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Old 08-22-2010, 04:04 PM   #15
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We usually start with a good plan, that falls apart rather quickly. I just can't seem to figure how long it will take to go from one spot to the next.
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:15 PM   #16
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I love the plan as little as you can get away with. I am going to be pulling a 34' and that does give me some concern. I understand a lot of the National Forest areas can not handle this large a unit. Since the unit is so long I will probable reserve a spot in the more popular areas.
Thanks for all the experience given. I am really looking forward to this adventure.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:57 PM   #17
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Plan or not?

We recently went on a 3+ week trip from Los Angeles to the Coast of Oregon and back starting the end of June which was near the July 4th holiday. I was very concerned about not having campground reservations because the coast of California can be booked all summer so I made quite a few reservations....I had a hard time trying to figure out how long it was going to take us to get from place to place and where we wanted to be......but I made a real effort to "plan our trip". What I found was that I didn't have to worry so much about it and some of my reservations were for stays that were too long.....and they would not shorten the reservation or return money......later in the trip when I would call ahead, I would get a feel for how crowded the campground was going to be and ask for 1 or 2 nights and possibly more...that way we weren't stuck staying someplace we didn't want to be. We didn't always find the "best spot" in a campground but that really wasn't a problem for us because we spent most of our time out and about seeing the sights.

We used Woodalls, AAA and the internet to read about the campgrounds and we tried to use a "free 30 day Thousand Trails membership". We found that there weren't many membership parks where we wanted to be and the state/national parks are quite nice generally. But the time of year and days of the week are most critical and if there is some place you really want to be, it might be best to make a reservation. But even in July on the West Coast, we found places to stay except for a weekend in Pismo Beach.....but we did find a spot in nearby Morro Bay near the beach--it had turned hot in inland California.

Next time, I won't worry so much about it and will probably have a plan about where we want to go and maybe have the first few nights reserved and then go with the flow after that. One of the great things about traveling with your Airstream is that you meet people and they share information about great things to see and do that you might not be aware of...then you might want to stay longer.....that happened to us and enriched our trip so much. pj
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:47 PM   #18
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I, most of the time, have a destination and sometimes might have a plan. If I don't get to where I am going, I must like where I am even better. And that saves a destination I can use over again some other time.
Sam
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:44 PM   #19
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When we take a long trip we start out by reading a lot about our destinations. That makes it easier to have a trip where we see things we want to see, but not have known about. It also helps us avoid some things. We use books like Frommers, Rough Guide or others for a state or region plus AAA Tour books, check Woodalls and RV Park Reviews for CG's, and when on the road, Next Exit while on interstates. I'll then figure out the miles and time it will take to get wherever we are going. Sometimes it's a crude list and other times quite detailed.

To make sure we do the things we want to, I'll plan the whole trip leaving extra days every week or so for either rest, changing our minds, delays, etc. For some things we have to plan pretty carefully—ferry reservations in Alaska for example, or someplace like Yosemite.

We try to travel off season and that helps, but weekends and some popular destinations require plans and reservations.

I've planned trips for so many years, I have a pretty good sense of how long it takes to get somewhere, so my obsessive/compulsive planning is not quite so necessary now. We've been to 49 states, 10 provinces and two territories in the past 10 years, so we are fairly familiar with the US and Canada.

This reminds me—I have to plan our October trip so I know when we will be at Yosemite and can make reservations.

Gene
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:31 AM   #20
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how long from place to place????

