Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thomas & Deborah - Preparation Day

Tuesday July 26

Well, one more day and we’ll be hitting the road; we’ve been planning for several weeks now, and prep time is almost expired. Road trips typically require pre-planning: thinking through the entire trip and determining what you’ll need. Maintenance? Itinerary? Route? How much does one plan for? Traveling can be uncomfortable and difficult due to lack of pre-planning. A little practice, however, and skillful pre-planning makes road trips less stressful and well worth the time.

It’s possible to over-plan and under-plan, and every traveler must find a balance. Insufficient planning can be disastrous, like running out of money! Plan too much and the rigidity and over-packing take the fun out of the trip. I take along tools, just in case, but I must settle for a small, portable collection of the absolutely necessary. Conversely, Deborah and I don’t make reservations for the night. We like flexibility. We enjoy the adventure of not knowing. Granted, a few times we’ve had to drive later than we preferred or settle for noisy truck stop parking, but for us the freedom is worth it.

There are strategies that can make planning a trip much easier. A checklist, for example, to avoid leaving something behind. Another helpful strategy is to have a travel bag always packed with necessities; that way one need only remember the one travel bag instead of a dozen items. I have a road bag that I bring on every road trip: flares, jumpers, first aid kit, gloves, multi-tool.

An RV is a like a huge travel bag, for us. We keep our 5th wheel stocked with dishes, cutlery, games, toiletries, etc. We can leave for a three day mini-vacation with little more than locking the house, putting the dog in the truck, and backing up to the trailer. We’re off within an hour, and the RV becomes our home where we know there’s a clean comfy bed wherever we end up parking for the night.

Tomorrow, we haul our carefully thought-out collection of necessities down to Paul Evert’s RV Country, load it all into the Monaco Executive and head out. We’ll let you know where we end up sleeping…

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