Road Trip Planning Tools and Resources

Excellent Road Trip Planning Resources: is a great site for ideas about possible routes, Road Trip philosophy, Check Lists, etc. It is a very good site to help put you in the mood and help develop some structure around your planning.

RoadsideAmerica.Com and particularly their state and province maps of (generally offbeat) attractions can add a lot of fun stops to your road trip. RoadsideAmerica.Com offers a free tool called My Sights Route Planner . Many of the attractions in RoadsideAmerica.Com are free. Some example attractions:
  • Carhenge - An awe inspiring site in Nebraska which I visited on a previous road trip.
  • Unique Museums, such as the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota.
  • Several Shoe Trees and many Muffler Men, some of which I hope to see on my trip.
Google Maps is one of several sites which you might use for laying out your trip and calculating travel times and mileages. I used it to help define some reasonably sized driving segments (generally 4 to 5 hours, but sometimes longer since I had a lot of country to cover). Comments on Road Trip Route Planning: Even if you are going to be using on-line resources, it is very helpful to have one or more hard copy maps.
  • I liked using AAA's United States Map, since I could see my whole planned trip on one large sheet of paper (and since I am a AAA member it was free).
  • Since I have a GPS unit, I was not very concerned about having detailed maps for all of my journey, but this may vary depending on where you are going and if you plan to use many minor roads.
It probably makes sense to pick a few key destinations and then opportunistically add some destinations along your planned route. This might be called a 'core and explore' strategy.