Trip Planning Tools

What I use to plan my tours-
Outside of the internet, I find myself using the following old fashioned methods to assist planning a long tour.  The internet is a essential tool for any Long Rider no question, but some things besides being handy, are just nice to have.

1.  The National Geographic Road Atlas-  I've stated elsewhere nothing takes the place of good atlas when it comes to planning a tour.  I have to have the big picture that only a atlas can give.  I find the the NG to be my favorite.  Just enough detail with a rich texture of colors and layout.  

2. Road Trip USA- Great book if you want someone to do the planning for you.  This book will have precise routes drawn up for a long rider.  It will highlight any and all attractions to see along the way.  All the research has been taken care of.  I use this to see if any of my planned routes are going to coincide with, or come close to one of the book's routes.  If I know I'm riding through North Kansas I'll get this book out to see what might be near.  Many of the rides are some form of cross country.

​​3.  Off the Beaten Path by Reader's Digest-  ​A great resource for Long Rider's looking for out of the way stuff, and how to find them.  The RD has things organized by state, making it easy to locate places.  The book has the details of state parks, historical markers and info only locals can relate to.  I use it often.

4.  The National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways- My favorite and must used book.  Awesome resource because you find exactly what roads to ride.  I traveled many of the routes in this book and never been disappointed.  Many of the drives listed in this book you may already know about, but many you won't.  The NG also offers a list of things to do and see along each of the drive.  Great NG photography included.  Routes can vary in length from a few miles to a few hundred.  Check it out.  I was lucky, I got the book free from some kind of internet offer via the National Parks.

5.  National Geographic National Park app-  I downloaded the app to my Ipad and use it around the house and on the road.  Works great.  Inspiring photography and useful information on campgrounds, fees, and how to tour the parks and get the most out of your visit.  Spend a few extra bucks and you'll learn where to find the best photo spots and secrets on how capture the best images.  Directions you'll need to get there, and what you'll find when you arrive.  The app is free but you have to pay to get the really good items, but the price will include any upgrades in the future.  Good stuff.