Planning a Road Trip? Youll Need Great Driving Maps

by : granola

Before you take to the highways for your next vacation or business trip, look for a good map or two to take along. Although you may know the way there quite well, an up-to-date map may be able to show you shortcuts or help you avoid road construction and other delays. Don't take chances on a stressed-out memory or a change of location for a business or address that you haven't visited in some time. And you certainly don't want to end up in a strange city without a hint of where to stay or what to do while you're there. Take advantage of some of these low-cost maps and services.

The easiest and fastest type of road map most people can get is over the Internet by visiting one of the popular map sites for road trips. In a matter of seconds, you can type in your starting address as well as your intended destination, and receive a downloadable map charting your course as well as a list of driving instructions. Just print and go! You might want to visit a couple of these sites and compare them for the simplest or fastest way to get where you want to go, although chances are that both routes will be similar. The more you do this, the better feel you will get for which site has the best updates on construction areas and highway modifications.

Another way to get a useful map is to pick up one up a convenience store, department store, or gas station. Check for brand names of map suppliers, keeping in mind the higher quality sources like Rand McNally, etc. Also look for more recent maps, preferably for the current year, although some stores may not stock the latest edition. Then try to get map coverage for the most specific part of your trip rather than for a three-state area that will just make your travel route harder to find. Use a highlighter or marker to trace your route, taking care not to obliterate the exits or town names you need to look for when driving.

One of the best ways to get a quality roadmap is by joining your local automobile association. In addition to providing free maps that plot your trip from one location to another, the staff will highlight the driving areas for you so that you just pick up the maps and you're ready to go. The association typically offers lodging and attraction guides for major cities, rating hotels and motels with a five-star system and detailed information on which accommodations are available through various lodging chains. You can find out where to get Internet service, a swimming pool, and other amenities, including parking options, with these helpful guides.

Don't start your trip empty-handed. Fill up with the latest travel information that will make your journey more pleasant and productive and get you where you want to go with the greatest possible ease.