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Fulltime Families Family Friendly Campground Directory Boasts over 340 Campgrounds

Kimberly No Comments

The FtF Family Friendly Campground Directory now contains over 340 campgrounds who will waive the “kid tax” (additional person fee) for Fulltime Families Members, nationwide.

Look for this plaque at Family Friendly Campgrounds across the country

The Family Friendly initiative was started two years ago, in an effort to keep camping affordable for families.  Many times a nightly rate can soar to an additional 25% – 50% when campgrounds charge separately for over two occupants.  The FtF Family Friendly Campground Directory seeks to connect families to the independent campgrounds across the country who value their business and are willing to waive any additional fees.

Chris Savory – FtF Lifetime Member with family of 7
I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first about the FtF campground directory. Not that it wasn’t a good idea, but that we wouldn’t use very much since we usually stay at a lot of Thousand Trails.

However this month we are in a state that has no TT and I was having trouble finding anything under 700 for a month. Finally I was about to give up and then I checked the FtF campground directory. Found one that was about 10 miles farther out from where I was looking so no big deal there. I called and the guy told me it was 450 + 70 flat for electricity. That’s not terribly bad for us.

Then I asked him about any extra costs and he asked how many people we had. I told him 7 and he said one moment let me calculate your extra costs (the charged for anything over 4 people). I told him that I was a FtF member and he quickly said there was no extra charges for us.

So now that I just saved $150 at this campground I’m a believer in the FtF campground directory!!

Thanks Fulltime Families!!

 

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.

A Tree For Your RV!

Kimberly 1 Comments

Tis’ the season and living in an RV is no excuse for not decorating.

While it’s easy to string lights on the awning and hang stockings from the slide, finding room for a Christmas Tree can be a bit tricky.

Last year I had a 10in pink prelit tree that I loved looking at.  But it took up valuable real estate on my very limited table and was eventually stuck in a corner.

This year I searched for the perfect RV Tree option and found a few.

My ideal tree would fold completely flat!  Sure enough- they make one!

 

but then I saw this one:

 

A tree that only takes up wall space?  I have plenty some wall space to spare.  This could be the one.

A few more clicks, and I finally found the perfect tree for our RV.

Not as big as the first one, but still a good size and I really liked the colors!

So here you have it – the tree in our RV.

How do you decorate from Christmas? Do you have a tree? Does it fold flat?

Give Your Family the Gift of the Miracle of Christmas

Kimberly No Comments

Each Christmas season, we look for opportunities provide our children with gifts of experience, rather than gifts that will take up space in our RV.   To help encourage others to do the same, we publish an annual list of the Top 25 Gifts for the Full-Time Traveling Family.

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This year, one of our most highly anticipated gifts was a visit to the Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster, PA to watch The Miracle of Christmas Production.  After attending a performance of Johah during the Not Back to School Roadschool Rally this fall, we all had great expectations and again Sight and Sound did not disappoint.

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The stage is quite large and performances immerse the audience in the experience with a full 180 degrees of wonder and delight. This multi-dimensional  show uses many layers of set design to transport the audience to the hills of Nazareth and the bustling chaos of Bethlehem.  The effect is stunning making each and every audience member feel a part of the story.  The angels fly onto the set from above the audience and live animals walk down the aisles of the orchestra seating area to join the actors onstage.

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The Miracle of Christmas is based on the gospel rendition of the birth of Christ with some  minor artistic license for created characters to help bring the story to life.
The story traverses many human emotions; despair, longing, bewilderment, awe, wonder, and joy with tenderness and a dash of comedy bringing a greater level of understanding of all the issues surrounding this miraculous event.   Our family of  6 (including 4 kids ages 5, 8, 11, 12) were completely mesmerized by the sets,  action, characters and story.

This production is wonderful and provides an opportunity for the family to spend an evening together in joyful anticipation of Christmas. For our family on the road, The Miracle of Christmas was the ultimate Christmas gift that required neither wrapping  nor room in our RV. It has also inspired roadschool lessons on this crucial time in history with the overwhelming number of well-known bible figures.

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Homeschoolers Get Behind the Scenes Access

It should be noted that the Sight and Sound Theater to be exceptionally supportive of homeschoolers and roadschoolers, providing generous savings and starting in April the theather offers a special Behind the Scenes Tour where homeschoolers meet with the actors, go on stage, and tour the dressing rooms/set shop, and animal areas.

If you have the opportunity to attend one of their performances, either in their Lancaster, PA location or the Branson, MO theater, you will not be disappointed.

