Alison Emerick

Family Travel in a Motorhome

Alison Emerick
Family Travel in a Motorhome
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to just be able to pick up and go on an adventure with your family? No packing, no planning, just spontaneous adventure?! That is what I imagine travel with a motorhome to be like. To learn more, I enlisted the help of Suzy Holman, mom of three, motorhome owner, and adventure maker. Because of her, I now want to own a vacation on wheels and have swings in my living room (check out her instagram!) Here is what she had to say: 


We moved to Colorado 3 years ago so my husband could buy his dental practice in Golden. We love it here so much. We live in the mountains with our three tiny tow heads. Lucy is 5, Jack, 3 and Archer is 1. When we aren't kicking it in our mountain abode we can usually be found at a Mcdonalds play place, shuffling to various kids classes or traveling in our motorhome. 

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I've left my kids with my parents a few separate times to travel with my husband to Kenya, London, Hawaii and Mexico which were amazing times. These were mission trips or romantic trips to recharge our souls and marriage! Travel alone is our instant marriage fixer upper :) But travel with our kids is our instant happiness maker. Archer took ten flights in his first year of life and nine motorhome trips. We love to be on the go visiting family scattered throughout the US. And are pro's at the quick overnighter to the mountains.

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We love exploring our Rockies! We've travelled to lots of mountain cities surrounding Denver, Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Glenwood Springs, Fruita, Georgetown, Estes Park, Alamosa and are pro's at the quick overnight trip to our favorite camp spots in Bailey, Guanella Pass and Breckenridge. We travel to Idaho and Utah quite a bit to see family. We have started the tradition of going to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Alamosa over memorial day which has been a blast. A little tiny river (more like a moving mud puddle) runs down the base of the warm dunes and the kids just play and play for hours. Perfect for little ones our age. 

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The littles share a bed, and the baby usually sleeps with Todd and I. The kids love to sleep on the bunk above the driver and love to pull the curtain making it feel like their own little fort.We rarely plan ahead because every time we do I swear something usually comes up and we waste our money on reservations! This has burned us on occasion, but in big cities camping in the Walmart parking lots is free and allowed (except in San Diego where we learned that lesson the hard way ;) so Walmart, or rest stops is usually our back up on long road trips. When we go camping we never make reservations because there are lots of great disbursed areas we have found! The motorhome has a fridge, microwave and stovetop. When camping we cook all our food. When road tripping- we usually just pack snacks and eat out along the way. I did make hamburgers once while driving down the freeway, which I wouldn't recommend due to grease popping everywhere while I tried to stand still and keep it cooking haha. Good times. We like it much more than hotels and Air BNB's, so much so that when we went to San Diego last year on vacation we rented a motorhome instead of an Airbnb.

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Most big Koa's have pools and hot tubs, and when we get stuck in traffic going places the kids can just sprawl out on beds and take naps. Also, you always have everything you need. Extra change of clothes, cold diet cokes, a place to lay the baby down for a nap while the big ones explore, a hot shower after epic hikes, and did I mention a place for sleeping toddlers because thats the best. Oh ya, a sleeping place for toddlers ;) We usually plan very simple itineraries that always include the kids usual nap times where we read book while they sleep, or take a snooze ourself. Makes traveling with toddlers much more pleasant when naps aren't skipped! Probably my number one favorite thing about the motorhome (we call ours Maggie) is the napping sitch.

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We keep our motorhome constantly stocked with blankets, drinks, pajamas and coats. Just yesterday we were bored so we took a two hour drive up the mountains to a rec center to go swimming. It's the perfect thing for spontaneous people like us and those who loathe the packing and unpacking process

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I would say people should consider what their stance is on children wandering about the cab while you are driving. This may determine if they are more fifth wheel people or motorhome people. Motorhomes are gas guzzlers for sure and the septic tanks need to be dumped every few days. Most big gas stations have an area to do this. Most people think they can't own campers or motorhomes because they have no place to store them. There are RV storage centers everywhere and shouldn't be a factor if you are considering an RV. 

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I wish that people would know that it doesn't have to be so hard! And to remember with littles that simple itineraries are always always always best. Pushing them to far is a disaster recipe for everyone. Todd and I say that this isn't the season in our life to be traveling to exotic destinations. With their current ages they will enjoy the mountain mud puddles as much as they would a bora bora beach. So we try to keep things simple and plan things they will enjoy. I'm sure our travel philosophies and methods will change with their ages, but for now- give us a motorhome filled with popsicles, barbies and good music- point us in the direction of the mountains and we are all completely and wonderfully happy. 

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Thank you so much Suzy! I can't wait to follow along on your adventures when you go on your three week trip to the Redwoods this summer!