Route Planning and Itinerary Apps


Route Planning and Itinerary Apps

I’ll be testing some route planning apps this month. We’ll be taking several bigger trips later in the year, so I’ll experiment with these apps on our three-day trip.

TripIt for Itineraries

I’ve had TripIt for years and like it for itineraries. The free version has plenty of features.

What I Like

I like the fact that I can go into TripIt on my computer and make plans. It syncs with my tablet, phone, and calendar. (How to sync TripIt with Google calendar.) When I’m traveling, I check out my itinerary, addresses, map location, phone numbers, etc. on any of these devices.

TripIt is my go-to app for reservations. It’s easy to send confirmation emails to TripIt, so my itinerary is in one place.

It’s been helpful to go back into past itineraries and find the same motel for a trip we usually make annually. I just add it to this year’s trip.

TripIt also offers ideas for restaurants and stops near your destinations. I’ve added any or all appointments, restaurants, tourist stops, etc. to TripIt.

The app’s new Navigator feature syncs with Google Maps for directions. TripIt’s Navigator may end up being our tool when in the car. We like to use Google Maps when we’re close to our destination.

Route Planning

What might be new this trip for me is a route planning app. I couldn’t see a way to plan out a route ahead of time on TripIt.

I checked out several Route Planners this week. I tried RouteXL and found it awkward to put a plan in.

Next, I thought MapQuest was better. I could import bulk addresses in a CSV or XLS format.  It was easy to put multiple stops into a route. MapQuest doesn’t have a round trip feature, so I left from home and “returned” to our nearby shopping center. I can save the directions in a PDF or send a link to the plan to someone in an email.

When I downloaded the app to my phone, the desktop and app didn’t communicate with each other. Not good.

RoadTrippers

I also looked at RoadTrippers. The Android version has a rating of 3.8, which made me a little nervous. The iTunes version rating is 4.7. The mobile app and PC version sync. Hooray! That was important to me as I make trip plans at my desktop. If you do everything from your phone this may not matter to you about the app you use.

It was easy to add our various stops into the plan. It will be easy to go back in and put the dates in.

RoadTrippers also offers lots of options for finding restaurants, attractions, and much more along your way.

Maps

For our trips, we use Google maps on Mike’s iPhone, which also showed traffic, but for the bulk of our daily drive, we use our GPS. We don’t want to drain the cell phone when we might need it for other things. We bring a Rand McNally atlas from Wal-Mart which we look at for “the big picture.”

Once, we had one remote address that we couldn’t locate, so I used maps.ie to determine the GPS coordinates. To use this, enter the name of a nearby city in the search bar then drag the resulting red marker to the precise location. The coordinates will show up in the window. Positive numbers are north and east (of the Prime Meridian); negative numbers are south and west. Enter these coordinates into your GPS.

What Do You Use?

So far, none of the apps took the route I would expect, going out-of-the-way and/or avoiding Interstates. I’ll be checking into this. If YOU have a route planner you love, please comment below or message me.

NOTES:

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