I’ve settled (finally) on our online roadtrip planner. I’m using TripIt. After trying out many planners (Yahoo, Google Maps, TripTik, TripWiser, Rand McNally, Freetrip and a few others) I finally picked TripIt.
It’s still not perfect but it’s working so far. What I really wanted was a program where I could click on the cities/places on a map, put them in the order of visit, have the distance and time calculated plus routed on a map, and then place each leg of the trip on the right date.
TripIt lets me do all that without the clicking the places part. I manually type in the names of the cities and pick the date on which I plan to to do the travelling. It will then calculate the route, time and distance using Google Maps. Since we are making about 13 planned city stops (which have to be on weekday for business meeting) I have to be pretty meticulous about planning the time of day that we drive as well as the exact day we arrive or leave a city. It’s more of a Canadian Capitals tour than anything!
I am currently really excited by the trip. By 4pm I might be terrified again. Remember that I’m travelling this with two little kids (by little I mean 4 years and 2 years). Happily they are both girls, used to sharing a room, play very well together, and love adventure. We have travelled with them plenty of times – E had been on about 15 planes by the time she was 3 1/2 and C has been on about 12 in her 2 years. They don’t fly free anymore (we’ve only paid for E once) which is why we used to take them along on business trips all the time. Then again, we’ve only flown one trip with them both. All of the other trips were with each child separately. And we haven’t been real roadtrippers since we ourselves were children.
So we have magnadoodles, LeapFrog story pads (they each have their own), stickers, Colour Wonder markers & paper, a portable DVD player with some new shows (C’s birthday gifts provided some new entertainment), books, radio shows (like Paws & Tales and the Chronicles of Narnia), podcasts (for J & I!)… I’m sure we’ll be playing many hours of I Spy, Are We There Yet, and learning some much loved roadtrip songs (There’s a Hole in My Bucket, 99 bottles).
If you have any more tips or ideas for things to do or see while we’re travelling, I would love to hear them!