The Best Laid Plans: The Road Trip Planner App Review
Trip planning tends to fall into two categories: organizing the trip before you leave, and adjusting plans along the way. There are often many “moving parts”: change one, and you have to change them all. This post will demonstrate how the Road Trip Planner App (RTP) facilitates the planning process and makes for a lot less stress.
This App has an unequivocal thumbs up from Dusty Car Muddy Boots.
The basics and charms of The Road Trip Planner
This App has a myriad options so we’ll stick with fundamentals: planning ahead and making changes. What is clever is how easily the App can update details as your decisionmaking evolves.
First, we’ll generate a hypothetical road trip.
Where shall we go?
Looks like Denver is going to win the role of departure city, Las Vegas for destination…
Straight shot westward on a couple of interstates, you say?
No need for boring: we can surely get into a whole lot of derring do in the space of 750 miles.
Empty the “bucket”
We’ll throw a whole bunch of possibilities on the table while we get this sorted out: Air Force Academy, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Mesa Verde, Telluride, Great Sand Dunes….
All your southern Colorado fantasy destinations are now under consideration.
Boot the Road Trip Planner App: it’ll help you make the plan
With one or two clicks, you create map pins for each location. You can attach a pin to pretty much any geographical location, including your favorite swimming hole and the diner where you meet your BFF for coffee.
Pins show as a little list. You drag and drop the order however you wish. At your behest, bingo bongo the App (which uses Apple’s mapping software) constructs a route. It looks like the above.
The App prepares a chronology using your Denver departure date and time as a reference. It’s customized to your driving speed. Driving distances, projected arrival times, routes, and gas costs, even weather, are provided for each “pin”.
Just to get an idea, take a look at the date and time information provided for one pin (Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs). Zoom is helpful here.
Details you can adjust
See those white boxes? Those are places you can adjust. You can specify how many nights (or hours or minutes) you want at each location. You can have the app automatically create a schedule or you can fix your dates, which you might want to do, for instance, if you have reservations for a cave tour or at a campground.
With those features in mind, you start fine tuning
You want some overnights: 1 night in each of Telluride and Colorado Springs, 3 at Black Canyon, 3 at Mesa Verde, and 2 at Great Sand Dunes. You fill in the details that apply to each stop, including a 9:00 am drive-off time. A partial clip of the results looks like this:
Change of plan!
You were going to meet your grandkids in Telluride, but the dates wouldn’t mesh. You remove Telluride from the line up with your handy dandy delete button. The list will recalibrate, subject to your fine-tuning input.
In the meantime, the Road Trip Planner App is giving you ideas you hadn’t thought of. The route it mapped out snakes through Glen Canyon and a veritable mother lode of Parks and Monuments in Utah. Those’ll have to wait for the return trip because you’ll need more time than you have right now, but you cut yourself a deal to replace the Telluride detour.
Your new “deal”…
With a few deft clicks and drags, your new lineup looks like this:
You’ve thrown in an exercise break, resupply in Page AZ, and 2 nights in Glen Canyon.
You give youself a chance to stretch your legs at Horseshoe Bend near Page, since it’s right on the way and you’ve always wanted to see it.
The new pins are scheduled
According to the Road Trip Planner, you’d arrive at Horseshoe Bend around 1:09 pm if you leave Mesa Verde at 9:00 am.
You estimate 2 hours for your hike, resupply at Page, and 2 nights at the Wahweap Campground (across the dam from Page and Senior-Pass-friendly).
Summary of benefits for this App
Easy to use, lots of fine detail. You can set up a plan, change your mind, add new stops, and recalibrate so you can make decisions. The App handles the tedious busy work and leaves you to the dreaming.
Wahweap is just one of the thousands of Senior-Pass-friendly campgrounds on the Ultimate Public Campground Project App by the same developer. If you’re unfamiliar with the specularity of the latter, you can read up at Ultimate Public Campground App OKC to Amarillo: Review and the 2nd leg of that journey at Review: Ultimate Public Campground Project, Amarillo to El Paso.
This combination of the UPC with the RTP App can quickly turn a trip from expensive-complicated to budget-straightforward. We’ll get to the integration of apps in another post since all the overnights in this post need campgrounds!
$14.99 for the RTP at the date of this post. However, consult the developer’s App site for infallible information. Get the whole family of related apps on Mac and iOS! You’ll make up the money you spend in about 2 nights of travel!
Photo credits: All screenshots are from the Road Trip Planner App. This site thanks Modesitt for its hard work and creativity.
Denver postcard, Greetings from Denver Colorado: CC BY 2.0 by Boston Public Library via Flickr. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve: Public Domain by NPS. Horseshoe Bend: Public Domain by Daniel Olah via Unsplash. Wahweap Campground: Public Domain via NPS.
All others, ©DustyCarMuddyBoots.com, All Rights Reserved.