When there's no internet available, travel maps are indispensable. They're also fun for gathering the family around on the floor to plan a big vacation.
When we think about our next holiday we focus on where we will go, where we will stay and what we will do when we get there.
But the question now is, how will we get there?
If you are traveling by car, you need to ensure you know the safest route to take to get to your destination.
By using travel maps prior to your trip you can not only plan your desired route, you can outline your itinerary to include pit stops for meals or toilet breaks.
Or simply to let you kids stretch they legs and have a run around.
These days many of us rely on smartphone apps for travel help and GPS assistance if we don't have a built-in GPS in the car. With these apps at our fingertips we no longer need to keep maps in the car.
Some travel apps have extra features that can keep us informed when road conditions aren't good, and will even offer alternate routes when bad conditions might slow us down. INRIX is one to check into.
It is worth a little extra time before your trip to try a few of these mapping apps and choose the one that works best for your area and device.
Travel clubs and road-side protection plans sometimes offer free maps for vacation planning. One of the best known, in the US at least, is AAA or the Triple A motor club. Members can request maps and guidebooks for free.
These free travel guides and maps can make vacation and travel planning lots of fun, even if you don't use the maps for navigation purposes.
Use Google Maps to determine the best route for you.
Click on the link, 'view larger maps' located below the map.
When the larger map opens, click on 'get directions' to the top left hand corner of the page and enter your current location and your destination.
You could even print these out if you don't have other resources on hand and create your own custom road maps.
Google Maps also allows you to tailor your request to avoid tolls or highways for example.
Just remember, don't push yourself too hard. When planning a long car trip, ensure you take a break every few hours.
Plan breaks around meal times and ensure you take into consideration your kids needs too.
If you don't meet their needs you'll end up with grumpy kids which will only make your drive more difficult.
Happy Kids = Happy Drive