Hey Everyone! I hope today is a great day for you. As this is the first Blog of the new year I thought I would take time to talk about making plans for this year. Now is the time. The earlier the better. I think that planning is a big part of success to travel or just photo or camping trips. For me spur of the moment things usually don't work out as well as a well planned trip does. I am in the process of planning my year and it is a big year for me as I just retired from my day job and have plenty of time. Just not plenty of money. LOL Thats how it goes when you have money you don't have the time and when you have time the money has dried up. Now being on a fixed income now I really have to plan out my larger trips in advance and put away money for them. The shorter more spontaneous trips mid week I can do a lot easer now that I don't have a full time job to go to. Planning early saves time money and organizes your trip.
Where to go? Well that's a big question for anyone. And everyone has a different answer. For me this year my big trips will be New York City and the Fall trip with the camera club. But I plan to have smaller trips in-between to fill up the gaps. A good rule for me at least is take a trip per month. Now this doesn't have to be a big trip or even an over night trip but maybe a day trip to a city or park that is near you. Believe me it can be done I visited all of North Carolina's state Parks in one year by just planning ahead and I wasn't traveling all of the time and still had time for my full time job. There were 42 parks by the way. My New York City Trip will be with my Wingman Robert. We plan on taking the train to NYC and public transportation from there. We plan on going in the springtime. We are also planning a Low Country trip from Savanna back to NC this will probably be a long weekend with camping on the way. Where to go is the first question. When is the second question.
When to go? Setting firm dates on when you are going somewhere helps in the planning. Questions like do I need to take Vacation? How many days do I need to take. Making reservations in advance usually is cheaper and you can usually guarantee vacancy. If you are going to national parks you may need permits putting in for these as early as possible can almost guarantee that you have the right permit on the right day of your trip. Last year on our Utah road trip we had to have permits for a few of the parks that we had to enter into a lottery system but being early we got the dates and times we wanted. If you are flying making reservations early is great to make sure you have a seat and by doing this you have already paid for you're trip before you even leave then all you have to pay for is incidentals why you are there. But say you are not traveling far maybe you want to go to a festival of some kind you need to know the dates and if you plan on staying over night you may need a hotel. If you're planning a camping trip reserving camp sites is a must especially if your going to stay over the weekend. Since COVID the parks have been packed and making reservations through Recreation.GOV or ReserveAmerica.gov can be hard to do. Once you've planned your trip with reservations then its what will you need for your trip.
What to take? Whether its a camping trip or a Photography trip bringing the right gear is essential. Taking what you need and leaving home what you don't need can make life a lot easier. Clothing that is suited for the weather that you will encounter on your trip is crucial. Comfortable footwear is a must. Nothing is worse that having to walk through a big city and you have blisters on your feet because you brought cute shoes that didn't fit well or were not broken in. If you plan on staying a week or more only take enough clothes for 4 days and find some where to do a load of clothes. No one cares if you ware the same outfit more than once on a trip. This will keep your pack lighter. If your taking camera equipment with you on a long trip don't take everything you own. Think about the situations that you will be in most of the time and take the equipment that will handle those situations. When I went to Utah last year I had my landscaping kit with me and when I went to Boston I had a totally different kit with me. Choose the right tool for the job at hand. Keeping gear lightweight and manageable will make traveling through terminals much easier.
Planning in advance makes the year go by easier. If you have a full time job and you have your year planned out you have something to look forward to. You can say to yourself in two weeks I'll be in Boston or wherever you see yourself being. If you have a multi-day trip planned make an itinerary. Itineraries help you organize and make the most of the time you have for your trip. You don't have to wander what your suppose to do next its in your itinerary. It makes a good outline of what you'll be doing you don't have to be a stickler to it but its a good start.
So get set and start making your plans for this year. I hope to see you on your travels. Until Next week get out and shoot.