A fun exercise when getting started is mapping out where you want to visit!
It was important to us when planning our route to consider incorporating stops dedicated to friends and family. These are the folks we don’t often see outside of our social media world. We picked a coast and went from there. Since we live on the East Coast of the US, it was an easy decision when we looked at how many people we knew living up and down our native coastline.
We made a list of who we wanted to see and where they were located by state. Then, we looked at our list and arranged them on a map. Interestingly, a natural path was very apparent. Our next step involved considerations and talking points. We found the following questions very helpful to ask when talking through:
- How long are you traveling? – Set a goal. Having a set goal for the length of travel time really helps financially plan. We chose one year, looked at our existing annual budget and started to track it meticulously. More on that in another post.
- How long to stay at each stop? – Consider how many family/friends you can reasonably see in an area while still maintaining your work life. In places were we have multiple people to see or more attractions we want to visit, we will stay up to a month.
- How far apart are your stops? – Traveling in between stops will need careful consideration as it will present challenges like travel time and breaks to gas up, eat, and hit the restroom. In our case, we’ll also be traveling with our bulldog, so getting him out for a good walk is also on our mind when we plan our travel days.
- How often are you hopping? – It’s important to remember that with RV life, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Be deliberate on how frequently you are moving. Tearing down, traveling, and re-establishing your residence can quickly become old hat. Take your time to prevent burnout.
- What will the weather be like at each stop? – Research the likelihood of weather at each place during the time of year you plan to be there. Weather can be your best friend or your worst enemy, so it is important to remain vigilant. Know the weather conditions of where you are, where you plan to go, and how the weather will be on your travel route from A to B and plan accordingly.
Google Drive helps keep us organized. It is an easy and free way to keep track of all the little trip details in one place. We both have access and can make edits as we go along. We have pretty much put everything into a Google spreadsheet with a kazillion tabs. Ok. So, there’s really only like 15 tabs in one doc, but it includes important items like: our annual budget, route, estimated time and mileage, campsite reservations, to do lists, accounts created, etc.
We also use Google Maps as a way to visually display our roadmap. Google Maps limits up to 10 places when creating directions, so we improvised and included major stops to accurately represent our entire year’s route. This is a great way to get motivated!
Insider Tip: Don’t rely on Google Maps for a correct time estimation, you’re heavier and you’ll move slower, so using travel apps like, CoPilot GPS or Roadtrippers are better suited for RV life on the road.
We love visuals. So, along with creating a visual representation of our route, we also created a vision board to help conceptualize our dream. Having an actual board with images, our route, and our to do lists sitting in our house reminded us everyday that we were working towards our dream.
We also use Pinterest and have created a board (RV Life) where we both contribute our likes and design ideas. I like to think of Pinterest as my own digital Rolodex for crafts and design projects, so it’s perfect for this! Creating a Pinterest board is a great way to educate ourselves on everything we don’t know about RV life as well as store all the fabulous information and ideas we hope to incorporate when we get to that point. Follow our Pinterest board.
So where do you want to go? And how will you get there? The first step is to realize your dreams of travel can come true. Take your first step and ask yourself where do you want to go and then write it down, map it out, create a visual, and post it as a daily reminder that you too can take on the RV life, one step at a time.
Until next time… Cheers!