Monday, July 23, 2007

Online Street Maps Could Help Cure You Of Your Driving Fears

By Adam Singleton

SUMMARY: If you're planning a long journey, using an online street map to plan out your route in detail can ensure that your trip takes as little time as possible.

When it comes to planning your summer holidays, making decisions can be difficult. Whether you're travelling with a large family, a big group of friends or you're simply taking a peaceful holiday for two, it can be just as hard to decide how you're going to get to your destination as it is to decide where you're going! If you're travelling within the UK or USA, then driving could be your easiest option in the way of transport. For starters, driving will ensure that you avoid any crowded trains and coaches, as well as making sure that you'll always have space to stack your luggage!

However, many UK or USA travellers are put off the idea of a driving holiday for a number of reasons: as well as the forbidding spectre of traffic jams, many drivers are wary of taking wrong turns and getting lost. A simple drive from Newcastle to Edinburgh, for instance, could well turn into an aimless excursion to the Scottish Highlands if you don't follow the right directions. What's more, many drivers may be reluctant to let their partner or designated right-hand man read out directions from a road atlas during the journey.

But, while these worrying factors can cause some significant concern to drivers - especially those that are prone to stress - the internet has made it much easier for people to take a successful driving holiday. Today, drivers will find a variety of UK or USA street maps services online - each of which offers a range of services to make planning your journey easier. You'll be able to find simple directions from A to B, and some online street maps will even offer a specific journey planner service so drivers will be able to plan out their journey for every twist and turn. Online street maps eliminate the element of unpredictability that many ordinary road atlases may throw up. For instance, if you're planning a long journey - say, from London to Penzance - mapping out your journey in detail using an online street map can ensure that your trip takes as little time as possible. Many online street map facilities will even tell you how long it takes to get from your home to your holiday destination, so you'll be able to accurately estimate the appropriate departure and arrival times on your journey.

What's more, many online street maps include clear aerial photographs of locations - which means that drivers will be able to familiarise themselves with images of their destination before they arrive. Plus, online street maps are more likely to carry up-to-date details of road-works or changes to a road’s layout – something your atlas won’t be able to help you with!
Utilise an online street map service effectively, and you might even discover alternative routes to your holiday destination. For example, if you're driving from Leeds to Blackpool and you anticipate getting stuck in rush hour traffic near Manchester, you'll be able to figure out an alternative route. And if you’re using online street maps that are integrated with aerial photography, you can even find more scenic routes before you leave the house.

So whether you're taking a seaside holiday in Cornwall, visiting Mount Snowdon in Wales or exploring the Western Isles of Scotland, consult an online street map to ensure that the drive to your holiday destination is as efficient - and enjoyable - as possible.

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