questionswhat is a good road trip planner software?

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Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS or Android?

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As a veteren road trip kind of a guy, I've found that I enjoy myself much more by NOT trying to keep a schedule. Part of the experience is the journey. I used to calculate miles, stops and all that jazz and I was always on edge when we went off schedule.

The best road trip I ever took was with a gas station road map and a highlighter with all my hotels planned with late check in - just in case we wanted to take a detour to the largest ball of string or big foot tracks.

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@ryanwb: i agree. i wanted to basically check whats 'doable' in a given time-frame, and maybe plan gas-stops (motorcycle range is about 250 miles)

@rprebel: i don't have iOS, and mostly use Windows. but if you show me a killer free program on Linux, i can Live boot something to use it i suppose.. if there is something good web-based then OS doesn't really matter. free android app could be cool, since it might support GPS

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@jamesbottomtooth: I looked around kayak.com/explore for a few minutes, but I'm not sure if that's what you need. Worth a look, I suppose. I don't know anything about Windows or Android, so can't help you there. Best o' luck.

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What about google maps do you find to be annoying? Did you know you can create and save your own maps with all the locations you're interested in plotted out for you? You're probably already aware that you can specify multiple stops in one trip using google maps.

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I prefer mapquest to google maps when I am planning a trip. I find that google maps sometimes gives me incorrect directions more often than mapquest. However, if I'm looking for something to do other than just drive and am planning a road trip as opposed to just driving from one place to another, I use OnTheWay. You can put your starting location and destination in, and it will show you a variety of options of places to stop along the way. It is really pretty cool!

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I'd agree with mkdr and ryanwb, loosely planned trips IMO are more fun but planning a general route isn't a bad idea. I like using Mapquest to brainstorm possible roadtrips because it can show you what the lodging/food/shopping/general activities are along the route, and you can roughly estimate what your gas costs would be!

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I just use my brain and wing it.

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I used to travel a lot. I'd have to go to sudden or unexpected spots, often off the beaten track.

I would use Delorme's Street Atlas and/or Topo USA because it offers detailed maps, advanced route planning and location reference material. All the required info is on DVD, but you can copy the data sets to hard disk for more mobile use. There are also navigational updates you can download.

The software also couples with a USB or bluetooth GPS unit that offers live tracking and guidance. It is Windows based, but it also cuts the "cloud" cord if you are mobile and untethered. It will also include millions of commercial phone numbers, business details, highlights and travel tips.

I've used it for years and got hooked. The base software is about $40, but Delorme offers professional grade GIS and everything in between. It also supports mobile devices.

Check it out at http://www.delorme.com/
Follow the left masthead to check out the Street Atlas versions and bundles.

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I road trip often and use www.myscenicdrives.com. It's free and allows unlimited stops, automatically divides multiday trips, and exports to your GPS or you can print directions. There are other cool features that come in handy such as it calculates gas expenses and even food and lodging budgets. You can also book hotels right in the road trip planner and have your itinerary/directions incorporated in one place. The website also has pre-planned scenic drives and places of interest which you can add to your road trip plan so you take the more interesting two-lane roads as opposed to google or mapquest which puts you on major highways. To me that's what road tripping is all about.

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For me, there are two types of road trips.

There's planned road trips where I need to keep a schedule like visiting the vineyards in Napa/Sonoma counties where they close at a certain hour and we've got lunch and dinner reservations. Certainly, those need some planning as to route, how long to get from point to point, etc allowing for some flexibility in the plan. Google Maps has done well for me in this regard along with my Garmin GPS.

And there are I'm driving cross country and there's really no time frame. For those, I'll plan out routes and what's to see, do, eat, etc. and allow for a lot of flexibility. My GPS and an actual road map and I'm good to go.

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anyone knows of any killer Android apps?