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Using Your Computer As A Trip-Planning Tool

As Published In Airstream Live Riveted
Using Your Computer As A Trip-Planning Tool

Full-time Airstreamer Ramona Creel invests a lot of time researching where she wants to take her rig for its next adventure. (She’s also a Professional Organizer — what do you expect?) Today, we asked her to share some of her best online travel planning tips.

Why is advance travel planning so important?

How do you figure out the best sights to see? Places to eat? Cultural activities? RV parks? Once I reach my destination, I don’t want to waste precious time figuring out what to see/do while I’m in town. Plus, for a full-timing Professional Organizer (whose greatest thrill is categorizing information and arranging logistics), there’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting down with an empty calendar and an endless bucket list of places to visit! But I totally understand why travel planning can seem a bit overwhelming to other folks — especially when you’re visiting a new city and know nothing about the area.

How do you plot out each stop along the way?

A good place to start is with what you’d like to see — I personally prefer to pick my destinations first and then plot my route based on those stops. Frommer’s, National Geographic Travel, and Fodors all offer free websites based on their popular print guides — where you can hunt up trip suggestions by location or type of activity, read other users’ reviews of local hotspots, and find those sightseeing attractions that best suit your family’s tastes.

Or if you have a general idea of a place you’d like to visit (like “I’m going to be in Boston to visit my sister for her birthday in the fall”), a Google search will pull up millions (and MILLIONS) of web pages offering travel advice — everything from official visitor/convention bureaus, to individual attraction sites, to personal travel blogs. If that’s too much for your brain to process, try sticking with just the first screen of results — you should still be able to find plenty of options without going into information overload mode.

Why if you’re not interested in “typical” tourist attractions?

I recommend checking out some of the festival listing sites for interesting seasonal entertainment — nothing makes you feel “local” like a regional festival! And there’s something out there for everyone in this great land of ours — whether you like food/wine, live music, ethnic celebrations, Renaissance Fairs, sporting events, or something a little more weird (like the Mike The Headless Chicken festival in Colorado, a road kill cook-off in West Virginia, Cow-Chip Throwing contests in Wisconsin, or a celebration of Tarantula Awareness in California).

Roadside America and Atlas Obscura are my go-to travel resources for odd, unusual, off-the-beaten-path attractions — I’m talking about things like the Spam Museum or the world’s smallest post office or a giant sculpture of a pink elephant with glasses. Humongous metal dinosaurs and plastic hot dogs, amusingly-converted Muffler Men and places where your car seems to roll uphill backward, building-sized rocking chairs and the world’s largest ball of twine — my idea of heaven!

We hope Ramona’s tips will help with your next ‘Live Riveted’ adventure. She’ll be back next time with even more! And if you need Ramona’s help creating the perfect itinerary for your next trip, contact her!

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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

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