Goodbye To Boring Trips With Rand McNally’s TripMaker®: Review
Time to head out on the road, but this time we’ve sworn off boredom and intend to take some fun trips off the interstate. Problem: we don’t know exactly where or what the fun is. With a little more information, we’re sure we could choose some possibilities and build them into our schedule. How? This time we’re going to check out Rand McNally’s TripMaker®. We’ll see what it can do and how easy it is to use. Quick answers: a lot and very.
So, where are we going?
On previous tech review trips, we’ve driven from Oklahoma City to El Paso with some cheapskate overnights and plenty of visual interest. So, we’ll just keep going this time around.
Launch Rand McNally’s TripMaker®
Unlike our last trip, we’re in no particular hurry. The more side trips, the merrier, provided they yield awesome adventures, especially the kind we’ve never thought of before. So, we boot up Rand McNally’s TripMaker® by clicking right HERE. We create a free account, password, and all that lovely stuff, and then take the tour that Rand McNally offers by popup. If for some reason the popup doesn’t happen, the tour is under the black ?Help button.
Create a trip from El Paso to Tucson
We’ll create a new hypothetical trip from El Paso TX to Tucson AZ. The trip map will look like this:
So far, so good? The purple highlighted portion represents a 30-mile swathe on either side of the route (I-10, in this case). The 30-mile number can be adjusted.
Hmm, highlighters can be so helpful…
In plain view there’s the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument NM. That could be worthy of a sidetrip for an NPS Senior Passholder. Mmmm…you Google it up on a whim, and yippee, there’s a cheapo campground! And you should see the view from this one! It moves instantly from the “maybe” column for this trip to “absolutely can’t be missed”.
Now, we’re going to dig deeper on the TripMaker® …
Click the “Things to do” button
“Quirky and Oddball” quickly catches the eye of most blue-stocking DCMBers. Check in the box. Now, Rand McNally’s TripMaker® sprouts icons where we can find quirky and oddball attractions. We click on the icons one at a time and Shakespeare Ghost Town grabs our attention, especially after a popup window yields more detail.
And if we’re not into Quirky and Oddball…
Rand McNally’s TripMaker® offers an impressive list of other things we might want to do. It can provide pins and information for festivals, artsy stuff, small town gems, historic places, the “great outdoors”, and even rest areas.
Whadda y’ know!
We’d heard of Fort Bowie, and there it is, with such an extensive description, it scrolls and scrolls right out of the screenshot. Major plus for active seniors: there’s exercise in the fine print along with the history. Woohoo!
This one’s a definite go-see. You pick Add to Trip, and it adds itself to your itinerary
It gets better…
Goodness, Fort Bowie is a National Historic Site. That means there’ll be even more info from the NPS right here. Hmmm. Per the NPS, Fort Bowie has good place for a picnic too. Great idea.
RandMcNally’s TripMaker® is easy to use, easy to read, and very helpful for suggesting attractions along the way.
Since TripMaker® runs on a browser, it can be accessed from any device with web service. It’s free.
More road trip planning apps?
Photo credits. Featured image… View from Aguirre Spring Campground, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico: CC BY 2.0 by BLM via Flickr. Top panel… Postcard, Greetings from El Paso: CC BY 2.0 by Boston Public Library via Flickr. Greetings from Tucson: CC BY 2.0 by Boston Public Library via Flickr. Screenshots from Rand McNally’s Tripmaker®. Fort Bowie, Bowie Peak: CC0 Public Domain via NPS. Tucson postcard, On my way to a good time: CC BY 2.0 by Boston Public Library via Flickr.