How to Use Road Trip Planner Apps
If you’ve followed along with me this spring, I’ve been trying out apps for trip planning.
Some of the travel topics I covered this spring were:
- Must-Have Tools for Your Next Road Trip actually walks you through many of the steps I take in trip planning. A good post to combine with this one.
- Check out my recommendations of places to visit in the U.S. in Ideas for Your Long Road Trip.
Route Planning Apps
I have two longer trips to plan for this fall. I needed a route planner to figure out our route ahead of time.
- I tried RouteXL and found it awkward to put a plan in.
- The desktop and app for MapQuest didn’t communicate with each other. Not good. It also was too much work.
- I watched this demonstration video today for Furkot, which looks pretty good, but seemed to be more complicated than I wanted.
- I thought about Google Trips, but reviewers said it needs some more work.
I finally decided on the route planner I want to use: RoadTrippers.
The Android version has a rating of 3.8. The iTunes version rating is 4.7. The mobile app and PC version sync. That was important to me for making trip plans at my desktop. If you do everything from your phone this may not matter to you about the app you use.
The desktop version was fast and easy to add various stops into the plan. I’ll adjust the dates as we get closer.
How to Use Road Trip Planner Apps
Find Your Route on RoadTrippers
We’re looking at a round trip to the Smokies to be with all our family the week before Thanksgiving.
The free version of Roadtrippers only allows you seven stops. That was fine for me. We’ll see ministry partners both coming and going. We have three possible ministry partners to visit in Atlanta. I only needed Roadtrippers to find the best route to Atlanta, not all the addresses we’ll need to visit. I use TripIt and Google Maps for that.
(P.S. I needed more than seven stops for an MPD trip this fall. The solution? I made a one-way trip to Erie, Pennsylvania, and a second trip for our return plans.)
TripIt for Itineraries
I’ve had TripIt for years and like it for itineraries and reservations. The free version has plenty of features.
When we book our cabin, it’ll be easy to send our confirmation email to TripIt.
After We Firm up Our Dates
RoadTrippers has given me a route and travel times between stops. I’m ready to start planning for MPD appointments. I’ll start adding our friends’ addresses and appointment dates and times in Tripit as I set them up.
TripIt 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, RoadTrippers, and Google Maps all offer ideas for stops near your destinations and along your route. Also, see my post, Ideas for Your Long Road Trip.
On the Road with Google Maps
Once we hit the road, I’ll use Google Maps on my husband’s phone.
I click any address in TripIt and it opens in Google Maps as our destination. We then use Google Maps instead of our GPS.
We like the new Navigator features in Google Maps. For instance:
- The ability to share our progress with others.
- Google Maps has thumbnail photos of turns and destinations in the navigation steps. This can help us recognize our turns.
- We like the visual of which lanes to use for a turn, too.
I recommend these apps for your next trip. Are you using these apps or do you have others you like?
- Roadtrippers is available for the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Users share their trips. (Colorado Springs, anyone?)
- Here’s some other route-planning apps for you to check out: The 10 Best Travel Planner Apps for 2019 (LifeWire).
- Road closures!
- Don’t forget to check Google Maps for damaged roads due to flooding. Turn on the Traffic feature and zoom in to find road closure information.
- Alternatively, do a Google search. For instance, Nebraska had serious road damage in March and May. The screenshot below is from Nebraska 511 Travel Information.