As a traveler in the U.S, you’re spoiled for choice. There are countless beautiful destinations to park your RV and take in the countryside. Whether you’re hiking, fishing, road-tripping, or just parking off, the open highways and national parks are bound to provide a memorable experience.
Technology has made it easier than ever to connect with people all over the country, which in turn makes planning your vacation a breeze. With thousands of stunning locations to choose from, all you need to do is decide what kind of experience you’re looking for.
Do you want an isolated stay in the woods? An RV Park with other campers to socialize? A frosty night in the winter wilderness? What will make your time away meaningful, enjoyable, and above all, fulfilling? These are all questions to ask yourself before embarking on your camping adventure. When you know the answers, you can shift your focus to choosing a destination that ticks all the right boxes.
Consider Your Ideal Environment
In the U.S, you can camp out in virtually any biome. There are breath-taking desert views, icy pine forests, raging rivers, and gorgeous mountains. It may be worthwhile taking the time to look through some nature photography and see what kind of environment is calling out to you. If you’re craving a few solitary days in the desert, then a busy campground just won’t cut it.
If you truly want to give yourself a meaningful experience, you need to spend the time figuring out what your heart and soul need. Different environments provide starkly different experiences, and you don’t want to waste your vacation in a place that is “just good enough.” You want your surroundings to blow you away every time you step out of your tent!
Plan for Your Needs
Nothing ruins a camping trip faster than being ill-equipped for your vacation. A solo mission into the woods might sound exciting and romantic, but if you’re the kind of person who needs a hot shower every day, be sure to keep that in mind. There are plenty of locations all over the U.S. that cater to all kinds of needs.
At the very least, ensure that you’ll be able to cook yourself hot meals, make tea and coffee, have a shower, and sleep warm and dry. Unless you’re into hardcore survivalist camping, in which case you probably know your needs pretty well.
Think About How You Want to Spend Your Days
There are ample activities out there for those who like to keep busy on their vacations. How do you want to spend your time? If you’re happy to kick back with a good book and just chill out, then you can go anywhere. If you want to do things like exploring by bicycle, canoeing, fishing, hiking, or birdwatching, you obviously need to choose your campsite carefully.
Colorado plays host to an abundance of towering mountain peaks, while Minnesota boasts some of the best lake fishing in the country. If you’re going to camp somewhere with a specific activity in mind, why not do it somewhere that’s famous for it?
Consider Your Companions
If you’re travelling solo, then you can safely disregard this section. If you’re with friends or family, however, it’s always good practice to consult with them on what they want out of the experience. You might be gung-ho for some white-water rafting and adrenalin-inducing day trips, but your buddies might be looking for something more tranquil. If half the group is unsatisfied, it can bring the whole vacation down.
Take some time to chat with your companions and work out a compromise. For example, a spot with lots to do while also providing the serenity that other members of the group might be after.
Speak to People Who Have Been There Before
It’s easier than you might think to make a place look good on the internet. With a few professional photos and promising text, you can dress up a venue to look ten times better than it is. Moreover, you might not see the little issues that could ruin a vacation for you.
By speaking to someone who’s experienced the place first-hand, you’ll learn about all the annoying little factors they don’t show you online. From there, you can decide whether or not they’re dealbreakers. Small issues like adequate shade, mosquitos, or extreme midday heat can ruin an otherwise perfect spo. Get as much information as possible from different sources before you book.
Ask Your Friends About Their Favorite Vacation Memories
Most people have one or two spots that hold a special place in their hearts because of special vacation memories. You’ll get more genuine advice from people you know and trust than from a Google search.
A bonus to this approach is that your friends know you and your tastes and can therefore advise you according to what they know you’ll appreciate.
Save the Special Spots for Long Vacations
If you find a place that seems ideal, but you only have a weekend to enjoy it, consider saving it for when you have at least a week of leave saved up. By the time you unwind and start to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings, it may already be time to leave.
There’s little worse than feeling like you didn’t get to enjoy the spot as much as you wanted to because you didn’t have enough time. Just like you might save an expensive bottle of wine for a special occasion, save your prime vacation spots for times you can really appreciate them.
Look Up Events in the Area
If you’re stuck between two gorgeous venues and can’t make your decision, do a quick search to see if there are any fun/unique events happening in the surrounding area. Instead of spending the whole time lazing around your campsite, you can take in some of the local culture and make some lasting memories.
There are plenty of areas in the U.S. that host fantastic farmers markets, fairs, concerts, and other fun events that could make an enormous difference to your overall experience.
A meaningful vacation destination can mean different things to different people, and when you hit upon the right choice, you’ll know!
Author: JoAnn Daniels, Sleep Junkie
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