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Old 08-01-2012, 08:49 AM   #15
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I used to be like the first poster; HOWEVER, since retirement, I've found myself being more like the HANG LOOSE poster!!!!! I'm having much more fun!

A few more considerations;
Don't hang around those with too much drama in their lives....they'll drag you down to their level.
Take a few minutes during a "Stress Moment" to go outside, face into the wind and take a few deep breaths.
Last, but not least, PRAY.
Good luck and Happy Trails.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:16 AM   #16
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Cleaning before you get home? Half the dirt we track into ours is FROM home (there's not much grass outside the door...I believe this is a good sign)... cleaning it ahead of time would be wasted effort. How do you unload the trailer without making it dirty again?

I was thinking things like, "Keep up with maintenance and fix small problems before they blow up during your trip."
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:28 AM   #17
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The right campsite makes a huge difference.

There is absolutely nothing more relaxing that sipping your favourite beverage around your campfire while the sun is going down on the far side of a lake.

This means we work hard at getting a premium site ......... depending on where you are going this always means one on the water or one with a view. For destination camping this also means reserving well in advance - and perhaps even adjusting your dates. For on-the-road camping this becomes a little bit of a crap shoot - but if we know we are coming up to a great park, and it hasn't been practical to reserve in advance, then we will try to time our arrival for early in the day for a better selection.

The picture is of Marg after dusty day's travel. The campsite was in Muncho Lake Provincial Park, BC - it just doesn't get better.

The other big Big BIG stress reliever? - work stays at home .........



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Old 08-01-2012, 09:31 AM   #18
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On Planning and Children

Purman said, "Don't make too many plans, when they don't happen, people get stressed."

This is the best advice when traveling with children. Don't even use the 'maybe we'll' wording. My ex was always so stressed (tried unsuccessfully to plan fun for everyone) when we went on trips that everyone was miserable. My advice is to have a possibilities list (don't show anyone!) and make suggestions as you go. If the weather is bad and you are passing a water park...just pass and don't say anything. If it is Tuesday and you are passing a Legoland, the kiddies won't be crushed to discover it is closed if it hasn't been a 'maybe we'll stop at'...

Traveling with kids can add a huge amount of stress if you let it. There is always an "I don't wanna do that", or a "That is boring" reaction. I don't pretend to have the right answer, but hopefully the destination will have something that everyone likes to do. Yes, the journey should be fun, too, but trying too much sets the entire 'event' up for failure. Build up for the destination, and if things work out, an 'impromptu' suggestion along the way, especially when it comes at a convenient rest time, will bring those forever memories that one is looking for from vacation.

Now that I mostly travel alone, vacation is much more relaxed. I won't be able to get out this year, but having an Airstream means de-stressing is right around the corner when the need is at its most.

Take care and happy streaming!
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:38 AM   #19
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We like to travel with very little planning, moving along day by day when we feel like going and as far as feel like driving. This is one of the luxuries of retirement, the privilege for which we paid for in spades.

We have learned:

not to fixate on finding the perfect campground or boondocking spot---this self-imposed pressure spoils the joy of traveling together and seeing this beautiful country. Safety is the most important issue, and sites will be * to **** on any given day.

to keep things tidy inside and out of the Interstate---this is the way we keep our stick house and what is most comfortable for us. If anyone stops to admire and wants to take a look inside, never a problem.

to watch diesel prices, fuel being our biggest expense, and top off our tank when we see a good price---makes us feel thrifty and consistent with our "spend less, do more" philosophy

keep meals simple, prepared by us and nutritious most days---makes the end of day wind-down easier in many ways. We also like to start each trip with a few items in the frig that just need to be heated up.

Above all, treasure each day and realize how very fortunate you are to be able to do it.


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Old 08-01-2012, 07:28 PM   #20
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Lots of good ideas and great insight shared by all. I anticipated the risk of being perceived as anal prior to posting this thread. But it's something I've been curious about for a long time so I decided to go ahead and ask the question.

A little background that probably drives some of this, possibly excessive thought and plannning on my part, is the fact that typically my job has me traveling throughout the country 3 out of 4 weeks a month (Monday - Friday). So it takes a fair amount of planning and organization to be prepared to fly home on a Friday and be ready to head out for the weekend.

The one piece of advice offered up on one of the thread replies ... "leave your job at home" is spot on. It does make for a great weekend away when the concerns of work can be left behind.

Thanks for all of the ideas offered up and any others that anyone may have.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:36 PM   #21
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Ok, since I've already placed myself in the position of being a little excessive, I guess I'll go ahead and toss out a couple more of my "best practices" for what they're worth:

1. We carry a "who to contact in case of an emergency" in our wallets, trailer and tow vehicle.

2. We also carry copies of our Medical Power of Attorney and other necessary legal documents in the event of an emergency.

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Old 08-01-2012, 07:48 PM   #22
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The Russians use to say the US Military were the best planners around and then we would not follow the plan in place. What I learnt from that is the heck with the plan and just go with the flow and Oh keep a smile on your face as life is to short not to have fun
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:49 PM   #23
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The idea of best practices is an excellent thread topic. The thread topic is not "how do you do it?", but more what have you learned by experience that adds up to best practice? That is a term with contractual references in living up to a particular standard in executing responsibilities.

Background, rather, to the small decisions that add up to stress when not prepared.

