Cool Road Trip Tech Ideas
With the Fourth of July holiday over, summer has begun creeping to a close. For me, this is probably the most interesting part of summer, with the push to enjoy as much of the break as possible before the new school year opens. And what better way to celebrate the ending of summer than with a good old fashioned road trip?
As fun as getting out of town can be, hours spent cooped up in the car can get really boring after a while. Here are some ways to keep your sanity as you blaze a path down the open road.
A convenient feature that comes standard on most smartphones is a Navigation app, a living GPS-powered map that tells your exact progress on your journey. I think my favorite feature is the instant graphic showing road closures or nasty traffic! Depending on your particular choice of app, you can get features to show you helpful places along the way like gas-stations, hotels, scenic areas and restaurants.
If you’re looking for something a little more fun, there are also other road-warrior apps like RoadNinja. You can plan your rest breaks by the exit, compare prices at nearby gas stations, or check out reviews for local restaurants and stores.
Don’t let your travels take you away from your favorite radio station. Download the iHeartRadio app (available for both Android and iOS users) and keep up with your favorite programs wherever you are.
But what if you’re looking for something new? Try participating in the Music Genome Project by creating a new radio station based on your favorite song or band using Pandora – you can download it for free at the Google Play store or on iTunes. It’s a great way to discover new music! The app plays songs based on your preferences, and if you don’t like a song, just tell it and you’ll never have to listen to it again.
One of my favorite road trip experiences as a kid was a winding trip through the mountains of Northern Colorado. The views were amazing, but the radio signal … wasn’t. Fortunately my dad thought ahead and we spent the hours listening to the merry adventures of Bilbo Baggins and company. Since then, audio books are a must have for me for any long road trip. Try a digital copy of your next audio book from Audible (you can find the app from the Google Play store or iTunes).
Of course, perhaps the views leave something to be desired, or you’re just dying to finish the latest installment of your new favorite series, and you prefer to read books rather than listen to them. If so, simply download the electronic version of your most beloved stories on your phone or tablet – there are tons of different options you can try, and some are even available for free. App stores like Barnes and Noble’s Nook or Amazon’s Kindle even have magazines, so you can save room in your luggage for souvenirs from wherever the roads take you.
What’s your favorite tech tool for the open road? Let us know in the comments below.