Our why | Planning | Maps & Lists
The planning really began about nine months ago. But the idea had been floating around for a while. When we were visiting the Smokey Mountains in 2017, Josh and I looked at each other and realized THIS was what we wanted to do.
To be outside.
To see so many of the things.
To allow our kids to explore, challenge themselves, and create family memories.
To challenge ourselves and to get out of our bubble.
To not just work but to enjoy the life we are working for.
To take advantage of this time when our youngest (4) is old enough to do things like hike and bike, but our oldest (9) isn’t consumed with activities and doesn’t hate us for taking him from his friends for 3 weeks.
Once we got home we decided RV-ing was the way we wanted to go. From there we just sort of picked things – and for the planner that I am this was totally out of my comfort zone. The places, the stops, the camper. Not without research though.
Fast forward 18 months and we are leaving in 5 (FIVE!) days and decided to document the journey. In part to connect with our family and friends as we go, but also to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way.
Resources that got us started:
- Google: yup, good ‘ol google. I read all.the.blogs/lists I could find about RV-ing and what type of RV to choose (more on this later)
- Pinterest: again, finding all the things that sparked my interest. My boards included: RV hacks, RV driving tips, RV cooking. I just started gathering any and everything I could.
- RVShare and Outdoorsy: once we determined what type of RV we wanted to rent I started looking at all the options. These were fantastic resources and we were able to find a travel trailer that was perfect for this adventure.
- RVTripWizard: this was clutch in mapping out our travel. We knew we wanted to have our turn-around point to be Lake George but didn’t have any other plans. This site allowed us to choose roads that were good for our trailer, locate and book campsites based on our filters, and load all our info into one place.
Then the lists started forming. Here are the lists I made to help organize us for this endeavor:
- Master List: this spreadsheet includes date, final stop, travel time, reservation info, campsite details, meals, notes, to-dos.
- Packing list: we started with our “knowns”, then found some “pin-spiration” to fill out those lists. The goal here was to have what we need but also not over pack, harder than one might think.
- Shopping list: a few things we invested in for the trip were fishing poles, an air fryer, and bug spray… lots of bug spray.
- Food lists: because I planned all our meals for the trip I was able to pull together a shopping list and divide it into things we needed in bulk (ie: Costco) things from the local grocery store.
- Kid Binders: another thing I’ll go more into later, but since our Smokey Mountain trip, our Kid Binders have been key to our road trip success and having these lined up was a top priority.
In summary, I’ll answer the top 3 questions we get:
1) YES we are super excited for the trip! More specifically we are excitous about it – equal parts excited and anxious, but that’s to be expected right.
2) No, I don’t think we are crazy for doing this (yet!). Three weeks is a long time in a small place but I’m looking forward to the challenge and also the rewards of the time together.
3) Nope, we’ve never done this before – aside from a weekender – but once we successfully backed a trailer into a tight space, in front of an audience, and kept our marriage and pride in tact so that was all the green light we needed!