Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Short Trips Can Be Fun - Where to Go? And How To Do It!

    I bought my RV so when I had 2 or more days to string together into an mini-vacation, I could just go. No reservations, no packing. Just pick a direction and set off for parts unknown. After trying that for a while, it became obvious that a tiny bit of pre-planning would be beneficial. Having a destination, even a few choices, makes the road travel section of a short trip more efficient. Besides, I've found more cool places to visit that are relatively close by, simply by doing the trip research. Believe me, on a short trip it's better to maximize the relaxation and minimize the rushing around!

Begin by figuring out how much time you have in total. For example, let's say I just found out that I will have a Saturday and a Sunday off. (Not that this really ever happens! get the idea) On a two day jaunt I try and limit travel time to 4 hours total. At an average speed of 60MPH (obviously put in you own speeds here!) you can go 240 Miles in that time. That's a decent range. Now look for interesting things within a 240 mile circle from your home base. Look online and/or at your past trips to see what's in easy driving range.  You'll be VERY surprised at how much there is to do close by.

So figure you work Friday until....whatever time. The way I do it? I get home, turn on the RV fridge to cool down overnight. Make sure I have all the perishables ready to go stored in my home fridge. Pack any last minute essentials, with the exception of things like milk, meat, etc. I try and figure out what kinds of fresh food I'm going to cook while away. Sometimes, if there's time, I pre-cut and/or clean vegetables or even pre-cook some pasta to use in a recipe. Anything to make the trip less work and more relaxing. Not that I find cooking like work! Cleaning up on the other hand... My RV stands fully ready to go, so I don't have much to pack. Sometimes some odds and ends, clothing wise and a few pieces of electronics. The get the idea. Next, get a good night's sleep! This is critical. You'll want to leave early in the AM to beat any traffic, have a pleasant relaxed drive, and maximize your time at your destination. Sometimes I leave the night before, get to my destination and make a quick meal. Then I relax and sleep. I do agree that the journey is often just as fun!

Now let's talk about where to go. I prefer (almost exclusively) to boondock. My RV is fully self sufficient for up to 14 days by myself and around 10 days with a passenger. Seeing that these trips are much less that that...I can camp almost anywhere. I look for off the beaten path places, ideally next to a lake or stream. MAKE SURE YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BE THERE!!!!! There are plenty of Federal, State, County, Town , Village, etc. parks that you can easily get permission to be at for a couple of days. I'm fortunate that I have many friends with property all around the state. Not only do I get a nice place to stay, I get to visit with them, cook a meal, laugh...well, you get the idea! It's supposed to be a relaxing vacation.

In addition to plain old beautiful places, I've gone to Aviation museums, Giant outdoor sports mega-stores, balloon launches, historic places, you name it...I'll try it. Always looking for something new.

All in all...I'd like to have more time to Wander. Eventually, I'll be able to retire and travel the highways and byways of this great country. But for now, I'll take what I can get!

Be Seeing You... Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

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