If one enters starting and ending destinations in the "get directions" in googles maps in ones computer it will reveal exactly how long it will take to get from one place to another

it is no secret
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:16 AM   #21
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The challenge of spontaneity:
  • you don't get to see it all - you find yourself 3/4 way through your available time .... and 1/4 way through your destinations .....
The challenge of rigid planning:
  • you see it all ..... but when you get home and look at the pictures you can't quite remember being there ..... and you ask yourself if you actually had a vacation ....
The secret?
  • a loose schedule of destinations - with rough time slots - keep track of how far ahead or behind you are - adjust your "schedule" as needed to adapt to spontaneous decisions.
    • A helpful program is Microsoft Street and Trips - it is easy to use - accommodates changes quickly - and shows the impact of those changes immediately.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:39 AM   #22
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We are very new to this kind of camping. I want to see it all and know there is not enough time. I have more years behind me than I do ahead of me. My wife wants to go West and I want to go to Nova Scotia, so the boss wins out next year.
Thanks for all the support,
I just love this site, there is so much experience on here people are willing to share.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:32 AM   #23
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We don't plan or make reservations as we can dry camp and our coach being less than 25' can get in just about anywhere. In the past, we usually found a more suitable campsite after arriving at our reserved destination. Did a three week to Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Tetons, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Escalante with no problem. We travel mid-week and try to arrive at the destination around noon. Our IPhone with the Campground App lets us know what's available in the area and how to get there.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:40 AM   #24
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When we were traveling in our van rv, we seldom did reservations, it was easy to park anywhere, make u turns and being spontaneous but now that we moved up to 31 ft MH that has to change. Adding a toad next trip and will have reservations most of the way especially for weekends. If you check reserveamerica you can get an idea of how the system fills thur-sat while rest of week near empty conditions.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archersfin View Post
My wife wants to go West and I want to go to Nova Scotia, so the boss wins out next year.
When we were in Nova Scotia in '04, the roads were really bad, so west may be the way to go. On the other hand, NS is full of good stuff but so is the west, especially Colorado.

Another aspect of traveling—plan or no plan, you can't see it all, so you'll have to come back (or if it's bad, never come back). The first trip is exploratory.

Gene
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:29 AM   #26
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Confessions of an "ultra-planner"

OK....my name is Ron, and I must confess.....I plan to the extreme. Spreadsheets with costs, mileage, etc. and reservations at least six months in advance. Google Earth provides a nice view of unfamiliar places, and prints of campground layouts/overnite stops. I research activities in an area that we will be in for a few days and even go so far as to research restaurants where we may be "dining out." Everything goes into a tabbed three-ring binder.

I have been accused of being a bit too anal, but a 30-day adventure out West in '09, and this year's 30-day Northeastern trip to Prince Edward Island, BC proved the value of precise planning. We had the "best" campsites, enjoyed the major attractions in each area, and ate at some great places. We didn't waste valuable time finding a campground with "leftover" sites, or trying to decide what activities we were interested in. Of course, good planning requires that you consider "rest" days and the flexibility for potential travel delays.....we had to replace a couple of GY Marathons on our last trip, but that only delayed us for a few hours and an "earlier than planned" overnite stop.

I believe it all boils down to whatever makes you happy......advance planning, or hitchup and go.....it's all good!

And, just to give you a smile......I've already laid out next year's three-week trip in May.....a return to Colorado and Utah. The campgrounds have been selected and at one-minute after midnight EST on the appropriate date in November....I'll be on the computer trying to snag the sites at Zion and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:25 AM   #27
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Want to see this

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingfisher24 View Post
If one enters starting and ending destinations in the "get directions" in googles maps in ones computer it will reveal exactly how long it will take to get from one place to another

it is no secret
I have not found a place in Google that tells me that I might want to pull off and spend some time and see some things instead of just driving through. And, we find it takes longer than google time for us. Also, I don't see google telling me to take an alternate route because it is prettier, etc. A lot depends upon how you want to travel....do you want some planned spontaneity? I suspect there are lots of secrets that Google doesn't know about. pj
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:46 AM   #28
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I will confirm Ron's überplanning—well, über for me, and people think I'm anal. I've seen his binders and they are thorough. But as he says, everyone has a different level of comfort. In case you think Ron spends 11 months a year in cave surrounded by a library of tour books and computers, he has a nice normal house and he and his wife Jenn are gracious hosts. Of course, there could be a cave under the back yard…

I hope next year's plan includes a stop at our house, Ron (if we haven't sold it by then).

Gene
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