Travel Planning: Calculating Dates

We need to be in Gillette, WY no later than July 5 in order to present our seminars for the FMCA 103d Int’l Convention and RV Expo. We want to visit a couple of friends along the way, and perhaps even see some new sights. I use Roadtrippers to plot our route because it has the best features for adding or changing stops, but it doesn’t tell me what dates we’ll be where.

3 route planners that include dates:

Of these 3, RVParky is the simplest. Since I only want it for the one thing – calculating dates – I choose to use the simplest one.

I use RVParky for the big picture, including dates
I can even use RVParky for International travel planning

Calculating Trip Dates

To plan a trip on RVParky (or any of the 3 actually) you enter a start location and a start date. Then you enter a location for each night’s stop along the way and enter how many nights you will stay. It will calculate the dates along the way by taking the Start date, adding nights stays along the way to come up with an Arrival date at the next stop. If it doesn’t work out right, you can change the start date and it will recalculate. Although that makes perfect sense, there’s a big problem with how we plan our travels.

We don’t want to plan every night

We only plan known destinations, not every night along the way. For example, between Fort Lauderdale, FL and Gillette, WY we’ve planned one stop in Florida, one in Texas, and one in Colorado. All three of those are places where we will be visiting with friends. For the nights in between, we don’t want to plan. We just drive until we’re tired, then we look for a campground, or a Walmart, or a Cracker Barrel.

We don’t want to plan a location for those stops but we still need to account for the number of nights, so I add the travel nights to the previous stops and the calculation works out.

How about air travel?

We use this for International travel as well. After entering the start date of a Liveaboard (like a cruise), 10 days on the boat, then 4 days at a hotel, RVParky calculates the date we need to get a flight out. We use this for planning the trip before any reservations are actually made. This is how we sketch out our plans. Once reservations are made, we use Google Drive and Tripit to store and organize them. Tripit can also store any itineraries that a travel agent works out for us.

What about you?

Do you have and tips and tricks for how you do your travel planning? Leave a comment.