6 Tips For Surviving The Holidays As A Full-Time RVer
Just because we get the privilege of running around the country doesn’t mean the holidays can’t bring stress or pressure. Whether it is from the outside or we apply it ourselves, there are ways we can focus on what the holidays really mean. Here are a few things unique to our life as a full-time RVer. Try these tips for surviving the holidays between November and January.
1. Plan longer stays
I know a lot of full-time RVers who stay somewhere from 3-4 days to maybe a week. Some who stay for a month. During the holidays, if possible, try to extend your ‘stay in one place’ option. Less checklists, less fuel, and better park rates can all help alleviate frustration. Also, setting up temporary roots gives you an opportunity to put up holiday decorations. This will help get you in the holiday spirits and you don’t have to take them up and down. Sit a while – enjoy them.
The holidays should be about spending time with your friends and family. Where possible, try to spread your stays among a few friends and family that are relatively close, but for shorter stays. This way, you can share the holidays with loved ones and not overstay your welcome. But you can also not be stressed about holiday budgeting, and you don’t have to prep a holiday meal in your rig – unless you want to. Just offer to bring a pie or side to the festivities.
3. Throw a party
Parties can bring pressure, but not if you do it right. Throw a party in your park – invite outside friends and family too. Put out verbal invitations to those you have met in the park. Or be brave – post a sign in the laundry or activity center.
Let the park host know what you are planning and let them help spread the word. This is for people away from family and friends to enjoy the holiday together. Tell everyone to bring a side dish and a tree ornament they traditionally have during the holidays. You supply the main course (just pick it up pre-made somewhere if you aren’t a cook or don’t want to) and a small tree setup outside. Just keep it simple and let everyone in the park help with the food and décor.
4. Do a virtual gift exchange
Can’t be there in person, but still want to do a gift exchange? Don’t stress, try an online gift exchange like White Elephant Online. You won’t purchase gifts ahead of time. When you join a game, you just submit a gift to play. This just means you need a link from any item on any website.
If you have a gift at home with you already, that’s fine too – you will just upload a photo of it. When the gifts are “unwrapped” during the game, the name and photo of the gift will be displayed for everyone to see. After the game is over and you know who won your awesome gift, you can go ahead and purchase it from the retailer and have it shipped directly to the winner.
Giving back ALWAYS makes you feel great about yourself and others. Especially around the holidays, there is so much need for assistance. Just search for ‘volunteer opportunities near me’ and you will come up with tons of options. Everything from donating blood to serving food at shelters.
You can donate time, money, or goods, but if you can, time is the best way to help during the holidays. If you have kids at home, there are even specific volunteer experiences for them specifically. So, get online and find a way to participate.
The nice thing is you can just do a couple of hours or spend a whole day volunteering, all according to your schedule. Here is a list of some of the top non-profit organizations, but don’t overlook the local needs where you are located. Be aware you might have to plan a little ahead for larger organizations, while smaller ones can usually take your help ASAP.
- A Year To Volunteer
- United Way
- Do Something
- Habitat for Humanity
- AARP Create the Good
- Feeding America
- American Red Cross
6. Don’t plan anything
Sometimes doing the opposite of what is expected can be a huge relief. Bow out of gift exchanges, find an isolated RV park, or skip out on the Internet. Getting rid of expectations is a great way to push pressure to the edge.
Maybe you don’t have to give up everything. Just select one thing that immediately pops into your mind that is causing a lot of stress and figure out how to get out of it. There really is nothing you MUST do except death and taxes (and maybe follow a few laws). So just say NO. Here are a few things that normally bring stress and how to eliminate it.
- Gift exchanges – Opt for something online or say this year you are doing Zoom to connect with everyone instead of gifts (including kiddos).
- Parties – Tell everyone instead of doing parties this year – for each one you are invited to, you will be donating 2 hours of volunteer time.
- Gift purchasing – Pick out all gifts online and have them shipped directly to the person (on Amazon you can have them wrapped and include a personalized card!). Take your shopping a step further by using https://smile.amazon.com/. You select a charity to support and can contribute at the same time. My charity is Escapees Care.
So enjoy your holidays. But enjoy them in a way that you will not only survive, but you will live a wonderful RV life during the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and much more.
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Lucinda Belden travels full-time with her husband in their 44ft fifth wheel toy-hauler. She is a full-time travel writer, presenter and agent. Lucinda gets her inspiration from their RV lifestyle, her avid motorcycle/sidecar adventures and world travels. Lucinda has travelled to more than 30 countries, over 340 cities and at least 187,579 miles on land and sea. Only 75% of the earth left to still cover! See her stories and adventures at DWO.net and fb.com/DirectionWideOpen