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  1. Default A "no plan" trip cross country and back

    There's a lot of great information from very experienced roadtrippers here about planning for a trip.

    However, I'm not the planning type. What if the "plan" is to not have a plan? Any one done this?

    I'll be setting out on a cross country journey with a general route of NY to Seattle, down the coast to San Diego, heading back East with a jag up to Salt Lake City, a possible stop in Alabama, a final stop on the Delaware coast and finally back up to NY. Just me, my three dogs, Maxine (my GPS), my truck and a 13 ft. Scamp trailer. Starting at the end of August. No schedule...whatever time it takes, it takes. Drive when I feel like it...stop when I don't. Decide on what places to see/visit based on what I feel like at the time. Same way with routes...some interstates but also sometimes the slow roads, depending on where I am and where I'm planning to go next.

    I've been wanting to do this for many years and have finally got everything in place to do it.

    I'm sure there is someone who has done something similar?

    Thanks.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Why not?

    I think that's the time of trip that we all dream of pulling off.

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    I think most of us are unable to do such a trip due to time and/or budget constraints. If you have the time and the funds, you can travel anyway you want.

    Mark, the brains behind this website, did something similar for a few years. But I think the rest of us are waiting until we can indulge ourselves like this.

    Anyway...besides providing you encouragement, how can we help you?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default "Knowledge is not a burden to carry"

    Hi,

    I think their are 3 types of road trips, those that are planned, those that are not and there is the one that has an outline plan but open to spontaneity, which is the category I put myself in. I think you are possibly "falling" into that one as well as your plan is "to have no plan" yet you already know where you are heading Lol!
    What that category means to me is that I have a certain direction to take, and a time to do it in, so the "part planned" bit of the trip takes me to points that will allow me to keep on track of the time and the places I want to cover, but in between is open to change and making decisions as you go, but on that note I like to travel with as much info on the places I am going through so that those decisions are well informed and I can get the best from my trip so that when I get home you don't get folks saying "oh what a shame you were only 2 miles from the most beautiful waterfall in the world blah blah".

    Of course with an open ended trip like yours it leaves you so much more scope to explore,[I'm not jealous, hee hee !] but gathering info and finding places of interest prior to leaving could be most useful. Some will surpass all expectation and you may want to stay longer, some will disappoint and you will move on quicker, but it's what we call "informed spontaneity" around here.

    I hope you have a wonderful adventure and if we can help with anything let us know.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the replies. I have friends in the places I mentioned and so that's why I do have some "stops" I want to hit. But how exactly I'll get to them and when is going to be totally up to chance.

    I hope this is my first such trip of several so as you've mentioned there are pros and cons to planning what to see. This is going to be like a fact-finding tour and then next year I'll do it again and likely be a bit more focused on specifics places to visit.

    I purchased my trailer a year ago and have taken some one and two day "practice" trips to get some experience towing and staying in it, as well as getting my pooches acclimated to it (it seems they think its just a big communal type dog crate). These trips have helped immensly to getting the hang of it.

    This is my retirement gift to myself and fortunately $$$ isn't a problem and time isn't either. I'll be proudly wearing my "Don't ask me to do a DAMN thing...I'm RETIRED" T-shirt a lot!

    Many on the list have already been very helpful from the advice posted to others. People here are very gracious with their time. As departure time draws near and I come up with any questions I won't hesitate to ask.

    Thanks.

    Steve

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Sounds great !

    The practice runs are a great idea and I am sure you will have a great adventure !
    "Getting lost" is sometimes the most rewarding part of a road trip and not knowing what's around the corner can also throw up some great, and memorable occasions. Chatting to the locals and getting hints from them is also a great way of finding places and learning about them.

    As departure time draws near and I come up with any questions I won't hesitate to ask.
    Good, good ! Please do, and we'd love to hear how things turn out, so it would be great if you can pop in once and a while from the road and let us know how it's going or for any tips you might want. If that's not possible be sure to update us on your return.

    You will find all sorts of useful info in our road trip planning pages in the green tool bar at the top of the page.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sben View Post
    There's a lot of great information from very experienced roadtrippers here about planning for a trip.

    However, I'm not the planning type. What if the "plan" is to not have a plan? Any one done this?

    I'll be setting out on a cross country journey with a general route of NY to Seattle, down the coast to San Diego, heading back East with a jag up to Salt Lake City, a possible stop in Alabama, a final stop on the Delaware coast and finally back up to NY. Just me, my three dogs, Maxine (my GPS), my truck and a 13 ft. Scamp trailer. Starting at the end of August. No schedule...whatever time it takes, it takes. Drive when I feel like it...stop when I don't. Decide on what places to see/visit based on what I feel like at the time. Same way with routes...some interstates but also sometimes the slow roads, depending on where I am and where I'm planning to go next.

    I've been wanting to do this for many years and have finally got everything in place to do it.

    I'm sure there is someone who has done something similar?

    Thanks.

    Steve

    Sounds like a great unplanned plan to me. It's my favorite type of road trip, to go where you please, when you please, having some info handy so you don't miss the good stuff.

    I'll be doing something similar very soon, except without the dogs, GPS, truck or trailer. I'm leaving the pets at home with my family, and will be driving my car with my tent in the trunk. I never use GPS. I made hotel reservations for the first two nights because I plan to spend my second day at an amusement park, then I'll hit the road again with a plan but nothing set in stone. I have no end date either, although I will miss my furry family members.

    I considered buying a little camper trailer but I'm not sure I'd be using it that much in the future to justify the cost, storing it at my house, and the usual upkeep that goes along with a camper (housework!). We had one a long time ago and rarely used it. After we sold it, I bought a tent, and we ended up using it more than we did the camper! Although now, in my old age, it would be nicer to sleep in a camper than in a sleeping bag, I guess.

    Anyway, the idea of traveling at leisure, not worrying about a schedule, is a great idea. Since you (and I) will be going alone, the prospect is intriguing and exciting. My journey won't be nearly as extensive as yours, simply because the original extended road trip I planned has been shortened because I don't want to wear myself out, and I just recently had a similar excursion that ended with illness. What a bummer that was! It was an unpleasant way to end a wonderful holiday road trip.

    Best wishes for a joyous journey.

  7. #7
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    I'll lend my voice in support of the "Informed chaos" roadtrip. Gather books and brochures read webpages and bookmark stuff in Wikitravel - get a good idea of what is near where you'd like to go and let 'er rip!

    My upcoming Highway 12 trip is structured freeform. I've got no hotel reservations, no set schedual, just a rough idea of what I'd like to see and how far I'd like to try and get. I'm shooting for Detroit and back in 11 days, but if I dont make it, I fall short to say - Chicago or wherever, big deal.

    See how far you can go before you have to turn around and come home. Brilliant!

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