Some people enjoy just jumping in the car and going where the road takes them. But others like to plan their road trip ahead of time. See your route, get directions, and add unique or fun stops along the way.
If you are a planner getting ready for a road trip, long or short, these websites can help you map it all out perfectly.
For a full-featured planning tool, Furkot Road Trip Planner is a terrific site. You can get started quickly by entering just small amount of details like your starting and ending points and whether or not it is a one-way trip.
You can optionally configure details such as start and end dates, how long you want your days to be, your method of travel, and lodging requirements. You will then see your route on the map and can add many items to your trip.
Add hotels, eating spots, or activities along the way. And, most locations conveniently link to booking and reservation sites.
The Furkot Trip Planner gives you full details including directions, distance, driving hours per day, and you can choose when you want to obtain fuel.
Everything you add is plotted on the map, plus you can export your itinerary in several different formats or share it with others.
Another excellent planning site is Roadtrippers. Add your starting and ending points to begin and optionally include hotels, activities, and even offbeat attractions from the main page. You will then see the map of your route where you can explore by adding more stops.
Each stop you add produces an additional layer. So, you can see the locations both on the map and the different layers to click on for further details.
Along with the common options like places to eat, stay, and have fun, you can include shopping, nightlife, and camping spots. Select the locations to get more details and see where to make your reservations.
Roadtrippers provides extra information along with its directions like the number of miles and handy fuel estimates if you enter your vehicle type. Create multiple trips, share them with friends, and check out helpful trip guides.
MyScenicDrives is an easy-to-use road trip planner with basic features in addition to its scenic drive offerings. Like the others, you begin with a start and an end point. If you have a specific stop you want to make along the way, you can enter it by name or address. This is handy if you know a certain place you want to visit.
If you are not quite sure where you want to stop and would like to explore options, just click a spot on the map along your route. This will open a small menu where you can select places of interest, hotels, campgrounds, and towns.
The map will update once you make your choice and pop open a sidebar with details of the locations in that category.
MyScenicDrives trip planner also includes a convenient to-do list. If you need to remember something specific for your trip, or a spot that is not necessarily a location to stop at, this is useful. Then, get your directions, optimize stops for time or distance, print, or share your trip.
You can export all the information to a GPS device or use the turn-by-turn directions even without a device.
The Route Planner is helpful for optimizing your trip when you have more than a few stops, whereas the Directions option lets you add hotels, food, and shopping locations to your trip.
Once you enter your starting and ending points, you will receive immediate details like distance, time, and estimated fuel cost. Then, just add stops by using the buttons at the top.
If you select hotels (how to find cheap hotels), you will not only see them plotted on the map, but room rates and if they are sold out. The gas option also displays prices for each station, which is super convenient.
You can click the More button to see a list of locations like hospitals, ATM machines, pharmacies, and post offices on your route. Most options you pick will offer the address, additional details, and a link to the website.
When you finish, just save, share, or print your trip plan.
Another site known for its maps that offers a road trip planner is Rand McNally. Like MapQuest, when you enter your starting and ending points, you will immediately see miles, time, and an estimated fuel cost along with the directions.
If you have a specific stop to make, you can add it to the route by entering its address. If not, click on Things to Do from the left-hand menu and then mark places you want to stop.
Everything from rest areas to amusement parks to small-town gems are at your fingertips. If you see one you like, click it for more information or to add it to your trip plan. You can also choose the number of miles off your route you are willing to stop.
You can add notes if needed and rearrange your stops with a drag and drop action. When your trip plan is complete, you can send it directly to GPS if you own a Rand McNally unit. Or you can simply print or email it.
Specific Travel Types
If your next road trip is specifically for camping, you want to bring your family pet, or is centralized in California, then check out these sites. The sites below are tailored for these types of travel, and you might find them to be ideal for planning your trip.
On the Free Campsites website, you can select Trip Planner from the top of the main page and you’re on your way. Enter your start and end spots and you will see campsites plotted on the map. You will also get driving directions, details on the campgrounds, and can add stops along your route.
If you are traveling with Fluffy or Rover, plan your adventure with the GoPetFriendly’s Road Trip Planner. Access the planner under Travel Tips & More from the top navigation.
After entering your starting and ending points, just select the types of pet-friendly locations you want. Then, add them to your itinerary, which you will see with driving directions directly below the map.
For a California road trip or certain locations in India, GoRoadTrip is a great site. Pick your destination and choose your type of trip such as kids and family or a city tour. You will then answer a few questions regarding your preferences and a plan will be automatically generated for you.
It will include stops based on the answers you provided. You can then edit, save, share, or download the plan.
Carry These Special Road Trip Tools, Too
For extra help preparing for your road trip, these tools come in handy. From travel safety apps to eating recommendations to fuel stops, they might just be the little bonuses you need to pack for your adventure.
- Apps and Safety Tips — DefensiveDriving.com Road Trip Planner
- Cool Places to Eat — Roadfood
- Fuel Stops and a Cost Calculator — GasBuddy and GasBuddy Trip Cost Calculator
- Food and Fuel Stops by Exit and Time — Stop By Stop
Where Is Your Next Road Trip Taking You?
Whether you are traveling alone or taking your family along, road trips can be a ton of fun and less expensive than a plane ticket. You can check out neat locations along the way, see parts of your country you never have, and experience a different geographical culture. Don’t forget to bring some music to play on the trip.
And if you’re not sure where you want to take a road trip, be sure to check out these great apps for summer vacation ideas!
Where are you going? Have you been there before? Did you find a gem you plan to visit along the way? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! And, safe travels!