Travel Letters
major events take place nearby. The price you pay for
this casual approach is that once in awhile, your site
for the night may be less than prime -- but that's the
trade-off for increased flexibility. A motor coach is a
satisfactory home for the night even if it is not on a
great site.

The RVer's "golden" rule. If the weather is poor,
you can catch up on the mail or read a book about
local lore you picked up along the way. If the day at
the powwow was enjoyable, stay an extra day. If the
fishing was fun, it might be even better tomorrow. If
you're not in the mood to see the area, be flexible and
just get on your way. On the other hand, one time we
checked out of a campground, then became so
absorbed in a nearby activity, that we stayed all day
and wound up checking back into the same
campground that night.

The "golden rule" of RVing is to take it easy and relax.
The purpose of recreational travel is to explore and do
things, not always sit behind the wheel. Have
adventures. Go whitewater rafting; play a round of
golf; go to the church social in town (you'll be
welcome); chat with people you meet in village shops;
visit some of the many historic sites along the way;
study your family tree in places where your ancestors
were raised; ride a hot-air balloon.

By doing these new and different things, you'll
exemplify the definition of relaxation, which is the
refreshment of body and mind.

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Work the plan. If this sounds like the science of
travel planning, it is - so far. It is the implementation of
the plan that makes travel an art. If the plan were
followed scientifically, each stop along the way would
be scheduled and reservations would be made.  As a
structure for an art form, the plan serves as an outline,
or point of departure so it can be revised on the spur
of the moment. Information and suggestions from
other campers and "locals" are invaluable. Some of the
most enjoyable recollections come by giving in to
impulse, such as a U-turn to return to a road that was
just passed.

To provide maximum flexibility, it is wise to plan so
that activities that must be scheduled are either at the
beginning or end of the trip. This ensures that a
leisurely pace can be maintained and reduces the
pressure to keep going. For instance, a scheduled
reunion, an FMCA rally, or a festival might serve as an
anchor for the beginning of a trip, and then the balance
of the time can be used for casual travel.

Another rule is to make no campground reservations
unless they are definitely needed, and then only a few
days in advance. Exceptions do occur in strong
seasonal tourist areas; for example, in February it is
impossible to get a waterfront site on the Florida Keys
without making reservations a year in advance.

It seems that most private campgrounds, unlike state
and federal parks, have sites available all summer,
except during popular three-day weekends or when
The Art of Planning Your Most Memorable Trip  -  continued