By Guest Blogger Abbie Polos
My husband is from Knoxville, TN so at least five times a year we pack the kiddos into the car and head over the mountains to see Grammy. We have driven the route so many times we have it down to a science. We know the quick stops and the stops to blow off steam, and we know which route gets us there fast and which one is nice and leisurely. If you have never been to Knoxville, I would highly recommend checking it out!
Since we do a lot of traveling we have also tried out our fair share of travel apps. Here are a few to help make your next trip run smoothly:
- Spotify (spotify.com/us/download)
I mean really. If you don’t have Spotify already what are you waiting on? My husband and I both have accounts because he doesn’t want my Disney tracks infiltrating his play lists. But honestly, Spotify allows us to play whatever we want, whenever we want, for as long as we want, while road tripping. There are two particular spots through the mountains where we can’t get a single radio station and 4G data service is spotty so having the option to pre-download playlists and songs makes it even easier to keep the music pumpin’ all the way to Grammy’s! As an added bonus HULU now comes with your subscription, so if you just can’t stand the endless chatter from the backseat you can sedate the kiddos with Curious George right there on your devices.
- Waze (waze.com/download)
My husband is our driver and he is a strict Google Maps guy. He likes the maps, the routes, the interface and the pleasant voice directing you to merge left. But who came begging for directions the last time we were stuck in traffic? That’s right, Mr. P was saved by Waze. That’s because Waze uses real time data from drivers to anticipate traffic patterns, and it either reroutes you ahead of the mess, or gives you an alternate routes if you are already stuck. The map is full of cool features like displaying conveniences at the next exit and offering a ton of ways to customize your route. If you create an account you can also help provide information on stopped cars, hazards and traffic times. I am also kinda into the part where it warns you of upcoming police cars, especially through VA!
- GasBuddy (gasbuddy.com/App)
Gas is expensive and prices can change drastically between locations so if you are traveling between states, GasBuddy is the best app for finding the cheapest or closest gas. I usually check the route before we leave to scope out the cheapest spots and plan to make that our fill up spot. The thrill of a $0.04 discount on gas is what makes adulating worth it! This handy app has also gotten us out of a few tight spots when we needed gas fast but were in an unfamiliar city. This is another one that you can report your own price findings of you have an account.
Both of these apps are for the travel nerds out there. Field Trip is great because it has articles and links about those metal historical signs that dot the roadside that you can never read fast enough! It utilizes several national databases of historical figures, buildings and places, and includes museums, restaurants and attractions along your route. To be honest, I have only used this one locally but it is so full of great local facts I CAN NOT wait to nerd out on our next trip!
Roadtrippers is a mix between Field Trip and Waze. You set a specific destination or pick a pre-made route and the app shows areas of interest like shopping, food, historical or outdoor. You can see them all or narrow it down to specific items. One of our favorite parts is that it shows playgrounds near the route which is essential when the kiddos need to run it out during lunch.
- Libby: (meet.libbyapp.com/)
If you don’t already know, most public libraries will let you check out e-Books and audiobooks for FREE! The app Libby allows you check out books with your card and listen or read directly on your devices. This is great for long car rides and for some grown up reading on the beach or by the pool, if that is your thing.
In addition to these, there are hundreds of travel apps out there and many locations and travel companies have their own specific apps. I usually do a quick search for apps that might apply to specific trips or family needs. If you have any other apps you use for travel on the regular, share them in the comments below!
Another really great function of every mobile device is the volume button. Once you get to where you are going, turn the volume down on your phone and tune into your family. There are no apps out there capable of making memories quite like the human mind can. Good luck and keep Momming!
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