Paper Road Trip Map

Handy Back Up

For a road trip map, I don't know what I'd do without my TomTom and my TripTrek Travel planner. However, on our first road trip, I used directions printed out from Mapquest and a detailed paper map of our destination state. Our first road trip was to Vernal, Utah, and it was great to have a visual aid to show my son how we were going to drive over the entirety of Utah by tracing our route on the map. Plus, kids still need to learn to read maps, even though nearly everybody has access to online trip planners and GPS capability on their cell phone.

What if there's a zombie apocalypse?

But what about if there's a zombie apocalypse or something of that nature, and there isn't anymore electricity to power the cell phones? Don't you want your kids to know how to read a paper road trip map, just in case? Plus, I love my TomTom, but sometimes he gets all wacky and takes us off on some bizarre tangent, like the time he directed us across a very narrow dirt road through some farmer's crops. You gotta have a paper map back up.

Another idea is to get your kids some laminated maps they can use to trace their route with dry erase markers. There are also a number of sources of free maps to print out for your children to color in the back seat, during the long drives. If you are a road trip enthusiast, you may enjoy a large map of the U.S. on a wall in your home, with pushpins on the destinations you've already visited.

Never Eat Shredded Wheat

To teach young children about East, West, North and South, let them use a silly phrase such as Never Eat Shredded Wheat, to help them remember. Or, let them make up their own phrase. No Elephants Saw Wyoming, or how about Nebulous Efflorescence Sparkling Wildly. Thinking up the phrases is a game in itself right there.

One thing that I have recently discovered is road trip directions planners that actually fill in the weather for you, as well as give you directions. I had no idea there was such a thing. What a great resource! So much easier than looking up each destination individually on Another online planner will map out all the restaurants on your route. I think it's fun not having any idea what we'll find to eat, but if planning all your eateries floats your boat, there you go.

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