‘On the fly’, that pretty much sums up how we do it. Older people would probably bock at that and exclamate that without planning you’ll end up somewhere you don’t want to be. That might be true but who has the time or will to plan a 40+ state road trip? Not I for one. Our first thought, should we buy a gun? Not kidding. Its rough out there, we’re not naive. We decided against it. We’ll either get shot (from someone like a cop, just asking us to move), or shoot some kid who was just messing around vandilizing our big fat rig in the night (accidentily, of course… don’t mess with us kids). So we decided to get mace (that shit hurts and will work on wildlife), and a big fat thumper of a flashlight. My wife and I are big fans of UFC (we can break limbs from submissions), and our kitchen knives are about 2 feet from our door..o ya, we have a crazy wild dog trained to attack squirrels (and hopefully attacking humans).
Safety issues aside, how do we travel? We did a fair share of planning before we left, put together our list of must visit and must do things places in each state, have a general direction of travel in mind, the rest we work out “on the fly”. With no definitive end date (I quit my job for this), we’re in no rush to get anywhere or follow any schedule. We usually roll into a new city not really knowing what there is to do, stop at the local visitors center to pick up a boat load of brochures and guides, sit in our RV perusing though all of it, then we download the visitors iPhone app for the city (if there is one), figure out what we want to do and what events are going on at the time, plan our next move based on the closest thing in the direction of our general travel (no back tracking, gas is expensive in our 34′ beast), start doing stuff, pick up one of those free weekly newspapers (if the town is big enough to have them) and check out the local events/ads/coupons (we’ve stumbled upon more cool local/ international events by checking out the local papers and iPhone apps than we expected), then when it starts getting late or we get tired we pick up our iPhone (center it on us) and search for Walymart (if you’ve ever seen that ghetto YouTube video you know what Walymart is) aka our time share. If there is nothing close by, we search for a safe enough looking neighborhood to park in. We have everything we need, why pay some campsite ($30-$50) to park? When we’re bored with a place we move on, if we like it we stay. Simple as that (add a little bit of researching with our Lonely Planet USA travel guide and our state specific free AAA book and that’s about it). Planning a 40+ state year long RV odyssey would be a daunting task to do in advance. And we’d feel like we’d need to keep up with a schedule. Umm, we left that scheduled life when I left my job, anything goes now (within our budget of course).
The opposite pull- There is a strange phenomenon that we’ve found while RVing (that I can imagine wouldn’t be possible any other way), a pull to stay put and enjoy the local flavor rather than rush around or head on to our next destination. Let me explain. We traveled in the past to a new area, flew in with a few nights at a place, rushed around trying to see everything there was, then flew back home. Its justifiable because you have a definitive amount of days to explore and each night is costing you (whether you sit at the pool and do nothing or not). But RV’ing has the opposite pull. You really don’t have to dish out any substantial money (like gas) until you leave. There is an incentive to stick around, meet the locals, find a nice comfortable knook to explore, and try out you’re new neighborhood on for size. After all, what’s the hurry? What’s the prize waiting for me at the end of our trip? Back to work? Until then, we’ll take it slow and enjoy the ride.