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Road Trips

Reconnect with Your Kids During Spring Break

(ARA) – Spring break will be here before you know it, and rather than just fly somewhere with the kids and rush through your vacation, why not plan a trip that will allow you to spend plenty of quality time together. If you don't already own one, rent a recreational vehicle or RV and travel the countryside.
“Perhaps because of September 11th and peoples’ desire to spend more time with family, we have seen tremendous growth in the industry in the past four years,” says Sue Bray, Executive Director and President of the Good Sam Club, an organization dedicated to making RVing fun, safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Paul and Diane Smith first took up RVing in the early 1970s as an activity they could enjoy with their children who are now grown up and have kids of their own. Once they had both retired, in early 2003, they sold their house in Maryland and took to it full-time.

“It was really a no-brainer for us,” says Paul. “We were always on the road anyway, and tired of still having to pay the mortgage for a house we didn’t need. Now we can travel around the country and visit our kids and grandkids any time we want. When they're off from school, we sometimes even get to take them along.”

Ira and Rosemary Bates have a similar story. “When our kids were growing up, we frequently rented an RV for summer camping trips and fell in love with the lifestyle. I loved the idea of being able to go anywhere we wanted, anytime we wanted without any obligations holding us back,” says Ira. “So after we were both retired we decided to go for it,” adds Rosemary.

Both couples now spend their time crisscrossing the country, visiting places they’ve always wanted to see, family, and friends they’ve made along the way. The majority of those friends are people they’ve met at Samborees, gatherings sponsored by the Good Sam Club.

The club got a modest start in 1966 when a handful of RV owners put Good Samaritan bumper stickers on their rigs so fellow members would know they could get help on the road. Before long, it evolved into the world’s largest association of RV owners. Today, the club has a million members; and helping RVers stay connected is only part of the mission.

“Most RVers consider a membership in the Good Sam Club essential, if for no other reason than to take advantage of the 10 percent discount they will receive at 1,700 RV parks throughout the United States and Canada. It doesn’t take many stays to earn back the modest cost of a membership,” says Bray. Members also get a free subscription to Highways Magazine, the official publication of the Good Sam Club; access to an RV trip routing service; discounts on insurance; preferred rates on RV financing, and a lot more.

RVs used to have a reputation for being the chosen vehicle of retirees, particularly because of the expenses involved in purchasing and operating them, but these days, more and more families are showing an interest in them.

Perhaps because she grew up enjoying trips in one, the Smiths’ daughter Veronica has one. The Bates’ kids occasionally rent them for summer vacations and family trips.

“RVing is something we really share as a family and it helps bond us together,” say the Smiths.

“Before we were only getting to see our kids and grandkids once or twice a year for a few days at a time. This way, we pull up in their driveway, park for a few weeks at a time, and really get to become more a part of their lives,” add the Smiths.

Making a decision to live the RV lifestyle is not something you should jump into without doing a little research first. The Good Sam Club is a good source of information.

“We can provide people with everything they need to know about RVs. An idea of what they cost, how to insure them, access to trip planning, lists of campgrounds that accept them, access to discounts and more,” says Bray.

To learn more about the organization, you can call (800) 234-3450 or log on to

Courtesy of ARA Content

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