Bad news: there's no such thing as an online road trip planner.
Well, OK. There are websites that can give you detailed driving directions along with information about restaurants, hotels, and points of interest along the way.
But planning a road trip involves so many little details. It's much more complicated than preparing for other types of vacations. With a typical vacation, you might just fly somewhere and then lie around for a week or two. With a road trip, you're constantly on the move. Every leg of your journey, and every stop you make, will require some forethought.
We're not complaining here. We think this is a good thing. But you'll need to budget some time and some serious thought as you start planning your driving adventure.
This is when you'll put your wildest road trip dreams to the test. Is it really feasible to drive 2,000 miles in three days flat, with three kids in the car? Can you make it all the way to Salt Lake City by Friday while still having enough time to stop and see the two National Parks you want to see along the way? These are the kinds of questions you'll answer as you plan all aspects of your road trip.
As you can see, planning an unforgettable journey isn't something you can do just by punching a few pieces of information into a web page and clicking Submit. You've got to think about where you're heading. How long you want to take to get there. Where you'll stay along the way. What you'll need to pack. How much you're willing to spend. What kinds of attractions you want to see along your route. And where you'll sleep each night.
Use the pages below to guide you through each step. We'll connect you with what we think are the best decision-making and route-charting resources so you don't have to spend hours scouring the internet.
Your planning may involve websites, printed maps, guidebooks, magazines, and various other resources. Your dining room table may be a bit of a mess for a while. But the time you put in now can virtually guarantee an enjoyable trip later.
And remember: plotting your course is half the fun. Don't let it stress you out—and don't worry about "getting it right." The best memories will be the ones you didn't see coming.
Road Trip Planning Guide. This detailed 97-page guide will help you plan virtually every aspect of your next big road trip.
Road trip checklist. Use this handy checklist to minimize forgotten items on your next road trip.
Road trip cost. Follow these steps to figure out the cost of your ideal road trip.
Road trip stops. Don't underestimate road trip stops. They're more than just a chance to refuel and recharge. They can also provide some of the most memorable moments on your road trip.
Road trip with dogs. If you're driving with your dogs, you'll need to plan a bit more carefully to ensure you all have a great time and get there safely.
Packing for a road trip. Follow these basic guidelines to make loading and unloading go a little more smoothly.
Cheap hotel websites. Let's face it: you probably want to lodge as inexpensively as possible on your next road trip. These websites will help.
Car maintenance schedule. As you're planning your road trip, avoid unpleasant surprises by maintaining your car properly.