Planning a Road Trip

null

Road Trips

Route 66 may no longer appear on most maps, but road tripping is as popular as ever. In this guide you’ll find all the resources you need to plan a trip that’s as smooth as a freshly paved highway. Get ideas, maps and even a list of the 50 greatest driving songs of all time.

Planning a Road Trip

Just because Jack Kerouac hit the road without a plan doesn’t mean you should. If you have aspirations beyond stargazing in a cornfield, use the sites below to select both your destination and your en route activities.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • These sites can help you brainstorm your own itinerary and learn about popular road trip routes. The best thing about road trip vacations is that any plan you read about can be easily customized to fit your needs (or whims).
  • If you’re looking to visit a specific destination or region and you can’t find it on any of the sites below, try doing a search for the town or area and include “road trip” or “activities” as part of your search term. You might find some useful information, or a great site like this one that talks about road tripping opportunities near Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Dulcinea's Picks

For general road trips …
For road trips in specific regions …
For Route 66 …
For road trips to U.S. landmarks …
For sports road trips …
For online trip planners …
Who knew?
Back to Top

Road Trip Tips

Although road trips have a strong presence in media and pop culture, following in the footsteps (or tire marks) of Chevy Chase is not going to get you anywhere. For practical information such as how to clean your engine, keep the kids busy in the back seat, or keep the driver awake, explore the sites below.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you’re looking to buy a car, do maintenance on your current car or prepare it for a road trip, there are a few sites for car care below, and many more in the findingDulcinea Cars Web Guide.
  • Membership in AAA can be very useful in case of an emergency. Check out the site, listed below, for more information.

Dulcinea's Picks

For general advice …
For car packing and comfort …  
For stuff to do on the road …
For car repairs and maintenance …
Who knew?
Back to Top

Maps for Road Tripping

Although stopping to ask for directions every mile might help you meet more people on your trip, it’ll slow you down considerably (and not in that good, “we-took-the-scenic-route” kind of way). Instead, use the sites below to find online maps and customized driving directions, purchase road maps, or even turn your cell phone into a navigation device.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you’re taking a long road trip, you may not want to rely solely on online maps. A really good road atlas goes into greater detail and is nice to have aboard in case you stray from your intended path. We recommend the “American Map 2008 United States Road Atlas.” This atlas is spiral bound for easy browsing; has road maps of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico along with inset maps of major U.S. cities; as well as mileage and driving times covering the entire area between central Canada and central Mexico.
  • Gas stations almost always sell local maps that usually list smaller roads not found on more general maps. If you plan to stay in a town for a few days, consider buying a map to foster your exploration.
  • Some sites that calculate driving directions, such as MapQuest and GoogleMaps, let you choose your route based on certain preferences, such as avoiding tolls, or avoiding main roads.

Dulcinea's Picks

For driving directions …
For online and print maps …
Back to Top

Road Trip Blogs

AAA may be able to help you out in a real emergency, but if you’re more interested in friendly advice, check out the blogs of some fellow travelers. You’ll find good stories, and probably some good ideas.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • To find more road trip blogs consider searching for the phrase “road trip” on a blog-hosting site like TravelPod or RealTravel.
  • Maps supplement most road trip travel blogs, but they’re more for aesthetic value than for practical purposes. If you’re going to take one of the trips you read about, visit the “Maps for Road Tripping” section of this guide.

Dulcinea's Picks

Back to Top

Most Recent Guides