I can tell you from experience that it takes a lot of research and planning to find out just what lies along a particular route that's worth making a stop for. But OnTheWay, a new trip-planning website, is set to relieve detourists of some of that work.
Enter a starting location and a destination and, using Google Maps, OnTheWay will point out what's available along your given path.
Unfortunately, the database doesn't appear to be all that robust, and the site is lacking a host of useful features, but this is one site to keep an eye on for any avid road tripper.
Photographer Brian DeFrees recently completed a 12,225-mile loop around the United States, an epic road trip that he's consolidated into a single 5-minute video.
With his camera positioned for a driver's-eye view, he rigged it to pop a photo every 5 seconds. He then compiled the resulting frames to create a time-lapse journey recording every highway, back road, bridge and tunnel along the way.
The full compilation of photos added up to two and a half hours of footage, but thanks to some selective editing, you can enjoy the whole trip in just over 5 minutes.
Heading off to destinations yet unexplored with more friends crammed into the car than can comfortably fit can make for quite the memorable road trip. Yet, "the more, the merrier" can often turn into a tension-filled disaster if you don't make the right plans.
Lindsey from Always the Planner has compiled a list of tips for just such an occasion, offering advice on how best to avoid arguments and make the most of the trip for everyone. Among them is one I always advise for any group of 5 or more:
"Schedule times for the group to break apart during the trip. When putting together your group itinerary, make sure that you leave chunks of time for the group to easily break apart. This allows everyone in the group to do some of the things that they want to do but the rest of the group doesn't. It also breaks up any in-group tension by giving everyone a break from one another if they want it."
In case you aren't already aware, the derby theme this week over at Shirt.Woot is "Road Trip!" And, personally, I think the design pool could use some fresh blood, so I'm calling all Roadside Resort readers to head on over and submit your own ideas. You could win $1000!
If you don't know what Shirt.Woot is or how it works, be sure to read their FAQ. And if you happen to win because I pointed you in their direction, I'm just letting you know a complimentary T-shirt sent my way (size medium) will not go unworn.
The proliferation of GPS receivers, smart phones and netbooks have changed the way we plan and execute our road trips. Me, I'd say they've improved things dramatically, especially when it comes to making tangential stops and finding nearby places to eat and sleep.
Still, there are those times when connections fail us and we're left in the dark. Plus, we mustn't forget that there are still those of us without such high-tech devices to help us along the way.
In such cases, Google Map Buddy from Augmented Reality Software can be a huge help. Using Google's online repository of maps and satellite imagery, GMB allows you to select a region, then automatically creates a large-scale, high-resolution image ready for print.
Use it to create a big paper map for your next excursion or, if you like, print out a giant aerial view of your home town for a nice wall display. Maybe even make a poster of the entire U.S. that you can use to stick pins in all the places you've been. ... Continued
Eating while driving. I do it. We all do it. When you're trying to beat the sunset to the world's largest scale model of the Hubble Telescope and you haven't eaten anything since that half-frozen muffin from Super 8's continental breakfast, it's unavoidable.
And we've come to learn that some foods work better than others. Milkshakes, mini hamburgers, Pringles: nice and convenient. Enchiladas: not so much. Though, really, it should be pretty obvious which foods work and which ones don't. Nevertheless, Insurance.com has felt it necessary to publish their list of the top 10 foods to avoid while driving.
At number 6: ribs. Really? Someone needs to be reminded not to eat ribs behind the wheel? At the other end of the spectrum: soda. If there's one ingestible that should always be OK, it's soda. Insurance.com's reason to put it on the no-no list? "Fizz in the nose."
How would you improve the list?
Coffee. Even with a travel lid, hot coffee can find its way out of the opening when you hit a bump.
The site, developed by architectural and cultural historian Joanna Dowling, offers what is probably more than you ever thought you'd want to know about safety rest areas. Dowling has collected photos both recent and historic from across the United States, as well as information on architectural elements, planning, development and preservation, along with links to rest-area-related news items and departments of transportation.