Over the years of traveling by RV, we’ve evolved. From wandering, to sightseeing, to working on the road. This summer, my husband and I – as GeeksOnTour – are on the road for 4 months and are booked to give seminars at 7 different RV rallies. Our trip planning is primarily to make sure we are at the right place at the right time to do our job. But, in between, we do have some time for fun – what to do?
We just finished the Escapade rally in Sedalia, MO, and our next stop is in Michigan for the FMCA Great Lakes area rally called Glamarama. We have a week to get there so I wanted to find one or two fun things to do along the way. That is exactly where Roadtrippers excels.
Roadtrippers.com is free – you just need to create an account with username and password so it can store your plans. I visit Roadtrippers.com on my computer, log in, and click the menu item to start a new trip. I also have the app on my iPhone and I could do the same thing there but it’s easier with the big screen.
- Where are you going? I enter Allegan, MI.
- It assumes you are starting from your current location. If not, you click the + to add the correct starting location, and remove the automatically entered one.
- I am starting from Sedalia, MO. Roadtrippers instantly draws a route on the map and notes that it is 572 miles between those two points.
- Now I want to see the suggested points of interest along the way. There are 9 categories, represented by the buttons at the top of your route. Each category has several sub-categories. I choose the Attractions and Culture category and then the Top Category and Museums subcategories. I don’t want to be overwhelmed with too many choices.
After you’ve selected the categories you want to see, markers will appear on the map – just along your route. You can click on any marker and get details. I notice the Lincoln Presidential museum in Springfield, Illinois, and click “Add to Trip”. It shows as 252 miles from our starting point – leaving 322 miles to our final destination. I love how quick and easy it is to see those segment mileage numbers.
But, most of all, I like how easy it is to reveal cool places and things to do. In addition to the markers on the map, there is a category panel at the left where you see informational cards on every point. On the mobile app those cards are in a carousel at the bottom of the screen.
Be prepared to spend a lot of time perusing the information here. Each card is clickable and displays more information, photos and reviews. I click on the card for Dana-Thomas House and discover that this is a Frank Lloyd Wright “symbol of artistic and architectural excellence” and it’s just a mile from the Lincoln museum … add to trip!
I would not count on Roadtrippers to completely plan my trip because it has no provision for finding places that aren’t in its database. For example, we use our Harvest Hosts membership to find wineries and farms where RVs are allowed to park overnight. I find one right near the shores of Lake Michigan that looks like a perfect place to stay. It doesn’t exist on Roadtrippers, and there is no way to manually add it.
Roadtrippers is just one of my tools for trip planning, but it is my favorite for finding fun places to visit along my route. You can use Roadtrippers.com on a computer web browser, or the app on iOS or Android. Any trip you create on one will be available on the others as long as you log in to the same account.
Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly online show called What Does This Button Do? They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years.