With the amount of days and amount of kilometers we are planning on our road trip this summer i spent a lot of time looking at different applications (both web and desktop) for us to use to plan out our route. With the complexity of this trip, especially the fact we are going through two different countries, we had a hard time finding a tool to assist with this.
We needed something that was available on both desktop and mobile (Preferably with offline syncing, or just the ability to print). We needed support for multiple stops and map data of Canada and the U.S.
There are a few different apps that are built to assist with this but they are all not great and don’t do that good of a job. I’ve got a break down of the most popular ones below.
FreeTrip.com (web) – Doesn’t have real support for multiple stops. Is very ugly. Just doesn’t do a good job all around.
Furkot (web) – Looks fantastic, works well, but is very limited in it’s customization. Generated a route for you and there seems to be no easy way to modify it.
CAA’s TripTik Travel Planner (web) – Probably the best of the bunch but no way to make comments or notes on stops which is kind of necessary for
TripIt’s Travel Planner (web) – Fantastic for any trip that isn’t a road trip, not so much for the road trips.
Knapsack (mac) – Fairly expensive at $29.99 and not the best looking. I tried the free trial and it isn’t that flexible.
If you have any more suggestions for apps or web apps then i’m happy to hear them!
The method we ended up deciding on is pretty boring but incredibly effective: Google Maps and Google Docs.
When planning i just have the Google Map open in the left half of my screen with our full route planned out, then on the right half a giant Google Doc.
With Google Maps we can pull out a permalink that has the entire route mapped out on it with all of our stops. Google Maps also gives very conservative estimates on how long it will take for each leg of the trip which is great to have.
In the Google Doc we have it broken into a few sections. The most important is the trip itself, which is broken down by Day. Each day has details on where we are going from and to, where we are staying, what we are doing, etc. etc.
It’s not the prettiest solution but it’s the most flexible we’ve found so far and the only one that meets all of our needs!
Our promise of a post with all of our tech hardware is still in the works, we are still researching and buying all that we need! Good 3G/LTE Antennas that are car mountable are hard to find.