Tag Archives: Streets and Trips

Furkot: A Funny Name for a Great Trip Planner

Furkot's map view of our trip planby Chris Guld  GeeksOnTour.com

There is no perfect Trip-Planning system, but that doesn’t stop us from continuing to look for one! Here’s a list of systems we have used:

  1. Streets & Trips (we even have a full set of tutorial videos on using this one)
  2. RoadTrippers – see article Roadtrippers for Trip Planning
  3. RVTripWizard – see article RV Trip Wizard for Planning your RV Travels
  4. Google Maps – not really a trip-planner, but everything else! Google’s My Maps and Custom POI Files, Mapping and Sharing Your Travels with Google My Maps

The latest system we are checking out is Furkot.com. It is a free website . There is no mobile app, but the mobile website works fine on either iPhone or Android. Furkot is not specific to RVs. It is generally for cars and motorcycles who need to book motels/hotels along the way. But campgrounds are in there as well and it is based on Google Maps so all the data in Google is available.

Yes, you need an Internet connection to plan your trip, but then it can be available offline for reference.

Planning a Trip with Furkot

It works a lot like Streets & Trips – that’s a good thing since we were so accustomed to S&T:

  1. Start a Trip by entering your beginning and your end destination. One additional feature that I haven’t seen in any other system is a checkbox to make it a “Round Trip.”
  2. Furkot automatically enters tentative night stops based on your settings for when you start and stop your day and how far you want to go. When you enter your own stops, the tentative ones will disappear. I LOVE this feature for showing us exactly where we need to be looking for our overnight stops.
  3. Dates: a feature that was always sorely missing in S&T was any kind of calendaring. With Furkot, it not only shows the date you will arrive/leave any give stop – you can also point to any place along your route and see what time of day you’ll be there! Here is what the “Plan” drawer looks like. Notice the Days and dates for each stop. And, if you change the start date, or the number of nights at any stop – the dates recalculate for every other stop. There is even a feature to “Lock” a date. So, for example, if you need to arrive in time to attend a wedding, you can lock that stop’s date and it will not let you recalculate other items in a way that gets you there late!
    Furkot's Daily plan view of our trip plan

Navigating a Trip that was Planned with Furkot

Furkot is not a navigation system, it is a planning system. That makes a lot of sense to me. I see them as very different things. We use a Rand McNally RVND7720 to navigate with the RV. It is always on the dashboard, and it has only one job to do. Each day as we set off on the road, we’ll look at our plan and enter just today’s destination into the Rand McNally. Then, we trust it to avoid low bridges, and propane restricted tunnels etc. We also use Google Maps on our phones. With Furkot, I can see our plan on the phone, tap on one destination and tap on Navigate. That takes me to Google Maps and it starts navigating to that destination. Good enough for me!

If you are the type of traveler that wants your entire route imported from your plan to your dashboard GPS, they’ve got you covered!

Export trip plan to GPS

We’ll try it out

We leave for a 3 month journey at the end of the week. We will use Furkot and write more about it in future articles, and on our Facebook Page. Let us know if you give it a try by using the comments below. If you’re looking for a trip-planning system, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Furkot. They have an extensive help system that explains everything you need to know.

March 2013 Newsletter: Back to our Roots: Blogger, Picasa, Streets and Trips

Geeks on Tour

Monthly Issue # 65 March 31, 2013                                                    www.geeksontour.com
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March TechnoGeek Learning Rally

ImageAs I write this, we are at our TechnoGeek Learning Rally in Bushnell, Florida.  This is a joint rally between TechnoRV and Geeks on Tour .  A small group of dedicated learners gathered with their RVs for our third Learning Rally.  We  offered special sessions on the latest topics of Smartphones and Cloud Computing, but we also taught our old favorites of Picasa, Blogger, and Streets and Trips while TechnoRV taught RV Electrical Safety, LED lighting and Induction cooking.  We had lots of food and fun.  We all met some new friends.  To learn more, check out the Facebook page for TechnoGeek Learning Rally.

Our Rally attendees were so eager and full of questions over Picasa, Blogger, Streets and Trips and more, that it reminded me how many people need to know this stuff.  With each newsletter over the years, we try to produce new information about Technology for Travelers.  This time, we’re going to get back to basics, realizing that a lot of you may have joined us recently and probably haven’t read every previous newsletter!

Our primary program for planning our travels has always been MS Streets and Trips. We love Picasa for making our pictures look so good, and helping us to organize and share thousands of them – all for free!  And, we couldn’t imagine life without Blogger as our free home on the web to keep and share our stories.  So, in this issue of GeekNews, instead of high-tech tips on the latest smartphones, or Internet services, we’ll be getting back to basics.  This month’s articles give you some detail and background of why we use Streets and Trips, Picasa, and Blogger to Plan, Preserve, and Share our travels. 

Calendar: Coming up in April/May

TechnoGeek Learning RallyAs we finish off the winter season and get ready for the summer tour, we will be trying our hand at doing seminars remotely so we can be wherever you are!  We have used Skype before, and we’ve tried Google hangouts.  Skype seems to be a bit more dependable for what we want to do.  We much prefer being in the seminar room in person – to interact with the people in the room and not be dependent on an Internet connection.

But, we can’t be everywhere at once! With the help of people who are in the seminar room, we’re going to try using Skype to project from our computer to the big screen in the seminar room, and Hangouts to connect our iPad to an iPad in the seminar room that can be passed around to the attendees for questions. We’ll see how it goes and report back to you next month!


For more details, see our website Calendar. 

