As I’ve surfed various RV and travel related websites and forums/groups, I’ve stumbled across some AWESOME maps!
So I’m tucking them in this blog post to share – and so I can continue to find them!
First off, this is the weather map we all always wished we had for planning trips around the country! There are drop-down lists at the top of the page where you can pick:
Imagine that. You can see where it’s rainy season in January! Or where NOT to go in June if you can’t stand temps in the 90-100 range! Or how quickly you need to head south – and how far – in November to stay ahead of temps in the freezing range!
You can access it by clicking on the map image above or through this link: Weather Atlas
This next one was recommended by Marissa of Less Junk More Journey fame – and I didn’t really appreciate it until I started playing with it. Watching travel blogs and shows, we are constantly saying “OOOOoooh! We gotta go THERE!” and since any decent memory abandoned me a long time ago, I’d go online, try to find a link about it and save it to Pinterest. Blah. Should I organize them by state? And then have to go through all of them as we travel trying to figure out what we might PASS enroute?
NOT WITH THIS COOL MAP!
This powerful tool is Google MY MAPS – not to be confused with Google Maps. It is NOT a routing tool – it is a place to save, on a map, all the places you want to go – including notes, pictures and the ability to color code them and give different icons.
Below is a screenshot of ours – but you won’t be able to open it. A link to start your own is listed below the map.
In the picture below, you can see some purple dots – those are family and friends. Brown and light green dots are National and State Parks we want to explore. Bright blue are “attractions” that come highly recommended (including notes on WHO recommended them). Yellow dots are “don’t miss” restaurants. Dark green and sage green dots are campgrounds. I picked these categories – you can pick your own.
Did I mention it’s free? And cloud-based – so that no matter which electronic gizmo is at your disposal you can open up your map? Like the recipe app in this previous post.
So as we head towards an area, I can zoom in, see what’s enroute and near our destination and pick the best place to stay in the middle of them. Then the motorcycles will come out of the toy hauler, and the big beast stays put!
Start saving your dream destinations at GoogleMyMaps
This last one is specific to OUR future journey, but something you’ll want to look at if you’re considering the same future as us as Fulltime RVer’s.
The map below is a map of Thousand Trails Campgrounds – and their affiliates. They ARE campgrounds, not RV Resorts, and some locations are better than others, but here’s the kicker – you buy in with a $3000-ish membership purchase (Elite) and a $600/year fee. That’s all you ever pay again, $600/year – and you can stay in their campgrounds year-round! Three weeks at a stretch and then off to new horizons – or bounce back and forth between two in your favorite area for the winter! Of course, there are stipulations, but I’m not gonna get into all that in this post.
But do the math folks. So the first year you pay $3600ish. Divided by 365 nights, that means you paid $9.85 per night campground fees! Or less than $300 per month. Did I mention that includes water and electric? And no property tax – and the ability to travel the country at whim? Starts to become a no-brainer, eh?
Subsequent years it’s just the $600 yearly fee you’re burning off…..sooooo $1.65 per night! Or $50 a month!
The tricky part is that Thousand Trails is the result of several camping memberships merging, and merging again over the years. WHICH campgrounds are included in each program depends on the membership plan you buy.
If you’re interested in exploring more about Thousand Trails, RV Love has written the clearest and most concise articles about it here:
We aren’t rich. Nor do we have huge pensions or 401K plans. Paying off all debt, saving up money and Thousand Trails is what will make retiring early and traveling the country possible for us!
*UPDATE* Stumbled across this one – ATLAS OBSCURA – (along the lines of Roadside America) that looks like it has some interesting places to stop!