Like many Louisianians, you may be headed to popular vacation spots like Destin and Gulf Shores this summer. While these destinations provide much needed rest and relaxation, the long drive can often become stressful due to traffic, high gas prices and even dirty public restrooms. Our team at The Law Offices of Matt & Allen has put together our favorite apps that help make the drive a little less stressful and a little more enjoyable.
Our first—and arguably favorite—app that we like to use on road trips is a GPS program named “Waze.” This application works the same way as Google Maps, Garmin, or any other GPS app, but it also has added features. Waze combines Google Maps (it shares the same mapping system) with the social aspect of many other popular non-mapping apps. With this app, while you are navigating with the mapping features, there are warnings for things like traffic, closed roads, objects on roads, stopped vehicles, and even police. These warnings are provided by other Waze users. Let’s say, for example, you are driving down the highway and see that there is a car stopped on the side of the road. If your passenger logs that into the app it will alert all other users approaching the same area. This can help to avoid backups, raise awareness of road and traffic conditions and help you get to your destination more efficiently.
Glympse, like Waze, also uses your GPS to find your location. However, it does not provide you with a map to your destination. Instead, you can share your location with anyone, whether they have the application or not. They can view your location for up to four hours (or any lesser amount of time that you specify), providing them with details of your route, your estimated time of arrival and any slow-downs that you may encounter. This can be fun for sharing with people back home or collaborating schedules with anyone else involved in your trip.
3. Gas Buddy
An unfortunate reality of road trips hits hard when you pull up to the gas pump—often multiple times in one day. Gasoline can be expensive and prices can be shocking, no matter how much you prepare and save money beforehand. Gas prices are different all over the country, meaning that you may not know whether you are getting the best deal possible when you stop at a gas station right off of the highway. With Gas Buddy you can use your location to find all of the gas stations near you. This application also provides the price of gas at each location—updated in real-time by Gas Buddy users. Before your fuel gauge gets to a point of panic, have a passenger look on Gas Buddy for the cheapest prices near you to ensure that you are always getting the best deal.
Just like gasoline, stopping to use the restroom is an unfortunate reality of road trips. No one wants to “hold it” for too long, but nobody is too keen of public restrooms either. Luckily, Charmin’s toilet locator “SitOrSquat” app makes these stops easier than ever. By using your location, this app finds public restrooms near you and gives them a cleanliness rating—provided by other app users. After you use the restroom, give it a rating of “Sit” (good) or “Squat” (bad) to help other users find the best place to stop.
No road trip is complete without good music. Spotify allows you to listen to almost any music from anywhere that you have service. Although Premium (full capabilities) requires a monthly fee, many people find it is worth it. This membership allows you to listen to any music, given that it is provided in the app, which is almost any artist you could ever think of, sans Taylor Swift. You can also create and share playlists, which also means that you can also find a seemingly infinite number of playlists created by other users to fit your situation—we like to search things like “road trip playlist” or “sunrise playlist”. With premium access to Spotify you can also save music for offline use, saving your data usage and battery life.
No matter what applications you are using for your trip, make sure that you are always doing so safely. If you are driving the vehicle, make sure that you have a passenger looking at the phone and navigating the technology. If you do happen to get into an accident during your trip, even if it is out of state, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Contact The Law Offices of Matt & Allen for a free, no commitment consultation.