It’s that time of year again! While not all RVers choose a minimalist lifestyle, many will tell you that they agree with the philosophy of choosing ‘experiences over things.’ While awesome RVing gear can certainly add some fun to those camping memories, there are many thoughtful gifts that don’t take up space. Consider gifting these passes and memberships for your family to enjoy together or for your favorite RVing friend to try out.
1. America the Beautiful Annual National Park’s Pass
If your family or favorite RVer doesn’t have one of these in their wallet, they are missing out on a ton of fun (and savings) all year! Our National Parks have so much to offer for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and history buffs. Plus, for $80, the America the Beautiful Pass gets you into National Monuments as well – which means a total of more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the U.S. to potentially visit. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving…
Know someone headed to Canada? They have a great National Parks Pass, too!
2. Annual State Park Pass
Similar to a National Parks Pass, except these passes are state-specific and often come with some great camping perks as well! If the person you are gifting is based in one area or planning to visit a specific place, this is a fun gift option. Some state parks are free, but others charge an entry fee – even for campers. However, some states offer an annual pass that can offer a ton of savings for those frequenting these parks. For example, the annual Texas State Parks Pass is $70 for one person and $25 to add another person with the same address. A pass allows for free entry and discounts on camping, store purchases, and equipment rentals.
3. Reciprocal Museum Membership
Fellow GoLife contributor Bryanna Royal has written about how great the North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Association is a few times. If you are an RVer with kiddos who love museums (or know one to gift this to), this could be the hit of the holiday season! Lots of fun for singles or couples who love to learn while they travel as well. (Read why Bryanna and her family love it).
4. City Attraction Pass
If you’ve never given a CityPASS or Go City Card a try, they are a blast. We always check for these when we’ll be visiting a new city for an extended time. If you know an RVer who is headed to a new city they plan to explore thoroughly, check for one of these great all-inclusive passes. They are usually good from one day to a week and they include entry to dozens of attractions, plus some additional discounts. We did this in Orlando, FL, once and had non-stop fun all day!
5. Harvest Hosts Membership
If your co-pilot or RVing friend loves wineries and/or farms, this membership is sure to be a hit! Harvest Hosts is becoming more and more popular with RVers wanting to get away from it all and enjoy a unique experience while there. My husband and I can’t rave about this enough. (Read more about our experiences here).
A membership gives you a list of hundreds of farms, wineries, breweries, museums and other unique places that will allow you to park there overnight. However, just make sure the person you are buying this for has a self-contained rig, as these places usually only provide dry camping and won’t have facilities to use. An annual membership is currently $49, but that is due to go up in 2019. The membership begins once the gift recipient activates it on the site with the code.
6. WIT Club Membership for Winnebago Owners
Maybe you have been part of WIT Club for some time and want to share this great resource with a new RVing friend, or you know a new Winnebago owner who wants a way to connect while on the road. Either way, this gift comes with a lot of perks! A WIT Club membership is $39.95 for one year and comes with multiple discounts and benefits, as well as invitations to special Winnebago-owner events throughout the year, called rallies. There are hundreds of chapters and clubs nationwide, so your favorite GoLifer will have plenty of opportunities to connect with and learn from like-minded RVers. (Check out this recap of a recent WinnieBs event for an example of the kind of fun to be had). To purchase a membership, use this online sign-up form. And if you have any questions, there is contact information on the bottom of the form.
7. Other RV Discount Memberships
While WIT Club provides discounts to Winnebago owners, there are a handful of other memberships that are also popular with RVers. These range in prices and benefits, so which one is best for your favorite RVer will depend on their travel style. They all offer varying discounts to campgrounds across the U.S., as well as other benefits. Passport America, Good Sam Club, and Escapees are all inexpensive and common options. Passport America is $44 per year, Good Sam Club is $29, and Escapees is $39.95.
8. Escapees Online University for RVers
In addition to their discount program, Escapees also has an online university. If you have a brand-new RVer (or hopeful RVer) in your life, this is a good option to help them learn the important ins and outs of life on the road. When we first started RVing, we had never heard of this. But, if a helpful friend would have gifted this to us, we would have spent every spare second learning about what to expect during life on the road! Access to the entire curriculum for 90 days is $79.
9. Kindle Unlimited Membership
Reading is a great way to spend those cool nights bundled up by the fire or warm summer days lounging in the sun. Since many RVers don’t have space to bring a large collection of books, many choose a Kindle instead. If your RVing friend already has a Kindle, sending them an Amazon gift card for them to purchase a Kindle Unlimited Membership could be a big hit (you can even email the gift card – too easy!). For about $10 per month, they will have access to more reading material than even the most leisurely trip will allow for.
And if you know a new RVer, suggesting some good Kindle e-books about the new lifestyle they’ve chosen is another thoughtful way to show your support of their grand adventure!
Fellow GoLife writer Don Cohen recently reviewed two that he highly recommends – both for RVers by RVers. First is A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Full-Time RVing by Alyssa Padgett. “Don’t let the words ‘full-time’ in the title dissuade you,” Don notes. “Over eighty percent of the book’s content applies to any RVer. While Padgett has a clear (and youthful) viewpoint, I was surprised at how consistently factual she was with her explanation of RV topics. I never felt that there were any missteps in explanation or heavy biases.”
Don’s second suggestion is Living the RV Life: Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road by Marc and Julie Bennett who are also full-time RVers. Don does note that there is some content overlap with Padgett’s book. However, with lots of supporting photography and short one-page profiles of different RVers, this book “has a bit more of an inspirational, get out there and do it, kind of feel.” He recommends them both to help demystify the RV lifestyle!
10. Movie & TV Streaming Membership
While RVing is all about spending time in the great outdoors, it is also about bringing the comforts of home along on your trips. Which is why having some great options for movie nights, or TV shows to binge on bad-weather days (or when you need to let your Kindle charge), is really nice to have. If they don’t have it already, consider getting your favorite RV traveler a gift membership to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime (which all vary in price, but are close to $10 per month). Not sure if they already have one of these services? Redbox does gift cards also! And I’m sure some gourmet popcorn or other snacks would be welcomed accompaniments!
11. Satellite Radio Membership
It took about one month of searching for local radio stations as we traveled around to decide a satellite radio subscription would be key. We chose Sirius XM and they offer gift cards at different prices and lengths for those wanting to share this great music option with their favorite traveling friends.
12. Audible Membership
We’ve always been the type to jam out to our favorite songs on repeat on road trips, but we’ve had friends who rave about getting to listen to new books together on long drives. If you know an RVer that tends to take long trips and is always talking about the new book they read, this may be their favorite gift of the year! Prices start at $15 for one month, but there are also 3, 6, and 12-month options. Here are some instructions on how to gift a membership.
Are you someone who thinks gift presentation is key during the holidays? You could always pair these with some RVing must-haves like s’mores kits, trail snacks, RVing swag (Winnebago’s store has some cute options!), or some fun outdoor games. And if you are really just wanting a big gift you can wrap, check out these gear suggestions from fellow GoLifers.
Do you have any other unique gift ideas that help you share fun experiences with your favorite RVers?