Check out our list of resources to help you streamline your next trip like a pro.
There’s a lot to consider when planning a trip. As full-time travelers we are always juggling a lot. From choosing a destination and booking a campsite, to planning our route and figuring out the best grocery store for gluten free staples, we have to stay organized.
In this post I share some of my favorite resources we use to plan our travel, enjoy our destination, and find budget friendly fun for the whole family.
Our top 12 tools for a stress-free vacation:
- Campendium is one of the best resources for RVers. You can find everything from dump stations, to free places to camp, as well as the latest on campground openings due to COVID.
- Good Sam is another one of my go to’s when I’m figuring out where we want to camp. Their RV park listings, ratings, and most importantly the reviews, help me weed out the parks that don’t meet our needs so I can quickly identify our best options.
- The Dyrt and HipCamp are both great options for all kinds of camping. In addition to reviews and useful information on each camp site, you can find opportunities that include camping at a Llama farm or for free on public land, renting a cabin, or spending the week in a tree house.
- AllTrails – if you enjoy hiking and aren’t familiar, this is our favorite resource for finding local hikes wherever we travel. We like that you can filter your options based on difficulty and length of hike, as well as read reviews. All very helpful if you hike with a dog or a young child as we do.
- If you’re a regular RVer, I highly recommend RV Life. This app requires a subscription, but it has been a game changer in helping me plan our driving route in our RV. A lot of people don’t realize that driving in an RV isn’t the same as following the route Google suggests for your car. You need to consider things like the length, width, and height of your rig, propane restrictions, and the sharpness of your turns (amongst other things.) Our route via RV Life often differs from Google’s suggestion. This app makes stressful travel days a little easier.
- Yelp and TripAdvisor. These are both old standbys for most of us, but they’re still really useful, especially traveling during COVID. I always check the dates of the reviews to see what people had to say about their experience with a business or service during the pandemic.
- Atlas Obscura is a favorite of ours for finding unique and off the beaten path sights at any destination.
- Groupon or Living Social. There was a time in my life where my wallet was full of expired Groupons for local restaurants and eye brow waxes. These days we’ve found these sites to be a great way to get ideas (and savings) for local attractions (especially if you’re visiting in the off-season.)
- Don’t forget about food delivery apps such as UberEats, Door Dash, and Grub Hub. When you’re on vacation you can easily reset your location and quickly discover new restaurants, all readily accessible from your campground, vacation rental, or hotel room.
- Be sure to visit the state and city websites for your destination, too. They’re a wealth of useful information for everything from COVID and weather updates, to local sites, events, and even done for you itineraries based on your interest or trip length. Local visitor centers are another great way to get insider tips and extra savings.
- Instagram is my preferred social media platform and it’s been an amazing way for us to connect with other travelers while also learning about new destinations. Some of my favorite hashtags are #familytravel, #fulltimervfamily, #rvtravel, and #travelphotography. You can also search by your destination (#visitFlorida is a fave) or favorite pastime (#hikingwithkids.) Don’t forget to connect with us @familytrailblazers so we can follow your next amazing adventure!
- Google it. Sometimes the simplest advice is the best advice! We used to be more spontaneous in our travel. These days we make a point to do thorough research before we stop in on a museum, restaurant, or campground. Between COVID and extreme weather events over the past year, it’s not uncommon to find that the regular posted hours are not a business’s current hours.
I hope this list helps inspire you to try something new on your next trip. We’re always looking for new tricks to help us streamline our travel planning and enjoy our adventure. Let us know if we’ve missed something we might like in the comments below.