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There are a lot of benefits to the RVing lifestyle - we can travel to beautiful areas and explore so many wonderful places. But when it comes to gifts, there is one big issue: we don't have much space! Everything we own has to serve a purpose (or several) and earn its place in our RV.
We've learned to embrace this, seeing it not as a restriction, but as an opportunity to focus on what we enjoy most: experiences not "stuff". I know many other RVers feel the same way.
But gift-giving can still be a wonderful thing. We've compiled a list of some of our favorite gifts that don't take up any space whatsoever, and help RVers to make the most of their life on the road!
We had been on the road for over two years before we finally signed up to Harvest Hosts. We had definitely been missing out!
The premise is pretty simple. Once you sign up as a member, you can stay overnight at locations all across the country. These are places like vineyards, wineries, breweries, farms, museums and even golf couress. There's no charge for your overnight stay, but you are expected to buy something from the venue - visit the museum, buy a bottle of wine (or two!) or some fresh produce from the farm shop.
You're only allowed to stay one night (unless the venue invites you to stay longer), but as we learned on our epic cross-country drive from Washington to New York, there's nothing better a wine tasting at the end of a long driving day!
You can buy a 1-year gift membership for Harvest Hosts, and use our special code AWAY for an extra 15% off!
Plan to Eat
When we first hit the road, one of the first mods we did was replacing our fridge and freezeer doors with dry-erase whiteboards so we could write up our meal plan for the week ahead.
This was great, but we wanted something more.
Plan to Eat has taken our meal planning to the next level. We can import recipes from the web or add our own, then plan them out on a calendar. It uses this to automatically generate our grocery shopping list, even splitting things up by aisle and even which store we prefer to buy things in.
Then, when we go shopping, it's easy to check things off using the app on our phones (both iOS and Android). And since it syncs to the cloud, Diana and I can each start working through the list and it syncs our changes.
Even if you're not an RVer, a gift membership for Plan to Eat would make a great gift!
Escapees RV Club
When we hit the road, the first thing we did was drive to Texas and establish our Texas residency with Escapees RV Club.
Escapees RV Club is the largest RV club in the world and strives to be a total support network for all RVers. They also have lots of sub-communities, including the Xscapers who organize some fantastic events, several of which we've been to over the years.
For both recreational RVers and a full-timers, I highly recommend a gift membership to Escapees RV Club. With so many benefits, it's an absolute bargin!
National Park Pass (America the Beautiful)
While entry to some National Park Units is free, there are many that charge an entrance fee. But there's an alternative - the National Park annual pass known as America the Beautiful which offers free entrance to Federally operated recreation sites across the country, including the National Parks!
On our quest to explore all 400+ National Park Units, we definitely get our money's worth from this pass, but it may take just a few visits in a year to justify the price!
A gift membership for the America the Beautiful pass is not only a great incentive to get out and explore the amazing National Parks, but also a great way to support the National Park system itself. There's also a senior pass available for those over 62.
We love to hike, but since we're always traveling to new areas, we're always on the lookout for great hikes. We've found some of our favorite hikes on AllTrails!
While it's free to sign up for AllTrails, there are several benefits to AllTrails Pro, their paid membership service. We like AllTrails Pro because it allows us to download GPS tracks and routes to our phones so we can hike places where we have no cell service, but there are more features such as off-route notifications and Lifeline which allows you to stay connected with friends and family.
If you know someone who loves to hike, then consider an AllTrails Pro gift membership.
There's a lot packed into Amazon Prime these days. It's not just about free 2-day delivery on things you buy on Amazon - it also includes access to free movies, TV shows, music and even books!
While our RV doesn't have a home movie setup like I used to have in our house, I still love watching movies and thanks to our internet setup, Amazon Prime Video works great!
Since we're so often traveling to new areas, we don't always know where we can buy things locally, and may not be in an area long enough to wait for a store to order something in for us. That's where Amazon's free 2-day shipping comes in.
If we're staying with friends or in an RV park, we can order things to be shipped directly to us, but their network of Amazon Lockers is also great - we can have things shipped to a locker and stop by on a travel day!
There have been stretches where we've not been able to receive Amazon deliveries very easily, and I won't lie, it's been tough! An Amazon Prime membership makes RVing so much easier!
Ebooks & Audiobooks
While we're on the subject of entertainment, let's talk about books! Sometimes it's nice to curl up with a good read - especially after working on a laptop all day!
But books and RVs don't go together very well - they take up a lot of space and weight! Fortunately, Diana and I both have an Amazon Kindle - I love my Kindle Oasis with its detachable cover!
In addition to buying ebooks for your Kindle, Amazon members are also eligible for the First Reads program - each month I get to choose one new book for free from a selection of different genres. It's a great way to find new authors, or even try out a new genre from time to time!
On long journeys, we sometimes like to listen to audiobooks, and a membership to Audible can make a great gift.
If you're looking for something a little more educational, then there are some great options out there! When we first started our journey, Diana had never edited a single video before. Since then, she's published over 100 videos on our YouTube channel.
Diana made great use of Creative Live, a place where you can find online courses for everything from photography to music, crafting to running a business. You can gift a specific course, or a Creator Pass for full access to everything.
We've both also enjoyed LinkedIn Learning (formerly known as Lynda.com) to pick up lots of new skills on the road.
LastPass Password Manager
If you've seen some of our recent blog posts, you know we take online security very seriously - RVers are potentially even more vulnerable than most to identity theft.
One of our top recommendations is to use a password manager. For the past several years, we've been very happily using LastPass, and a gift subscription to LastPass Premium might just be the nudge to help someone change their habits and stay safe online!
Last year for my birthday, Diana and why went for cooking classes at Sur La Table in San Antonio with our friends Phil & Stacy from You, Me & the RV - check out their video. It was really good fun and we all learned a few new skills at the same time!
Rather than making specific recommendations, find out what's available nearby - lots of places offer them!
I hope this list has given you some ideas and inspiration. Let us know in the comments if you have more gift ideas for RVers - we're always on the lookout!