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jmcguire

Trip Planning

Question

Experienced RV'ers need some keen advice from those with more experience than we do. We are retired and travel quite a bit during the year. We are planning a lengthy trip thru New Mexico, Colo., Yellowstone, and way up to Banff Alberta Canada.

Here is where I need your expertise. I love to spend a lot of time planning or trips. We love to stay in state and or national parks.With all the national web sites and various state sites it seems to take too much time than I'm willing to spend and plan for every week for three or four months. Is there any way to plan a route then it will show all the state and national parks we'll be driving thru?

Also I do use the recreation.gov site but it still takes a lot of time to make each and every reservation. I like to be flexible however during prime travel months I know how difficult it can be if you don't have a reservation at are tired at 4pm and ready for a glass of wine.

Somebody out there please help us...thanks so much.

jerry & linda mcguire

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I am glad to hear you find such satisfaction in your trip planning. It is great when a plan comes together.

Just wanted to let you know there are a few of us that are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

10 years, and 65,000 miles. Once to AK, twice over the great lakes thru Canada, several trips coast to coast and numerous north/south adventures. Never a reservation. We usually decide around 2 or 3 pm how much further we want to go that day then break out the campground references. We often will call after we pick a location just to be sure they are open or if the facilities are not well described. Gives us plenty of time to pick alternatives along our route. We find that less stressful than being destination driven (having to be at a given place) every day.

.

Good Luck.

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I plan my trips "old school", I use a road atlas to plan my route. I pick a few towns or locations to stop at based on the mileage I wish to travel for that day. I pick 2 or 3 for options based on how tired I am. Each is about 40 or 50 miles apart. Road atlas will show national parks. Request by email, state maps and they will show state parks. This will help you track quickly and then you only have to contact those. If you are more daring, pick up a state map in the visitor center when you cross the state line. I always grab state maps and keep for reference. I use the internet for campgrounds and Trailer Life. Trailer Life makes it easy to flip open to a town along the way and look up campgrounds. No worries of internet service. I also use it when planning at home. If you are traveling to Yellowstone from June to September, I would not attempt to go without a reservation. All campgrounds stay full and many of the park's campgrounds cannot accommodate a large coach. Fishing Bridge is the campground in the park for large coaches. Grizzly is a great campground in West Yellowstone.

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We fall in the same camp as Rocky. We do minimal detail planning. We pick destinations based on our interests and then head in that direction. If we see something interesting on the way we'll stop enjoy and then continue on. If a place is really interesting we may end up staying 2 or three days or more. Otherwise, when we're feeling ready to stop we hit the reference materials, sometimes Trailer LIfe, sometimes RV Park Reviews, other times we pick up the iPhone and use the ALLSTAYS Camp and RV app. On occasion we simply drive along looking for a good stopping place, an unmarked rest or picnic area or a large parking area. Sometimes we call ahead if we have reason to believe that campgrounds might be full or nearly full. Other times we just go check out a campground and if we like stay and if not we continue on. If we are on a schedule and we have to be somewhere at a given time we end up passing up some really great finds along the way. I hate it when that happens. Some of our most memorable trips have been when we have literally tripped over some spectacular event or location we didn't even know about when we started the trip. Being flexible, not having specific plans or reservations ahead of time allows us to pause and enjoy everything we want as we travel. Of course we are retired and that adds a dimension of flexibility that many people don't have.

We have a trip in the final stages of planning right now. We will spend a month in New Zealand traveling in a CamperVan. Other than the airline reservations in and out of New Zealand, I have only a hotel stay the night before we leave to allow us to get the camper turned in the day before we fly out in the morning. We did make reservations for the ferry from the north island to the south island since we'll be there during their summer. That is it. We'll pick up advice and information on the road as we travel. I've looked at some of the information available on the internet to get a general idea of what kind of activities and events look interesting. When we leave New Zealand we'll fly to Melborne, Australia and will spend three months in a CamperVan in Australia. We have ferry tickets to and from Tasmania, a hotel in Melborne for a few days before we pick up the camper and a hotel in Sydney for a week after we leave the camper in Perth and fly to Sydney. I have a stack of suggested loop touring routes from the Australian Tourist Bureau and that is about it. I'll be blogging this whole trip on the FMCA Blog so you can follow along to see what we're up to as we travel.

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