How to Find Shortest Driving Distance

Jean Scheid
Driving Shortest Distance
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Frequent trip takers find driving shortest distance websites, GPS, and navigation tools are the best way to get to their destination on time. While GPS and navigation systems will cost you, are there free ways to find out how to drive the shortest distance when taking a trip?

Locating the Shortest Driving Distance

You can find many websites on the Internet that offer not only free driving directions, but directions that will get you to your destination in the shortest distance. While these websites are also good for planning family trips and include tools like things to do along the way, hotels, and historic places to stop and see, some of us just want to go the shortest route in the fastest time. Here are some of the best websites for quick driving directions:

  • MapQuest - Begin by entering your starting point address and destination address. After you hit the "get directions" button, scroll down and to the right, where you can change your options by clicking on shortest time or shortest distance tabs. Shorten your trip even more by selecting options to avoid toll roads and seasonally closed roads. MapQuest is free to all, and you can save, print, and email your route. You can also send your quick driving directions to your cell phone.
  • Google Maps - Another free website that offers driving directions that can be optimized for quickest distance is Google Maps. With this map service enter your point A or starting address and point B or destination address. Under the "Point B" section, or your destination address, you'll see a feature called "show options." If you select this feature, you are given options on what to avoid to make your trip shorter and faster. With Google Maps, you can print, email, and send your driving directions to you cell phone.
  • Rand McNally - With Rand McNally, once your beginning and ending addresses are entered, you can click the "edit my route" link. Here you can either change your route or edit it by clicking on shortest time or shortest distance. You can also choose to print both a map and written directions or just written directions with no map. Again, Rand McNally offers print, email, and cell phone forward tools.
  • MSN Bing Maps - This driving directions site is new to MSN and intertwines with their new Bing search engine. Simply enter your starting and destination address, and before you hit the "get directions" tab, you have the option to immediately choose shortest distance or shortest time. At MSN Bing Maps you can save, print, and share your maps showing driving shortest distance with your friends.
  • Expedia - A well-know travel company, Expedia also offers driving directions. Enter your start and finish address, and choose options to make your trip shorter by clicking the route type. Then enter "quickest" or "shortest" to get directions to your destination. At Expedia, you can print, save, or email your route and even choose their "reverse route" feature for your return trip home.

Fast Driving Direction Map Websites to Avoid

If you search for driving shortest distance in any search engine, beyond the websites above, you'll find a few that will not offer you the option to choose shortest driving distance.

  • One of these websites is Free Trip. Free Trip also requires that you provide an email address, which they may sell to third parties, in order for your to receive your driving directions.
  • While Yahoo Maps offers a great driving directions, they do not provide options to choose shortest or quickest driving directions.

Discover the Shortest Route

Finding ways to drive the shortest distance to your trip destination is a quick Internet search away. Keep in mind that if you have the time, all of the websites mentioned here offer other scenic driving tools to help you make your trip more enjoyable if desired. A final tip to keep in mind is that if you choose the option to have your quick driving directions sent to your cell phone, check with your carrier as some cell phone carriers charge a fee for this service.

How to Find Shortest Driving Distance