For the last 5 years, every one of our family’s summer birthdays have been celebrated away from home. At least away from our sticks & bricks home; our children would request to be camping over their birthdays. Now that we are full-time r.v.ers, every birthday is celebrated in our 5th wheel.
For us, a birthday on the road means flexibility. Some of our regular birthday traditions are kept, and we have made some new ‘on the road’ birthday traditions.
When we are traveling, we have a great time finding new places to visit that will be fun for the whole family, and a birthday sometimes means splurging on a destination that we may not have gone to otherwise. Once we arrive, some of our favorite things to do for a birthday are trying a new restaurant, finding a killer waterslide park (this is especially great if your destination has a waterpark IN the campground), or trying a local activity that we don’t have at home (like the time we rented sandboards in Oregon). Another fun activity is to (with a little planning) invite the ‘neighbor’ kids from surrounding sites over for make-your-own sundaes. You can do a search for family friendly campgrounds that would make a great celebration destination here.
No matter where we are, we still keep the tradition of letting the birthday girl/boy pick their meals as much as possible. While we don’t make our oldest son’s favorite, but labor intensive cheesecake in the r.v., we do try to accomodate their favorite foods – even if it means both a DQ ice cream cake with candles and, later, s’mores around the campfire!
Gifts on the road can be interesting and exciting! Of course, it can be pretty disappointing to get to a new location and find that there is no store nearby that carries what you had planned on buying as a gift! That has happened to us before, but searching for a unique substitute can be a lot of fun. Some of our favorite gifts, and the ones that get the most laughs, are items (or experiences) that are destination specific, such as the crab snares that we bought Jacob for his birthday on the Oregon coast, or the waterproof football for scrimmaging in the surf. The snares were a riot, and certainly not something that he would have received back home in Montana, and both the snares and football are traveling with us to Texas for some use in the Gulf. For us, it seems to be an up-and-coming tradition to wrap gifts in aluminum foil when we are on the road/camping – I never seem to remember the wrapping paper!
Celebrating holidays on the road requires flexibility. The ability to both incorporate long-standing traditions, and possibly create some new traditions out of the fun experiences that are sure to happen as you celebrate, makes a sure-fire recipe for memorable holiday camping.