In the good old days all you needed for a road trip was a car, some buddies, and a sense of adventure. Even a map was optional.
These days you can have it so much easier with the latest downloadable apps at your fingertips telling you everything from where to sleep to providing your tunes. Here is AllCarTech’s run-down of the apps you need for your next epic road trip.
Who needs a huge collection of CDs taking up valuable space in your car when all you need is a smartphone equipped with Pandora, offering free personalized internet radio? Just type in one of your favourite artists and Pandora can do the rest, selecting songs from other artists you might like. Perfect for giving your journey a driving music soundtrack.
Waze claims to make commuting fun… so imagine how fun it could be on a road trip! Using your phone’s GPS function, it can navigate you to wherever you want to go, as well as generating real-time traffic and road reports, offering alternative routes and even connecting you with social networking and other Waze users.
We all know how dangerous it is having too many gadgets to concentrate on, and you really don’t want to be trying to type on your phone as you speed along. So how can you stay up-to-date with your Facebook feed, for example? Aha lets you listen to your feed and update it with voice commands, letting you keep your hands on the wheel. You can listen to Tweets too, or the latest episode of a podcast.
As with Aha above, DriveSafe.ly helps prevent potential accidents caused by the distraction of receiving emails or text messages on the move. It can read them out to you, and you can even set it up to respond automatically so your contact knows you’re driving. If you’ve not got other people in the car to do the job for you, DriveSafe.ly could be a lifesaver.
GasBuddy.com is great – Want to know where the cheapest gas near you is? This is the website you want to go to. Now, you don’t even need the website, as the Gas Buddy app can bring the convenience to your phone. Perfect for travelling across country, so you can locate the cheapest stations rather than paying over the odds. As gas prices increase, every cent saved matters!
AAA Roadside Assistance app on Android
If anything is going to spoil your trip it’s being caught by a speed camera. Trapster minimizes that risk – the app’s users submit the locations of speed traps, cameras and road hazards, and the message is passed on to users in the local area. Users have reported over 4 million traps!
We’ve looked at the AAA’s roadside asistance app before. Rather than making a call when you break down and attempting to describe your location, the app does it all for you. One press of a button and a truck will be dispatched to your location using your phone’s GPS signal. If your battery is flat, the app lets you price the correct model for your car, and also gives you the locations of over 7,000 AAA Aproved Auto Repair facilities. Nice to know next time you’re in the middle of nowhere…
Here’s a fun one – far from just giving you directions down the Mother Road from Chicago to Los Angeles, Route 66 gives you thousands of maps that you can access via your smartphone, or even tablet PCs. The app’s maps have impressive 3D graphics and can be navigated using simple finger swipes and taps. The app’s best feature is the «Follow Me» function, that superimposes a virtual car on the screen showing the road ahead using the phone or tablet’s camera, which you can then follow to your next destination.
You’ve been on the road for hours. You’re getting hungry. You can’t stand the thought of another slightly dubious burger. Worry not! The FastFood app will give you a choice of all the closest restaurants, and you don’t even need to fret about quality as you can access reviews and menus too.
Got all that? Good! Now you’re ready for the perfect road trip, with the world’s information just a click away. Just make sure you remember to bring your friends along…