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    First Attempt at Empanadas – My Kid Thinks I’m Amazing

    April 4, 2023

    My eleven year old son recently discovered a love of Empanadas while at the RV show and has been asking us to try and learn to make our own so he can choose his own fillings. After researching online and reaching out to fellow friends with a love of cooking, including those with a gift for Spanish dishes, and found out that there are premade shells in the freezer!

    When we hit up the grocery store this weekend, I found them, so we gave it a try.

    He really only wanted chicken and cheese. We cooked a chicken breast in our instant pot, shred it with a fork, added in some Lowry’s seasoning, minced onion, bacon bits and shredded cheeses (we blended the end of some bags we needed to finish) and-voila!-we had a stuffing! I’m not a measurer, so couldn’t tell you how much of each.

    We added a small amount to the shell, folded it over and pressed to seal the edges with a fork. We then remembered we needed to press the air out and to use a bit of water to help the seams, so finished the rest this way. Then we fried them in canola oil.

    They turned out better than expected! (Our family’s motto when it comes to trying new dishes is “there’s always take out” so we aren’t afraid) We did decide that the flour shell did mute the flavors so we needed to add a lot more seasoning and cheese.

    We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and will definitely make these again for a quick meal. Even being in the RV, it was pretty easy!

    What is a meal you took on the challenge to learn? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below!

    Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tik Tok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at BarnesOnMove.com, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

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    Make Time For the Struggling Student

    April 1, 2023

    Our world can be such a paradox, especially when it comes to education. Every student is an individual, with knowledge, skills and struggles uniquely their own.

    For some, those struggles may required education plans to help them demonstrate their learning and show just how capable and intelligent they truly are. For others, those struggles could have nothing to do with academics, but interfere with them nonetheless.

    But, a school environment also has very rigid structure and requirement that can sometimes contradict the student’s learning needs, and stifle their emotional or social needs.

    We also see this in the everyday world as adults–embrace our individuality while also trying to fit into society’s everchanging norms.

    I won’t dive into that subject today, but focus, instead on how we can support the student that is still learning how to fit into the world because they are still learning who they are and what they are capable of.

    History is riddled with stories about people, including children, who didn’t fit an image of what they should be. It took them time to find who they were as a person and what their unique talents are.

    The prodigal son that left and returned after having squandered his inheritance, being celebrated by dad and despised by the sibling that stayed and worked.

    David, who was weak and yet killed Goliath with a sling and a stone, then became a great King.

    Albert Einstein who didn’t speak until he was 5 years old, but went on to win a Nobel Prize.

    Oprah Winfrey who was born into poverty and endured unspeakable acts as a child, only to grow up into the entrepreneur and philanthropist she is today.

    So, how can we do the same thing with our students, even if on a much smaller scale?

    TALK TIMES Students are humans that have stresses and worries of their own and they need a chance to talk about them, whether to seek advice and guidance, or to just vent out loud. Allowing some free talk time with peers throughout the week for a few minutes can be good. Sincerely checking in on them and asking about their game last night or their vacation after a break and listening gives them this chance and shows them they are valuable and someone wants to hear them. If they have deeper concerns, be sure to have access to a guidance counselor they can talk to as well, and let them know that sometimes we all need help and need to talk to someone.

    MENU ACTIVITIES When it comes to learning strategies and demonstrating mastery of a skill, allowing students to choose from a variety of options that fit their comfort zone, interests, or skillset will allow them to truly show what they know and measure the skill you are looking for. Sometimes in life there is only one way to do something–a driver’s test requires driving an actual car on an actual road; standardized testing requires answering questions on a computer most times–but sometimes there are other options. Be open to alternatives so you can really see your student shine. This also helps when there are certain things that need to be done a particular way, they learn how to do that as well, but can concede that they will still have other times to show their individuality in their work.

    OPEN OFFICE TIMES Having a time for a student to stop by your classroom, your zoom room, or call you (if you are not in a physical school campus with them) can create opportunities for students to reach out with questions if they aren’t comfortable during class time. It will also make them more likely to reach out if they don’t think they will be bothering you. I’ve used this technique for years and have had students pop in to say hi, chat about an issue they couldn’t bring up in class, ask a quick question on an assignment, or even get hands on time for a project they were completely lost on or didn’t have resources or space to work on at home and used my classroom. This is an additional step that truly shows students they are valuable and their unique learning style is okay and you will still support them.

