

Here’s her suggestions for the best of Tucson with Kids!

Jennifer starred her family’s  favorites. but the others are still “on to the top of the list” for people who enjoy that type of activity.   The ones that say RESERVE YOUR TICKETS EARLY are truly plan ahead and schedule. They sell out early and have limited availability.

In Town
Outdoor/Nature

*Flandrau Planetariumhttp://flandrau.org/ $7 adults, $5 4-15  This one is on the campus of the U of A.  Ranked one of the top 10 planetariums in the US. Have great kids activities.
*Botanical Gardenshttp://www.tucsonbotanical.org/  $13 for adults, $12 student, $7.50 4-12     Some great events like Alien Invasion of the Plant Kind and Butterfly Magic during the week of Convention
Desert Wildlife Museumhttps://www.desertmuseum.org/ $19.50 for adults, $15.50 13-17, $6 4-12
Old Tucsonhttp://oldtucson.com/ $16.95 12 and over, $10.95 4 – 11 Come experience what life was really like in the Old West.
Pima Air & Space Museumhttp://www.pimaair.org/  $15.50 for adults, $9 kids over 6 For those in to planes.  This place is huge.  (Also called the boneyard)
Spring Training – Sadly, there are no games for spring training this year at the Diamondback Stadium but this is one of the highlights every spring in town if you ever come back.  Just for that reason, it’s worth mentioning it.

Outdoor Retail Activities

*4th Ave Street Fair – http://www.fourthavenue.org/fairs/general-information/ Dates are Mar 21-23 this year for those who arrive early. This is a blast and has all sorts of street vendors. It’s the “Big event of the year” in Tucson.
There are always things going on – http://www.visittucson.org/events/calendar/

Indoor Entertainment/Restaurants

*Downtown Children’s Museumhttp://www.childrensmuseumtucson.org/ $8 for over 12 months (second Saturday of the month is $2)  This is a fun one. It’s not huge but they change out the exhibits and my kids will spend hours there.
*Gaslight Theatrehttp://thegaslighttheatre.com/ $18.50 for adults, $16.50 students, $8.50 12 and under RESERVE YOUR TICKETS EARLY  This is a super fun dinner and a show in a “old style theater” Beach Blanket Bee Bop runs Apr – June  Dinner is an extra cost and their Pizza is a favorite.
*Chaco’s Caféhttps://www.facebook.com/ChacosCafe  This is my favorite mom & pop mexican place in the country! Seriously, get the carne asada and the salsa bar! You would never find it if you didn’t know about it.  A little hole in the wall but AMAZING! This and El Charro are downtown near the Children’s Museum so would be a good “museum and meal” day.
*Eegee’shttp://www.eegees.com/ Frozen ices and subs. (Kind of like Subway but the frozen ices are the real reason we go) My kids beg to go here every time we are in town for the frozen ices.  There are multiple locations in town.  And, yes, the ices are such a family pleasure, I actually ranked a Subway-type place, as a must go to.. Crazy!

Trail Dust Town & Pinnacle Peak’shttp://www.traildusttown.com/ city block made to look like a historic town. Free to walk around.  Recommend eating at Pinnacle Peak’s steak house and having someone in the group wear a tie you are okay with losing. Can see dinner prices on the website.  This is a typical steak house with the added entertainment of a “no ties allowed” event if you wear one.  This is one that is always recommended as a Tucson original.  As an added bonus, the steaks are pretty good.
La Parrilla Suizahttp://laparrillasuiza.com/about.html  One of the best Mexican restaurant’s in town. They are a chain but their food is “mom and pop” quality.
El Charrohttp://www.elcharrocafe.com/ downtown if you are at the Children’s Museum
El Paradorhttp://www.elparadortucson.com/  Another “Can’t miss” mexican restaurant in town

In town but a little farther away

Colossal Caveshttp://www.colossalcave.com/welcome.html $13 for adults, $6.50 for 5-12  This one is on the outskirts of town and is a great local cave option.  If you can carve out the time, I’d recommend Kartchner Caverns over this one.
*Seven Falls –  http://arizona.sierraclub.org/trail_guide/hike8.htm  Part of the Sabino Canyon trail system but this is one everyone should see once. Longer hike. It’s almost 8 miles round trip but has pools at the halfway point to cool off and relax.
Sabino Canyonhttp://www.sabinocanyon.com/  Ranges from free to fee Has both narrated tram tours and non-narrated walking trails.  Seven Falls is one of the trailheads in Sabino Canyon, but it’s such a great one I listed it separately.

Out of Town but worth the drive if you are passionate about the type of activity

Mt. Lemmonhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Lemmon, http://www.skithelemmon.com/page2.html  About an hour up the mountain, some interesting things to see and do.  Amazing fudge store at top! (Because chocolate is how we judge everything)
*BioSpherehttp://b2science.org/   $20 for adults, $13 for students 6 – 12 Self contained environment originally used as a lab for sustaining life on another planet.
Tombstonehttp://www.cityoftombstone.com/ A little bit farther away but for history buffs this is a fun experience.
*Kartchner Cavernshttp://azstateparks.com/parks/kaca/ $23 14+, $13 7-13  RESERVE YOUR TICKETS EARLY This cave sells out on a regular basis.  This cave was preserved using the latest tech at the time and is amazing.  We’ve toured a lot of caves and this is still one of our favorites.
Kitt Peak Observatoryhttp://www.pimaair.org/ $15.50 adults, $9 kids If you are up for the drive, their night time tour is the one to go to and is amazing. I’d recommend for older kids really into astrology because of the distance and the late night needed.  RESERVE YOUR TICKETS EARLY

 

Prices subject to change, Please check local venues for current prices and times.

24 Advent Ideas you can do in your RV

Kimberly No Comments

We know you’ve got issues…

Issues on where to put the tree, where to stash the presents and only so much amperage for all those lights.

That’s why we like to make it easy for you!

We’ve compiled a list of 24 Easy /Affordable Advent Activities.  These activities can be accomplished with things you already have in your home on wheels!

Not on wheels yet?  Don’t worry this countdown to Christmas will work for everyone!

Simply fill out this form and we’ll send you the items.

Then, the sky’s the limit…

Keep it simple and use the list as is…

or

Cut the list up and put them items in your favorite advent holder.

or

Go crazy and make this awesome tape tree on one of your walls!

The options are endless, but just like Santa’s Workshop… it starts with the LIST!

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