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Old 08-19-2010, 06:39 PM   #1
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Planning your route.

I have been working on the Airstream for the last 8 months getting it ready for an extended vacation next year. My question is do you plan your route out before you leave? Make reservations in advance where you will stay, what route you will take and so on? Do any of you out there just go in the general direction you want to go and hope for the best as far as parks go? I don't like to plan a vacation to the day. Part of being on vacation is doing what you want when you want.
I live in Texas and the wife and I want to leave around May next year and go West and North. Am I asking for trouble not to have a plan?
Any reply's will be appreciated.

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Old 08-19-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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I usually have a ending destination in mind. Then plan the first night or 2 on the road. After that I plan as we go, 1 to 2 days ahead, till we get to the destination. As far as return, I try to go a different route.

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Old 08-19-2010, 07:43 PM   #3
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For the long road trips, we usually plan a general route but don't make reservations.
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We do call ahead early in the day to see if the planned spot has openings and adjust as we see fit.

We also avoid heavy tourist areas at peak times....

This trip we don't have a complete plan, just have the out-bound route layed out and some ideas for camping spots...

No idea where we will go for the return leg...that's part of the fun!

For "stays" at a place...we always call ahead
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:23 PM   #4
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Some I plan 11 months in advance to even get in. I always known where I'm going, but do not always make reservations in the less popular places.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:03 PM   #5
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We have a route planned and usually research some camping possibilities with Plan A, Plan B, etc along the way...but don't make reservations unless we will be arriving on or just before the weekend in popular places...if we are arriving early in the week or mid-week we don't usually make reservations...we are becoming more sponaneous traveling this way which makes it that much more fun and we don't feel tied to a specific schedule quite a much... Antoher thing we do is try to plant ourselves for the weekend when it's busier in campgrounds and move during the week when it's less busy.

If we have an end destination and we don't want to dawdle along the way, we tighten our plans so that we can get where we want to get more quickly.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:58 PM   #6
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"Bob & Lee's random trip"

Hi, we usually pick a destination and just go. Most places have open spots. Only if we have to be at a certain place, on a certain date, will we plan ahead and make reservations. [Balloon Fiesta] On our thread, "Bob & Lee's random trip" we never know how far we are going to go each day, so when it's time to stop we find a place. And at any given time we might change directions.

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Old 08-20-2010, 06:20 AM   #7
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We just head toward our final destination. we rarely make reservations more than a day in advance. We usually make our stops as the mood strikes us.

Some Airstreamers like to have an extensive and detailed travel plans. This is not our style. Do what feels right to you.

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Old 08-20-2010, 06:40 AM   #8
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My wife and I are big fans of being spontaneous... I think it adds to the adventure. However, we're also setup well for boon docking and if we can't get into a place, we are still fine.

Although we're always trying to go new places, we keep a three ring binder in the truck with park information and campground maps that we have printed from the Internet. We will usually highlight sites that we would like to be in if we go to that park, and then even make notes about a park when we leave so we a have record of what we did or didn't like. We also write down what we think the top five sites were, in case we ever go back.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:00 AM   #9
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bY TRAVELING PRIOR to the month ending holiday in May you will avoid a good bit of Vacationeer traffic, I typically would go without reservations at time of year.....
The only difficulty encountered was in Yosemite, which apparently stays crowded throughout the year...
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:11 AM   #10
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I am so glad to hear that the majority do not plan a detailed vacation. I also like to just go in the general direction of my destination and maybe change routes along the way.

Hibby: I do like the idea of a binder with campgrounds along the way that I could call ahead to see if they have a spot or not.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions, I feel a little better about getting on the road now.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:00 AM   #11
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We go away for about 8 weeks in the winter. I enjoy putting together a bit of a
route/itinerary and start working at it from time to time starting months before we leave home.

For example, we plan to head for the SW mid Feb 2011 and I am just about to start my planning.

Although I do quite a lot of planning, it is never intended to be cast in stone - we often modify it en route for a million reasons. But I still like to start out with some sort of a plan.

Once we have a destination in mind - probably Tucson this year - I start to pick a route with a few interesting stops on the way there and on the way home.