    LISTENING Not all students want an answer or solution, sometimes they just want to be heard without judgement and acknowledged by someone that their feelings or thoughts are okay. By actively listening to them–repeating what they said, acknowledging their feeling or thought–can go a long way in helping them work through a situation. I’ve had students in my room crying over a break up, and saying with an eye roll ” I know, I know, I’m young and it isn’t real love yet” and I let them know that if it is real to them, then it is real. My life experience level is different than theirs and not a fair comparison. I’ve had students also come in and feel they weren’t being challenged in class, they were placed based on test scores in remedial class but had been ill or lost a family member during testing and weren’t focused. So we talked about what we could do to challenge them and help them grow as a student, or even appeal on their behalf to change their course level with evidence of their learning.

    RESPECT This is always my #1 unbreakable rule in my classroom, and life in general. If we show respect to everyone and everything, all the other rules and guidelines pretty much take care of themselves. Respecting a student and their situation, thoughts, feelings, or work is crucial to their development of both self-esteem and social etiquette. We won’t always agree with them, but we can still respect them and learn from them. I am not the person I was 16 years ago when I went searching for my first teaching job out of college, and part of that is because I learned, not only from professional training, but from my students. And that respect was acknowledged and reciprocated by my students and their families more often than not.

    GRACE Students will make mistakes, lose their cool, refuse to work, or be mean sometimes. But we are the same way. Having grace when someone snaps or doesn’t work is crucial to changing the negative behavior into a positive outcome and learning from it. When a student is frustrated and yells out that something is stupid in class. Instead of getting onto them for the outburst, quietly go to them and give them a pass to a quiet place to regroup, or if it won’t escalate things, invite them into the hallway or office for a quick check in. Acknowledge and give them a chance to clarify. “It sounds like you are upset about something. What’s going on?” Let them vent, then ask what they should have done instead of yelling out and let them do that. Also, clearly state your forgiveness and your support for their success, and invite them to tell you another way next time they have an issue.

    I can’t stress enough that our role as educators is to educate students, but that isn’t always just “reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic”, sometimes that will also be building character and helping them become who they are meant to be. Take the time to see them as individuals and be there for them, it can make a world of difference to them, and they can make a difference in the world.

    And remember to do this for everyone, not just students in your classroom. Helping someone in need can have a huge impact in their world as an individual, and the world around them as a whole. If their struggle is beyond your expertise, then be there with them and guide them to someone that can help them through their struggles, don’t ignore it and let it grow to something uncontrollable. Be a helper, even in the little ways.

    Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tik Tok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at BarnesOnMove.com, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

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    FL State Parks Tag is taking off!

    FL State Parks Tag is taking off!

    A couple years ago the state of Florida put out a new vehicle tag. This tag featured a kayak in the mangroves, along with some of our favorite animals in the area.

    This tag cost $35 to put one on your car. $25 of that goes directly to the state parks.

    Our family loves using the state parks and with the lifestyle we were taking up, we pre-ordered our tag when the option opened up. About a year ago, we were finally able to pick up our new tag at the tag agency near our home town. It looked GREAT on our truck!

    March of 2023, the social media for the Florida State Parks posted this on Facebook.

    Our choice in getting this tag has helped place over 800 bottle filling stations in the state parks. This will help reduce trash in both the parks and landfills.

    You can order your plate from the Florida State Parks Foundation.

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    Nanny’s Meatloaf

    March 28, 2023

    My grandmother was a great cook. Whether it was a meal when we’d visit or a holiday family gathering, the food was always delicious. One of my favorites she made was meatloaf and, when I grew up and got married, it was one of the first ones I learned to make. I’ve made it so much, I can often make it without the recipe or measuring anything, and can adapt it for a small meal or large.

    My grandmother is no longer with us, but this meal makes me think of her everytime. Now I will share with you to keep her legacy alive, and add another flavor to your dinner table this week.


    (feeds 6-8)

    • 2 lbs ground beef (90-95% lean) *can supplement half beef, half turkey, but it will be dryer, so extra moisture, less bread crumbs
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup milk
      • beat egg and milk together before adding to mixture
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon accent
    • 1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder or dried minced onion
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 teaspoon A-1 sauce
    • cracker crumbs or Italian bread crumbs


    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I prefer to mix all the dry and wet ingredients well before I add the beef in, then mix them by hand.

