November 23, 2022
There is so much that goes into planning any kind of travel, that it can be overwhelming, especially to RVers that may not have any connections to an area. Finding places to camp, access to groceries, laundry, internet and other amenities, as well as things to do in the area are all things to think about on a regular basis. Add in determining the route to a place and it can be a lot to figure out.
While the RV community can be helpful in social media groups, everyone has different travel styles, family dynamics and interests, that it can sometimes be a hit or a miss as to whether the information helps. I know that we spend several hours researching all these things for each trip we do and plan our routes, stops, sights and shopping before we lock anything in. There are many great apps out there for planning routes, but finding what to do can be challenging.
One resource I have used even before RVing life is the Visitor’s Center or Welcome Center. This *F*R*E*E* resource is in every major community, especially your tourist destinations and is a free service provided by the local Chamber of Commerce. Businesses register with them and are on their lists of recommended places. They have a wealth of resources such as books, maps, coupons, and discounts on site, and some amazingly helpful people that work there and can give you great information that only a local would know. This can also give you valuable seasonal information and personal recommendations for places to try or times to do things that may not be online.
These are also a great place to stop since they usually have large parking for bigger rigs, which can make a nice meal and stretch break.
We recently stopped into one while visiting the Outer Banks in North Carolina and, in spite of lots of online research, learned something we didn’t know–it was off season. Being from Central Florida, there is no off season–there are always tourists and crowds. This created limitations in that some places were closed down, limited openings due to renovation and repair, and varying hours. This meant we couldn’t climb lighthouses, but could wander around the grounds without crowds, sometimes having the entire area to ourselves, including a tour guide or ranger to answer questions. This also meant we drove straight onto the ferry when it arrived without any kind of wait while visiting other islands. Some restaurants were closed, but plenty of others were open and no wait. Roads and beaches were sometimes all to ourselves. We spoke to one local who told us that there could be as many as a half a million new people coming through every week during peak season, so we didn’t mind at all.
Next time you travel to a new area, whether as an RVer or just a traveler, stop into the Visitor’s Center for some great information and local recommendations! You may even learn something that your local friends and family don’t know.
If you are looking to relocate to an area, whether it is long term or permanently, this can be very helpful, too. You can even ask for the information to be mailed to you if you have enough time in advance.
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