"No plan" is fine to a point . . but after some experience one ought to be able to not rely so heavily on others short of fuel, and, eventually, water. Not knowing how to do this -- the experience thereof -- keeps one blind to possibilities not considered. A little like having neither electricity or cell/wifi available. Best to do it, IMO, and cover that kind of contingency from the experience . . for then one has a "well-equipped" trailer/tow vehicle if one can learn from the experience. Not a matter of "if", but of "when" if one travels enough.

For a "destination" trip I enjoy doing the trip plan well ahead of time.

This is mainly an estimate of travel times where distances are broken into "legs" of about 100-miles or two-hours for 2-hours restroom/stretches, and then the four-hour meal + fuel. Feeling rested at days end is the backbone of safety.

I am mainly looking for the average mph, and it is dependent on climate, terrain, road type, etc. From that the other pieces fall into place.

Same planning for fuel since price is not nearly the consideration that is quality (diesel). And the time/distance considerations for breaks & meals can accord with high volume fuel stations. Or, in the same vein, a "rest break" about 1-hour past a meal. The upshot of all this is to keep driver and pax on an even keel no matter the destination, no matter the type of roads chosen, the small side excursions, etc. It can always be changed, after all. One too-long day can have repercussions for the days ahead, is the thinking.

As to when to clean (as an example) the type of maintenance chosen to do by one's self is important. Some will never do the brake/bearing service, as some will not clean (hiring it out). Keeping up with chosen responsibilities is directly in line with best practice as it is what will keep one looking forward to the next trip. Or, the "dream trip".

Were I flying back into town and directly heading out with the TT, then a clean TT would be a higher priority. Makes perfect sense as an example of "best practice" when one does not have the luxury of time before and after trips to spend hours at the tasks needed. In that vein, then, I know that having separate inventory sheets for separate concerns rather than one long checklist works better for me

Etc.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:15 PM   #24
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Keep the trailer ready to go, and make lists: We keep our trailer at a campgound that is about 30 minutes from home. It is set up on a wooded lot. That way, we can use the trailer every weekend, and it is always ready for spur-of-the-moment get aways, as well as planned trips. We also keep clothes, linens, kitchen items, nonperishable food, etc. in the trailer at all times.I keep a running grocery/supply shopping list, and then keep a folding crate in the pantry at home for things to take to the trailer. I'm getting to the age where I have to make lists and write everything down, or I will forget something. Even then, I sometimes forget things!
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
To relieve driving stress, I like to leave for a trip from my home base late at night or wee hours in the morning (before 2am). I avoid traffic in the Metroplex and make very good time. I stop when it's breakfast time, by then I'm several hundred miles away and truely on the road. No need to make pit stops for dogs or anybody with me during the first hours of the drive because they are all sleeping.
On the return trip, I like to arrive back in this area before everyone gets up and on the road for work.

Other than that, I follow Ken's (w7ts) advice.
That's a great idea. I may use that when we try to take a trip to the west side of the Metroplex... lets see, if i leave a 4 a.m. then I will get to Mineral Wells by 6:30. Think the SP will let me check in that early>
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:24 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank&Mike
Ok, since I've already placed myself in the position of being a little excessive, I guess I'll go ahead and toss out a couple more of my "best practices" for what they're worth:

1. We carry a "who to contact in case of an emergency" in our wallets, trailer and tow vehicle.

2. We also carry copies of our Medical Power of Attorney and other necessary legal documents in the event of an emergency.

We carry a master book, with emergency contact information, hard copies of names/addresses/phone numbers, stamps, etc. Just can't give it all over to electronics.

We leave all the legal documents at home in fire boxes, fortunate to have a responsible adult son who lives close to us who can be relied on in an emergency.


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Old 08-02-2012, 07:11 AM   #27
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We pack the day before, my husband does the exterior check and if it is a long trip to our family in Tx. we leave our location early and stop around 2pm. Then take the next day off to play and leave the following morning early again, stopping around 2pm. Take the next day off. You get the idea. Lots of play time. So it takes us 6 days to get there, but we have a great relaxing time.
I go over the rig w Clorox wipes while my husband is hitching up at each location. Including tops of doors, shower, all BA., kit, micro, stove, oven, all drawer/door handles, all surfaces, and then sweep. It does not take long at all and I can get everything ready to ride as I go. If we have to dump, I go over the handles, steering wheel and any other place we regularly touch w Clorox wipes or do it at the campsite. Doesn't take long and we finish at the same time.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:07 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank&Mike
Ok, since I've already placed myself in the position of being a little excessive, I guess I'll go ahead and toss out a couple more of my "best practices" for what they're worth:

1. We carry a "who to contact in case of an emergency" in our wallets, trailer and tow vehicle.

2. We also carry copies of our Medical Power of Attorney and other necessary legal documents in the event of an emergency.

I love it!! My wife would love it if I did all this ( excessive ) stuff. But like I said everyone is different. No amount or un-amount of planing is wrong or right. I think if we didn't have the kids things would be different. I have destinations planed, and will push into the night to get there. Even with everyone sleeping. We don't take a ton of weekend trips, as we live in the mountains and a 15 min drive will get us to the middle of no where. So we just drive home and sleep in our beds.

We are on a 3 week trip right now. My wife only spent 9 of those days with us. So for me to have less stress I really need to be flexible with four kids when I'm by myself with them.

I forgot one thing. NO Yelling in the trailer or car. That stresses me out, and then I have to break the rule

I like the document idea and contact list. I will have to put that together to have with me. What if something happened to me when I'm by myself with the kids. ? That's a scary thought.
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