We’ve come a long way since the days of poorly folded, crumpled up maps being shoved into the glove compartment when it comes to planning road trips. These are a few of our favorite tools we use before and while we’re hitting the road.
1. The Dyrt - this website is beautiful in its simplicity and interactive capabilities. After creating an account on the site, you’re able to browse campsites by their location, as well as write and read reviews of the grounds. The in-depth, filled with tips, better than any guidebook reviews and photos are all from fellow Dyrt users. As incentive to review campsites you’ve visited, points are earned for each review and prizes are awarded each month to the top reviewers in each state. The Dyrt is perfect for the traveler who has a destination in mind, but isn’t sure where to set up camp.
2. Roadtrippers - the ultimate resource for road trip planning. Setting a starting point and your destination, lodging, outdoor recreation, dining options, offbeat and must see attractions are pointed out along the most direct route. The site also estimates the mileage, time, and gas money you’ll use taking that particular route (not including stops), and the option of sharing the route with travelers in your party. You’re able to explore the same options for a city, discovering restaurants, attractions, recreational activities wherever you are. Like The Dyrt, Roadtrippers users are invited to write reviews and post photos of the places they’ve visited. If you’re wanting to go on a road trip but not sure where, Roadtrippers offers dozens of road trip and travel suggestions, from a one week trip down the Appalachian Trail to weekend city guides and trips visiting movie filming locations.
3. Hipcamp - search from over 280,000 campsites across the US by location. Hipcamp offers up a brief description of each site, amenities and activities offered, map, contact info, and its vibes (temperature, elevation, whether it’s public or private land, and estimated time from where you are). Like The Dyrt, Hipcamp gives campers the opportunity to leave reviews and photos from their experiences at campgrounds. What sets the site apart is that Hipcamp encourages landowners to open their locations to campers, believing that recreation can fund conservation of the land, maintaining undeveloped wilderness allowing plants and animals to thrive in their habitats.
4. Atlas Obscura - your guide to off the beaten path, to the quirky, for the explorer. Wherever you are, wherever you’re going, search for popular tags like ‘abandoned’, ‘fascinating fauna’, or ‘natural wonders’. Articles, places, photographs are added by the similarly curious worldwide. It’s easy to get sucked into a never ending hole of discovery of places and attractions in your destination, and in your backyard.
5. Recreation.gov - a partnership between several federal agencies, including the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management, offering reservations at nearly 3,000 federal areas for over 60,000 activites and facilities. Search for federal land in destinations across the United States, narrowing results down with filters for campgrounds, tours, locations for day use and those that require permits. Explore trip ideas featuring maps and must see spots and find inspiration. The site offers amenities and activities offered at each site, the seven day forecast, virtual tour, description of natural features, photos from park visitors, and capability to make reservations online.
About the author:
Rachel Black is an invaluable member of The Campfire Experience team. A wanderer and wonderer herself, she curates a beautiful visual blog capturing her travels and inspiration found along Ohio's back roads and in parts of the midwest. To follow her adventures, visit her blog at http://littlegirllittleadventures.tumblr.com/