Planning on a trip or a vacation this summer? There are plenty of tools available to you to find your way from point “A” to point “B” out there. A road trip planner can help you make the best use of your time, and save you money, too. And if you’re hitting multiple spots, a multi stop route planner will serve you well. Which travel planner is best for you?
An Old-Fashioned Map
Don’t be scared away by this one! Learning how to read a map is one of the most valuable tools that you can have in your arsenal. Look closely at the map or atlas; you’ll see tiny numbers between locations, exits, and towns. Those are mile indicators, allowing you to know how great the distance is between locations. Planning out your route with an old-fashioned map can give you a greater sense of distance, options available for your route, and things you may wish to see along the way.
The bird’s eye view offered by an atlas can help you see thing that you may never have noticed if using a more modern route planning method. You’ll sharpen your reading and problem-solving skills, and be less dependent on technology, too.
An App on Your Phone
Today, a variety of apps exist to help you navigate. Just download them on your phone, position your phone on your dashboard, and glance at it as needed. Most of these apps will also give you spoken, turn-by-turn instructions, and detailed images showing which lane to be in, and how far away exits are. Best of all, they have an ability to re-route, and find another path for you immediately, should you run into traffic, road closures, or flooding.
Some apps also have the ability to be updated by other users on road conditions, bad traffic, road hazards, accidents, police speed traps. Not that you should be speeding, but it a help to know what’s ahead. Be careful not to update the apps as you’re driving. Ask a passenger to do this for you, or wait till you’re parked.
A physical GPS can also help get you around. Using much of the same technology and having many of the same features as an app, a GPS exists as an independent object, separate from your phone. It can still get software updates, and can serve you well if you don’t have a phone, if your phone breaks, or if you don’t have a smart phone. With many consumers going back to dumb phones and feature phones, a GPS can help you stay informed and capable on the road, while allowing you to stay free of smart phones.
A number of websites still exist to help you trip plan. Enter your starting point and destination, and the website will give you turn-by-turn instructions and let you know how many miles exist between turns. Multiple stops can also be programmed in. Print these instructions out, and have them with you to consult. Or write the basic instructions down, and tape them to your dashboard. I’ve done this a few times. It’s fun, and kind of old-school. This is especially useful if you kind of know where you’re going, but need some pointers along the way.