OK, so I might go a bit above and beyond what the normal person does for trip planning, but I like to know the WHOLE picture before I head out the door.
For example, for our upcoming road trip, I downloaded Microsoft Streets & Trips to assist with the stops along the way. I like it because I can enter my start time, desired end time, fuel economy, and it will plan out the drive for me. It tells me where the rest areas are along the way, at what exit I should re-fuel, and it tells me where we’ll be around 9:30pm so I can look at the nearby exits for hotel options. I tell it what time we want to head out the next morning and it tells me that we’ll hit Anaheim at 2:40 in the afternoon! Plenty of time to hang out at the pool before dinner, right?
But I take this all a step further. I Google Map everything. I Google Map the possible overnight stops and have it point out all the hotels in the area. I print out the page, which shows locations on the map and also provides addresses and phone numbers, and in some cases even star-ratings!
I even did this to locate Costco’s with gas stations (close to I-5), and In-n-Out Burger locations, and some of the other restaurants we have giftcards to. I highly recommend Google Maps.
I need to know where everything is. Again, I know I have a problem. I obsess a bit. But it makes me happy to be prepared and know what’s going on around me, and that’s what matters, right?