Summer Road Trip Hacks and Smartphone Apps
Are you planning a summer road trip with friends or family? Make getting to your destination easier, safer, and more enjoyable with these savvy road trip hacks and smartphone apps.
In our blog, we’ve outlined the best of the best smartphone applications for traveling, that include:
- Navigation and traffic
- Pit stops & detours
- Gas & tollways
- Hotel and lodging
#1 – Smart navigation and traffic apps
When you’re on the road, traffic is always a distinct possibility. Even outside of regular rush hour times, accidents, construction, and more can all slow you down, costing you time and leaving you frustrated. The best thing to do is avoid these roads, and there are plenty of apps out there that can help you do that. Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze Maps are all popular navigation apps that have traffic data functionality built in. Other traffic avoidance apps for your smartphone include IRIX and Beat the Traffic.
Pro tip! If you’re using Google maps and you want to save on your cellular data - pre-load your route ahead of time, then follow your route offline. You can easily follow your pre-loaded route to your destination without starting the turn-by-turn navigation functionality.
#2 – Smart detours and pit stops
One of the reasons road trips are so appealing to many people is that the journey is part of the experience, especially when you can stop and see the sights along the way to your final destination. Want to know what’s on your way there? There are plenty of apps for that! Roadtrippers is a popular app for fun stopping points along your route.
Likewise, Google Trips is another great app that shows you different points of interest in various towns you travel through. This app can even automatically map out suggestions for things to see and do from cafes to parks to beaches and more.
#3 – Smart tollway tips
Close to two dozen states have toll roads or toll-controlled lanes somewhere in them. Each state has a unique method of charging for the use of toll roads, and many states primarily use an electronic tolling system. We recommend checking ahead of your trip to know what the state requirements are that you’re traveling to/through, and to also have some cash handy for unexpected tolls that do take cash payments. If you do find yourself passing through an electronic only tolling system without the appropriate toll tag, there’s a 7 day grace period to pay your toll online so just take good notes of mile markers and toll plaza identifiers.
A great app to download to calculate road trip expenses, including gas and tolls is Trip Calculator. Trip Calculator is a free "TollGuru" app that calculates tolls & gas costs across all toll roads, tunnels, bridges, turnpikes & tollways in USA, Canada, Mexico & India for cars, trucks, trailers, RV, bus, & motorcycles
#4 –Smart hotel and lodge booking
Whether you choose to book your lodging in advanced, or on-the-go, there’s options available that make it easy to book your hotel room right on your mobile device. These hotel booking apps can help you get last-minute deals, keep track of your rewards programs, and even allow you to check into your room – all from your mobile device. The best hotel booking apps we recommend include HotelTonight, and Airbnb.
- Hotel Tonight is a fan favorite because you can find amazing last minute deals at thousands of top hotels in cities and countries worldwide. Imagine booking a room at a 5 star hotel and paying only a fraction of the price. That's one of the great benefits of using this app as it serves up deals on rooms that may otherwise go unsold. Another neat feature is the built in categories for searching a hotel. These categories help to provide the user with a clear illustration of the type of hotel that goes beyond the star rating. Hotel Tonight categories for sorting through hotels include: Luxe, Hip, Solid, Basic, Charming, Crashpad and High Roller.
- Airbnb is another fan favorite because it supports a unique travel and vacation booking experience. Advantages of Airbnb over a traditional hotel is Airbnb properties usually provide more space at a lesser price, and are usually equipped with kitchens, washer and dryers and other unique amenities not available at a hotel such as free parking, a private pool and more.
About Christian Brothers Automotive
Christian Brothers Automotive wants to make sure your summer road trip is smooth and stress-free, and we do that by ensuring your car is ready to handle the many miles that lie ahead. Our maintenance services are designed to keep your car reliably running in every regard, including your engine, wheels and tires, climate control, and so much more. Before you set off on your trip, bring your car to us for our unrivaled courtesy inspection, or to perform any of our high-quality maintenance services.
For a car repair experience that’s clean, courteous and caring, choose your neighborhood Christian Brothers Automotive. To find a location near you, search our interactive map here: https://www.cbac.com/locations/