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Travel Planning Made Easy

RVing -- Gas PumpWhen I was little, my favorite thing in the world (well, one of my 10,000 “favorites”) was to flip through my father’s road atlases and AAA books, searching out all the sites I wanted to see “some day.” Running my finger along the bright blue highway lines — marveling that towns like Boogertown, NC and Cheesequake, NJ and Hell, MI existed for me to visit. I loved it all — tacky roadside attractions with dusty mannequins and peeling paint, natural wonders, historic sites, those boring National Register plaques (that you wished you hadn’t wasted your time on but still kept pulling over to read), the world’s biggest ball of twine. Each page held so much possibility — potential adventures, new worlds to see, different lives to live.

Travel planning may not have quite the same sense of romance these days (nothing ever does once you grow up) — but it sure is a hell of a lot easier now, thanks to the interwebz. I’ve done my best to find all the resources you’ll need so your next trek is a breeze — as well as provide you with plenty of bizarre diversions along your route. May you never run out of gas, suffer from crappy signage, or find yourself stuck on the side of the road wishing for a motel in the middle of nowhere!

RVing -- Bike IconRoad-Tripping Your Way Across The Country

 

  • Best Parking — finding an affordable place to park is a big key to enjoying your time in a new town
  • Free Trip — ain’t been graphically updated since 1998, but it spits out a mean customized itinerary
  • Gas Buddy — search the lowest gas prices in any state to save money all along your route
  • My Scenic Drives — plot out a scenic drive based on your origin and destination
  • National Atlas — wide range of printable maps to download and use immediately for your next trip
  • National Scenic Byways — skip the interstate in favor of a scenic drive along a beautiful highway
  • Rand McNally — online direction services, as well as a variety of printed maps and atlases
  • Scenic Drives USA — search for interesting backroads, byways, and scenic roads by state
  • Roadblock Registry — where cops are pulling folks over (and your rights if they try to search your rig)

RVing -- Car IconGeneral Travel Guides

 

  • Audissey Guides — download free audio guides (for most major cities) that play on your Ipod
  • American Association Of Museums — extremely useful “find a museum” feature
  • Convention And Visitors Bureaus — portal to every CVB and visitor info office in North America
  • Discover America — the “official” (according to whom?) travel and tourism website for the entire US
  • Frommer’s Budget Travel — see the world for less with these money-saving travel tips
  • How Do You Do — get the inside scoop before attending major annual events
  • Lonely Planet — guide to more adventurous (and less crowded) activities than typical tourist spots
  • Museums USA — check out this state-by-state listing for art, culture, and history in your area
  • Trip Advisor — extensive travel planning search engine with unbiased reviews of any location
  • Virtual Tourist — info about your next stop from the real-life local people behind the places

RVing -- Bike IconThings-To-Do Calendars

 

  • Art Festivals — see where the upcoming juried exhibitions and craft shows are as you travel
  • Contemporary Dance Festivals — many ways to experience innovative movement performance
  • Fest 300 — your guide to the world’s best festivals, all in one location
  • Festival Searcher — searchable database of event lists, maps, calendars, and lineups
  • Festivals And Events — browse all sorts of upcoming activities by month or state
  • Festival Trek — search more than 50 categories of cultural, artistic, and community celebrations
  • Film Festivals — find an indie film lineup along your route (two thumbs up!)
  • Music Festival Junkies — live performers, outdoor stages, overpriced drinks, and crowdsurfing
  • Renaissance Festivals — if you like corsets and mead, now you can hit a faire in every state
  • Strange Festivals — the folks at 2 Camels specialize in cataloging the world’s weirdest gatherings
  • Top Events USA — the biggest, best, and most unusual festivals the country has to offer
  • Transceltic — Guinness-lovers check out this list of Irish festivals, music performances, and pubs
  • Upcoming Cons — geeky events galore, and plenty of opportunities to dress like a fool in public
  • World Fringe — highly creative (and generally low-budget) theater festival productions

