How do you plan for international and/or multi-day trips? Example: Flying the Caribbean Jan2020...

Flying the Caribbean (Part 1) - Planning

Departing mid-Jan2020 with two very good friends on a 16-day flying adventure… US West Coast to East Coast, followed by 5 islands in the Caribbean.

  1. How far in advance do you start planning?
  2. What methods and tools do you use?
  3. For multi-day trips, are you mostly flying with family, friends, and/or fellow pilots?
  4. How do you research the climate in the region?
  5. How do you watch for weather trends say a couple weeks out?
  6. If you have several possible destinations, do you prioritize a high activity level or tranquility?
  7. What safety measures do you take when flying over water?
  8. Do you enjoy the “planning” portion just as much as the trip itself, or is planning drudgery for you?
  9. Regarding specifically the Caribbean… any thoughts/questions/suggestions?
    Thoughts, questions, and suggestions? I’d love to hear from you.
    Thanks for your insight and enjoy the video!
    Wayne, the GeezerGeek Pilot
1 Like

I use WeatherSpork when I fly longer distances. The route view give you a really great visual representation of expected clouds, freezing level, and conditions along the route. You can also use a slider to adjust your departure time and see foretasted conditions along the route at the estimated times you’ll be at that position.

Also, there is a ton of weather products all in one convenient place!

Otherwise, I use ForeFlight for planning stops and filing.


Hi. Good luck with your planning. It sounds like a lot of fun.

I agree with Craig, use Weatherspork for weather and Foreflight for planning.

I did a 48 States tour in 3 weeks and learned to be flexible. Weather dictated a lot of the route we took and lots of the places we wanted to go to were changed at the last minute. You can’t plan too much in advance. A week max for weather and even then it changes closer to take off. Preparing (getting stuff) you can do in advance.

Over water you should have a life vest for every passenger. I have two and each one has a waterproof PLB. A life raft if you aren’t going to be within gliding distance from land.

I recommend an AOG kit. Spare tires, relays, belts, spark plugs, etc. along with tools to put all these things in place. I’m not a mechanic but I wanted to have backup that a local mechanic could use rather than trying to get parts from Cirrus or other places. I traveled with a survival kit.

The planning is fun. We basically did it 24-48 hours before each day of the trip. Weather was the biggest issue. Next was the cost of gas. Next was where we were going to stay overnight and hotels.

I assume you have a Cirrus since you are on this web site. Take a list of all the Cirrus repair centers. It was helpful to us when we were AOG for a fuel pump and also to decide where to get TKS fluids and get an oil change. Have your mechanic on speed dial.

I haven’t flown to the Caribbean so I can’t tell you about flying there.

Have fun! Chuck[H]