    Start with beating the egg and milk, then add in your sauces, dry ingredients, but wait to mix in the bread crumbs/cracker crumbs until after you have mixed these in with the ground beef to make sure it won’t be too dry. If you want to use the drippings to make gravy, you’ll want less bread crumbs. If you get it too dry, just add a splash of more milk.

    Once the mixture is well blended, form into your baking shape. We use a variety of options. You can use a traditional loaf pan, a round or rectangle baking pan, or even a muffin tin for portion control, serving sizes or just a faster cooking time.

    For a traditional loaf pan, bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hour

    For a round or rectangle baking pan, bake for about an hour

    For muffins, bake for about 45 minutes

    You’ll know they are done because the outer edge will have a dark brown beef look and a slight crisping on the top surface, the inside will be cooked all the way through. And it will smell amazing!

    We like to serve ours with homemade mashed potatoes and either corn or green beans, as well as some homemade biscuits. If you want to make gravy, use the drippings from your pan and add flour into the hot grease on a pan, then add salt and beef stock or beef bullion to the consistency you’d like.

    Whether you are in a house or an RV, this meal mixes easily and can freeze mixed. We have made this in our RV oven with no issues. I hope you enjoy this traditional dish. I know my grandmother is smiling down on you as you enjoy it with your family!

    Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tik Tok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at BarnesOnMove.com, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

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    Thoughts From a Teacher’s Life – March

    March 25, 2023

    As I am writing this at the end of my Spring Break week off, having gone from hot weather, to freezing weather, and back to hot weather again, I am reflecting on how fast time goes by. When I was little, I would wish for a day or an event to get here faster. I did that once in front of my grandmother and she told me not to wish time away, the older I got the faster it would move. I have absolutely found that to be true as I have gotten older, and I think that has to do with how much we fit into our daily life, or how big our world gets around us as we grow.

    In this season of transition, it is no different in the classroom. As the weather changes, so do the students and how they work and act.

    Since it’s a Spring Break month most years, it starts off with students eagerly anticipating the holiday and talking about plans, whether to travel or sleep. By the end of the month and after the break, it finds us gearing up for that one last push through the last quarter and into summer.

    Students have settled into their social groups and the classroom culture has leveled off, so most days flow with a great routine at this point. They are really getting the hang of being a <insert grade level here>’er and can manage most routine tasks pretty well.

    In middle school, my specialty, the sixth graders are shaking out of that elementary mentality and can handle a lot more independence and make better decisions, but are becoming more hormonal and losing their minds. The seventh graders are starting to become a bit more human again, getting past the enraged hormonal creature that has consumed them for the last year and turning into pretty awesome people. The eighth graders are a bit more confident in who they are now, but have a middle school version of senioritis and can’t stop talking about how they can wear what they want or do what they want next year in high school. For those that applied for choice or specialty programs for next year, they are also getting their letters of acceptance, or rejection, and preparing for that transition as well.

    At this point in the month, St. Patrick’s Day has passed so the pinching has stopped and the bruises are starting to heal as the green “temporary” hair dye is starting to finally wash out.

    There are a few that are becoming nostalgic, already seeing all the changes coming into their life as the school year wraps up, testing, dances, award ceremonies, graduations, preparation for next year–and they are asking more questions.

    As they figure out who they are, friendships end, begin, or even strengthen, as do relationships of who is “dating” who. But they do everything in groups, so how it’s even dating is beyond me, other than the nickname for their contact card in their phone.

    As you prepare your classroom for the last quarter, I would suggest getting ahead on your lesson plans for the rest of the school year and have them at least drafted out and the master copy in a folder for copy day. This helps so much as you navigate through testing and awards and activities that consume so much time. Don’t forget to have a few games or refresher activities at the ready for those extended hold times to keep them engaged.

    This is also a great time of year to start taking inventory of what you have or haven’t used in your classroom supplies, lesson materials, and decorations. You can also start decluttering some of these items and have ready for new teachers that will be coming in.

    If you are thinking of a career change or a subject/grade/school change, this is also the time to take inventory of your wants and needs and what is out there. Jobs will start opening up soon and you may be getting your letters of intent to stay or go soon.

    Formal evaluations are also in full swing, so if you haven’t done yours yet, be sure to get it wrapped up quickly! If you have already done it, ay for you! Now sit back and enjoy the ride until summer!

    Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at BarnesOnMove.com, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

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    Putting a 5er on a Diet

    Part of living full time in an RV, means making choices. Sometimes that with locations, other times, that has to do with what you can or can not take with you to your next location.

