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Help! How Do I Plan My First RV Trip? Where Do I Begin?!

| Updated Jan 15, 2024

The question, “How do I plan my first RV trip” comes up a lot in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group. Here are helpful answers…

A new RV owner recently posted in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group, admitting he has no idea how to plan a vacation. Todd reached out to the community for their advice, posting:

“…I honestly don’t know how to plan a vacation. How do you decide where to go, how long to stay, what to do?… Any advice is welcome!!”

As always, our RV Lifestyle community responded with encouragement and practical advice in over 150 comments. We have several articles on RV trip planning, but not specifically on where to begin… until now!

In this article, we share advice from the comments as well as some of our own. We also provide additional resources to help you make your RV trips a success.

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How Do I Plan My First RV Trip?

Help! How Do I Plan My First RV Trip? Where Do I Begin?!

The community included so many great, practical, and actionable tips that we outline for you here.  At the end, we also provide a list of additional resources to get you started.

DON’T Plan Your First RV Trip

Of all the actionable advice, this is the easiest, so we figured we should start here. Instead of planning your first RV trip, rely on others who have gone before you. You can download ready-made RV itineraries that are tried and proven to be great adventures. 

You can simply Google “(your chosen destination) RV itinerary (or travel guide)” and look through the results. For example: Yellowstone RV itinerary or Yellowstone RV Travel Guide.

Or, you can check out our list of RV Adventure guides that we have made during our 11+ years of RV travels. They include complete itineraries with campgrounds, best things to do, and more…

But, if you’d rather plan your first RV trip from scratch, here is some more helpful advice…

Pick a Theme

Help! How Do I Plan My First RV Trip? Where Do I Begin?!

A fun and exciting way to kickstart your RV trip planning is by picking a theme that aligns with your interests and passions. Are you drawn to quirky roadside attractions? Fascinated by historical sites or routes, like Natchez Trace? Or a food lover eager to try out Triple D (Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives) restaurants across the country? 

Consider which theme will add a unique and cohesive element to your journey. Once you've decided on a theme, you can then schedule your trip around it, mapping out destinations and activities that relate to your chosen theme.

Remember to consider the practicality and feasibility of your chosen theme as you plan. Ensure that there are enough attractions or locations related to your theme within a reasonable distance of each other to make the trip enjoyable and efficient. Research the opening hours, accessibility, and any necessary reservations for specific sites or restaurants you wish to visit. 

Create a Bucket List

zion Help! How Do I Plan My First RV Trip? Where Do I Begin?!

Sit down with your travel companions and compile a bucket list of places you've always wanted to visit. Let your imagination run wild and include both popular destinations and hidden gems

Start by brainstorming together and sharing your individual travel dreams. Whether it's iconic landmarks, breathtaking natural wonders, vibrant cities, or charming small towns, let each person contribute their top choices. Discuss the reasons behind each selection and what you hope to experience or discover in those places.

Prioritize your bucket list by balancing your desired destinations with practical considerations. Research each location, gather information about the attractions, and evaluate their feasibility for your RV trip. Consider factors such as distance, travel time, and campground availability.

If you need inspiration, check out our Amazing Bucket List from Our RV Lifestyle Community.

Choose a Specific Environment

Help! How Do I Plan My First RV Trip? Where Do I Begin?!

To plan your first RV trip, choose an environment that resonates with your preferences. Consider whether you're drawn to the tranquility of lush forests, the majestic beauty of mountains, the serenity of the beach, or the intrigue of a desert.

You can also choose this environment based on the time of year you’re traveling. Just keep in mind that destinations that are popular at certain times of the year can get very crowded. So, try to book such locations right before or after the peak season. Or, dive in and enjoy it along with everyone else!

You can also choose a specific national park. We have several helpful articles on national parks to get you started, including 13 Favorite National Parks for RV Camping (By REAL RVers).

We also have a complete RV Adventure Guide for Yellowstone National Park.

Find Inspiration from RV Travel Blogs and Videos

There is a wealth of content available online, including travel vlogs (video blogs), destination guides, and RV-specific channels that can provide valuable insights and recommendations. You’re actually on one such blog now! 

In addition to our RV Lifestyle blog, we have an RV Lifestyle YouTube channel and Podcast. It’s our job to make RVing easier for everyone, including you! So, we’re a great place to start.

But we’re not the only resource out there. You can do a Google search for “rv travel ideas,” “rv travel itineraries,” or “inspiration for RV trip” and you’ll get all kinds of helpful results. 

More RV Trip Planning Resources

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Welcome to the RV Community!

We’ll end this article by saying welcome to the RV community! We hope you enjoy the RV lifestyle as much as we do, and that you find plenty of helpful resources based on our experience. 

We encourage you to join our RV Lifestyle Facebook group and our newsletter to get a huge jumpstart on your travels…

Are You an RV Newbie? Or Thinking of Joining the RV Lifestyle?  

newbie guide

THIS is the ebook to get first – before you purchase anything- to make sure you are heading in the right direction with the right RV and plans.

So, buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life. Consider this not just a guide—but an invitation to discover the joy of RV travel and the freedom of the open road.

You’ll find it all in this 64-page ebook (digital PDF – NOT a print book) The Newbies Guide to the RV Lifestyle

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-06-04

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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