Planning an RV Trip

Old Fashion Road Map

I have a rather sophisticated method in planning my RV road trips. My friends will mention they want to go somewhere and ask if I want to tag along. Generally, I will just say OK! Sometimes I just read about amazing places to visit like one of my favorites, Yogi Bear Jellystone Park. This year we are going to a place I have never heard of called Stanley, Idaho because of an invite from a friend. One day my son decided he wanted to go along with us and bring my grandson and voila we have an RV trip.

Actually, the idea is easy, the planning takes a bit more time. Because I am a tech nerd, I like to use Google to research for places to visit, read what National Geographic calls ultimate road trips, I get emails from RV websites I like to read and even check out Trip Advisor for travel reviews. Every RVer wants to give their advice of amazing places to visit, so there is no lack of input on where to go or how to get there.

So, besides knowing where we are going and the route we kind of want to take, we then think about who is going. Our trip this year with my grandson will mean we will drive a little less in-between stops so he can get out and play or enjoy a campground pool. We also consider places of interest where we want to stop along the way. For example, on this trip, we want to see Carlsbad Caverns. Because my dog, Marshall, is joining us, I need to make sure that where we stop is dog friendly or there is a place he can stay for the day if we are out exploring.

One free iPhone/iPad app I am using for planning this year is called Roadtrippers. The jury is still out on this app as it is not very intuitive, but it was useful in helping me plan my trip for distances. It also provides a nice on-line map of the trip with estimated fuel costs. It is also available for Android devices.

This is what the itinerary looks like on my iPad.

  • The total overall mileage, estimated fuel expense and estimated travel time is at the top.
  • Each stop along the way will tell you the estimated mileage and time from the previous stop.
  • To add a stop, click the ‘+’ sign.
  • To change the order of stops, just click and drag to the order you want.

Roadtrippers app – Trip Itinerary view

This is what the map looks like on my iPhone.

  • Just click on the green bar “Load Trip on Map” to view in map view.

Roadtrippers app – Trip Map View

I always carry an atlas and a State specific map for detailed roads and for when the is no cell phone signal. You can generally purchase these at a Half Price book store for last year’s version. You can save money and roads don’t change that much year to year. Or, stop at the State visitor’s center for free maps and information. This is a great way to save money and stretch your legs on the trip.

What advice can you give us about your trip planning?

Happy camping, friends!

The RV Lady