Posted by Ronald Cifuentes on August 15, 2016 at 5:09 PM. Filed under How To, Safety & Security, Mobility .

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It’s the end of summer, the weather is nice, and you need a break from the usual. It’s the perfect time to take a road trip, especially with fall right around the corner. Whether it's a couple of hours or a 12+ hour trip, here are some ways to make sure you have a great and comfortable road ahead of you.

Prepare Your Vehicle 

The first thing you want to do is make sure the vehicle you will be using is in shape to hit the road. It’s always recommended to check your oil levels, tire pressure, and other vehicle vitals before hitting the road, especially if it is going to be a long road trip. Many local shops offer to check tire pressure for free. Also, make sure you have a tire jack and spare tire in good condition in case you end up with a flat tire on the road. Another great tool to travel with is a working flashlight in case you need to stop on the side of the road or have to change a flat tire. A really convenient alternative to a standard flashlight is the Enbrighten LED Lantern with USB. The Enbrighten Lantern features 360-degree bright white LED light and has a range of up to 50-feet. One of its more convenient features is its ability to charge your USB device in the case of an emergency wherever you are, which could come in handy in the event that you do run into car problems on the road.

Apps for the Road

Picture_3.jpgWhether you have everything planned out for once you get to your destination or if you are just seeing where the road will take you, the following apps can help the journey there be just as fun and make sure you know exactly what lies ahead. All the apps listed below are free on both iOS and Android:

  • Google Maps: This app not only will help you finding your hotel or keep you on the right path to your destination but it can also save you battery life and cellular data. It has an offline feature that allows you to pick an area and download it so you can access it either when you are in an area with no service or just want to avoid spending your much valuable and often limited data on directions.

  • Gas Buddy: Allows you to see nearby gas stations and their gas prices. When traveling it’s easy to stop at the first gas station you see but this app will make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to your gas tank.

  • iExit: Will show you all the exits that are coming up as well as what is available at or near that exit. It will let you know if there are restrooms, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, etc.

  • Roadtrippers: Will show you interesting places to stop along the way from amusement parks to historical markers. Make sure you get the most out of your road trip with this app.

  • Yelp: Allows you to look for those amazing local restaurants instead of opting for the usual fast food you can get anywhere. It also allows you to see reviews for those establishments as well as hotels and other businesses in the area.
  • Trip Advisor: Allows you to check rates and rankings of all the available rooms wherever you may find yourself on the road.

There are many other useful apps or alternatives to the ones listed above so do some research and to find the perfect app for what you need on your trip.

Comfort and Entertainment

Seeing as you will be in your car for an extended period of time make sure you are comfortable and entertained with the following quick tips.

  • Sunglasses: These are a must as you never know whether you will be driving through sunny skies or what glare you will be faced with. Make sure to at least have a pair ready for the driver but 1 per passenger is ideal.

  • Trash Bin: More than likely than not there will be many snacks along the way and littering is not an option, so to avoid stuffing the back seat pockets with candy wrappers or empty bottles consider a makeshift secure trash bin like this or at least have a trash bag ready to avoid messes and to make the post road trip cleaning that much easier.

  • Toiletries: You always want to be prepared for what life has in store for you whether it be a spilled drink, messy hands, or even an unstocked restroom! Stock up with some tissues, paper towels, and toilet paper to make sure you are ready for anything.

  • GE HD Audio Bluetooth Receiver: This Bluetooth receiver can be powered via a USB charger and will allow you to stream wirelessly from your phone or tablet to your car stereo allowing anyone in the car with a Bluetooth device to share their favorite music. It even has a Privacy Call Break feature that will automatically pause your music and allow you to take the call on your phone and continue playing music once your call is done.

  • Charging: Your phone will be playing music, giving you directions, taking pictures and much more while on the road so make sure your phones stays charged by considering the following products:
    • Cigarette Lighter Y-Adapter: If you only have 1 cigarette lighter socket in your car this will turn that 1 into 2. This will be especially handy if you want to have multiple cigarette lighter powered devices in use at once.

    • Car Charger: A car charger could be considered a necessity in everyday life in today’s world let alone on a road trip. There are single USB device chargers and chargers that can handle even two or even three USB devices that will be especially useful on a road trip with multiple people.

    • Micro USB + Lighting Connector Charging Cable: This cable will allow you to charge both iOS devices and Android or Micro USB devices without the need for multiple cables to make sure all your passengers are covered. 

Keep Your Home Secure

Whether you have some type of security system in place or not, another simple thing you can do to protect your home while you're away is to use indoor and outdoor timers to automate your lights and appliances. This is a simple way to give off the impression that someone is home by having outdoor lights, the radio, lamps or even the TV turn on and off at specific times. These timers will also be useful after you return home by making sure a light is never accidentally left on all night again. Digital timers can even be used to make your home smart-home-savvy by setting the radio or TV to wake you up in the morning, or set your coffee to start brewing just before you wake up. Below are a few options depending on what you need.

  • GE SunSmart 7-Day 2-Outlet Digital Timer: Allows you to set up 2 appliances on a 7-day programmable schedule.
     
  • GE MyTouch Smart Plug-In Digital Timer: This timer has two controlled outlets and is built to work outdoors for string lights or fountains, but it can also be used indoors. It is easy to set up, has fully customizable settings, and features a large LCD screen.
     
  • GE MyTouch Smart In-Wall Digital Timer: Replace a porch light switch or any switch in your home with this in-wall digital timer. It is easy to set, fully customizable and comes with blue LED indicators to show the currently active programs. This is great for programming your porch lights to come on at specific times while you are gone or even once you get back from your trip.

To have a successful and comfortable road trip means being able to leave your worries behind and enjoy yourself! Follow these tips before hitting the road: 

  • Make sure your vehicle is road trip ready (equip vehicle with emergency supplies and take care of any service/maintenance before traveling)
  • Download helpful "road trip" apps to your smartphone  
  • Make sure you are comfortable and entertained on the road (DO NOT be that person who forgets their phone charger)
  • Keep your home safe while you are gone (outsmart burglars and protect your home with simple tech gadgets) 

Follow these and your road trip should be smooth sailing!


 

About the Author | Ronald Cifuentes

Ronald is currently an undergrad at the University of Oklahoma and the newest member of the Digital Marketing team at Jasco. Ronald enjoys discovering new music and listening to podcasts. He strongly believes Batman is the best superhero of all time and is most at peace when his phone has 0 app notifications.

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