As you read this on Tuesday, I’ll be preparing to get back on the road. Since the start of the month I’ve been moochdocking in my friend Misty’s driveway in Texas (a regular occurrence when I come through this part of the country) and it’s been great to sit still while working on a solution to losing my Amazon affiliate income. Travel is wonderful and everyone should do more of it, but it’s not conducive to getting lots of work done.
I get asked a lot what my average day as a full-timer looks like, which is challenging because this lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to average. Everywhere you go, every job you take, it’s all different and my routine varies from location to location. Never the less, I’ve given an example of my average boondocking day and my average work-camping day before, and will now do my best to describe the average travel day.
The average travel day actually starts a day or two before the actual traveling, as that’s when I plan out my route. In the early days, I’d do this shortly after arriving in a new location and well before departing for the next, but I found that doing it this way I’d frequently change my mind last-minute and have to do the work all over again. And even if I didn’t, I’d have forgotten a lot of the details and have to go back the day before anyway to look at it all again.
So by the morning of the travel day, I already know where I’m going and the route I’m taking to get there, more or less.
I wake up, and after breakfast immediately start packing up camp. Even with an RV the size of the Casita, it takes time to get everything put away and sorted. Between prep work and hitching up, it can take as long as an hour and a half to get through the whole process depending on how much I’ve spread out in camp and how efficient I’m being. If all I have to do is hitch up, I can do that whole process in a half-hour. On shorter travel days, I’ll often work on the computer in the morning, and start packing up after an early lunch.
Then I pull up directions on my phone’s GPS program, and get on my way.
I usually listen to music while I drive. Early on I would call friends to talk on long drives, but the longer I’ve been traveling the less need I feel to do this. I’ve come to enjoy the almost meditative qualities of a long drive taken alone. It gives me time to think about things that I push aside on other days when there’s something else to do. I also keep my eyes peeled for blog-worthy things to share, as I pretty much always write travelogues for these days.
A lot of newbies/wannabes have an unrealistic view on what a travel day looks like as a full-timer. I know when I was still in the dreaming stage, I imagined meandering down the road without a care in the world, enjoying the rolling scenery out the windows and being able to stop at any interesting thing I happened across.
The reality is, travel days get tiring. I personally do most of my relaxing once I’ve arrived at my destination. It takes more concentration to drive a long distance with an RV, as they’re larger than a passenger vehicle, handle differently, and you’re always aware of bumps and things that could damage your belongings within. The idea of stopping at every point of interest sounds great in theory, in reality you need to constantly assess if you’ll be able to safely get in, park, and get out with your rig which ruins a lot of the spontaneity. Plus, there’s always a time limit on travel days, even if you have no specific destination to get to – you have to make sure you can find a legal place to spend the night. And it’s a lot easier to scout out and park an RV in a new location when it’s still light out and you can see what you’re doing.
My solution is to drive the Casita from point A to point B and park him, and then use that as a staging point and take my truck to explore things I want to see in the area. If you really like the idea of seeing most of the things you want to see while you travel, you might enjoy a smaller rig like a van/Class B more.
Usually lunch is my biggest meal of the day. On travel days I prefer a rest stop for making lunch, but if I can’t find one I’ll also stop at truck stops or any other large public lot. I’ll take a little walk to stretch my legs, and often I’ll read a book while eating.
How long the long the lunch period gets depends on my stop for the night. I often overnight at Walmarts or other businesses, and it’s considered bad form to arrive early at these places (or stay late the next day). So I’ll extend my lunch to the point that I arrive at my destination as the sun is setting. If on the other hand I’m going to be arriving at a destination I’m going to stay at for a while (campground, boondocking spot, etc.) I may skip or delay lunch to arrive as early as I can, to ensure I get a good spot and give myself as much time to enjoy that area as I can.
When I arrive at my destination, whether it’s just one night or if it’s going to be several, there’s some work to do before I can rest I need to level Cas and do a check to be sure nothing bad happened in transit. I may need to ask permission to stay the night (Walmart etc.), or if I’m going to be staying a while I’ll need to unhitch and unpack everything.
After all that’s done comes my favorite part of travel days – exploring my new home. There’s nothing quite like the glee of getting to know a place for the first time (or getting reacquainted with a place you love) and that feeling is what makes the less desirable parts of travel days completely worth it to me. Happy travels everyone.
- Teardrop Build Reveal and Patreon Info – For those who missed my post on Friday about how Patreon works
Have a great Thanksgiving all, thanks for reading. And for those who decide to pledge on Patreon, a special thank you!