    We have gone through processes of eliminating some of our favorite dishes. You know that one coffee cup you cant live without with the cute cats on it. Or getting rid of the 4th pair of running shoes when you only have one pair of feet.

    But how do you shave weight from a trailer when you want to carry an extra bag of chocolate chips?

    We have seen some things that are attached to the 5th wheel that do not serve a purpose for us. Two of the obvious ones for us where doors and valances.

    This new Keystone Arcadia 3550mb only has 2 doors on hinges dividing sleeping rooms. We took them down and put up curtains. This shaved about 5 pounds per door. They opened in a manor that was intrusive to moving around the house.

    The valances on the windows. These were brown boxes placed on top of the blinds to give it a more homely feel. Counting around our 5er, we have 13 different windows with these little brown boxes attached.

    With a short discussion with the family, we decided they were not needed. The valances where visual clutter and a dust catcher.

    Each was held on by 4 screws, and took only a couple minutes each to get off the walls. About an hour later, I weighed the whole stack and found that we cut 31 pounds of valances off the RV. 31 pounds!! that is almost 4 gallons of water. Or could be 30 bags of coffee. That is the weight of a big box store bicycle.

    So putting our 5er on a diet let it lose over 40 pounds in a matter of a couple hours. I wish I could lose weight that efficiently.

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    How Minimalism Helped My Allergies and Asthma

    March 21, 2023

    I’m an accidental minimalist. In 2001, I was medically discharged from the military because I had asthma induced allergies and was allergic to, well, just about everything. Apparently, traveling to so many new places had jarred my immune system and tipped me over the edge–or that was how a doctor explained to me how a perfectly healthy person could be a disabled vet by 22.

    Since my biggest allergies included grass, dust, mold, and fragrances, I had a huge battle trying to figure out how to live. I was on so many medications that my immune system was non-existent and the side effects were awful.

    I watched decorating shows all the time and even went to EPCOT’s HGTV guest host talks to do the meet and greets with the stars to pick their brains. Nada. Still awaiting a call back from Genevieve Gorder when she has some ideas…about 10 years ago.

    On a boredom Google sesh for how to decorate a home when allergic to the world, I stumbled across minimalism. The Konmari method was a hot trend and grabbed my attention. Sparking joy for me was breathing without reaction. I jumped in full swing to decluttering our overly stuffed home–who knew you didn’t have to keep everything? (My family connected across multi-generations and still lived with many practices learned during the depression–foil and ziplocks, as well as butter and cool whip containers were cleaned for future use).

    Turns out the Konmari method wasn’t a success for me in the long run. While those leggings or long johns didn’t spark joy, wearing them in the cold did–and I didn’t have them. And I found I was just storing too much stuff better, but not downsizing enough. But, I started reading other books and following other bloggers and vloggers, and developed my own sense of minimalism that worked for my health and lifestyle, and blended with my family’s pack rat/always prepared nature. (Some of my favorites are Becoming Minimalist, Pick Up Limes, Dawn the Minimal Mom, Natalie Bennett, and Clean My Space).

    While there was great resistance at first, eventually, everyone came around. Even my parents purged a lot and loved the freedom they found in it. The deep cleaning needed to keep me from getting sick didn’t take as long and could be done in a very short period of time without having to play tetris moving everything around as we cleaned each area.

    Our success with it helped me get off many medications, improve my health, and even find our way into the RV life, affording us even more options for traveling and avoiding allergy triggers, but we are still working on figuring it all out.

    While you may not have the health issues I do, minimalism can still be for you–and look totally different based on your needs and your life. So take the first step and start making room for life.

    If you are already a minimalist (because, even if you are on the journey, you are one!), I’d love to hear what launched you on your journey!

    Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at BarnesOnMove.com, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

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    Travel Planning or Winging It?

    March 18, 2023

    I have been a traveler all my life. The farthest back I can remember was when I was 6 and we went on a summer road trip from our home in Florida to see family in Alaska. We stopped so many places that, at the time were cool, but not significant. Today, I long to return to so many with my own family. That journey pretty much hooked me on travel. I was always ready to go somewhere.

    As soon as I was old enough to drive, day trips were always on the itinerary, and as an adult, I have always had a trip either being planned, or brewing in my mind.

    My husband and I have been traveling together for over 20 years and are always up for an adventure. Our travel style is like many others we have met–we have a tentative plan, even an itinerary, but are totally okay with calling an audible and changing it up.

