The summer travel season is upon us and we are once again planning a road trip in the RV. Each year I visit the web and look for locations, travel tools and advice to help us create a memorable journey.
One challenge that we always have when we go road tripping is remembering all of the great restaurant and must-see attractions that are recommended to us. Another issue when travelling with friends is deciding on a route and building a trip itinerary that includes something for everyone. My goal was to find a program or a service that could take all of our trip information and make it easily available online and on my digital devices.
I looked at a number of online travel planning services including Tripit, Freetrip and Yahoo, but in the end I chose Triple A’s TripTik Travel Planner. This online app from AAA allowed me to create a road routing guide, save favorite places and build an itinerary with stops, mileage and recommendations. The maps are great and the routing is accurate and you can get real-time gas price comparisons and AAA deals.
The way this app works (and most of the others) is you enter a starting point and an end point and the application provides road routing along with other information including mileage, attractions, gas stations and other selectable services. You can then zoom in and grab any point on the route and reroute it to make a side trip or restaurant stop. Once you zoom into the city detail you can choose what attractions or services to view. For us, RV camping spots were important so we can plan our overnight stops.
Some of the reasons I chose the AAA’s TripTik is that it includes AAA’s recommended lodging, restaurants and campgrounds with Trip Advisor reviews and Woodall’s RV park recommendations. There is also a ton of information on the destinations from AAA writers and articles that provide you with things to see and do at each location.
TripTik provides mobile apps for Apple IOS and Android devices and a mobile browser site. They also have downloadable tour books with reviews and attractions from their editors. For me, printing the maps, routes and directions gives my navigator everything she needs to guide us to the next stop. Plus you can hand a copy out to your traveling companions so they don’t get lost.
If you are planning a road trip take some time to see how one of the travel planning apps go beyond route guidance and how they might make the journey as fun and interesting as the destination.