If you are like us, you want to travel all the time. Each location comes with new experiences, new people, new foods, new…you get the point. While we are at one place, we start thinking of the next place to go. Someone may have mentioned a new city to see, a trail to hike, or a waterfall to see.
Sometimes each of these things get scribbled onto a post-it note that may or may not get looked at again. This is NOT the most efficient way to go about planning a trip. But please do tell of any places we should see in the comments.
Lets take a look at the 5 resources we use to make planning a trip easier.
- Google Maps
- Road Atlas
- Our Travel Planner
Internet: Once we have figured out where we want to be at next, we start looking at the area. This starts with an internet search of the area. Yes, some of the search is “What to do in ________” and this almost always gets a good starting point of things to do. If the list is short, it may keeps us to a shorter stay. If the list is long, we may stay longer in the area.
We check on the FCC website to make sure we will have cell coverage for work, or at least find out where there is bad coverage in the area we are looking at. This starts narrowing down where we will want to stay at what park or camp ground.
Google Maps: Plotting out the Points Of Interest (POI) we found on the internet search gives a visual layout of the area. Different pins show the stuff we want to do from hiking to eating, maybe even brewery and coffee.
Here we decide about the distance we would be willing to drive to see the POI’s on our things to do list. Normally we like to stay within 30 minutes of driving, but up to an hour is acceptable depending on availability, price, and amenities.
Also in Maps, we start looking for locations to stay. If it is a short amount of time, and cool weather, we don’t need full hook-ups and 50 amp electric. During times like today when I am writing this, we NEED 50 amp electric, along with Sewer hookup. 100° and higher weather means both AC’s and daily showers.
Most places have online booking and a website. Website shows how the campground looks, the lay-out and the amenities there. Booking websites are great, as long as they give you a conformations.
Phone: When the booking site is down, or they don’t have online booking, we use the phone. Yes you can still book a campsite on the phone with the campground directly. This also gets a chan/ce to ask questions like: “Is the pool open?” “How is the water pressure?” “How good is my cell service there?”
Road Atlas: This gets a quicker view of the major roads in and out of the areas we want to be in. Major roads are usually RV safe with a 13’6″ height, we need to be sure we fit. This combined with looking in Google Maps, we have a good idea of the route to take.
Our Travel Planner: This is a hard copy of a book. In this book we put each of the places we want to go. This has a layout per month, along with reservation information. Check in times and reservation information is now in a location to grab and go as soon as we hit the gates. Some places we go intentionally does not have cell service, or is spotty, so we do not have to rely on our internet to see our information. This book has been one of the best additions to our planning. It also helped reduce the amount of resources we use when planning.
We do try to plan more than one trip at a time because we are mobile. Our Travel Planner helps keep us organized and on track not over lapping or skipping days.
What resources do you use for your travels? Let me know in the comments.