Seattle's Child

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family road trip

Photo courtesy of PeaceVans

Tips for a safe, fun summer family road trip

Ideas for avoiding crowds, eating well and being good travelers.

Family road trip, anyone? When the folks at Seattle-based Peace Vans offered to share some travel tips, of course we said yes!

As we gear up for summer vacations, the forecast shows road tripping will yet again be the preferred mode of transportation.

So many iconic destinations are within driving distance, yet many may be wary of the popular, most frequented spots or simply ready to seek new spaces and private places. Here are five ways to ensure road trip success:

Seek a safe destination. Avoid the most popular and iconic spots. Seek lesser-known parks or alternatives to well-loved places. For example, Washington’s Olympic Peninsula remains the most visited destination for our renters, so to avoid crowds the team at Peace Vans often suggests other places for more remote spots for privacy and space. Midweek travel nearly always affords less crowds and more space, so if you do choose to visit a popular destination, consider this in itinerary development.

Choose the best vehicle to suit your family road trip needs. Camper vans or recreational vehicles offer the ultimate in isolated travel: a hotel room on wheels.  There are many options available to rent or buy – ranging from vintage to modern or large to compact — so it’s important to assess your needs, driving style and interests.

Select your family road trip site. Research access to private campsites or find local sources for finding more secret spots. Peace Vans offers a collection of leased land that’s provided as private campsites, while sites like HipCamp can often offer a more private experience. This year, we’re investing in additional private campsites in destinations like the North Cascades and Hood Canal to offer secluded, scenic and safe sites that are bookable exclusively for customers.

New rules of the road for the family road trip. Be a good road tripper by acting like a traveler, not a tourist. With record numbers anticipated at campsites and parks, it’s really important to be responsible by following the posted recommendations and restrictions to keep our communities and lands safe. Basic rules like using designated bathrooms and packing out what you pack in, in addition to the obvious masking and distancing, are very important.

Leave room in the cooler. Pack basic grocery staples but plan ahead for where you’re going to splurge on fresh clams, local wines and other delicacies native to the region you’re exploring. Whether or not you’re ready to dine in a restaurant, the takeaway options or packaged goods found at local eateries are always a good find. Washington offers an amazing array of fresh seafood and produce, so it’s never a bad idea to craft an itinerary around the best places to eat and drink.

So get out and explore. Safe travels, savor summer and most importantly, enjoy the journey!


More travel in Seattle’s Child:

Newbies’ guide to a family RV adventure

Family finds surprising benefits of camper van

Taking a NW road trip? Playgrounds to see along the way

Tips for planning and surviving a family road trip




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