Another Exercise in Travel Planning

Monday December 30th 2019

The sun was back today without a lot of wind. The temperature made it into the upper half of the fifties which is about normal for this time of year. It was a great day.

Today was the start of the eleven month lead time for my next Florida winter reservation. Last night I checked to see how many sites were going to be available. There were sufficient sites available that I didn’t think I needed to get up at 5AM Pacific Time to join the race to get the available sites. Right after breakfast this morning I got online and was able to book two weeks starting on the 30th of November at Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont Florida. I even got a good site I’ve been on before. The rush for sites in Lake Louisa State Park hasn’t started yet. My next Florida reservation needs to be make on the 14th of January.

I was in travel research and planning mode for the rest of the day. My first mission of the day was to determine where I was going to be over Labor day. I had a choice of three methods of figure it out. The obvious method is to plan all my stops forward from my last completed reservation at the beginning of July. I could also do the reverse and plan from my next known stop after Labor Day which is October 25th in the Florida Keys. Each approach has about the same amount of unknowns to fill in. The approach I chose was to just pick a location I want to visit over Labor Day then fill in the gaps. Unfortunately, there is a lot of country out there.

The three candidates for the Labor Day weekend are the Santa Fe New Mexico area, the Amarillo Texas area or the Oklahoma City Oklahoma area. First I determined there were enough interesting things to do in each area. That takes a lot of internet searches which lead to more searches. The good news is they all have plenty of interesting things to see and do. That’s also the bad news. To try and narrow it down, I started to research RV parks in each area. The bottom line is that the approach failed. I want to stop for a few days in each area.

All of the research in the previous paragraph took more than three hours of research. I took a break for food and a little exercise before returning to travel research. This time I’ve started looking at the trip by distance. I like to travel two hundred miles plus or minus about fifty miles on each travel day. Ideally I want to stay for a week or more at most of my stops. If I need to cover additional distance I’ll stop for a single night between major stops. Between the beginning of July and the end of October I have to cover more than 2800 miles. Most of the summer I want to tour along the first 800 miles, so the bulk of the travel will be in the 45 days after Labor Day.

Today’s research has given me more clarity on 2020 travels. I think about it overnight before making a few more commitments. Clearly I can’t see it all and will have to return another year to many of the areas I will be traveling through this year. The good news is the second time I visit an area, I have a better idea about roads to travel and places to stay.

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