Previous articles in the series discussed how to keep your RV and the items stored inside the vehicle organized. Organized RVs allow travelers to maximize the “home on the road” potential of the recreational vehicle. Thorough organization can make a big difference both during trip preparation as well as during the actual travel, but the RV isn’t the only thing that needs to get organized. Now it’s time to focus on the RVer. No matter how organized the RV gets, the disorganization of the RVer can throw a big wrench into any trip.
Getting organized doesn’t mean every trip has to be completely planned. Some trips may not be planned at all. Many RVers enjoy the spontaneous aspect of their RV travels. Thanks to your 2012 New Year’s resolution to get more organized on the road, your spontaneous travels will now benefit from your newly organized RV life, but what about when you do have an actual plan?
There are many opportunities for RVers to organize their travels without losing the unique spontaneity that draws so many to the industry. RVers should carefully consider each and weigh its benefits in relation to their own travel habits.
Tips for Organizing RV Travel Planning:
1. Bucket List: Consider your “bucket list.” If you don’t have one, make one. Most people will have “places to see” on their list as well as activities that would be very well suited to an upcoming RV trip. Sadly, without the list to consult, many RVers would overlook the opportunity to do something or see something that they’ve always wanted to see. Having a desire to travel to a certain destination or complete a certain activity in writing greatly increases the likelihood that it will be completed.
2. Prioritize: Consider the amount of time that you have available for travel at the beginning of each year. If you are a school teacher that takes the summer off for travel, your travel itinerary will be quite different from that of a businessman who takes off 2 weeks each Fall in addition to stolen weekends away and bank holidays. Know how much time is available so the time can be spent on the trips and activities that will bring the most enjoyment. Too often RVers have their first scheduled vacation approach more quickly than they expected. They throw together a spontaneous (and fun) trip that is not what they had in mind for the year. The trips they really wanted to take end up on next year's list of “places to go and things to see.”
3. Budgeting Tips: Set aside your travel cash in a separate account that is not easily accessible. This will decrease the probability that you will dip into it for everyday living expenses or unexpected costs. Consider the complete cost of travel: necessary vehicle maintenance, fuel, food, and entertainment. Financial surprises should never be allowed to disrupt your RV travel.
4. Maintain a Maintenance Schedule: Many RVers do not like to travel on a set schedule, but even the most spontaneous of RVers should consider making themselves stick to a maintenance schedule for their vehicle. Write it down, add it to the calendar on your phone, advise your mechanic that reminder phone calls would be appreciated…do whatever it takes to keep yourself to a schedule. This will result in a recreational vehicle that is always road worthy and ready to go for any scheduled (or completely spontaneous) trip.
It is possible to increase the amount of satisfaction gained from RVing simply by increasing the amount of organization used when planning trips (both pre-arranged and spontaneous). Even the most impulsive RV traveler can increase the level of organization in their travel plans. Take the tips and hints that will maximize the use of the recreational vehicle, the limited vacation time available and, of course, the specific amount of money available for a travel budget. A general lack of organization often results in a general waste of the above limited resources. To avoid this type of unnecessary waste, simply consider actually following through on this year’s resolution to get organized on the road.