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Old 07-11-2017, 05:44 PM   #1
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Tracking our travels

I use Excel to keep a log of where we have been to track costs/mileage and write emails to family and friends as we travel. Ultimately, I want to use the log to decide where to go next: go to places we havenít been, go back to places we love, and avoid the places we didnít love so much. Being able to create maps from the data would be great too. I want to have full control and no subscriptions Ė nothing in the cloud.

I developed an Access database some years ago, but never implemented it . . . it just seemed cumbersome. I canít decide if I should continue with Excel (all trips are separate files), re-visit (rewrite) the Access database, get an Android app (and OMG which one?), or just go ahead and purchase Nomads Notes.

Anyone else do this? What do you use?
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:02 PM   #2
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Have you looked at " My trip journal" web site, you can post pictures, it tracks your travels, your friends & family can log on & look as they chose, you can also send them updates.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:07 PM   #3
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I keep a google map of all the places we've visited (camper or not):
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.8018...5yq1001k?hl=en

I don't put any notes in there, just the places.

We also have a binder in the RV that we stuff all the campground maps/brochures in (the maps they give you to find your site). That has been handy when camping and a fellow camper asks about a campground (although the binder is a good 6" thick now LOL).

I also keep all our pics organized in a directory structure at home (and more recent ones/favorite ones on my laptop):
YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD-EventName

Usually revisiting the pics is enough to remind me if we liked the place or not, etc.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:33 PM   #4
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Sorry, I don't know of anything not cloud based.

I know I have read some old school folks use an old discontinued software called Streets and Trips, or something like that. I think it was microsoft. Maybe you could find an old copy of that on ebay or someplace?
or do a search for mapping software.

I use google maps (my maps)
and set a thumbtack every place we sleep in the RV. Kindof a hobby for me to get it placed exactly on the spot so I can zoom in and see where it is. Usually do it with my phone and it's GPS to self locate. It's possible to really get thorough with it, adding pictures, routing, etc... but I keep it somewhat simple. The thumbtack, named with the name of the place, the date, the running total (i.e the 101st night in the RV, or whatever the sequence is), and I usually ad a little short sentence describing where we went that day, or a favorite site number, or whatever.

It's possible to download the data any time you want to save it locally, so maybe that's an option for you.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
Sorry, I don't know of anything not cloud based.

I know I have read some old school folks use an old discontinued software called Streets and Trips, or something like that. I think it was microsoft. Maybe you could find an old copy of that on ebay or someplace?
or do a search for mapping software.

I use google maps (my maps)
and set a thumbtack every place we sleep in the RV. Kindof a hobby for me to get it placed exactly on the spot so I can zoom in and see where it is. Usually do it with my phone and it's GPS to self locate. It's possible to really get thorough with it, adding pictures, routing, etc... but I keep it somewhat simple. The thumbtack, named with the name of the place, the date, the running total (i.e the 101st night in the RV, or whatever the sequence is), and I usually ad a little short sentence describing where we went that day, or a favorite site number, or whatever.

It's possible to download the data any time you want to save it locally, so maybe that's an option for you.
That's pretty cool.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:31 AM   #6
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I use the polarsteps app. It's a map, shows mileage, let's you save pics to your steps, share your journey on social media. When you are done with your trip you can order a photo book. This was the trip when first I used the app. I'm fine tuning my usage now that I have a better idea what it will do. https://www.polarsteps.com/KerriPaul...8-04BC3A08C42B
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:17 PM   #7
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Itís funny in this day and age that I want to steer away from the cloud. I use my smart phone all day . . . but that may be just the reason. I have been using an app to track my food inventory since 2014; after 18 months the app was no longer supported, and the server for the app that synced my devices no longer functioned. While I look for an app to replace it, I continue to use the app and put it in airplane mode when adding new items. This works - but that experience makes me wary.

I may consider something that uses the web as long as I donít have to pay a subscription fee to maintain my data and I can keep my data on at least one of my devices. I will have to play with Googleís My Maps again and the polarsteps app looks very interesting.

By the way, instead of Streets and Trips I purchased (and still use) Trailer Life Directory Campground Navigator 2011 to plan trips. And I have been using Mapsource and Basecamp to create maps of our trips from the Garminís tracks. :-/

I too keep old brochures but 10 years worth is overwhelming and I have resolved to digitize as much as I can. My plan is to create a database of places weíve been or want to go to that I can search, and scan everything that I think I might want to look at again.

