Summer equates to vacations. It’s the most favorable time for road trips. Kids are out of school and ready to take a trip with the grandparents. Together they prepare for their annual journey, off to discover the USA and its vistas, charming towns, and hidden gems.
Traveling with the grandchildren shouldn’t break the bank. Think about your travel memories growing up. As a child, it had less to do with how much money your grandparents spent but more about the shared laughter, sight-seeing, and new places. You may have a few favorite snapshots framed and displayed around the house even today. Chances are, you still celebrate the past with warm thoughts and hope one day the grandkids will do the same.
Planning a trip is half the fun. Do your homework and invite the grandchildren to join in the research. Together you can visit destination websites for value packages, discount tickets, downloadable coupons, and passes to multi-attraction offers. Once summer gets here, you have it all planned, down to the morning when you hit the road. But before getting into the car, be sure the smartphone is loaded with these fun apps to make your vacation less complicated and more enjoyable. The apps:
Flush Toilet Finder pinpoints public bathrooms in your current vicinity. It displays over 190,000 restrooms around the world. Free.
Tollsmart calculates toll costs on routes anywhere in the USA and Canada. $2.99 per month.
iExit helps plan your pit stops and tells you what’s ahead at upcoming exits from restaurants, gas stations, hotels. Free.
Glympse will share your location with fellow travelers. Just select contacts and give them permission to view your location for a set amount of time. Free.
GasBuddy locates the closest gas stations, with reviews. It’s the largest community-based fuel app. Free.
HotelTonight searches for last-minute hotel deals while on the road or at home. Search as early as a week ahead. Free.
Roadtrippers a route-planning app marks the starting and end points of the trip. It tells you what’s in between, where to eat, stay, and closest attractions. Free.
Waze helps you steer clear of traffic congestion and sends alerts about accidents or other snags, even shows the fastest route. Free.
RepairPal use the app on the road and at home for car trouble. Type in the make of the car and problem, it tells you area mechanics and estimates. Free.
Podcast Addict (Android) and Podcasts (Apple) offers a way to listen to stories about sports, politics, crime, dramas, and radio shows. Free.
Now you’re prepared for safe journeys. Have a fun and memorable vacation with the loved ones.
Carol Marak, aging advocate, and editor at Seniorcare.com. She’s earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.