We purchased our first coach, as you know, in September, 2016 and set out to conquer the USA by road! We have learned, and relearned so much about this new lifestyle along the way……. today let’s talk about travel planning. The first thing you need to know about me is that I am a PLANNER. I love a good ride down an unknown road to an unknown destination, but, in general, I like to know where this big RV is headed for the night.
The first thing I have learned is that I need to be aware of Big Days on calendars. A Big Day can be a holiday or a special festival in a certain area or a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence…..let’s say a Solar Eclipse. I waited too late last year and had to make a less than desirable reservation in a campground in Ft. Lauderdale for Christmas….I have already made a very desirable reservation for this year! Father’s Day requires advance planning (apparently Dads like to camp!). The Three Big Summer Days require thoughtful planning (Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day). And this year add in the Solar Eclipse.
So, I have had my work cut out for me with snagging campground reservations this year. I do have reservations for all the Three Big Summer Days and the Solar Eclipse. But there are also lots of days in-between all the Big Days, just regular days that we need to stay somewhere overnight. That is where the hard part of planning begins; now I have to figure in Barry’s work schedule. Because he is still working, we need to be in his territory for sales calls, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, southern Illinois and other places here and there. We need to be able to reach his manufacturers also for sales meetings and to do factory testing on machines, those are in Vancouver, Toronto, Tampa, and Athens, GA. The timing of these visits are not usually something we can plan more than a couple weeks out.
This happened in the last two weeks: PLAN: Travel to Des Moines, IA for sales calls, Travel to St. Joseph, MO — sales calls, Travel to McPherson, KS — sales calls, Travel to El Dorado, KS – make sales calls in Wichita, Travel to Lee’s Summit, MO – sales calls in KC area and a flight to Toronto for annual sales meeting, Travel to Lincoln, NE – sales calls. Reservations were made at all those locations……but, there was this little thing hanging over our heads. A new X-Ray machine was being delivered to a new customer and there will be a FAT (Field Acceptance Trial) at that location after delivery and setup. The machine was being shipped from the factory in Europe, there were shipping delays, Customs delays, QC in Tampa before the final shipment to the customer In Minong, Wisconsin. REALITY: All the reservations needed to be altered and a trip scheduled for him to “no where near us now”.
Reservations were changed, cancelled, extended. I lost a reservation fee and overnight charge in Wichita, but stayed at a more reasonable priced park near St. Joseph. Sales calls won’t be made in central Kansas right now. I’m in Missouri and he is in Wisconsin. This all takes a crazy amount of time……and some days my brain gets frazzled with it all.
But it is still better living here than anywhere else with, or without, reservations!!