Thanks for your responses. Wish me luck.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:32 AM   #8
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I too am uncomfortable in a way with not having control of my stuff. I from time to time make local backup copies of my photos for example.
and there's so much about cloud computing that make it one of my worst nightmares.

I used to be hard against some things such as photos in the cloud and seemed constantly behind in my "housekeeping" in maintaining my local "server" computer and backup copies, etc....
I started to more and more realize that local copies of things were not really a guarantee of security anyway. Floppies would get corrupted, writable CD's don't last forever. Tapes....ditto. Hard drives fail. Computers get zapped in lightning storms.... and Managing multiple copies becomes a headache fast.
so, i slowly came around to the ease of the cloud.

Just today at work I had a moment of feeling like an idiot. I use this spreadsheet to reference data that someone else puts in. So he sends and email saying he updated it.... but I don't see it!?!

I have to close it and reopen. Ugh, so 20th century!
I'm so used to using cloud based stuff now that it didn't dawn on me.....
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
I too am uncomfortable in a way with not having control of my stuff. I from time to time make local backup copies of my photos for example.
and there's so much about cloud computing that make it one of my worst nightmares.

I used to be hard against some things such as photos in the cloud and seemed constantly behind in my "housekeeping" in maintaining my local "server" computer and backup copies, etc....
I started to more and more realize that local copies of things were not really a guarantee of security anyway. Floppies would get corrupted, writable CD's don't last forever. Tapes....ditto. Hard drives fail. Computers get zapped in lightning storms.... and Managing multiple copies becomes a headache fast.
so, i slowly came around to the ease of the cloud.

Just today at work I had a moment of feeling like an idiot. I use this spreadsheet to reference data that someone else puts in. So he sends and email saying he updated it.... but I don't see it!?!

I have to close it and reopen. Ugh, so 20th century!
I'm so used to using cloud based stuff now that it didn't dawn on me.....
Have it both ways: Make your own cloud:
https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS216j
(We have an older model. You can even set it up so you can see it from your mobile.)
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:43 AM   #10
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We have an OLD Rand McNally Atlas, which we began highlighting all the hiways and areas we have traveled to and camped at, about 25 years ago.
We continue to highlight all new routes on this Atlas. It is priceless !

We continue to replace the Atlas with new editions...as well as using the RVT GARMIN ...)

This summer, we finally quit figuring gas mileage with each tank fillup...it just doesn't get any better than 9-11 mpg !! unless you are going downhill ! ha !
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:01 AM   #11
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I want to try Polarsteps. It looks like it has real possibilities. Of course it also has the possibility of disappearing or becoming overly expensive too. Thanks for sharing about it. Doesn't look like there are any US prices for their TravelBooks since they are located in Amsterdam.

I have been using Google My Maps for logging the campgrounds and attractions we have been to, and interesting future possiblities.

I have a master Western States map with everything on it. I then copy that and make map segments that follow the route that we took for that trip. I have done that for the last 3 years for our annual Oregon trip to visit our son. I can then share it with those who went on the trip or family that want to see where we went.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:29 AM   #12
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Uhh, we use a leather bound journal and on occasion go back and read it. Great memories and ideas are triggered most of the time.
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:16 PM   #13
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We also incorporate the analog into our record keeping. My wife keeps a journal of each day and then builds a Shutterfly book from that and choice photos from the usually close to 2000 pictures she takes of the trips. It is a wonderful thing to have the growing stack of books sitting on the coffee table to pick up and remember the wonderful adventures we have had.

She has a page at the back with lessons (often humorous) that we have learned on that trip.
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:27 PM   #14
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I went to AAA and got a map of the USA. Then with some colored markers, each park I stay at gets a green dot; travel roads get a black line.
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrown View Post
I went to AAA and got a map of the USA. Then with some colored markers, each park I stay at gets a green dot; travel roads get a black line.
that is, pretty much, what we do...with a Rand McNally Road Atlas. The one we use has been with us about 40 years... highlighted routes in each State !
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:41 PM   #16
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Here is our Google My Maps of our 2016 Oregon Trip with the segments added.



We tend to see things that are "in the neighborhood." As you can see our definition of "neighborhood" is pretty loose.
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:20 AM   #17
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that is, pretty much, what we do...with a Rand McNally Road Atlas. The one we use has been with us about 40 years... highlighted routes in each State !
I even have a map from 1968/69 when I drove from Uppsala, Sweden to Katmandu, Nepal and back to Germany.
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