When planning our 6 month journey around the USA by motorhome, we decided that KOA (Kampgrounds of America) was the best fit for our family and that we would focus most of our stays at their campgrounds. They have almost 500 locations across North America to chose from so the opportunities are endless! As a sponsor of our family sabbatical, we stayed at over 40 different KOAs around the country.
Hands down, the KOA chain has the most family friendly campgrounds around. We loved their activity schedules featuring everything from wine tastings to flashlight candy hunts! We played tons of mini golf, rented fun bikes, took up fishing and just simply enjoyed the great outdoors. The Jumping Pillow was our kids most favorite KOA feature. Our four are begging for us to put one in our Arizona backyard now!
I’m also a big fan of consistency which you can expect behind KOA’s Yellow Signs. If you haven’t camped at KOA in a while or ever, here’s a few things you should know:
KOA has introduced three new ways to help you select the right campground for your needs: KOA “Journey,” “Holiday,” and “Resort.” These descriptive words are being added on to almost 200 KOA locations by the end of 2015 in order to help define your camping experience and better match your expectations. I equate this to the Marriott brand of hotels.
KOA Holiday campgrounds are like your typical Marriott hotel stay- pretty perfect but a little more casual. At the KOA Holiday properties you can expect deluxe cabins and patio RV sites as well as on-site activity schedules and options to keep everyone entertained. A lot of our stays were at KOA Holiday locations. Some of our favorites were West Glacier, MT; Lake Placid, NY; Niagara Falls, NY; Mt. Rushmore, SD; Mystic, CT; and Mount Pleasant, SC.
KOA Journey campgrounds are more like a Courtyard Marriott. Less expensive and less fluff. They are usually conveniently located and great for overnight or short stays. You still get the same free wifi, Kamp K9 Pet Park and a convenience store just as you would at the Holiday and Resort properties.
I’ve heard campers say that KOAs are expensive. Yes and no. You will pay up to $100 a night for a nice RV spot during the busy summer months at a Resort property, but most will run you half of that. Hey, we did spend one “free” night in a Walmart parking lot in the beginning of our travels and I can tell you I will never do that again. Give me the safe, quiet campground any day of the week! KOA strives to give you what you pay for. They also have their Value Kard Rewards program which will save you 10% off every stay, while earning points at the same time.
Here’s the other thing to remember. You don’t have to have an RV or be willing to pitch your own tent to stay at KOA. Many locations have new Deluxe Cabins, complete with bathrooms and kitchens. We stayed in several of them in New England, when our motorhome had to go in to the shop. They are spacious, updated and wonderful for a large family! I think you’d be surprised. Not only are they less expensive than a hotel, they are way more fun. Keep this in mind when you are planning your summer travels! The cabins definitely lend a more unique family vacation experience and your kids will love it I guarantee!