Travel has become a large part of the American way of life. Many people rely on travel for their business as the world is becoming a smaller place and most companies are either national or international businesses. Other people travel for pleasure and enjoy it above other forms of recreation.

With so many places to travel, both in the United States and across the world, planning a trip may become an overwhelming process for some people who are not well versed in traveling. This is where help is essential. Most people know where they would like to go, the problem is how to get there and what to do, and where to go once they arrive at their final destination. There are many sources of help available. Among these sources are maps. Maps have been used for centuries to guide people as they explored the world, and it is no different today. 

As people prepare for any type of travel either for business or pleasure, the first thing they normally do is check out a map to decide how to get to their destination, if traveling by car. If they are traveling by other means, maps are still needed once arriving if renting a car is a part of the plan, or for just finding the right hotel to stay at based on the location of attractions a person plans to visit while traveling. Maps can tell a person how far one location is from the next, what is available to do in certain locations, and depending on the type of map, can show a person traveling where certain amenities are such as restaurants and laundry services.

Road maps are critical for anyone who travels by car. These types of maps are available for purchase at nearly every store and gas station and depending on the particular map can provide the traveler with a wealth of information. Which route is the shortest or straightest? How many miles it is from one point to the next, where scenic sites are, and even where rest stops are available. Maps can be used in conjunction with detailed driving instructions, but should not be replaced by them. Landmarks change, people get turned around, and directions cannot help a person in these circumstances often leaving them lost. With the use of a map, no matter where a person is, he or she can find his or her way back by following a map. Of course, this ability does not come automatically, it is up to the person who plans to travel to study the maps available and be comfortable reading them.

When a person plans to travel, it is easy to get excited about the destination and what is planned for once arriving. People will normally take the time to make sure they find just the right hotel and find the activities that will be fun or interesting to them. In order to make getting there just as enjoyable, spending some time gathering, reading, and understanding several maps pertaining to that location is an equally important step in the travel process.

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