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Nadine M Berg
7 days ago
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I agree! My hubby teases me about how I plan our trips, but it works out! And, one other important thing – flexibility to change plans!!

Judith Roales
9 days ago

Is there any app, website, club, etc. that can show me which campgrounds are open NOW? I’m about to take off on a 1,000 mile (one way) trip and am wasting an incredible amount of time looking at campgrounds that end up being closed for the season. I’m not talking about Covid closures, these are seasonal closures. I need to find campgrounds that are open year round. Isn’t there an easier way to do this?

Michael Powers
14 days ago

One of my problems with making reservations very far in the future is that things happen. Last year we had to stay 2 extra days because of weather. If we had made reservations, we would have had to change about 10 reservations. I always call either in the evening before or morning of travel and make reservations for the next place to stay.

Terri Foxx-Wishert
14 days ago
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Thank you Susan. We too research the area so that we can see the great the spectacular as well as the odd things that are out there in the U.S. Also, we plan for at least one day/week that we do nothing. WE have found that we need a bit of time to sleep in, digest what we’ve seen, and perhaps catch up with the e-mails, etc. sometimes, the planning helps us focus on what’s important to us.

Mark Livingston
14 days ago
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I concur, totally. The 6Ps always work. We live in a pretty crowded world where the avant garde approach to travel can leave you without somewhere to stay. Get there, have a night or 2 reserved and then get out there.

Patrick
14 days ago

We typically have a reasonably complete travel itinerary for all our trips. We don’t plan our activities months in advance – but each day’s driving plans along with where we plan to spend the night .. absolutely! If I know where I’m going to be in terms of general location – it only makes sense to make campground reservations. There’s little/nothing to be gained by NOT having reservations. Conversely there’s can be a huge downside to NOT having a spot to land in at the end of the day. I don’t relish an hour or two of scrambling to find something/anything when I could have had my pick if I had only made reservations once I established my driving plans.

Irv
14 days ago

I agree with the editorial!

Sometimes, I spend almost as much time researching the site as we do visiting it. My wife and I have very different interests so the hard part is finding activities that we both will enjoy.

The last time that I traveled without reservations or research was Aug 1974. We were touring the east from WV to Maine. Camping, hotels, and B&Bs. We hoped to stay around Gettysburg. Couldn’t find an open campsite or room. Ended up with a “manager’s” room in Connecticut at 4am–a mattress on the floor without any other furniture used by management when working short turnarounds or during bad weather.

We heard Nixon resign during that trip.

Reservations at government campgrounds are screwed up!!! We just returned from Smoky Mtn Nat park. They were labeled as full–but neither of 2 campgrounds were more than half full during our week.

If you don’t show up or call by checkout time the next day–the site is rebooked.

Dell
14 days ago
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The author clearly has a bad case of FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. I feel bad for the author, it’s as if his/her goal is to chock up a list of dramatic ‘things to see’. That’s totally missing the point of spontaneous travel and exploration. Watching local people, enjoying local food, discovering out of the way places, experiencing local merchants and quality of life, learning local history. I couldn’t care less if someone tells me some day about something I missed. Life isn’t about collecting adventure game tokens.

Kathleen
14 days ago
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Good story and I agree that planning is part of the fun. “Love the Journey” is a sign in our trailer.
Raising four kids in the old days of tent camping made it necessary to plan. Now that we’re retired and traveling in our 5th wheel with four dogs, it’s a relief to know where we’ll be spending the night. Rarely have we felt rushed to get where we’re going because we know how far and how long we can comfortably travel, and planned in advance.

Richard Hubert
14 days ago

Re: Reservations – Part II

Reservations not honored by others – keeping FF’s out. Noticed this in many National Park and National Forest CGs which require reservations. Most of these place notices on the post of each CG site showing the name and dates of upcoming reservations – so we know they have been reserved. But we have noticed that typically about 75% of these sites are never occupied! Seems that there are some with lots more $$ than us who make a lot of reservations well ahead of time but then never bother to travel to them or even cancel them should plans change. Yes – they will lose at least the cost of the reservation – but they do not seem to care, and it is very unfair for late arrivals of people hoping for First Come – First serve availability.   There need to be more severe penalties for no-shows who have not bothered to cancel.

Richard Hubert
14 days ago

RE: Reservations

Nothing against planning or making reservations, but have major gripes on how reservations are managed in many CGs.

Cannot make same day reservations. Many CGs (such as Oregon State Parks) require reservations on their web site – BUT – do not allow them to be made for the same night – why?? If I am traveling do not want to drive all the way there hoping for an open site – but not able to use their reservation system either which would tell me what is available.  Have seen some parks which want you to make reservations at least 3 days in advance – what???  What is the point? 

John R McConnell
14 days ago
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We always take a long trip in the summer for at least 4 months. We always make reservations. If we take longer than a day to reach our destination we will stop at a truck stop, Cracker Barrel or somewhere else we can stop for free. We did not travel this summer except for short trips and we made reservations for them.

Jean Thibault
14 days ago

If you liked the Hershey factory tour, you might like the Hershey electric train in Cuba. Scary, unreliable, breaks every two days but you will remember yoir trip.

Carri Dodd
14 days ago
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Loved your article. Agree 100%.
As my husband and I just started we would love to hear the places you have already enjoyed. Thanks

Bill Duke
14 days ago
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So agree! So many times we would arrive in a area, see a dinner show etc we would love to see only to find out it was booked for the next month. Now we do the same, find out everything about a area and what we want to see to set the time we remain there. Enjoy our travels much more.

Steve
14 days ago
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You are so right! Absolutely agree with you. One thing we do along with planning “must-destinations”, is in between the absolutes we’ll sometimes give ourselves optional stays and call ahead the day before or day of. No major issues so far.

Leo Suarez
14 days ago
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Completely agree with your approach to RVing. We do exactly the same and have been all over US and Canada and enjoy our trips immensely, no surprises and we always have one of best site in the campground.

friz
14 days ago

Now $50 off!comment image
Save even more on a SoftStartRV!” $299 reduced to $269 is $30 off. Now that looks like a “bait and switch”. Come on guys.

Heather Berryman
14 days ago
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While I normally make reservations I do find it a bit much to have to make them as much as a year in advance just to insure that I will have a site. Most public campgrounds require you to pay your entire stay to make the reservation. That gets to be a lot of money tied up for as much as a year just holding your spot.

Margaret Dinkel
14 days ago
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Amen!!!