Taking a road trip is a fun way to travel. Whether you are just getting from one city to another or planning a more extensive journey, a road map allows you to choose between the scenic route and the quickest route, or create your own personal tour.
- Visit the Travel section of your local bookstore and check out its selection of road maps. Open them up, look them over, and do a comparison of its layout and contents. You don't want to find yourself in the middle of a trip and discover yourself on a road that's not on the map! Also, it is very important to choose a map--whether a single-page foldout or a much bigger, bound version--that's easy for you to use.
- Online booksellers, such as Powell's or Amazon, also offer lots of options for your road map needs. They also have customer reviews, so you can get other people's opinions on the best maps out there, as well as share your findings with other customers. Amazon has a feature that allows to you search inside a publication before you buy it, which affords you the same privilege as going to a physical bookstore without having to get out of your sweatpants.
- Members of the American Automobile Association can get free maps at any AAA office. AAA can also provide you with free travel guides and coupons, as well as an extensive selection of road maps. A road map from AAA is always a safe bet; they guarantee the quality of their publications, which are updated annually and are accurate and comprehensive.
- City tourist bureaus carry road maps (as well as city and state maps and guides). Pop in and ask a few questions; the employees are there to give you all the information you could want about local travel. They might not have as as many maps as a bookstore, but often they carry more regionally specific maps. If you're in search of the road less traveled, see what city hall has to say.
- If you need more help planning your trip, go to a travel agency. For a fee, they can outfit you with everything you need in the way of travel, including road maps.
- In a pinch, you can usually pick up a local or statewide road map at a gas station convenience store. They won't have the broad selection of a bookstore, but any road map is more help than no road map, especially if you're not entirely sure where you are!
- Make sure you give your map a thorough once-over before heading out on the road. Check out the roads you want to take, and any alternate routes. Being familiar with the map's layout will help you to avoid any unintentional detours, or at least get you back to where you want to be in case of a wrong turn.