I use iCal (my Mac diary program) to sort of plan out where we expect to be each day

In addition to the notes in my diary, I put together a WP document that I used to capture all manner of details and I build this up as we approach departure date.

Apart from our itinerary, I use this document to capture all kinds of stuff that I find at our library and on the internet such as

- places of interest to see along the way
- possible campgrounds that have been recommended or that I have picked fro or Trailer Life,
- interesesting sounding restaurants/pubs
- special events that will be on during our trip

I categorize all this stuff usually by city/town - ie the cities/towns that our trip is likely to take us through.

I print out this document and take it with us when we go. Of course we don't do nearly everything I will have captured on the list, but we always find it to be a very handy reference when travelling.

We generally don't make reservations unless we know we would like to spend a specific amount of time in a particular spot.

For example, there is an RV resort in Tucson that we have used many times and will likely spend a couple of weeks there, so I will most likely reserve there in order to get a specific site, and then adjust our travel plans to coincide with the Tucson reservation dates.

I've been taking this approach for the last number of years - sometimes we stick almost to the letter of the plan, other years it has gotten thrown out the window after the first week or so, but I repeat the exercise next year anyway!

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Old 08-20-2010, 10:19 AM   #12
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Some places along the way are so good that you don't want to miss out on them. Midway Park (COE) in Waco,Texas comes to mind. My aunt lives there and I make a reservation there for the weekend (two nights stay required on weekends if you reserve). When we leave Tampa, Fl heading west, I know that I can make St. George Island SP the first night. This park is so booked that you really are lucky to get in at all, so a reservation is a must. Since we are over 62 yrs we get 1/2 off in Fl State Parks and at all Federal sites with the Golden ages pass (renamed something else recently).

As we continue west we leave a day or two open for mech problems/campsite changes along the way before getting to a place we have reserved.

This website has suggestions of places to stay i.e. Cheap or free in Fl and Texas. I don't like to spend more span $20 for a place to stay and am a lot happier with less than that. We don't have kids with us that want a swimming pool and I don't play golf, so am not interested in expensive resorts. Casino resorts are okay, however, that are under $20 or that will give you a comp i.e. Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, La. and Paragon Casino resort in Marksville, La. Casino is a good source of information on these.

It's different with an RV. You don't want to go so far in one day that you are tired and you get stuck with a camp ground right up against the interstate where you can listen to tires whinning and truck jake brakes rattling all night. Having a few places picked out along the way where you may want to stay helps.

My two cents, Pat
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:10 PM   #13
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where to park

so the major decision in living fulltime( whose definition is moving all the time, mostly; with no definite place to stay)in an Rv; is where to stay when the sun goes down...not a vacation, not a tourist, not a camper...but a traverler with only the rv (airstream )for shelter

so for instance, this current trip we are on started in Bastrop, Texas on April 1st and the destination was( is ) Albuqurque New Mexico, October 1st; so we had a rough plan that we had 6 months to get there and we needed to spend the time in between ---so a plan develops as one travels down the road using various resources to fill in the daily stops and the objectives along the road...once this leg ends a new one will take shape, and already is in my mind...but can bend in the winds of travel

so each new day is , well new; most of the time with an objective; but like war plans...most do not survive initial contact with the enemy...if they do, great and if the don't..,. one makes a new one...each day blooms with the possibilities of newness...
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:20 PM   #14
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We've done well with the " no plan " plan. However this summer we ran into some close calls that may cause me to do some better planning. In early July we were arriving in the Santa Fe, NM area. We found very few campgrounds in the area and ended up staying at a place that seems to be a transient construction park. It was OK but the only site available was one that had been vacated for a few days by a long term user. It was only available to us for 2 nights and that was all we needed. Not a first choice place but OK for us. 10days or so later we were up in the Lake City, Colo area. We called ahead to check a campground I had found while doing my homework ahead of time. Of course nothing available. Checked 2 others and all full. Fortunatly one of them called us back and had just gotten a cancellation and was able to fit us in for 3 nights. Again, in Redstone, Colo. Found the only site at the National Forest campground. You'll have to watch it in some areas. Anyhow, we usually don't do any planning but when traveling to some high use area will have to re-think that. Don't worry about it, usually we're OK and have no problem but keep it in the back of your mind.

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