    We did a 3 week long tent/couch surfing trip several years back and planned an itinerary out to the day…it lasted 3 hours into our trip before we deviated. While our family prefers to know where we are, they are okay with a general location and check ins when we leave and arrive. It may seem intrusive since we are adults, but it’s not only safer, it keeps them from unnecessary worry.

    We talk to a lot of people in our journey, both online and in person, and find that most travelers fall into one of three camps: the detailed planner, the fly by the seat of their pants traveler, or the general idea but up for changes traveler–like us.

    No matter which type of traveler you are, be sure you are prepared by taking a few precautions.

    SAFETY GEAR No matter how you travel, having safety equipment is a must. A spare tire, jack, food and water, blankets, cash, first aid kit, flashlight and/or flares, paper/pencil for leaving a note, and maps or a road atlas(paper, not just digital) are a few basic items to keep on hand.

    GENERAL IDEA It’s okay to be spontaneous, but having at least a general direction or area will help you narrow things down, and help if someone needs to find you. This could be arriving to a certain point by a certain date and following a path between two locations, or just being in a certain area. This also helps with researching what to do and where to stay so you can see what major events are going on to either attend, or avoid.

    BACK UP PLANS Not everything goes perfectly, so having something to fall back on is a good idea. This could be knowing of other places to stay, having multiple memberships to draw from, or just talking to multiple friends or family members in an area to have a place to stay.

    POINT OF CONTACT Always make sure someone knows where you are and where you are going. In this day and age, you can’t be too safe, so even if you don’t have a formal or detailed itinerary, make sure you call or text someone with your plans. If something goes wrong, but they know where you are and that you’ll check in daily, at least you know help will be there. Also keep their information in the glove box of your vehicle or as an ICE (in case of emergency) contact in your phone.

    So, which type of traveler are you? And what other precautions would you suggest be taken?

    Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader , on Instagram at sonya_barnes_a2t , or our adventures at BarnesOnMove.com, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

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    Why We Created “Our Travel Planner”

    March 14, 2023

    When we started this journey into full-time RV life a little over a year ago, we knew there would be a lot of information to keep up with. Being the organized person I am, I got a current road atlas, Planner, RV journal and an RV GPS device, plus I plugged things into our digital family calendar. This along with a couple of camping memberships with location maps and we were ready to travel plan!

    Planning trips was not a new experience for us. We’ve been travelers for 30+ years, as kids with our families, solo adults, and as a family. But this brought on a whole new level of challenge with booking multiple reservations at a time over an extended period. The formerly used method of a travel itinerary wasn’t going to cut it, and all these resources were a lot.

    First, we used our Google map and marked our membership locations that worked for us in the area we would travel in since we stay in state, mostly. And just added others as we traveled to other states. This helped a lot, but flipping through the books and having multiple calendars to update was too much. By last summer, a few months in, I was already planning a simpler method to combine all our info into one book. Such a thing didn’t exist, at least not that I could find.

    By September, we were going through our notes and creating a template of what we wanted. It took us a lot longer than we expected, but we finally created our vision. We ordered our proof copy and started using it for a travel planning session and it worked just like I wanted.

    It’s small enough to carry in my every day bag so I can always check it for scheduling purposes. While there are a few tweaks we will roll out with the 2024 version, this has already been great!

    Let me give you a quick overview of the sections and why they are there. (If you purchase the book, there is a How To Use section that also breaks this down for you!)

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION this information is about your rig to be kept close to make sure you will fit on routes, in spaces, and under overpasses.

    MEMBERSHIPS AND PASSES this is for quick reference while planning, making reservations, or checking in and you don’t have data, a signal or your membership card handy.

    YEAR-AT-A-GLANCE this is where for planning those big events for the year, or what months to be at home base or other places, such as for appointments or celebrations.

    MONTH VIEW the YAG info is added to these pages along with times for specific appointments, but it is where we mark our travel plans. We also designed it to where weekends are together since this is a popular travel time or day.

    RESERVATION SHEETS on these pages, list specific stay information from the reservation, such as location, price, deposit, balance due, spot number, phone number, address, check in/out times, and more. You can also rate the places to have as a reference for friends and family, or yourself for future visits. We put several in with each month, but there are extras in the back, if you need it.

