How to do the holidays right (from anywhere!)
The idea of a holiday RV trip probably conjures up images of cousin Eddie, smoking and dumping his black tank into the sewer drain on a residential street. (Gross and illegal in real life, hilarious on film.)
All black tank-related joking aside, you don’t need to be home to enjoy the holidays. RVing is a perfect way to visit children, grandchildren, and in-laws without wearing out your welcome or navigating holiday crowds at the airport. Large families can even meet at a central location for a “destination” holiday, with the added bonus that no one has to deal with the stress of hosting!
With over six years on the road, we’ve learned a thing or two about celebrating the holidays right, no matter where you are.
Whether it’s your full-time residence or your home away from home, here’s how to get that cozy “home for the holidays” vibe in your RV, no matter where you park it.
The beauty of RVing is that it provides the perfect way to visit family for any period of time, without wearing out your welcome in a guest room. Sharing a living space with family can be tricky, and your RV can serve as a kind of “guest house” while you’re visiting the people you love. Even if you’re just a few steps away, moochdocking in the driveway, visiting family in an RV is the perfect way to bring all the comforts of home with you and eliminate some of the stress.
This also works if you’re hosting the holidays in your sticks and bricks. We’ve used the Airstream as a casita for our kids and other guests staying with us at the KYD cabin for the holidays. It’s been a fantastic way to extend our living space and share even more of that Leach family holiday love.
Even if you travel in a Class A diesel pusher, you just don’t have the same kind of holiday decoration storage in an RV that you have at home, not to mention many places to put it up.
We’ve found natural products like live plants to be the best source of holiday decor around our RV. They look and smell great, and we can throw them away at the end of the season without worrying about where to store them.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Put out pumpkins or squash for Halloween and Thanksgiving
- Hang a live wreath on your tongue jack or pin box
- Decorate with live garland and fairy lights along the ceiling (command hooks and strips work great for this)
- Use a small, live tabletop tree as a Christmas tree. Some even come with little ornaments!
Whenever you’re adding live plants to the mix, remember to practice good fire safety. Keep trees and plants watered, and throw them out when they get dry. Keep them away from hot surfaces and far away from open flames. A safe holiday is a happy holiday!
Maintain your traditions
It takes a bit of creativity, but you can almost always find ways to honor beloved family traditions in your RV.
For example, most grocery stores sell little tabletop Christmas trees, or you can look for a small Charlie Brown-style tree at a live tree lot. Instead of wrapping and giving tons of gifts, maybe focus on an experience everyone can enjoy—like, say, an epic RV adventure to a bucket list destination!
It’s hard to let go of certain traditions, like your annual white elephant gift exchange or neighborhood Christmas cookie bake-off. But try to get to the core of why these traditions matter. (We’re guessing it’s all about the people and the laughs, not the stuff.)
Use good sense with scents
Candles can be dangerous in an RV—open flames aren’t anyone’s friend in a small space. Luckily, you can still set the tone for the season with beautiful holiday scents like peppermint, vanilla, cedar, and cinnamon essential oils.
And you can still do all of that amazing-smelling Christmas baking in an RV oven! If you don’t have an oven, the Omnia is a stovetop oven you can use just about anywhere. Or our personal fav – the Air Fryer.
Visit a magical location
If you’re traveling with the whole family to a “neutral” meeting point for the holidays, make it a magical one! We’ve visited a few spots that are famous for their holiday decorations and ambience:
There’s even a town in North Carolina known as Christmas Town over the holidays. (It’s called McAdenville the rest of the year.) The locals go all out with their decorations, making visitors feel like they’re in a snowglobe. You can even see the annual Yule log ceremony, which isn’t a ceremony you see every day.
There are tons of fantastic places like this all over the country. Find one that’s a good fit for your family and enjoy the process of creating new memories in a magical place.
Cook something delicious
Yes, you can cook a holiday meal in an RV kitchen! Trish has become a pro at cooking and entertaining in a small space. Here are a few ways to bring that holiday dinner table vibe to your RV:
- Use outdoor space. Pull out that grill and dust off the picnic table cover. You’re going to want to spread out as much as possible! If you’re in a location that’s warm enough, get everyone together outside. If you’re not, bundle up and get outside anyway! Most RVs seat four people inside at most, so this is a great way to expand your holiday meal without having to make any major changes to your furniture.
- Try a potluck. If you’re traveling with multiple families or friends, have everyone prepare and bring a side dish. That way, you’ll spread the cooking (and the dishwashing) over several RV kitchens, not just one!
- Great ingredients make great meals. Fresh produce from the farmers’ market and meat from a local ranch are the perfect foundation for a lovely, local holiday meal. Use high-quality cooking oils and a few thoughtful spices, and you can’t go wrong! We’ve created several go-to spice blends to make this step super easy.
Thanksgiving Turkey Melt
Download Free Recipe Here
Doing something different for the holidays takes some courage—we all love our traditions! But it could just be the year you remember most.
Enjoy the journey, and keep your daydream all year round!
“Thanks Tricia for making gift giving easy and meaningful”. – Jennifer
Add some spice to your gift-giving this season with KYD Blends. Super simple and packaged to wrap with 1 or 2 spices and get free shipping when you order the entire bundle!
Your reviews are overwhelming amazing and it makes me so happy that the KYD community is enjoying my spice blends and adding a shortcut to flavor. Thank you so much for your support and feedback! -Trish