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Old 10-15-2021, 02:04 PM   #1
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Vacation planning, how far in advance?

For those of you that are not full timers, or snowbirds, I was wondering, how long in advance do you typically start planning trips, and does it depend on the length or travel distance for the trip? I ask because we have done everything from planning 6+ months in advance, down to deciding 48 hours ahead of time which way we were going go on a 2+ week trip. Now I know some places, certain national parks, etc. often require advance reservations, I am not talking about that, I am talking about how far out do you decide on a destination, and general route, etc.
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Old 10-15-2021, 03:30 PM   #2
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Really depends on the time of year and the location. Such as any beach area, i.e. Florida panhandle for one, in the summer months should be planned & reserved weeeeell in advance. We generally plan a special destination for a week or so, then pending on the distance another week or so getting there & another for returning. Those trips we start planning almost a year in advance and then make reservations at the destination park as soon as the reservation window opens. Generally along the way to or fro we wing it.
With today's popularity in camping and the volume reservations are almost a must.
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Old 10-15-2021, 04:10 PM   #3
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This year has been tough for sure. Usually we plan a month or so in advance. This year even 6 months did not work many times.

I am hoping next year we can go back to a month or two in advance. We usually stay in STate, City, County and COE parks when can and avoid "resort stays"
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Old 10-15-2021, 04:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by garmp View Post
Really depends on the time of year and the location. ...
Agreed. Especially if you want a specific site at a specific park at a specific date. Try to get into Anchor Down in Oct with anything less than 1 year advance.....good luck with that.

I usually planned 4-6 months in advance & had little to no problems getting in where I wanted.
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Old 10-15-2021, 04:34 PM   #5
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As others have said, it depends on when and where you want to go. Heading to a popular tourist place in peak season I have been seeing people even being challenged to find reservable sites at their preferred locations even 12+ months out.

We mostly boondock, mostly in remote places so we generally talk about what areas we want to do and a rough route a few months out. Nothing formal, just talking and maybe looking at a map. Maybe plan a rough loop so we do not do a lot of back tracking (wasting fuel).

Most planning is less than a week out for us. We usually stay in a location for about a week. I telework and she has summers off. We typically travel on Fridays (my day off) and gives us a 2-3 day buffer incase there is a lack of places we would stay or no cell service.
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Old 10-15-2021, 08:32 PM   #6
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I love the planning and researching side almost as much as the journey so .........

Usually in the winter months under a blanket in our igloo here, I'll sit and plan routes/destinations, just overall parts of the countries we want to visit. Create a route and plan and save it. I might have a dozen different trips of varying durations and times. Then when we feel right let's take a trip, next week, next month or whatever close time coming up, we'll decide which itinerary appeals the best. We tend to rarely (read that as close to never), book anything in advance as we like to boondock more than anything else. Los Angeles, New Jersey for NYC, and some other very high populated areas we have booked in the past 3 to 4 weeks before planned arrival, but again very very rare.

As others have said it depends where and when you plan to travel and what must have facilities you need that might dictate how far in advance to actually book something.
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:05 PM   #7
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As a fulltimer living in a 30 foot Arctic Fox 5th wheel for the last 8 years, and a boondocker, mostly in Arizona and New Mexico in the winter. I take great pride in not having any plans at all. I go wherever and whenever I want to go, and I find places to boondock when I get there. Traveling with a schedule and a timetable has never interested me at all, and sitting in a noisy, crowded, RV Park a few feet from my neighbor for $50 a night interest me even less.

I know this information doesn't help you at all I'm just writing this to let you know there's other ways of RVing that doesn't require schedules and deadlines.
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:28 AM   #8
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Some places I like to camp I need 18 months in advance or no spot . Most I need a minimum of 6 months or no spot.
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Old 10-16-2021, 06:04 AM   #9
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I'm fixing to leave in 2-3 hours for two weeks of playing on my motorcycle in the Carolina, VA, WV, TN, KY mountains. I started thinking about it 4 weeks ago . During the last week the destination changed to AR and then back to Carolina, due to long range weather "forecasts".

I have the first camping place picked out along with a plan B and C, boondocking. Yesterday I found my overnight spot on the way up.

The second stay has yet to be determined, I'll figure something out toward the end of the first spot.

I/we generally have an outline figured out but most details aren't until just before thay happen.

Not a big fan of early detailed pre planning.
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Old 10-16-2021, 06:20 AM   #10
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I have reservations already for next August at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores AL. We like to be in a certain area of the park, and my wife wanted to go in the summer for some beach time. I do have reservations through February, waiting until November 1st to make my Keys April reservations (they don't start taking them until Nov 1). I try to plan about 6 months out since we are retired and have no set agenda or work schedule to maneuver around.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:36 AM   #11
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We plan our trips in December, while we're off work for the holidays. I then figure out when reservations open up for the places we want to go (5 months ahead for Ontario, 6 months for many other places - we stay mainly in state/provincial parks) write down dates, and make reservations on the day they open. On January 2 I submit my vacation requests at work for the major trips of the year.
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:23 AM   #12
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We just finished making reservations for our next trip in February/March. Since we're relatively new to this we feel more comfortable when we have reservations. It does mean having to be on a schedule though. We haven't done any boondocking yet and maybe after we have we may feel more comfortable just "winging" it.

I start planning our trips long before we make reservations. I use RV Parky for planning and we check the reviews of various places to stay on several platforms. As the trip gets closer I even plan where we'll stop for gas and include that in our itinerary.

I'm already working on a trip for next fall. Sometimes the problem is we can't make all the reservations that far out so we have to wait for the reservation window to open.
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:42 AM   #13
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Going to Zion, Bryce and Moab in May of 2022. Got camp site reservation about a month ago. Now planning activities. Will have a list of things to do and will decide on what to do when there.

Just how we play. The wife and I may leave the camper at 8:30 in the morning and not get back till 9 that night.
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Old 10-18-2021, 01:17 PM   #14
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As others have said, it depends on where, when, and how picky you are about where you stay.

I have already planned our trip for next Fall up the east coast because I want certain highly popular parks.

But we just planned a spur of the moment Thanksgiving trip last week.
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