    THINGS TO DO LIST keep a list of places recommended or researched to do in the area of your reservation–this is a facing page to each reservation page so it stays together. This helps us with intentional travel if there is something we really want to see and don’t want to forget about, as well as ticketed attractions or reservations. We put several of these in with each month, too, but there are extras in the back, if you need it.

    BUDGET SHEETS this is a great place to plan and track expenses for your travels to lessen surprises and overspending, especially for full-timers that struggle with balancing “living” and “vacation”. There’s a budget and an actual side to keep track.

    CHECKLIST This is the checklist we use for our RV for setting up and departing. A checklist makes sure you don’t forget to do something, especially when you do it often. We also have a printed one we check off. If you need to customize one for you, you can find the template at our website http://www.barnesonmove.com and download it to tailor it to your needs.

    MILEAGE AND MAINTENANCE These sections allow you to track your miles for each trip, as well as the maintenance you do on your vehicles. As it is varies from vehicle to vehicle, we didn’t put in specific times/mileage for the maintenance, but gave you a place to log it. Again, simplicity of one location.

    NOTES This section allows you a place to add additional things you may need to track or remember, as well as extra reservation things to do pages if you need more than the monthly section has.

    This book doesn’t have a page marker like a lot of day planners have, but I have found them to get knocked out or broken easily, and prefer a paper clip I move to the active month, or months I am currently planning, and it is more secure for me. I’ve been using it for several weeks and it has been so convenient to keep in my purse or backpack and have handy making appointments or talking with friends and family to connect in various areas.

    If you are an active traveler with more than one trip planned at a time, this book is for you! While it is geared to RVers, it is still a helpful tool for other types of travel or camping. It is a great tool for you, or gift for other travelers in your life! I is the only planner you, or they, will need all year.

    Currently, Our Travel Planner 2023 is being printed on demand through Amazon and can be purchased. We are aiming for a September release of our 2024 planner, so stay tuned for that by following our social media pages, listed below. If you are interested in a bulk order, contact us directly on our website BarnesOnMove .

    Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find us on Facebook @BarnesOnMove, Tiktok & Instagram @BarnesOnMove OR @BarnesOnMove2, or our website BarnesOnMove.com

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    Traveling with Bicycles

    March 11, 2023

    Like many travelers, we have to consider very carefully the things we decide to carry with us. Bicycles are one of those difficult to decide on things. While they can be useful, they are a lot of weight, can present transport challenges, and aren’t always easy to use everywhere you go.

    For us, though, bikes have been a great choice, and have allowed us to explore new areas and save on parking and navigation headaches. When camped near or in national and state parks, we can explore and get around with ease, even enjoying bike trails that some have to offer. For big cities that are near and that we want to explore, we can load the bikes up, find public parking in a central location, and then navigate with the bikes. When staying at a theme park resort, we used it as a quick way to get to the transportation stations so we didn’t have to rent a club car or wait for the transportation within the campground. We also opted for a 2-in-1 dog stroller/bike trailer so we can take the pups along whenever possible.

    If you decide that bikes are a good fit for your traveling lifestyle, be sure to do your research. Many RVs do not have a proper hitch installed, so you may need to invest in one, unless you have storage inside your RV or the back of your truck. Also, check the ratings for hitches. We had a catastrophic failure on a hitch that was rated for enough weight overall, but the adult bikes were too heavy for the individual rating and broke a strap, leaving our bike flopped and about to fall off in traffic, if not for the kindness of a stranger.

    Decide what type of bikes you want to use. Electric bikes can be a great option, but also expensive. Do your research on these, especially with children, since the laws for them as an operator can be grey. Also research the areas you will be in to see what kind of bikes are allowed and if they are a bike friendly location, or if you are safer leaving them parked and choosing another option.

    Finally, be sure to invest in safety gear. Helmet laws exist in many areas, and are just plain smart. Adding lights to the front and back of your bike is inexpensive and can add visibility. Side mirrors will help if you want to watch for traffic behind you. A bike chain will allow you to keep your bike secured when you leave it somewhere. Do you need a basket, water bottle holder, saddle bags? These are options to think about as well. At one point, we did invest in a bike cover, and it was great, but we found it to be cumbersome. It was too loose to cover while transporting and it was easier to park it under the cab of our 5th wheel to protect it from inclement weather.

    Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find us on Facebook @BarnesOnMove, Tiktok & Instagram @BarnesOnMove OR @BarnesOnMove2, or our website BarnesOnMove.com


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