5 Resources to Help Plan Road Trips


Right now the country and the world are hunkering down and staying close to home. Events are being postponed; tournaments have been canceled; conferences are going online and students are doing schoolwork at home. But this will not last forever. Soon we will all get to come out of our hometowns, load the van and hit the road for some amazing trips. Studies have shown that planning a vacation is good for mental health and boost our system. So let’s start planning!

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5 Resources to Help Plan Road Trips

Whether you are a planner or prefer to just get out there and explore, there are a few must-have books and resources that will help you make the most out of your next road trip.

Road Food

When we go on vacations or road trips, we like to find nonchain restaurants. One of our favorite places we found in Nashville was Prince’s Hot Chicken! And guess what? It made the book!

If you’re planning a road trip or just looking for a restaurant outside the chains, this could be just the resource you need! Roadfood, 10th Edition: An Eater’s Guide to More Than 1,000 of the Best Local Hot Spots and Hidden Gems Across America is a great resource that features local restaurants and diners all across the US.

Filled with enticing alternatives for chain-weary-travelers, Roadfood provides descriptions of and directions to (complete with regional maps) the best lobster shacks on the East Coast; the ultimate barbecue joints down South; the most indulgent steak houses in the Midwest; and dozens of top-notch diners, hotdog stands, ice-cream parlors, and uniquely regional finds in between. Each entry delves into the folkways of a restaurant’s locale as well as the dining experience itself, and each is written in the Sterns’ entertaining and colorful style. A cornucopia for road warriors and armchair epicures alike, Roadfood is a road map to some of the tastiest treasures in the United States.

Road Atlas

You absolutely can’t plan or execute a road trip without a current road atlas. We love our GPS in the car but we don’t go anywhere without the atlas in the car! You just never know when you may not be able to get connected to the GPS.

Detailed Topographical Map

For Christmas, my parents got the neatest gift! The Kentucky Detailed Topographical Map shows the backroads, covered bridges, waterfalls and outside places that make the counties unique.

These topographic atlases cover individual states with the most comprehensive detail available, including back roads, backwater lakes and streams, boat ramps, forests, wetlands, trailheads, campgrounds, public lands, prime hunting and fishing spots, and countless landmarks and points of interest. You’ll also find a wealth of information on everything from family outings to wilderness adventures.

USA’s Best Trips

USA’s Best Trips 52 Amazing Road Trips is a perfect resource to help you plan your next road trip and city tour. I’ve been reading the chapters where we hope to go this summer and have already found several ideas for historic destinations that I didn’t know were nearby!

Whether exploring your own backyard or somewhere new, discover the freedom of USA’s open roads with Lonely Planet’s USA’s Best Trips, your passport to unique experiences waiting along American highways. Featuring 52 amazing road trips, from 2-day escapes to 2-week adventures, you can journey through the Rockies’ spectacular parks or follow scenic Appalachian byways, all with your trusted travel companion. Jump in the car, turn up the tunes, and hit the road!

50 Hikes in Kentucky

If you love hiking, then you need a book dedicated to telling you about every hiking trail in your state! 50 Hikes in Kentucky is a great resource that helps you find the best hiking trail for you and your family!

What books do you use to help you prepare and plan road trips? Have you used any of these resources? I’d love to hear your favorite travel books!

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  1. This is great information. I am putting my traveling list together for next year. I plan on starting in or about March/April. I also plan on being on the road for a good 2 or 3 months.
    What I use to like, when I went out trekking was to find the mom and pop restaurants. I always seem to like their food better than the chain stores!

    1. I always check with the state and city tourism offices first thing when I am planning a road trip. They know the area so well that they can recommend the best things I don’t want to miss. Ask them their best travel guide books when you call or email because they know what is the most up to date! Have fun on your upcoming travels!

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