So much of planning the perfect RV adventure happens at home. Trip planning can easily seem overwhelming and become a roadblock to getting on the road. What is the point of having a sweet camper van, like a Tofino, if it is decorating your driveway? Here are some trip planning tips to help get you on your way.
Time Management: Determine how much time you have.
There are no rules as to what determines a worthy adventure… a weekend, a week, a month… they all qualify! Of course, the amount of time that you have will determine how far you can go. Don’t underestimate the fun that can be had with close-to-home micro-adventures.
Route Planning: Are you inspired by the journey or the destination?
If your goal is the journey research scenic byways and routes that take you off the beaten path finding mini adventures along the way. Hint: when you put your destination into Google maps do not pick the shortest route.
If your goal is the destination stick to main highways and the shortest route possible so that you can explore and enjoy when you arrive.
Also, keep notes while on the road… for example whenever I go to a new campground I walk around and make notes of my favorite campsites for next time. Some of the best parts about traveling are the unexpected discoveries that happen along the way.
Tools for Route Planning: Google maps is great to help calculate drive times, while Road Atlases provide great details for route planning, recreation options, destinations along the way, and are great to have in case your technology fails. For those of us that remember going into the AAA office to have a custom Trip Tik built you can now create Trip Tiks online.
Home Sweet Home: Choosing where to stay.
The best thing about our Tofino is having lots of options when it comes to where we want to stay. We have stayed at a variety of places including those with full amenities such as KOAs, state parks, national parks, with friends, and totally off the grid on remote public lands. To lessen anxiety, I highly recommend knowing where you want to stay and trying to get reservations, especially during peak travel seasons. Trying to find someplace while on the road can be stressful.
Another great benefit of having a Class B/B+ Motorhome is the ability to have your favorite amenities with you wherever you go. You never have to worry if you will like the pillows or if the bed will be comfortable. Also, if you arrive after local restaurants or stores are closed, no worries because you are all set with your own food.
Tools for Overnight Stays: A great source for finding a variety of private camping options is Hip Camp. Use Recreation.gov for national parks and public land campgrounds in the U.S. – remember that popular locations often sell out on the day they are released. State Parks have their own reservation systems.
Always Have a Plan B: Plans often change so be prepared.
One of the most frustrating parts of trip planning is when plans change… and these days that is pretty common. Weather, illness, work, travel restrictions, there are many reasons why plans change. Remember a plan created is never wasted… I like to save various itineraries based on the length of time. That way if my weeklong vacation turns into a weekend, I can pull out a micro-adventure. Or if a destination becomes unavailable, I can take advantage of a different plan.
Considerations: Where and when to go or not to go.
With RV sales at an all-time high in 2020 and international travel restricted, it is clear that the independence and self-sufficiency that comes with traveling in an RV became a very popular option during COVID. As part of your planning be sure to reference the CDC and WHO travel guidelines along with the government guidelines for your destination. Places may still have isolation policies for travelers and those coming into the community from elsewhere. The good news is your RV can be an ideal way to self-isolate if needed. Please also consider the impact that your travels may have on small remote communities with limited health care options.
Saveria Tilden is the founder and CEO of AdventurUs Women a women-owned & led company dedicated to providing opportunities for women of all ages, races, sizes, backgrounds and experience levels to learn new skills and try outdoor activities in beautiful locations. She is a Leave No Trace Master Educator, Wilderness First Responder, outdoor educator and guide. Saveria is also a co-host on the Almost There Adventure Podcast. She loves being on the road in search of adventure in her Tofino!