One of the best parts of road trip planning is pulling out some glossy guidebooks with lots of pretty pictures that make you salivate over your vacation. Drooling away, you make notes of all the cool places you’re going to see and design the perfect routes to take to get there. Oh, you just can’t wait! How much longer ‘til you can go?
Two of the best road trip planning books out there (other than my soon-to-be-released e-books,… ahem, ahem…) are by the eternally great Reader’s Digest. How do these guys keep doing it? The amount of thoroughly researched high-quality information combined with beautiful photographs (good for salivating) add up to two of my favorite guidebooks out there, Off the Beaten Path, A Travel Guide to More Than 1,000 Scenic and Interesting Places and The Most Scenic Drives in America: 120 Spectacular Road Trips.
Off the Beaten Path is obviously a book after my road trip-loving heart – recently re-released with updated information, its priority is listing places to see that aren’t mob scenes. These places are still fairly quiet and very special – places where you can feel the magic of discovery and soak in the atmosphere, as opposed to visiting overcrowded sights where you end up shuffling along in a herd of tourists while craning your neck to get a tiny slice of a view and wondering why you just spend $5 on a bottle of water.
As it is a road trip planning book, it’s laid out to be as useful as possible – with up-to-date maps and every state listed alphabetically. You can use it for a day trip from your hometown to visit someplace wonderful even you didn’t know about or for a longer road trip centered on a section of the country. It’s phenomenal to have along on cross country road trip. Of course, if you’re like me, you’ll probably keep it on your coffee table and do some armchair traveling regularly.
Of course, what’s a road trip if you don’t have some great routes? This website has a whole section dedicated to routes that are going to keep growing and growing (there’s so many in the U.S. that a whole website could be devoted to them). The Most Scenic Drives in America is that fabled website on paper – with lots of great photos, details about the scenery, information about the locale, good times to go, and places to stop/see along each route.
What makes this book even better is that it has info that even locals don’t know. When I went on one of these routes in an area I’ve known all my life in CT, I was shocked that there were things about it that I didn’t know! Me! A road trip planning aficionado!
What I love even more about these two books is that they’re not expensive – for a book of that quality, I felt like I got some kind of deal (which I love – who doesn’t?). Of course, that affordability made these books end up on my Christmas list this year as gifts to give my travel-loving friends and family. Share and share alike, right?
If you’re into road trip planning books and want to add to your library, I highly recommend you check them out at the Reader’s Digest Store. Both are truly outstanding!