Above is the map of our planned travels starting May 14th. If you have read previous posts you will know that our intended trip plans aren’t always the trip we end up taking. You would think that once you’ve retired you could go wherever you wanted whenever you wanted. That may be true some of the time, but life events have a way of taking over the best laid plans.
We intend to start out with the yearly get together with former co-workers at the beach in Emerald Isle, NC. From there we plan to work our way West with a stop in South Carolina for service at Freightliner and then on to Illinois for a couple weeks visit with my mother. Then we will head North to Newmar headquarters in Indiana for a couple service items on the coach. Then we are off to Niagara Falls for a week. Followed by stops at the Finger Lakes, Lake George, Lake Champlain, Mt. Washington, Bar Harbor Maine and then on to the Canadian Maritimes for a few weeks. Sometime in August we will start working our way back South through Cape Cod and take a route that will allow us to avoid the Boston to Washington corridor. As our plan currently stands we should be home sometime the second week of September.
Normally we try to travel in the Spring or Fall to avoid some of the summer crowds but this year we decided to head straight into the heart of the summer vacation season. Of course that means planning our stops and making reservations way ahead of time. We aren’t usually “fly by the seat of our pants” travelers like some, but I usually don’t like to make reservations too far in advance either. If I do, I need to be prepared to do a lot of cancelling and rebooking and also possibly lose some deposits. I’ve already booked Memorial Day week and Fourth of July as they will be the toughest to fill later on. I already had to go to my second choice for July 4th week.
We don’t usually dry camp or stay in State or National Parks, not that I have anything against them it’s just that I’ve found a lot of them can be tight with low hanging limbs that cause an issue or don’t have full hook ups which we like. I usually use the apps RV Parky and Allstays for my initial campground search. I then try to identify campgrounds in the areas that we know we want to stay for a few days. I check their website and any reviews that I can find and then “pencil” them in. I might also just Google for RV sites in an area if I don’t find something I particularly like with the apps. I have also checked the forum iRV2 as it has a tremendous amount of information regarding travel all over the USA. Then I will figure stopover locations based on around 300 miles or less travel each day. I always remind myself that it’s as much about the journey as it is the destination. We’ve adopted a policy close to another RV couple we know that they call the 2 2 2 method of traveling. They travel so that they arrive by 2 pm and don’t go too much over 200 miles, and then stay for 2 days. We don’t always stay for two days but we do take a relaxed approach. Once I identify these stopovers, I go through the same process with the apps and other searches. I also check to see if there is anything interesting in that area that we might like to see but are unaware of. This method seems to work for us when we are traveling during peak travel times. At other times of the year we will take a more relaxed approach to our schedule. However, I just can’t do, as I know some do, and wait till around 2 pm in the afternoon to start looking for a place to stay that night. I would be a nervous wreck.
For this trip we knew we were going to North Carolina for and event and then on to Illinois. From there it seems like we have always headed West. Well this year we decided to go East. We decided to make Bar Harbor, Maine our eastern most destination. I then looked at a few of the routes and decided to travel so that we could include many of the other popular venues along the way. That’s how we got to Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes, Lake George, etc. Then when we looked at the map and saw how close we were to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island we decided to add them too.
We plan to return South through Massachusetts and stay on Cape Cod for a while and visit with Liz’s family. Then, as I said earlier work our way back to Georgia avoiding the Boston to Washington corridor. We traveled that route too many years in our earlier life and just don’t need the stress of driving our bus through it.
Safe Travels to everyone and enjoy the upcoming RV’ing season!!