Trying to navigate Route 66 for the first time can be daunting. The maps show Route 66 but don't make clear the twist turns and detours the route has, and apps and GPS systems can at times be off or even make driving on the route very jumpy.
So one of the questions I always get from first time travelers is; are there any good books out there that can help me navigate the route? Well there are two good one that I know of and have used the first is McClanahans EZ 66, and the second is The Complete Route 66 Guidebook and Atlas by the editors of Route 66 Magazine.
Traveling Route 66 as a family though my first suggestion would be for you to pick up Jerry McClanahans EZ 66. The book is geared both towards novice Route 66 travelers and families.
Why I like the book;
First of all I love that its spiral bound and its small size. I know that seem like an odd first thing to love but if you spend enough time on the road working with maps you'll find out the value of spiral bound books quickly, especially small ones. Compare it to a regular road map in the compact space of a car and you'll get it all very quickly.
With this being a Route 66 blog about family travel here is something else I love about EZ 66, its very family/kid friendly. McClanahan adds unique scavenger hunts and fun stuff alerts to the book to help keep your kids engaged in the trip and on the lookout.
On that note another great part of this book are the drawings and layout. It's like having a artistic friend give you his/or her sketchbook of Route 66 images, with notes made on the pages about taking the route.
The directions are also very good as well and will guide you down Route 66 easily. But here is the best part about it, if you have an older child with they can help navigate you down the road with this book. It's laid out to be fun and inviting. And it is also laid out to put everything into easy to read sections, taking the route in bite size portions.
This book is awesome but its not a singular solution. I would have to suggest bringing with additional guidebooks, no reflection on this book at all but Route 66 had so much going on that sometimes one book/author can't get it all. McClanahans version is great, but it keeps to the most traveled route. I would say use EZ 66 as your guide but keep in mind other alternates and past alignments.
Another thing is as great as that book is laid out the pages can at times be a bit too busy. This can make it hard to orient oneself in using the book to navigate. My suggestion is to study the book a little before using it. This will help you understand it's layout a lot better, so that if you choose to let someone else use it you can get them accustomed to it as well.
Also the maps are good, but can lack a bit to be desired at times. So keep additional maps on hand just in case, a GPS may also help you here as well.
Overall though the book is a must have. It will give you the confidence and ability to navigate the route successfully, and keep you family occupied as well.