We made it back home, and Kristi us had a long road in recovering from COVID.
And in the couple of weeks it took us to get home, take care of Kristi and the kids, and run a business, all of my personal grooming went by the wayside.
As a result I got home, looked I the mirror only to notice that I slightly resembled the wolf man.
Thankfully, none of us contracted it except her. Or at least if we did, we didn’t have any symptoms.
Now that we are back I wanted to post our RV travel itinerary from Florida through north and south Texas, to New Mexico, Arizona, Southeast Utah, and Southwest Colorado.
Tallahassee, FL to Lafayette, LA
Lafayette to Houston, TX
Houston to San Antonio, TX
San Antonio to Fort Stockton, TX
Fort Stockton to White Sands, NM
White Sands to Gallup, NM
Gallup to Sedona, AZ
Sedona to Page, AZ
Page to Durango, CO
Durango to Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque to Amarillo, TX
Amarillo to Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth to Calhoun, LA
Calhoun to Jackson, MS
Jackson to Mobile, AL
Mobile to Florida
Overall we had 16 total travel days and were on the road for 66 days.
Travel far distances for 2-3 days at a time
Whenever we had to go far distances, we traveled for 2-3 days back-to-back but never more.
By the end of day three I was pretty wiped out and didn’t feel like traveling more.
If I was driving solo that may be different but with kids you never know when you are going to have to stop for the bathroom.
Although our kids did really well (because we forced them to swallow their spit instead of giving them drinks). Sometimes nature called unexpectedly.
300 mile rule
My dad was a driver. He drove 24 hours straight through from Florida to Maine or Maine to Florida too many time for me to count.
Naturally, I have the inclination to do the same and push it.
My wife, on the other hand, tends to get restless an hour into the trip. Although she has gotten better, by hours 4 and 5, she gets a little antsy.
So I’ve had to learn to adapt to this and change my driving habits.
I’ve had to learn that you don’t always have to max out your mileage/daylight drive time…
Our goal was around 300 miles a day. Some days it was 250 (when there are hills and mountains).
Yet other days it was more like 350 (when you are driving flat and straight).
There were many drive days when we stopped at 3 or 4 PM because that is where we planned to get to and we made it there.
I know many people that might say, “we still have 3-4 hours of daylight, let’s push it more.”
That mentality might work without kids but we found that the afternoon stops were actually better for us. Here’s why:
- First, once we stop, we still have to feed the kids, the dog and ourselves.
- Second, many of these stops is where we still had time to play a card game or watch a good movie.
This time was actually some of my favorite. And it allowed us to do 3 days travel, back to back without hating each other or ourselves due to burnout.
So if you are in an RV, pump the breaks a bit and enjoy the ride.
Plan the main stops, not all the stops
When we first started planning, it felt very overwhelming.
So instead of planning every detail, on a second pass I just planned the main stops, must do’s, and things I had to book way in advance.
That not only took the edge off, it also gave us some flexibility in our travel schedule to “stay a little longer” or “leave early.”
Plus, some of our favorite things were the things we DIDN’T plan, and we wouldn’t have seen had we have been rigid.
Kristi and I agree on this point.
I Perfect length of stay
Another thing we felt we did really well that we’d recommend to other families is to use one of those main stopping points as your home base, then take day trips.
When you are RVing with kids, disconnecting and setting up your campsite only to tear it down a few short nights later can take a bit effort.
If you are going to stay a night then don’t disconnect or set up, but if you are going to stay more, then stay a week or so to maximize your time and minimize effort.
We found that 1 night was great for the back to back travel days.
1 week (5-7 days) was good for places that only had a 1-3 things we wanted to do.
2 weeks was good for main attraction areas.
This also gives you time to stretch your legs, do laundry, restock at Walmart, or do something spontaneous.
By doing so you might actually catch your breath, and find a hidden gem that becomes the most memorable part of your trip.