Monday, July 7, 2014

Road Trip Planning

Thankfully we have decent internet here in Ham Lake Campground and I've been spending some quality time preparing our trip to the West Coast.

During Sister Mary's visit she presented me with a large hardcover book by Readers Digest entitled "See The USA the Easy Way" and I have been poring over this.

I love the format of this book.  Each page spread has a map of one of the areas to tour and all the information for that map is on those pages.  

No flipping back and forth to find stuff.

Another tool I've just discovered is the Trip Planning feature on the Good Sam website.  They couldn't make this any easier.  You start with your current location and add the destination.

Then you can click on the "things to do" tab and there are many choices, but my favorite (of course) is the "oddball and quirky" category.  Yes, I'm one of those people who enjoy seeing the statues made of bicycle parts and any other cheesy attraction that can be found.

Some of the other choices are "picture perfect", "history", "the great outdoors", and so on.  You can also ask it to find Camping World and Flying J gas stations.

You can then click on the campground tab and it brings up the Good Sam parks, those offering Good Sam discounts and public campgrounds.

It creates a listing on the left side of all your stops in numerical order and calculates the driving distance from place to place.  It will also calculate the gas prices for you but I'm afraid to click on that one...some things should be a surprise.

This has made my travel planning a dream.  If I see that I have too big a gap between rest stops I can just add a waypoint and then find a campground nearby.  

If there's something I've heard about later on, I can type it in and let it find it and add it to my trip.  Yes, it will renumber the order of stops and recalculate the driving times.  

If the change dictates a different highway or route, it will automatically change it for you.  Should you not want this to be changed you simply click and drag it to the route you want to follow.

Normally I would spend hours searching through books and maps trying to figure out the best way to approach our route, this has cut the work to a minimum.

What's even easier is to just follow Jim and Cathy since she comes up with some really nice routes, but they're going east again this winter so I can't just use all her talents and hard work.

Long Live the Queen of Road Tripping


  1. technology is a good thing - when it works and is available! i like that book, too.

  2. I wonder if thr person who puts all of these things together has traveled all of their routes. If not you may be in for an occasional surprise ... but hey, this is so easy, who cares. I will go over to Good Sam and see if they get out of the country ... like in Switzerland. I doubt that we will need travel plans there becasue we are staying with a family that lives there and I am guessing they will know all of the good things to see. But, Good Sams sounds like it mught be an interesting visit anyway. So the Queen has got it down to a science. That is a good thing. I am reading a book that talks about the fact that Americans are obsessed with pseudoscience and the media feeds into it. Do you think someone is trying to dumb us down? Anyway, Good Traveling, Queen of the Easy Way ... now you will have more time to sit down and relax :)

    Andrea @ From The Sol

  3. This sounds like an excellent book, and a fun read. I've never heard of Good Sam, so I'll go online and look it up. I think I should pick up a new map book to keep in my car. the last one I bought was way back in the 90's. Somehow I don't think that one is much good anymore. Have fun planning your next itinery, and have a wonderful day. Hugs, Edna B.

  4. Hmmmmmm sounds like we're gonna have a nice west route to follow someday. 😄

  5. I recently joined Good Sam and have been playing with the trip planner. I like how you can enter your miles to gallon of your rv or tow vehicle and the planner gives an estimate for your gas expense. Mary