Trip planning was one of the most challenging things for me as a new vagabond. It was a big learning curve to figure out how to not drive too much in one day or show up at a campsite that was fully booked. When you’re a solo act, there’s no one in the passenger seat who can look up gas stations or nearby campgrounds on the fly; you have to find a place to pull over and then do it yourself. So, for me, I tend to plan things rather than just wing it when it comes to routes and overnight stops.
- Planning Trips and Routes: How I pick a destination and route myself to get there without driving myself crazy. Includes my basic rules for travel days and how I manage solo driving.
- Planning for Holidays: How I figure out places to stay well in advance of the big summer holiday weekends.
- Sites and Apps: What I use to find camping spots, map routes, and discover interesting places to visit.
Searching for Campsites
Due to COVID-19, the RV market and campground reservations went crazy. Trailers, Class A rigs, vans, all of them are selling out at dealers across the country. And I thought it was tough to get reservations before? Well, now it’s really a challenge, and I’m already looking at Jan-March 2021 bookings. Long gone are the impromptu “Oh, let’s go here” days when you could count on finding a spot a week or two ahead of time, or even (gasp) the day of, as you rolled into the campground. It seems like everyone has discovered the practicality of traveling with your own kitchen, bed, and bathroom. Now, more than ever, making reservations and finding campground spots has become crucial to having a good experience on the road.
- Picking the Perfect Campsite: Tips for avoiding the worst spots in the campground.
- Having a Plan B: When things goes bad, a backup plan can help you salvage the trip.
Three Handy Websites for Trip Planning
- AllStays.com – I’m a paid subscriber and I contribute propane and other locations when I can. When I’m totally unfamiliar with an area, Allstays gets me started by showing me what’s there.
- Campendium.com – I’m a paid supporter so I get all the data, including cell signal information.
- Campsitephotos.com – Once I’ve decided on a campground and am debating which available spots are better than others, this site often can help with the choice. Not all campgrounds are covered, but enough of them are to make it a worthwhile destination before I hit the “select site” button.