Planning a road trip?
There are two main ways to tackle a road trip – one is to ramble along like a tumbleweed going wherever the wind, or tourist billboards, take you; the other is to carefully plan your road trip down to the very last second. Of course, you can fall somewhere in between as well. The following ten websites can be utilized to do just a little planning or a lot so that your road trip can be everything you and your family want it to be. The sites are listed in order of their Alexa traffic count rating.
Global Alexa Rating: 663
Regardless of where you plan to go, the one thing that can throw a monkey wrench in your plans is bad weather. Using Weather Underground’s road trip planner, you can find out ahead of time if there are any weather concerns, so you can make adjustments to your trip. You could choose another route or perhaps a different activity and thereby save your vacation. Simply enter your trip details and select those items you want to show up, including severe weather and traffic concerns. The map will show your route and all concerns along it.
Global Alexa Rating: 4,901
It used to be that only AAA members were able to get TripTik maps, but they have now made them available online for everyone. You still need to have a membership to be able to pick up the hardcopy ones and tourbooks at an AAA office though. The TripTik travel planner gives you point-to-point directions while avoiding construction delays and informing you of any detours. It can also be used to find the best fuel prices. You can plan a trip with up to 12 destinations and get info on those places and other points of interest, as well as locate AAA approved hotels and restaurants.
Global Alexa Rating: 8,253
TripIt is an all-in-one travel organizer that has a free version and pro version. It is free to sign up and you can also access it with TripIt Mobile for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or Windows Phone 7. You can use the pro version for 30 days free. The way it works is that once you sign up you simply forward confirmation emails to the site and it automatically creates itineraries for you. You can add maps and directs, travel notes and more to customize the itinerary. You can access your itinerary 24/7 and share it with others.
Global Alexa Rating: 13,132
This is a fun tool and it is very easy to use. Simply enter your starting point and destination. The site will give you the route and anything you’d ever want or need along that route including lodging, attractions, food & drink, nature places, points of interest, camping & RV and entertainment & nightlife. When you select one of the options, you are given sub-categories that you can choose. For example, under points of interest, you’ll find local history, native culture, military, architecture, science, film & TV, folk art & photo ops, literature and more. You can even decide how far you are willing to stray from your route to see things. You can also use their mobile app to sync trips with your phone to use to navigate. When the route is show, you can mouse over the multitude of dots to see what is being showcased.
Global Alexa Rating: 53,850
Roadside America is your online guide to offbeat tourist attractions. You can locate attractions and oddities that you probably have never heard of, making your road trip as unique as you’d like it to be. The side includes the top 10 trending attractions, latest visitor tips, maps, blogs, videos and more. Use My Sights to create your own bizarre road trips. A nice feature is the search bar at the top where you can choose your state of interest and get the entire list of oddities in that state or search for that largest ball of yarn you’ve been wondering about. Bet if you did your own state, you’d even find things in your own city you didn’t know about!
Global Alexa Rating: 58,196
Rand McNally has long been a trusted source for travel with their GPS devices, road atlas and other products. Besides these tools, head over to the blog section to see their road trips section which includes a destination of the month, motorcycle road trip section, small town spotlight, weekend getaways and more. You’ll also find travel tips and blogs about outdoor activities such as biking, camping, hiking and winter sports. Also be sure to check out their TripMaker at http://tripmaker.randmcnally.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 69,748
For many, the best thing about a road trip is finding the culinary delights along the way. This site is devoted to helping you find authentic regional eats and it boasts over 1,500 incredible local eateries around the country. You might just find yourself planning your road trip around the road food! In fact, the site offers insight into recommended eating tours that do just that. You can locate roadfood by state or by restaurant type. You’ll love the unique classifications by which you can search for restaurant type, including street food, tavern, lobster pound, eclectic, Hungarian, boarding house, oyster bar, soul and more.
Global Alexa Rating: 135,873
Road Trip America offers routes, planning and inspiration for your North American road trip. Their interactive map makes it easy to create a route and find attractions. The site also includes a link to a site for advice on keeping children entertained on the trip. The site includes many useful tools including a fuel cost calculator, forums, tips, defensive driving tips, road food & recipes, trip ideas, pre-designed trips, lists of attractions in the US and Canada and even some road fun features.
Global Alexa Rating: 301,630
This website is devoted to a set of popular and special road trip routes. It includes eleven routes: Pacific Coast, Border to Border, The Road to Nowhere, The Great River Road, Appalachian Trail, Atlantic Coast, The Great Northern, The Oregon Trail, Loneliest Road, Southern Pacific and Route 66. Each route gives you an overview as well as information and specific directions for getting through each state. The site also includes a drive of the month, a road tripper blog, audio and travel links which include tourism information for each state.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,370,741
This site gives a lot of sound advice for planning a fun road trip. It includes a trip toolbox, calculator, games & songs, packing lists, recipes, road food, top ten trips, best US routes, road trip ideas, free trip plan, trip resources and more. A couple really useful tools are the road trip budget calculator and the road trip recipes. Altogether, this site helps you map your trip, estimate the cost, make packing lists and be prepared as much as possible. The road trip ideas are pretty interesting as well.
Generally speaking, although the idea of being a tumbleweed doesn’t lack favor among the more spontaneous among us, actually planning a road trip carefully is probably the safer bet, particularly if there are children involved. It is not fun to run out of gas in an area with no cell phone reception, or not be able to locate a place to sleep as the sun dips low in the sky. Enjoy the aids found in these sites, and Happy Trails!