I’m a planner. One of my favorite things is getting lost in the art of trip planning, and I typically spend hours ahead of each road trip poring over maps, researching the most scenic routes, and unearthing obscure roadside attractions. But as a dedicated roadtripper, I’m also aware that planning only gets you so far. Road trips are unexpected—which is one of my favorite things about them. I frequently end up changing my plans at the last minute, or even in the middle of a trip.
In the past, these change-ups have meant abandoning my meticulously plotted Google Docs and improvising instead. But with the launch of Roadtrippers’ new itinerary planning feature, which automatically organizes your trip by date, both planning ahead and making last-minute route changes just got a whole lot easier.
Two weeks ago, I headed out on a solo motorcycle road trip through the Southwest. I just bought a new bike, and this trip was meant to be its maiden voyage. Not knowing exactly how I’d feel in the saddle each day, I made a conservative itinerary covering 2,500 miles through four states over 9 days. I planned out my must-see stops for each day, threw in some nice-to-see additions recommended by Roadtrippers, and decided where to stay each night based on a reasonable daily mileage.
The new itinerary planning feature in Roadtrippers allowed me to easily move each stop to a specific date, and I experimented with a few different routes until I was happy with the results. The only thing I booked in advance was a hotel room in Terlingua, a ghost town on the outskirts of Big Bend National Park. (Because the park is located in such a remote area of Texas, I didn’t want to risk not having a place to stay for the night.) Everything else I left more or less up to chance.
But as soon as I started the trip, I realized my planning was off. My new bike turned out to be an absolute dream to ride, and instead of the 250 miles I planned to cover each day, I ended up riding closer to 400—I was simply having too much fun to stop.
Instead of starting my morning by looking at my itinerary for the day, like I normally do, I switched up my tactics. I rode as far as my body allowed during the day, and each night, I opened the Roadtrippers app on my phone to see how much of my itinerary I’d covered. Then I dragged and dropped each location I’d visited into that day’s itinerary—using it almost like a checklist.
At the end of the 9 days, I’d ridden 3,300 miles through six states—800 miles and two states more than originally planned. I visited five national parks, three national monuments, and countless roadside attractions. As an early riser, I saw seven sunrises, including an absolutely unforgettable one over Monument Valley on the Utah-Arizona border. And above all, I made memories to last a lifetime.
I’ve been an avid Roadtrippers user for many years, and in my (admittedly somewhat biased) opinion, the itinerary planner is a major road trip game-changer—whether you stick to the plan or change it up along the way. But don’t just take my word for it: Download the latest version of the Roadtrippers app and try it out for yourself. Happy roadtripping!