Currently Wandering » Outdoor Family, Adventure Travel, Simple Living - Family of 5 Traveling the United States in an Airstream.

Downside to Full Time Travel is We Are ALWAYS Planning

Route for Fall

Typical vacation planning goes something like this: you decide where you want to go, plan where you’ll stay, and search the area to see what other activities they are. Once you are planned, you carry out your itinerary, relax, enjoy yourself, and then go home to regular life.

As full time travelers, we are constantly in the planning mode. The first steps look the same – we plan a route, decide where we are going to stay, and search around for activities (science museums, can’t miss restaurants, national parks, etc.). But once we are there, and often even before we get to destination #1, we are looking ahead to the NEXT spot. I feel we are always in “plan” mode right alongside “execution” and “enjoy the plan” mode.

Sometimes its exhausting.

I think this is why we mostly just fly by the seat of our pants and don’t plan very far out. Rarely do we have our schedule detailed more than just a week or a week and a half out. This last week we put together a rough itinerary for the next couple of months,  which was the easy part. The hard part is actually dialing in and figuring out specifics of where we’ll stay and what exactly we want to do. For example, I know that we want to hit Sault St. Marie, but I won’t figure out WHERE and WHAT until possibly the week before we actually get there. This type of planing definitely keeps us on our toes, but it also helps me not plan out an entire itinerary that changes because we decide to move on or stay longer than the original plan.

Rough plan for this leg of our trip is to head over into Wisconsin, then up to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, and across the top and backpack in the Apostle Islands August 23-25 back in Wisconsin. After that we’ll hit Duluth and the north shore of Lake Superior sometime around the end of August. September will be Canada, Sault St. Marie and then down into Michigan before meeting up with the Urban Airstream Rally in Eaton Rapids on Oct 1-4. After that we just have to catch flights to Salt Lake City out of Chicago on Oct 16th. Sounds easy, right?

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  • Douglas Trout - That is just one of the tradeoffs to seeing more than most discover in a lifetime of travel. We have considered Urban Air for the last two years and may try for this year. It usually comes down to whether we are willing to miss soccer games. Enjoy the Grest Lakes region. I hear Pictured Rocks and the Apostle Islands are amazing. We are planning a future trip up that way with a canoeing expedition to Boundary Waters. Hope to see you in Michigan.ReplyCancel

  • Boyink - Ah – looks like it’ll probably be a near-miss for us. We *think* we’ll be headed out of MI mid-September to bring the boy to Dayton. That might happen sooner & then we’d finish out September here…which might facilitate a meetup.

    We’d suggest hugging the MI west coast longer than your route shows though – that’s the sweet spot of MI and especially in the fall. Just about any of the state parks along the coast would be a great stay (Ludington is our fave). Buzz over to Ann Arbor through Grand Rapids instead..;)ReplyCancel

    • Douglas Trout - We live in on the south side of Dayton and head up to Ludington as often as we can. We will be at Ludington State Park in late September. I love the western coast of Michigan along Lake Michigan.ReplyCancel

      • Boyink - Hey Douglas – Shoot us a note when you’ll be at Ludington. We’re always up for a day trip.

        The boy is looking at the Wright State area which I believe is the east side of Dayton. Any below-the-radar places to park the RV in that area that you know of?ReplyCancel

  • Laura - I can’t imagine how tough it is to choose where to go-there is so much to see! I think for a full-timer the pressure would be on because you would be more realistic about how long you’ll be somewhere and that you most likely won’t be around for some time.
    I get a little giddy when I hear about people going to the North Shore. Not sure if it’s your first time. We go back again and again. Such a beautiful place! There are so many special spots that require only a short hike to see and great biking trail. We will be in Shroeder the last weekend of August with our new (to us) Airstream. Excited to get up there and not be renting!
    Lots of great places to go and eat in Duluth too. You aren’t hitting our lovely area of the Northwoods, but you can’t go wrong with Duluth and the North Shore!ReplyCancel

    • Jess - It is tough and fun all at the same time! Where are the Northwoods? I haven’t heard of those, and yes!! I’m crazy excited about visiting the North Shore. Even if we are taking a round about way to get there!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - I live in NW Wisconsin with my family, locals often refer to the area as the Northwoods. (Especially if we are feeling impressive after large amounts of snow or ridiculously low temps ☺️) You were dangerously close when you were in “The Cities” recently. We are just a few hours from there and Duluth.
    We have talked for years about doing the Lake Superior Circle Tour with our three kids. I will have to watch to see how you like it! We went through the UP and did the Mackinaw Bridge when we picked up our Airstream from lower MI a few weeks ago. I kept telling myself I was scouting for later trips, but it’s hard to feel like you are driving right by amazing spots and missing them!
    Enjoy the North Shore! We are in a big 3 axle older Airstream, so wave if you see us up there the end of August 😉 Good luck getting the kids to not take a bunch of heavy rocks, always a problem with my little crowd!ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Ahhh! That makes sense. It IS hard to drive by things and have to “save them for later”. I definitely feel like I have to see all the things! lol! We’ll be in the Apostle Islands August 21-25, then Duluth and then the North Shore the week of August 31st. It would be fun to run into you guys!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - Apostle Islands are gorgeous. We’ve camped on Stockton Island, lots of bears! It’s on our list and there is a chance we will be in that area that weekend as well. Trying to decide between South Shore (Apostle Islands, Bayfield-ish area), we also might do Amnicon Falls (near Superior WI) or stay at home and enjoy our lake! We are itching to get out with the Airstream as much as we can before the weather gets too cold. It’s a bit of a learning curve with finding campsites when we’ve done day trips, or rented houses etc. Trying to research campsites and figure out where we can fit and what we need is all new to us!ReplyCancel

    • Jess - You know about right? That’s our go-to place for researching campsites. All the reviews on there are SO helpful!! Definitely add some for up here in the UP as I know there are a few other full timers that are coming out next summer!

      And we are going to Stockton Island!! Dropped off at one end and we are hiking the 3.5 miles over by the quarry and we’ll get picked up there. I’m so excited!ReplyCancel

  • We Choose Animal Kingdom For Our One Day at DisneyWorld » Currently Wandering - […] its counterpart in Anaheim, CA and I was feeling very overwhelmed. Add to that the fact that we are ALWAYS planning and I just couldn’t seem to get ahead and feel excited. I tentatively broached the Disney […]ReplyCancel

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