When I did my last road trip (a piddling 1000 miles involving Ireland and UK), I relied pretty much solely on my satnav. I had some (ie very few) ideas for detours I wanted to take and in those cases, I followed route signs and turned off the satnav, turning it back on once I reached my destination so it could bring me back to my original route.
However, it's difficult to get lost in Ireland and UK, and I've driven there many times. The US is a completely different kettle of fish, and most of the guru posts on here declare the delights of the a paper map over the satnav (only using the satnav for town and city navigation mostly).
That's all fine and dandy for those people who have somebody accompanying them, they can shout out directions and go in a huff when you miss an exit, but how are us poor solo travellers meant to cope with a paper map? My sense of direction is so poor, I often get lost in my own bathroom, and I doubt it's safe to be consulting a map while tearing along the interstates. But the alternative of memorising the map ahead of time doesn't appeal to me either ("right, I've got to get off here at exit-47, or is exit-74 and take the 4th right after 2 lefts, or is it 2 rights on the fourth left, or is it...?")
Any tips and tricks for making sure you get to your destination in one piece, but having had a peaceful and stress free journey involving a road and route you've never seen before?