May 19, 2017

Nerdy Tech Tools for a Nerdy Road Trip

2  comments

Beth and Sarah in IowaIn 1996 my sister and I spent 6 months working our way around the country (the picture is from Ames, Iowa in May 1996 or thereabouts). Armed with a Rand McNally Road Atlas and a Let’s Go USA travel guide, we visited 26 states without strangling each other.

We mapped our route with a highlighter and just crossed our fingers that we’d run across cool things to see. Now it’s soooo much easier to plan the road trip of a lifetime (or even a Sunday drive).

Roadtrippers
Road Trip Planner

Roadtrippers lets you make your plan to get from A to B, whether you want the most direct route to save money or the drive that brings you past the best taco stands in Southern California. You can use the app or the site to plot start and end points, then have fun with all the possibilities in between. Share your trips with friends to make sure everyone sees what she wants to see.

A side note about Roadtrippers… it’s addictive. I stopped by the site to check it out for this post, and before I knew it, I was planning a vacation and a drive from San Diego to Portland. Poof – two hours disappeared.

HISTORY Here
App to Discover an Area’s History

I live less than 2 miles from the first Franciscan mission in what was once known as The Californians, a province of New Spain. HISTORY Here helped me discover the mission as well as other historical sites in my area. This app by the HISTORY Channel will delight history buffs who love to discover fun facts about the places they visit.

Google Trips
Travel Organization for the Adventurous Tourist

When you throw the family in the car for the best summer road trip ever, Google Trips is the perfect travel organizer. Google Trips grabs all the travel confirmations from your Gmail account and organizes them into a TripIt-style itinerary. Then the fun begins. The app helps you plan your trip, revealing sights and events along your way, ensuring you’ll never miss the World’s Largest Holstein Cow (the Salem Sue statue in New Salem, North Dakota, stands 38 feet tall) or the best fish and chips in the UK (Simpsons Fish and Chips, Cheltenham, won the 2016 Award).


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  • There was an amazing app that Lamar advertising had that they have since taken down. It was called Road Ninja. It would give you gas stations, restaurants, sites and everything at each exit on the interstate system. Just put in the state, Interstate highway and exit number. It would use your location settings, but that wasn’t always exact.

    It really helped since I was towing a 40 ft. trailer and my cohorts could find the next exit with diesel, preferably a truck stop, clean bathrooms and good food. I haven’t found anything that comes close since then.

    Anyone have any ideas?

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