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We are a family of 4 who live fulltime in our RV and travel around the country. Our children are homeschooled and loving the adventure. So far we have visited about 22 National Parks, National Monuments, and/or National Lakeshores. We started in Pennsylvania and have made our way to Arizona; weaving in and out of 18 states total to-date.
This week we spent in Tucson, AZ. We stayed on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) near the Saguaro National Park. Most of the time BLM land is free to camp at for up to 14 days! Free is always good in our eyes.
We met another fulltime family during our stay here. The family of 5 has been traveling fulltime for almost 2 years now. They have 3 kids around the same ages as our children so you can image how much fun they all had together!! You would have thought they had been friends for years! Even though they just met, they shared memories that will last a lifetime! It was nice to hear them all running around and playing all week. We were also able to share a few days of exploring with them. We went to the Saguaro National Park (an amazing place, if you get a chance to go, you won’t be disappointed!) as well as a few local events: which I’ll talk about a little later in my story. Unfortunately, the family had to move on and continue their travels, however we will forever stay in touch and our path will cross again soon. Meeting new people and families is one of the awesome experiences we get to have as we travel around and explore new parts of the country. Learning about other cultures and how other families live in their RV is exciting to us.
To help make our stays more memorable we also like to find fun, free events we can take the kids to. We don’t believe you need to spend a ton of money to have fun. We make it a challenge to see how little money we can spend but still make amazing memories and fill our days. Every place we have been to so far have had a ton of FREE things to do. We did a quick search for Tucson, AZ. and found a long list of Fall Festivals and Halloween events for families. We had to pick and choose which ones we wanted to do, as we did not have enough time to do them all. Because it was Halloween we wanted to spend at least one night celebrating the holiday. We met our new friends at a local church and took all the kids to the Trunk or treat event they were hosting. This was a lot more fun than we expected. We had never been to a trunk or treat event and the kids all had a blast! There were about 30 cars, all decked out for Halloween, parked around the parking lot. The kids enjoyed looking at all the decorated cars as they “trunk or treated” around. We had found at least 10 Halloween events close to us that we could have gone to but felt one night of getting candy and eating a ton of sugary snacks was enough. We did however go to a few Fall Festival events; the Tucson Village Farm Harvest Festival and the 3rd Annual Pumpkin Smash. These were both fun, educational events to spend family time together and enjoy the local area.
Although our days are filled with fun and exciting memories, there are also sad memories too. During our stays, our eyes have been opened to the amount of homeless people there are in the US. I know we have only seen a small fraction of the total homeless population however it is still very sad to experience. There are so many different circumstances that caused the people to become homeless. Trying to wrap our heads around it and answer the kids’ questions is not an easy task to do. It is however an experience that will help us to become a more compassionate person and it made us even more thankful for the life and family we have.
Another sad thing we see is the amount of trash people leave, not only along the roadside but on the BLM land. If people continue to trash these areas they will not be here for people like us to enjoy in the future. This is why we are not only learning about new ways we can help the homeless but we spend time cleaning up trash that others have left behind; keeping these places beautiful, available, and FREE for other families to enjoy for years to come.
“Life is only as good as your mindset; Do what you think you can’t do.”
Free List of Resources:
Bureau of Land Management website is a good place to search for BLM land in the area you want to stay. Remember most places are free for up to 14 days of stay. Most do not have any amenities.
Another good resource to find free places to camp. You can also find places that you can dump your tanks and fill up your fresh water for free.
A free app or website you can subscribe to. Go shopping and scan your receipt, earn cash for shopping. I use this and earn cash on all my grocery shopping trips!
Free website we like to use to find events in the area we are in. You can also find fun ideas of things to do at home with kids.