A route planner is usually made for an overland trip that is to be undertaken in an automobile or passenger car. A route planner consists of a map and a set of suggestions to the driver on how to get from point A to point B. The planner is specifically laid out to suit the particular trip that the group of travelers is about to embark on. The route taken can be just a day trip or it can involve one or more overnight stays. Most route planners are often created for a small group of people, on a leisure itinerary. Most times there is a theme to the voyage, such as visiting National Parks or Civil War battlefields.
Highways and Byways
The first object of a route planner after you decide where you are going to visit is to determine which highway or route you will take to arrive at your chosen destination. The basic choices center around entering the Interstate highway system for a speedy arrival or traveling by secondary highways that provide a wealth of sights and sounds, but may take longer to reach your destination. Many times a route planner is issued to someone who is moving or visiting a far-off city, in which case a direct and speedy course will be outlined.
Route planners give a lot more information than just distances and choice of highways. Such useful data as tolls for turnpikes and bridges are included as well as info about ferry schedules and fares. Points of interests or scenic attractions are often included, especially if requested. A route planner can also offer an alternative path of travel and then give an estimated amount of time for completing the drive. Also provided will be information about any border crossings and what kind of legal documents you might need for both yourself and your vehicle.
For those who will be on the road for longer than one day, the planner will provide a list of accommodations, along with prices, phone numbers and directions, on how to get there. This information can be an invaluable time saver. Also the place to stay may be rated not only with regards to quality and service, but also in reference to the price range. Whether you are used to staying at a roadside campground or a five-star hotel, this is definitely information you can use. Don't forget you may be entitled to a small discount if you belong to one of the major travel or automobile organizations that provide route planners.
A route planner can be specially tailored to your specific interests. Whether you're visiting desert National Parks in the southwestern portion of the United States and spending the night at a drive-in campground or perhaps visiting lighthouses in Maine and staying at a Bed & Breakfast, there is a route planner that can be tailored for your needs. The key is communicating to the planning organization. Keep in mind you might enjoy doing some of the research yourself, but having a mapped route and a list of places to stay for every night on the road can be a great relief, while traveling.
Route Planning Organizations
In the United States the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the Auto Club of America are the premier organizations, but you can also get trip planners from a host of online sites. In England and the United Kingdom the situation is almost identical with the AA and RAC providing the major pre-planned auto trips. Don't get the RAC mixed up with the private Royal Automobile organization. They are two different entities. Joining an automobile club, and obtaining a route planner as part of membership fee or at a slight extra cost, is a great way to get good information before you travel.