The most exciting thing, in my humble opinion, is the planning phase. This is where we decide where to go next, planning our route and fun things to see along the way. While the destination is certainly important, the route in and of itself can be just as exciting.
Today, there are so many options when planning a route. Not only must we consider where to park for the night, but also where to get fuel and where to rest along the way. No longer are we confined to paper maps, Rand McNally atlases or AAA trip books. With the advent of google maps, GPS on our phones and integrated into our vehicles, the planning phase can be hit from all angles. We have a RV/Truck GPS that allows us to configure our set up (length and height in particular). We also use a wide range of travel apps to include truck stops and campgrounds. Not only can we see a route on a map, we can now get a birds eye view of the routes and campgrounds to see if it’s somewhere we can and want to go. And then, there is google.
Our first few trips, we focused on point A and point B and didn’t pay much attention to what was in between. This left us traveling through some places, that even for our overnight stops, we missed some great opportunities. The longer we have traveled, the better we have become at planning our route based around experiences rather than just getting to a particular destination.
Everyone has their own idea of planning. The levels of planning range from each meticulous detail to absolutely no planning at all. The people we have met on the road certainly range from each end of the spectrum and it is interesting to hear how everyone else does it. Generally over time, you fall into your own groove of sorts on how it is you plan your own adventures. We tend to fall in the middle somewhere for the most part. Early in our RVing adventure, we leaned more towards very detailed planning. Being newbies, having a big rig and not having ever camped before, we needed to make sure that we not only had a plan, but stuck to it. At the time, our thought was that deviating could mean disaster and we wanted to avoid any problems if we could. After nearly 5 years on the road, we still plan but not as far in advance and worry less about the details and focus more on the big picture and reminding ourselves that flexibility is the key.
For the past 2 years, life has dictated us to be stationary to take care of some family things that needed our attention, so our planning skills are a little rusty. But we are both in agreement that our upcoming trip will not only get us to where we want to go, but to also see things along the way. For spring of 2017, we are planning our biggest trip yet and we will be in unfamiliar territory. To date, we have not yet been west of the Mississippi River. Stay tuned for more adventures!