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Tips for Planning Your Summer 2021 Road Trip

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On the Road to Summer Vacation

This article originally appeared on RVshare.com.

If you’re like most people, your 2020 travel plans didn’t exactly work out as expected. But with travel restrictions slowly lifting and more places opening up, a 2021 summer road trip is the perfect time to redo some of your 2020 vacation plans, especially when it comes to exploring the U.S. And the best ways to see the country is in an RV!

RVs are still a safer, self-contained way to travel. Not only do they make it easy to keep social distancing requirements while traveling, but you’re also bringing your bed, kitchen, bathroom, and everything else with you. Which means you don’t have to worry about public restrooms, hotels, or crowded restaurants.

If you didn’t get to travel last year and are itching to get on the road, this is the perfect time to think about summer road trip ideas. We’ve got all the info you need to help you figure out where to go and how to get there.

Related: 22 Important Things to Consider Before Buying an RV

RV Family with Suitcases

Best Places to Travel to This Summer

Need some ideas on where to road trip this summer? Here are some great suggestions that will get you out of the city and enjoying nature in no time.

Related: Bucket List RV Trips for 2021

Motor Home Camper Driving and Touring in the American Southwest

Southern Utah

Looking to take a vacation in late spring or early summer? Take a road trip through Utah to visit some of their incredible National Parks. Southern Utah has some of the most iconic landscapes in the western United States. For those who love the outdoors, a road trip exploring Arches National Parkand Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park will give you plenty to see and explore.

Start by hiking to the giant sandstone arches in Arches National Park and rafting down the Colorado River in Moab. Then head to south central Utah to visit Bryce Canyon. Here you can hike to see the iconic hoodoos and spend the evenings stargazing. Finally, drive to southwestern Utah to visit Zion National Park which offers hiking, biking, climbing, and canyoneering. While Utah’s temperatures reach triple digits in July and August, late spring and early summer is a great time to visit before the weather starts heating up.

Related: 35 Surprising Facts About America's National Parks

The Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Maine.

Acadia National Park, Maine

For those searching for an East Coast road trip, Acadia National Park is a favorite destination for RVers. Aside from over 150 miles of hiking trails, it’s also home to Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain along the Atlantic coast of the United States.

The oldest National Park in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River, Acadia has a variety of terrains to explore such as the ocean, forests, lakes, and mountain peaks over 1,000 feet in height. There are plenty public and private campgrounds nearby where you can stay in your RV. And if you need a break from nature, there’s also a variety of cute towns to explore right outside the park.

Related: 19 Money-Saving Tips for Visiting National Parks

Overhead lookout viewpoint of Lake of the Ozarks Missouri on a sunny spring day
Melissa Kopka/istockphoto

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

While the east and west coasts typically get all the road trip love, there are some fantastic places to visit in the Midwest—like Lake of the Ozarks. Once the largest man-made lake in the U.S., Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri provides visitors with plenty of outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and biking.

Adventurers can even go caving at the Ozark Caverns and learn about the local geology and animals. There are plenty of camping and RV parks around Lake of the Ozarks, making it a great place to spend a vacation. And if you’re not ready to completely give up civilization, there’s also nearby golf courses, stores, and restaurants.

Related: Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks Near Lake Of The Ozarks, Missouri

Pickup with Camper trailer in Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado USA

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Mountain views, picturesque lakes, trickling streams, and over 300 miles of hiking trails, Rocky Mountain National Park is an outdoor explorer’s dream. Located two hours northwest of Denver, summer is the perfect time to visit this National Park and view the wildlife, colorful flowers, and sweeping landscapes. 

Just outside the park you can visit quaint mountain towns such as Estes Park (where you can tour the Stanley Hotel, which was featured in Stephen King’s The Shining) and stop by one of the many local craft breweries that Colorado is known for. There are many public and private campgrounds to stay in, but they fill up quickly so be sure to book early.

Related: The Most Beautiful Mountain Road Trips in America

Couple planning vacation trip, searching places to visit

Tips for Planning Your Summer Road Trip

There are a few tips for planning a summer road trip that will make your travels easier, and we're sharing our best advice. 

Looking for even more info on how to plan your next RV vacation? We're here to help you plan the perfect trip.

Campground Full Sign

Claim Your Spot Early

Make reservations for your campgrounds and RV parks before you leave. With more people hitting the road, RV parks and campgrounds can fill up fast – especially in national and state parks. Be sure to set your dates and reserve your spot early, as the more popular National Parks are busy in summer and get booked months in advance.

Related: 50 Scenic Campgrounds Under $20 in Every State

row of caravan vans on a camp ground
Camper Van Summer Trip

Decide on Your Route

You’ll also need to plan how to get to your destination. And the first step is knowing the height and length of your RV. Extra-long or tall RVs will give you more space to live in, but they can cause issues when it comes to low overpasses, small tunnels, and tight turns. Be sure to measure both the length and height of your RV and be aware of any measurement restrictions on roads. The last thing you want to do is get stuck somewhere because you misjudged your RV height!

Related: 12 Dangerous Roads You Should Never Drive in an RV

Women on summer road trip reading map for directions

How to Set a Road Trip Path

One of the best ways to safely set a road trip path is by using RV specific route planning apps and websites to help you stay on roads that can handle your RV. Apps such as RV Trip WizardCoPilot RV, and Campedium can assist you in planning a route that avoids low bridges, road grades, and other potential RV hazards. 

Similarly, apps like GasBuddy can help you find the nearest gas station and diesel fuel so you won’t run out of fuel on the road.

Related: 22 Must-Have Apps for RVers

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