Back when I was a kid, planning a road trip was a pretty primitive practice. The most sophisticated thing that we ever did in road trip planning was going to AAA. They would pull out a whole book of maps and plan our route out for us. Basically, they would give us a copy of a sheet for each day of our trip. It would have the route drawn out in red marker. We would drive along with their directions and pull off the highway when we get too tired to continue. When we finally got there, we would find the best motel that we could afford and park ourselves there for anywhere from half a week to a week and a half. Then we would restart the whole thing in reverse, going home again.

It is amazing how much more sophisticated road trip planning is nowadays. You don’t have to work to hard to plan things out in more detail. You can simply boot up Google maps, enter your coordinates, and get detailed instructions all the way there from the comfort of your own home. You can get listings of all of the hotels on the way, good landmarks to see, And even restaurant reviews from the towns that you pass through. Even the most primitive and lazy road trip planner still has more information at his or her fingertips when starting the trip than my parents used to have with all of their research.

Of course, with road trip planning as with anything else, occasionally the old solutions still work really well. For example, travel books are still a good idea. No one really wants to plan out every move of their trip. After all, you never know when the mood will strike you to do something unexpected and unconventional. By getting a tour book, you can see what options are available to you in the towns you pass through.

Then again, if you really want to be thorough with your road trip planning, you should try to take time to revise it as you go. One of the best ways to do this is to simply bring a laptop along. Most towns have somewhere where you can get WiFi access nowadays. If you go into a town that looks interesting, you can simply boot up the Internet and see what kinds of events are going on while you’re there. This is a great way to have fun and explore the local culture.