RVing -- Car IconGetting Off The Beaten Path

 

  • Amusing Planet — points you toward attractions designed to make you smile
  • Atlas Obscura — a massive online compendium of the world’s wonders, curiosities, and esoterica
  • Jim’s Big Things — oversized plaster animals, giant molded foods, gargantuan pieces of furniture
  • Roadside America — for those who like bizarre roadside attractions (and really, who doesn’t?)
  • Roadside Architecture — dinosaurs, Paul Bunyans, Muffler Men, and all things retro-roadside-kitsch
  • Road Trip America — easily locate all the really super cool things to do on your next road trip
  • Roadtrippers — maps built for travelers (filled with attractions, natural wonders, and weird stuff)
  • Silly America — working off the philosophy that you can’t take yourself too seriously while traveling
  • Waymarking — a wiki-style website for tracking odd roadside attractions across the United States

RVing -- Bike IconEat, Drink, And Be Merry

 

  • Beer Festival Calendar — if you like craft brew, check out these hoppy-malty celebrations
  • Farm Festivals — pick your own at a variety of local harvest, berry, fruit, and veggie activities
  • Food Tours — culinary, cooking, gourmet, wine, and pub tours around the world
  • Local Wine And Food Events — wine tastings, food pairings, and related education events
  • Tea Map — a great resource when you’re looking for a good cuppa anywhere in the world
  • Upcoming Food Events — munch your way from place to place as you travel

RVing -- Bike IconRamona-Riffic Activities

 

RVing -- Car IconFlat Out Weird Shit

 

  • Dark Destinations — mysterious places, macabre locations, and creepy side-trips
  • Destination Strange — favorite fucked-up destinations, brought to you by the Roadtripper folks
  • Famous Murder Sites — perfect, if you’re one of those who likes gawking after-the-fact
  • Find-A-Haunt — every haunted house/trail/hayride, pumpkin patch, and cemetery tour in the country
  • Forgotten U.S. — abandoned sites, creepy spots, and all things designed to freak you out
  • Ghost Towns — are you fascinated with empty streets and derelict buildings? awesome!
  • Oddball Museums — thanks Waymarking, for these funky (and often engagingly repellant) displays
  • Shadowlands — the original state-by-state-country-by-country haunted places directory
  • Travel Darkly — destinations focusing on death, murder, and mayhem
  • Urban Explorers — let’s explore some crumbling hospitals, derelict prisons, and creepy tunnels
  • Weird U.S. — anecdotal guide sharing stories about America’s local legends and best-kept secrets
  • Where The Stars Died — Hollywood is filled with ghosts, if you know where to look for them

RVing -- Bike IconTravel Discounts

 

  • CityPass — discounted admission to local sights and restaurants (available for most major cities)
  • Coup Recoup — miss out on that awesome daily deal? here’s another post-deadline chance to save
  • Destination Coupons — printable coupons for cities around the world
  • Eat Drink Deals — tons of discount dining information (coupons, special savings, happy hours, etc.)
  • Entertainment — choose between print coupon books and an online app-based membership
  • Free Birthday Meals — cheap (and what’s even better, but free) ways to celebrate aging
  • Free Birthday Treats — sign up to find out where you can eat for free on your birthday
  • Goldstar — free to join, get half-price tickets to concerts, performances, and other live events
  • IDine — earn up to 15% cashback every time you eat at a participating restaurant
  • Kids Meals Deals — the cheaper way to feed your little ones
  • Museums On Us — Bank Of America credit card holders can visit a variety of museums for free
  • Restaurant — buy discounted dining certificates for your favorite restaurants, eat for up to 50% off
  • Smart Destinations — hundreds of America’s top attractions, thousands of dollars in savings
  • Smithsonian Museum Day — free admission to affiliate museums across the country each fall
  • Valpak — just because you don’t get their local coupons in the mail doesn’t mean you can’t save!
  • Yippit — view all the “daily deal” websites for a city with one click
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    Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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