In our first year of camping, we learned quickly how important it is to plan ahead (a year in advance sometimes) to get the campground and campsites that we want. It’s taken us a year to really learn what works for our family. Here are three things we’re doing now to book our RV weekends.
1. We Reserve Our Family Weekends First on Our Calendar
We started scheduling our family weekends first so that we’re making family time a priority and then life around that. Life can get busy. It’s easy to fill our calendars so full that it leaves us exhausted and burnt out. We love being able to look at our year and see the weekends we have reserved for camping and family time. As a photographer, it’s easy to book every weekend full of sessions, but having that family time penciled in helps me keep a better work/life balance.
2. We Keep a Campground Wish List
As RV newbies, we didn’t realize that booking certain campgrounds was like buying concert tickets on ticketmaster. There is a certain booking window and time that campsites are released. So, we started keeping a list of campgrounds we wanted with info like ideal campsites, booking windows, distance from home, and best season to visit.
We don’t always book our campgrounds and campsites in advance. In fact, sometimes it’s only a couple of months ahead and other times weeks or days ahead depending on season, availability, and life.
3. We Match Our Campground Wish List to Our RV Weekends
We decide when and what campground to book based on availability, distance from home, and the season of the year.
We’re quickly learning which campgrounds are popular. So, we’re adjusting our plans accordingly. Most holiday weekends book quickly so we will make sure to book holiday weekends ahead of time. Campgrounds and campsites in places like Florida State Parks book up as soon as campsites become available so our plans will depend on availability!
Distance From Home:
On holiday weekends, we know we have an extra day or more for travel so we’ll book a campground that is 2+ hours away. But, if we are leaving after work on a Friday night, we book a campground that is less than 1 or 1.5 hours away from home.
In the Summer, it’s easier to leave after work and arrive before it gets dark so we know we have a little more time to travel after work. But, in the Fall and Spring when it gets dark earlier, we know that we need to either find a closer campground or leave a little earlier to get there before dark.
We plan our campgrounds and campsites in the Summer based on shade. We don’t want to overwork our AC in the Summertime. We love going to the beach in April/May and end of September/October, and December!
Nicholas is a huge Alabama football fan. In the Fall, we love football Saturdays. So, we will make sure to plan our campgrounds in the Fall based on whether we can find cell service to connect our Mifi or not to watch the games. Football is something that Nicholas loves and enjoys so I’m happy to find us a great spot for us to camp AND be able to watch the football games on Saturday. We love to put our Roku TV outside, grill and hang out together!
I know that it can feel a bit overwhelming to plan family time and camping trips. So we’ve created a planning printable to help you! Inside you’ll find a calendar to circle or cross off weekends, a campground wish list, and a campground info sheet to help you! Click here to download!