Trip Planning

> TEAM PLANNING SPACE

All trips start with some kind of a plan — even if the plan is simply to go without planning! And while a lot can be said for just getting in the car and going, as soon as your trip has an obligatory return date, you can benefit from good planning.

The more complex, multiple destination trips with set departure and return dates, really need a solid plan (though the plan should be like a road map that leaves room for detours along the way, rather than a set-in-stone schedule that has no place for on-location discoveries).

The best plans are detailed and precise, with built- in adaptability to react to changing  circumstances on the ground.

For our GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP 2010, we used a number of planning tools and began the process almost a year before our departure date.

Here are some of our resources:

Trip Preparation Timeline – schedule of deadlines for things to be done prior to departure
Routing the trip – proposed route with segments, mileage and time
Proposed Itinerary: About the Stopovers – info on the places we are stopping at
The Packing List – a series of checklists for the trip (including camping gear, personal items, and equipment)
Tips for successful trips – a list of things to remember when preparing a trip, camping, hiking, or other wilderness activity

And here are a few external links that can be helpful:

Passport to National Parks program – record your visits (could be interesting if we are visiting a bunch of parks during the trip)
America the Beautiful passes – annual pass for the national parks – costs $80 but covers entrance to all parks for the 3 of us – we should determine if it is worth buying for this trip as we will be visiting several parks…

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