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Q&A Forum

Some Geeks on Tour members tell us that the Q&A forum is worth the entire cost of membership!  Here are some of the topics that have been discussed this month:

  1. Picasa: Import does not work!
  2. Picasa and Carbonite Backup problem
  3. Problem playing video files using Picasa
  4. Blogger Header Bar not displaying
  5. Installing Streets and Trip 2013
  6. Android Jelly Bean is not compatible with FoxFi

RVTravel.comFree Admission during National Park Weeks.  Read about that and more RV news in the current issue of RVTravel.

Picasa for all your Digital Picture Needs

Picasa for all your Digital Picture NeedsSometime in our second year of RVing (2004), we discovered Picasa.  Instead of taking an hour or two to go thru our pictures from each day, pretty them up, identify them, and pick the best ones to share in our blog, it now only took a few minutes.  Picasa was just SO much easier than any other photo editing software!  We would tell anyone who asked that Picasa was the software they should get if they take a lot of pictures.  And, it is free.

We soon started teaching little seminars at the RV parks where we stayed, and by 2006 we taught Picasa seminars at the FMCA Conventions.  We developed quite a specialty in teaching Picasa, and our tutorial videos even caught the attention of Google – they own Picasa.  In 2009 Google flew us out to their headquarters in Mountain View, CA …

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Use Blogger to Keep your Journals

Blogger automatically formats to smartphone size.Did you keep a diary when you were a kid?  I did.  I love being able to go back in time and find words that express exactly what was going on.  Many of my paper journals have been lost or destroyed over the years, I wanted something better for our travel logs.  When we started thinking about traveling in an RV back in 2003 – I found Blogger.com and decided to keep my journals there.  Tioga and George were my inspiration.  A solo, fulltime RVer, George used Blogger and wrote every day – he still does!  Because of reading his blog, we met up with George on the road a few times.   We credit Blogger with making us many friends over the years.

Most everyone we meet who travels wants some way to record and share their travels.  Some keep a paper notebook just for themselves, some send an email blast to their list of friends.  We think Blogger is the easiest way …

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MS Streets and Trips to Plan your Travels

ImageLong before we took to the road in our RV, we had a computer training center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called Computer Savvy.  We were a Microsoft Authorized Training Center and one of the classes was Mappoint.  Mappoint was a very expensive mapping, routing, and demographics database program.  As an authorized training center we had our own copies of all the software, including Mappoint.  So, after we sold the training center and became RVers – we figured we’d give Mappoint a try for planning and navigating our travels.  Mappoint’s inexpensive little brother is called Streets and Trips .  We installed it on our laptop, bought the USB GPS receiver for it and found a place to mount the laptop in the cab of our 30 foot Class C motorhome …

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Become a Geeks on Tour Member! And learn from our online library of Tutorial VideosFacebook, Picasa, Photo Story 3, Smartphones, Streets & Trips, Google Earth/Maps, Blogging, Boot Camp Class, Vista/Windows 7, Internet on the Road, Safe Computing only $7/monthly $58/yearly or $68 one year = access to ALL videos plus the Forums. Click here to Join

That’s all for now. We hope you learned something. Your next issue will be next month. Any questions, please visit our forum. If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box – it’s free. To see the archives of past newsletters, go to https://geeksontour.com/category/newsletter/.

Happy Computing!

The Geeks on Tour website is an online learning library for Travelers who want to learn to use their computers for managing digital photos, making blogs, using maps and other online resources. Anyone can watch our free videos, read articles on our Computer Tips for Travelers Blog, sign up for our free monthly newsletter, or Picasa weekly tips. A small fee makes you a ‘member‘ and you can then view any of our 200+ video tutorials on these subjects in our Learning LIbrary.

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Streets and Trips: Navigate in Full Screen

We’re back on the road and using our Microsoft Streets and Trips software for Trip-Planning and Navigation.  Check out all our new Tutorial Videos on Streets and Trips on our website, and we’re making more as we go.  In this article we’re spotlighting one simple but very useful tip that you can use when S&T on your laptop computer is your navigator on the road.

Streets and Trips screen has lots of parts to it:


But, when you’re driving, you really only need the map and the next turn info at the bottom. 


You can easily switch between the two with one touch of the F11 key.  F11 means ‘Full Screen’ and it works in several programs.  In Internet Explorer for example, when you press F11, all the toolbars and menus disappear leaving just the website.  Press F11 again, and you’re back to the view you started – it’s a ‘Toggle.’  Press it once you’re viewing Full Screen, press it again, you’re back to all the menus, toolbars and task panes.

We sometimes use our little NetBook for Streets and Trips navigating while we drive.  It has a very little screen, so we find Full Screen view to be very helpful.  So helpful in fact, that we *always* want to navigate in Full Screen view.  You can do that by changing an option: Tools | Options | Navigation: Show full screen when navigating.


Trip Planning with Streets and Trips

by Chris Guld, www.GeeksonTour.com


In today’s GPS-connected world, travelers have many choices for navigation devices.  Garmin, Tom-Tom, Magellan, and Copilot are just a few of the brand names for the dashboard devices that will guide you down the road.  Even our cell phone (Droid) has wonderful GPS navigation capabilities today.  But, for planning those trips, nothing beats a computer with mapping software like Microsoft Streets and Trips.

Time and Money Calculator

Streets and Trips, running on our laptop computer, has been our guide for all 7 years of our RV travels.  We’re currently on version 2010.  Below is a beginning level video to give you an idea of how easy it is to plan a trip and have the software tell you where to go, how long it will take, and how much you’ll spend in gas.  Traveling in an RV is a completely different story when it comes to time and money, than traveling in a car.  If you know where to change the settings, the software will take this into account.