5 Free Apps For Your Next Road Trip

rural-690549_640The summer solstice just passed for the north hemisphere which means road trips are abundant and venturing around in cars is very common.

I recently took an 18 hour road trip from Chicago to my new home in Colorado.

Being a person who is not a huge fan of driving, I had to find a way to make the trip doable and entertaining as well to keep me awake during the 9 hour days of driving.

1. Podcasts.

I always recommend podcasts for absolutely any time you are in a vehicle. Music can be stress relieving and a lot of fun, but podcasts can be quite informative and educative.

It’s also a better use of your time to learn, and get better at certain things. Working on personal development is very important to me, so I would listen to apps that focused on that. Practicing my Spanish is also very important to me, so I listened to a learning Spanish podcast for half a day.

2. Along The Way.

I wished I would’ve heard of this app before my long road trip, but glad that I can at least share it with someone who hasn’t heard of it yet. This app is absolutely amazing because it tells you what places to stop at along the way on your road trip.

Visiting important landmarks has never been made so easy. Now you’ll never miss that oversized furniture item in that small town you don’t remember the name of.

3. Couchsurfing.

This app can be quite convenient on the wallet or if you have trouble booking a hotel for some crazy reason. I’ve heard of some Couchsurfing hosts giving people places to stay last minute.

Keep in mind, these people are offering you their home and remember, they aren’t a hotel. Leave a small gift behind, or offer to clean or do some kind of chore in return for them letting you stay there. Your host can also tell you all the neat places to visit that you otherwise wouldn’t know of, since they are a local native (most likely).

4. Songza.

This app is sort of like Pandora, but you also can choose stations based on your mood or the activity you are partaking in.

When it’s getting late at night, I make sure to put more upbeat music on to keep me awake and alert. I’ve found listening to more mellow and slow music makes me tired quicker. You might be the exact opposite, so do what works best for you.

Have you used any of these free apps for your phone? What other apps would you recommend using for a road trip?

 

Weigh Your Options for Affordable Travel

architecture-828993_640Travelers face a number of concerns when plotting holiday. From basic logistics to safety and comfort, each adventures weighs a unique set of considerations – which almost always includes a close look at travel financing and money saving techniques.

Advanced planning goes a long way, furnishing access to the best destinations and preferred accommodations. Setting things up ahead of time also leads to savings, and more importantly, it defines the cost of upcoming travel, so you can budget accordingly. Fortunately for those with limited ability to commit in advance, travel and hospitality providers also extend bargains and discounts as short-term promotions. With flexibility, even last-minute deals can be sealed for reasonable prices.

Whether you are carving out peak season accommodations or seeking travel values during off times, packages and other incentives make it more affordable. To make the most of your travel budget, weigh available options closely, comparing services, location, amenities, and access to the things you like to do on holiday.

Tight Schedules Require Early Attention

If your travel options are limited to specific windows of opportunity, advanced planning is particularly important. The laws of supply and demand work against you at times, when you are competing with other motivated consumers, each seeking to secure hotel rooms, airplane seats and other travel services. The supply is limited, so only those acting promptly are assured accommodations within their available travel date ranges. Hospitality providers are still willing to compete for business during these periods, but their discounts and promotions are not as aggressive as those seen during slow travel seasons.

Peak travel times, like summer holiday, are plundered well in advance by travelers tied to kids’ school schedules and availability. As a result, only those locked-in months ahead are positioned to land the best deals and secure spots at the most sought-after destinations. In fact, January is the busiest month for booking summer travel. Millions of Britons act during the first month of the year, planning prime time summer holiday. Early shoppers find some discounts and offers like free kid slots and low deposit requirements. And though negotiating lower fees and fares is possible at times, those with limited flexibility are often at the mercy of hotels, airlines, travel services and ground transportation operators.

Travel Funding Alternatives

Like other aspects of your household budget, travel costs should be evaluated and accommodated before making commitments. Even reservations calling for low deposits ultimately come due for payment, so don’t be fooled by offers that sound too good to be true. Planning ahead leaves time to compare and contrast various approaches before signing-off on travel costs. And advanced measures also protect your financial interests when travelling – especially abroad.

Self-financing is ideal, because it leaves no lasting debt for holiday travelers. But short-term loans are available to bridge the affordability gap for families short on travel savings. For minor cost overruns, credit cards furnish effective short-term coverage. In fact, many cards build travel bonuses and rewards, so using cards to book flights and room nights actually helps earn future discounts. When resources are scarce, personal short-term loans are well-suited for financing family breaks. Applicants with the highest credit scores get the best rates, but even those with past problems are eligible for alternative financing.

Travel Tour or DIY Holiday?

Cost conscious travelers weigh the benefits of tour packages, as compared to assembling needed travel services ala carte. On one hand, travel providers bundle packages for savings, using their volume booking power to shave discounts from the cost of travel. When available, this can be the best way to secure desired travel. In fact, package tours may be the only way to buy travel to certain destinations.

Building your own, custom holiday, on the other hand, leaves full control in your hands, to pick and choose from services and providers you prefer. Local travel resources and coupon services are good places to look for deals. In addition to the special offers, online travel sites are available to help with research and price comparisons.
Although holidays are as varied as the people who enjoy them, money saving opportunities are available for many forms of travel. Package holidays, for example, supply discounts when booked in advance. Travelers with flexibility typically land the best bargains, however, because they are available during off-peak times and can secure the best airfares using flexible dates.

What To Pack When Going On A Vacation

What To Pack When Going On A VacationI love going on trips, and I especially love planning them. I don’t really know why, but I love actually packing my bags for a vacation.

It can sometimes be hard to pack everything I need, but I have never forgotten anything on a trip so I consider myself pretty successful when it comes to the laughable task of packing my bags.

Below are some of the items you may need when going on a vacation:

Documents.

There are several documents you may want to bring. These include:

  • Your license.
  • Your passport.
  • Transportation tickets such as a train, bus, or airfare ticket.
  • Hotel confirmation proof just in case something goes wrong with their computer.

Clothing and shoes.

I usually bring way too much clothing when I go on a trip. I usually throw everything into a pile on my kitchen table, and then I go through it all again and take as many items as I can take out without having to go naked on a vacation.

You might need:

  • Formal outfits. If you are going on a cruise, make sure you find out how many formal nights there are. You might need a long dress, a suit, and more.
  • Dresses, shorts, tank tops, and other warm weather items.
  • If you are visiting colder areas, you might need a jacket, wool socks, thick coats, gloves, hats, and more.
  • Shoes. I always pack too many shoes!
  • Underwear.
  • Swimsuits.

Money. 

I always bring a few forms on money with me. I will bring a few different credit cards, and some cash just in case I come across a toll or a restaurant that only takes cash.

Everything you need to get ready.

I always seem to bring a lot of stuff to get ready. That’s fine by me though as I don’t want to have to worry about messing up my daily routine because I can’t find what I need in a new town. Some of the items you may need include:

  • Medication.
  • Makeup.
  • Hair brush.
  • Hair styling items such as LYNX hairstyling.
  • Tooth brush, floss, and toothpaste.
  • Face wash.
  • Lotion.

What do you always make sure you pack when going on vacation?