Here are few resources that we found useful:

 

·        ‘Lonely Planet’ USA Guide, also Frommers;

 

·        Expedia.com – website for booking accommodation, rental cars, flights, etc.  We

mainly used it for accommodation.  A bit like wotif.com in Australia, but the

accommodation you can book is not limited to the next couple of weeks. There are

other similar sites such as travelocity.com and orbitz.com.  As Aussies, we found

Expedia the best as you can use a credit card with a non-US billing address.  This

is not as easy or may even be impossible with some of the others;

 

·        Tripadvisor.com – this is a great site – you can read reviews (posted by guests) of

most hotels, motels and even hostels in the USA.  We avoided staying in some real

dumps that had looked OK on their own websites, thanks to Tripadvisor.  They also

have reviews of tourist attractions, theme parks etc;  

 

·        The newsgroup rec.travel.usa-canada.  There are lots of very experienced travellers

on this group - Americans, Canadians and others who’ve travelled or are interested

in travelling through North America.  We got some good tips about things, and we

found people are generally helpful and knowledgeable.  Whatever place you’re looking

to go, there’ll be someone who knows all about it, the best roads to take, things to see etc.

 

·        Travel forums like those on lonelyplanet.com , fodors.com and frommers.  We didn’t know

about these prior to our trip, but they are very useful places to look for travel information,

and gain and share knowledge with experienced travellers and locals.

 

· A Trip Calculator like this one. Helps with working out distance between places and gas costs etc.

 

· Tripit - didn't exist when we did the big 11 week roadtrip, but is a great application which helps

organize your itinerary. Its cleverest feature is the ability to automatically (or 'automagically', as they say!)

create stages of the itinerary if you forward to them confirmation emails from airlines, rental car agencies,

hotels etc. It will also populate your itinerary with maps, driving directions and weather forecasts.

Tripit also allows you to nominate other people to share your itinerary with - you can indicate whether

or not they will also be travelling on the trip. As well as the tripit.com website, there are iPhone and Android

apps. Definitely a useful tool!

 

· Rand NcNally - We joined their site (which costs nothing), and it is very useful for putting together

an itinerary, if you’re driving.  You can plot your proposed road-trip on a map, and they’ll give you

distances (miles or kilometers), estimated driving times, things to see along the way, and even details

of any roadwork etc that might cause delays.  The maps of our journey in this website were done

using Rand McNally’s site.

 

·        Weather Underground – a good weather site. As well as five-day forecasts for any place

at all in the USA (or, for that matter, the world) they have all sorts of info, such as the

average temperature for any particular day of the year as well as the historical

maximums/minimums etc.