Ideas for Your Long Road Trip


I tried using maps from Google My Maps for a long road trip I was planning. It was handy for seeing the big picture (see screenshot), but the route it picked out wasn’t the best. I can see other uses for this app, though.

Create Maps for Gathering and/or Sharing Information

My Maps is a great way to share a map of information. Here are some ideas I had:

  • make one of shops, churches, parks, etc. and share it with your newly assigned staff to help them settle in.
  • create a  map of the places your team is praying for.
  • map all the local churches and businesses that are supporting your local campus ministry.
  • make a bucket list map of places you’d like to go, so you have these on hand when you plan your next trip.
  • what ideas do you have?

These maps can be private or shared with specific people. I put together a map to share with you. I call it “In-between” Places for Long Road Trips. (If you get an error message, try a different browser or try clearing the cookies from your browser.)

My husband, Mike, calls me a “travel agent.” I’ve been in all 48 states. Some of those travels were a long time ago, so I didn’t recommend some of those places on the map. They may have changed or I may not remember that much about them.

The “In-between” Places for Long Road Trips

We plan ahead for most of our trips. We found some fun new adventures. Last year, we had a lefse lunch at Norske Nook and, later, watched a machine stir vats of cheddar at the Cady Cheese Factory . We were in WISCONSIN after all… cheese had to figure into the plans somehow.

The “in-between” places might be:

  • right off the road to break up a long day or
  • a little out-of-the-way to add to your itinerary.

You’ll notice popular destinations generally are not on this map. I’ve left out quite a lot. If you’re going to D.C., I can guess what you’ll be doing. For the popular parks and cities that are on the map, I marked some of the less-visited places within them and some lodging and restaurants. You’re more likely to look at what’s between A and B on this map rather than look for specific types of attractions. I hope I have enough variety for you to find some great stops for your family.

Free Admissions

Planning ahead may give you an opportunity for free admissions.

When we were homeschooling we often had a year pass from our local museum or science center or a garden or the zoo. These were also good for free family admission to others around the country. You might want to buy one of these family admission passes for your trip (follow the links for lists of members).

National Parks have free admission offers.

The U.S. Forest Service also has fee-free days.

Florida State Parks have free admission on September 8, if you show a library card, and on Veteran’s Day. Maybe your state also has free days. (Also, check out the free fishing days in Florida.)

The Friday before Mother’s Day is National Public Gardens Day. Participating gardens have free admission.

Route Planning

I never did find a good route planner to use. If you know of one, please comment below. Some of the gasoline companies offer route planners, but I didn’t check them out.

Are you ready to plan your road trip? I hope I’ve passed along some helpful tips.

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