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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

RV Travel Journal - Track Your RV Trips

If you’re like me you can hardly remember what you had for dinner last night much less the details of your last RV or camping trip. But no worries, there are a number of ways that you can remember your RV trips and they can be as general or detailed as you desire. Let me point out four ways that campers I know record their RV travel memories (and one new thought – at least on my part). Perhaps one of these will work for you or perhaps their ideas will be a springboard for your own unique manner of RV trip tracking.

· The Calendar Method: I’ve been full timing since 2000 and can tell you where I was on any given day during my RV travels. The way I maintain my RV memories is in a general manner with a 12 month calendar. When I’m in traveling mode I make sure to record the name of the campground, the town, and state that I stayed at the night before using the ever-handy sitemap I received at check-in. (You might even consider rating the park for future reference.) If I’m in a location more than one night I wait until I leave to record my stay just in case I remain longer or leave early. I also note any visitors I have – whether for dinner or overnight, any cool places I’ve visited including National Parks, museums or city spots, events I’ve attended, rig and road anniversaries and more.

· The Photo Log: Some new friends, Kevin and Cheryl, use their digital camera and computer to keep track of and serve up plentiful memories of their RV travels. They bring their camera along most everywhere they go and upon returning home they download the pictures. Their photo program automatically records the date in the file information and they give the photos descriptive names. When they leave a location they create a folder named after the place visited and store all of the pictures taken while there. They then arrange them in month folders (March 09) which are eventually moved to annual folders (2009). Very organized and a wonderful trip down memory lane at the click of a mouse.

· The Cost Tracking Planner: Bill and Susan are smart, love to travel, and are methodic in all they do. When they take an RV trip they record many details in a small monthly planner. They are known to return to several favorite locations so the data they track is not only a memory jogger but a way to budget their trip. Some of the items they record are each day's starting and ending mileage, mpg, campground, town and state, cost of camping, meals out, and fill ups. Their handy-dandy planner stays in the glove box for ease of use.

· Blogging: You might consider a blog (short for web log) an electronic diary – except it’s often shared with friends and family. Connie and Larry have a super RV blog – Happy-Wanderers.com – that details where they’ve camped and observations along the way. They even blog about their non-RV trips. Folks that are interested in hearing their stories from the road can sign up for alerts whenever a new blog entry is posted. They include photos, stories and “articles” about their RV and any modifications they’ve made, and even have a live “RV cam” that’s turned on whenever they are parked. This type of RV travel journaling really lives the “world wide” part of the web.

· The Artist’s Way: I recently came across a class being offered at a local college titled “Miniature Watercolors” and a light went on. I’m no artist but for those of you that are how about creating an RV travel journal using an art pad and recording your journey in miniature watercolors? These nifty little pictures are considered a unique souvenir for European travelers and seem to be a perfect way to express a perfect day. Not only will it help you track your travels but these mini watercolors of your RV adventures will provide you and your family with a visual keepsake to share and perhaps even pass along to your kids and grandkids.

Whether you choose to keep track of your RV travel memories using one of the above methods, good old fashioned handwritten journals or modern-day podcasting, do make sure to keep some type of journal. Next week, next year or a decade from now you’ll be delighted you did!

Do you have a RV travel journaling method that works for you? Leave a comment below so we can all benefit from your experiences.

Take note...happy travels,



Anonymous said...

How about a "good old fashioned" diary as a way of keeping your RV memories? I started mine in the days before the laptop! That was 14 years ago. Then I graduated to a Word document yearly chronology of our experiences. I can go to the year and locate an experience I want to remember. I find I use this a lot.

Ambreen Tariq said...

next month i am going to plan florida camping and will prefer blogging over other methods.

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