When should I book our trip? How far in advance?
Reservations should be made no later than sixty days in advance. Planning a trip with less lead time drastically reduces availability of specific RVs, campgrounds, and excursions. Most national parks are open for reservations about 6 months prior to your arrival date, so booking your trip early is key in the planning process. We recommend booking your trip in the fall, for the following summer.
What costs are included in the trip price?
The services of a Tracks & Trails Trip Consultant to assist in choosing a suitable itinerary, your Adventure Kit, your first-night hotel, your all-inclusive RV (with pots, dishes, towels, sheets, mileage, etc.), all your campgrounds, and a National Parks Pass that will get you free entry for a year. Optional Activities that require advance reservations are available at an additional cost.
What is not included in the trip price?
Airfare, fuel, park entrance fees (those that are not covered by the National Parks Pass), and personal items including but not limited to laundry, groceries, meals, drinks, telephone and fax charges, visa and passport fees, gratuities, and foreign and domestic departure taxes.
What exactly is in an "Adventure Kit"?
Your Tracks & Trails Adventure Kit contains all of the information you’ll need for your trip. Everything’s right at your fingertips, including your personalized itinerary, suggested activities, accommodation details, daily mileage, maps, and details about activities that we arranged for you. This packet organizes all the details and helps you stay on track once you’re on the road.
Do you recommend RV trips with children and infants?
Yes, renting an RV is ALL ABOUT traveling with kids. Dig for dinosaur bones. Ride steam trains. Wade in streams. Peer into huge canyons. Drive a jeep along a rough road. Build a campfire and roast marshmallows. Even jaded teenagers will be telling their friends about this cool summer vacation.
Infants are wonderfully portable. The trick is not to committing yourselves to covering lots of ground. We’ll help you plan a route that meanders through some amazingly beautiful places at a very leisurely pace, maybe only moving the RV every two or three days.
If your children are very young, a compact, lightweight stroller is a good idea. Strollers are usually only allowed on well-beaten, paved trails, so you will want a high quality backpack carrier for your smaller children.
Travel by RV is a perfect way to travel with kids, because you have a completely self-contained mini-home with you at all times. Everything you need is always close at hand: food, the potty, a place to lie down and take a nap, a place out of the elements to change a diaper that is not a dirty floor in a public bathroom, room to play, all of your clothes, etc. It is far more pleasant than traveling by car where you have to pack and unpack all your stuff several times a day. Fold down the dinette cushions, lay a pillow across the end, and you have a perfect crib. Since there are only two front seats, one adult may want to ride in the camper section of the RV with your child(ren). You can still see and talk to the driver. The kids will be seated at the dinette, with a table right in front of them for coloring, drawing, or playing.
Will my kids get bored?
Highly unlikely! Even if they’re used to a steady diet of TV and video games, your kids might surprise you (and themselves) once they get out here. Digging for dinosaur bones, riding on steam trains, wading in streams, peering into huge canyons, driving a Jeep along a rough road, building campfires, roasting marshmallows – it’s a rare child that doesn’t think that’s all pretty cool. The trick is to vary the activities enough so that there’s something interesting to do every day.
Why do you need to know children's birth-dates to create a trip proposal?
Activity requirements/rates vary depending on the ages of the children at time of travel. It helps us customize your trip so that all activities are best suited for all involved.
Do you recommend trip insurance?
YES! YES! And YES! We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance providing coverage for loss of Deposit, cancellation fees, medical expenses, lost baggage and other potential travel-related losses under certain circumstances. The scope of coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. We recommend Travel Guard who offers customized travel insurance plans. If you choose to purchase this insurance, please do so no later than the time of your final payment.
Can I rent bikes with my RV?
Some RV companies will rent bike racks but not bicycles. A great option would be for us to look into booking a guided bike tour for you; or, in most areas there are bicycles outfitters nearby where you can rent a bike and pick up a trail map and go out on your own for the day.
Can I bring my dog?
We’re animal-lovers ourselves. Unfortunately, the National Parks and many other destinations are not dog-friendly, so you have little choice but to leave them in your vehicle. Any vehicle can become very hot inside when parked in the sun, but over the years we’ve had to accept (reluctantly) that they’re sometimes happier at home. If you are determined to bring a pet, it will severely limit your choices of where to go and what to do. Most RV rental companies do not allow pets in their rentals.
We have our own RV, can you still plan a trip for us?
Yes. However, to get the most out of your vacation, we do recommend that you fly into one of our destination cities (San Francisco, Billings, Las Vegas or Denver) and start and end your trip there. If you are using your own RV and driving across several states to begin one of our fabulous trips, you already have eaten up a good portion of your allotted vacation time. Finally, the money you save in excess mileage charges and fuel (think 6-8 mpg) will go a long way towards covering the cost of the plane tickets.