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!

2 Ways to Save on Internet with New Fulltime Families Wifi Partners

Kimberly No Comments

ftf-badge-partnerInternet access is a critical component for many full-time rving families.  From online curricula, to your location independent income source, and beyond to connecting with your mobile community, reliable, high speed, internet access is a cornerstone to long term, slow travel on your own terms.

Fulltime Families has two internet provider partners:

 

Introducing our newest Fulltime Families Partner: Mobile Internet Satellite.com

The only mobile Internet connection that can always (baring extreme weather) be available is satellite. This rather “amazing” option will provide Internet access virtually anywhere in the lower 48 states of the United States.

Who Can Benefit from Mobile Satellite Internet?

If your cellular connection keeps “dropping” you or the connection is unbearably slow or non-existent … if the closest Hot Spot is an hour’s drive away … if you cannot afford to be without Internet access for a day or longer occasionally …

… then you can most likely benefit from mobile satellite Internet!

There is a lot to understand, when it comes to mobile satellite Internet which is why Fulltime Families is thrilled to have a dedicated resource who can answer all your questions and determine if Mobile Satellite Internet is the right fit for your family.

Mobile Internet Satellite can provide “The Always Online Solution” with an easy to set up tripod-based Satellite Internet system. The folks at MIS bring over 13 years of experience and carry a complete line of mobility accessories.

And they are offering Fulltime Families Members an exclusive $100 Rebate off setup!

Reach out to them today at http://www.mobileinternetsatellite.com/contact-us.php and explore the connectivity of Mobile Satellite Internet.

Is a Thousand Trails Campground Membership a Good Fit for Your Family

Kimberly No Comments

Thousand Trails Campground MembershipAre you confused about the Thousand Trails Campground Membership?

Want to know how you can camp across the country for free? Want to know where all the roadschooling families are?

On this show, special guest Alisha Deschene, the Fulltime Families / Thousand Trails liaison joins us to explain the ins and outs of this money saving campground membership.

Take aways:

  • Thousand Trails is a nationwide campground membership
  • Thousand Trails Campgrounds have no kid taxes
  • For more information, email campforless@yahoo.com 
  • For a Limited Time, Thousand Trails is offering Buy 1 Get 1 Zone Free

To hear more, just click play: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/thousand-trails-campground/id854587085?i=1000374133674&mt=2

Tune into Roadschool Moms Radio every Sunday night at 9pm on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

5 Common Misconceptions about Full Time Traveling Families

Kimberly 2 comments

Sometimes it’s easier to tell people what full time traveling families are not, as opposed to what they are.  Here is a countdown of 5 most common misconceptions our stick and brick counterparts have about full time traveling families.  Please feel free to add yours to the comments section below.

#5. We are always on vacation

While it may look like a permanent vacation on our facebook wall, the truth is that posting pics of laundry day, sitting at a computer for hours, and doing homework is not that interesting.  Don’t believe me?  Check out your own wall and tell me its a representative of your daily life.

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#4. Our kids are unsocialized and have no friends

Always a hot button issue, this is actually a non-issue on the road.  Our kids play with kids and adults alike on a daily basis.  Whether field tripping with friends, pot lucking with people or just hanging out, our kids are well socialized.

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#3. We are in desperate need of a hot shower, a warm meal and a comfy bed

While people might assume we have left our creature comforts behind when we moved into 350 sq feet, nothing could be further from the truth.  A great many of us have beds we love to sleep in, satellite television (we have 4 in our rig), small but fully functioning kitchens, and some of us even have not 1 but 2 bathrooms!

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#2. We won the lottery, live off trust funds, or mooch off the government

The majority of full time traveling families have not experienced some wind fall and life changing economic situation.  They have made their dream a reality through perseverance, creativity, and a ‘can do’ attitude.  There are as many ways to make money on the road as their are families living their dream.  Want to explore some of the ways full time traveling families support themselves on the road?  We’ve listed them in “How to Hit the Road; Making Your Family’s Full Time RV Dreams a Reality“.

And the Number 1 Misconception about families who travel full time…

We live in our camper because we don’t have a choice!

If nothing else, your life is a series of choices, decisions, outcomes and consequences. Families who full time rv, have made the choice to reject the contrived “American Dream” in favor of a more authentic, simple life that places the focus on building family bonds.   You don’t have to live in an RV to accomplish this, but by putting your house on wheels, you are giving your family an opportunity to experiences the riches of this amazing country.

Still don’t believe it’s a choice?  Check out this video and let me know what your misconceptions are about full time rving families.

 

We Did It! Fulltime Families Hits 1000 Members!

Kimberly No Comments

1000Fulltime Families, the membership organization for families living and dreaming of full-time or extended RV adventures, announced Tuesday, they have reached and surpassed their 1000 Member Strong goal, and at press time, had 1008 members on their roster.

The club, which aims to support the unique needs of family full-time RVers, hosts rallies across the country, runs a large social media platform to encourage and connect traveling families, and supplies resources and mentoring for families looking to transition from a traditional lifestyle to a fully location independent mobile lifestyle.

Kimberly and Chris Travaglino, founded the organization in April 2009, when they noticed a lack of resources for younger RVers while exploring the full-time RV lifestyle for their own family.

“I was furiously searching the web for information on what children’s birthdays, holidays and other familiar milestones would look like for a nomadic family, and found many articles focused on retiree RVers.  I knew our challenges would be different since we’d need an income on the road, resources to educate our children and opportunities to meet other like-minded families” noted Kimberly when recalling how the idea for Fulltime Families came to her.

Since it’s inception, Fulltime Families (or FtF as it’s referred to in the RVing world) has hosted 9 nationwide events, several large scale field trips to theme parks, and facilitated many meetups across the country.

In September 2014, the group launched two large scale initiatives;

FamilyFreindlyCertified

The Fulltime Families Family Friendly Campground Directory highlights campgrounds nationwide that are interested in hosting families, have kid-friendly amenities, and will waive the Extra Person Fee (or kid tax) for FtF Members. To date, there are 206 campgrounds in the directory with a dedicated Campground Acquisition Director adding more locations weekly. Fulltime-Families-Explorers-Logo-Final

The FtF Explorer Program is a family centered program intended to support leadership, creativity, and community centered activities for full-time RV boys and girls between the ages of 5 to16.

The FtF Explorer Mission is: To foster strong family values, leadership, creativity, safety awareness, community spirit and individual exploration. Explorers earn badges for demonstrating proficiency in such activities as Good Campground Citizenship, Elderly Appreciation, Entrepreneurship, RV Maintenance, and monthly community building initiatives.

Members also have access to a large list of benefits and exclusive savings from RVing partners such as Escapees, Passport America, Thousand Trails and homeschool partners like online curriculum provider Time4Learning.  A complete directory of benefits is available at: https://www.fulltimefamilies.com/family-members-2/ftf-members-area/

Kimberly attributes the success of the club to the generous and supportive attitudes of FtF Members.  “Our most prized membership asset is the access to our incredible members themselves.  The knowledge, time, talents, resources and support they each share with their community is the foundation Fulltime Families was built on.  Each of the families behind the numbers are what make this organization amazing!”

On Friday, October 9th, 2015 at 7pm Fulltime Families hosted an On Air Google Hangout to draw a winner for it’s 1000 Member Strong GoPro Giveaway.  To watch the replay click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwJNHmLsZT4

 

 

 

 

Ever Wonder WHY You have So Much Clutter?

Kimberly No Comments

You purge, you downsize, you weed out.  But every time you turn around, there’s another pile of stuff on your dresser, on your table, seeping out of your junk drawer.  Clutter is everywhere!

Did you know there’s a reason you’re not making any headway against your clutter?  Sure, you might be able to temporarily have an impact, but slowly the clutter creeps back into your life.  Have you wondered why that is?

buried blissI did, so I researched it extensively and found that once I addressed by clutter collecting triggers, I could really get to the bottom of things (and piles).

You know what else I learned, that all that stuff was really making me miserable!   and I bet it’s making you miserable too!

On my quest for clean surfaces, I discovered the 7 Simple Steps to Finding True Happiness by Losing it All and compiled them in one easy to read e-book so you could share the same success and peace of mind.

Now it’s your turn.  Ask yourself if your un-cluttering efforts have worked for you (or maybe just take a quick peek around your home) and if you find the answer is ‘no’ then do yourself a favor and get “Buried Bliss; 7 Simple Steps to Finding True Happiness by Losing it All” .

This time tomorrow, you could finally be on your way to a clutter free lifestyle!

P.S. If you’re finding yourself stuck on what to keep and what to toss, tune into Roadschool Moms this Sunday night at 9pm est, when Mary Beth and I share with you what you really need and what you can re-home.

 

 

 

 

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