Our summer vacation this year was a
14 16 18 hour road trip from MA to SC. In the past, I’ve ordered a Triptik from AAA, but I have found them to be confusing and they give you only one way to get to your destination. You could also use Mapquest, your car GPS or Google maps on your phone, but they don’t always give you great alternate routes either. That is where the Waze app comes in.
You can download the app from the app store and make sure you set it up before you start your trip. You sign up for a free account and you can pick a username. Then you are all ready to use the app. I used it as the passenger so it was easy for me to switch between different features in the app. There is actually a screen that says don’t use it as a driver so it is much more useful if you aren’t traveling alone.
First of all, this app is like Pokemon Go for adults (adults who don’t play Pokemon Go, that is). You can earn different avatars and bonuses. You can go up levels and message other “wazers”. It is actually kind of fun when you are on a really long road trip. Again….this is more for the passenger than the driver. You would have to pull into a rest area to set it up if you were alone.
1 – Other travelers make note of traffic, police, accidents, hazards, places, gas prices, etc. You can also make note of those things on the app. You can find the cheapest gas prices in the area:)
2 – The app will find alternate routes for you to use in the case of traffic, hazards, accidents etc. (We hit A LOT of traffic so it was a life saver for us. One detour had us literally driving through parking lots and around farms. It kept us moving AND we got to see the countryside that we wouldn’t have seen on the highway.) She (we kept calling the app “she” because of the female voice.) would tell you when cars were on the side of the road and when to turn.
3 – You can message other “wazers” during your trip, which can make the time go a little faster.
So…Mapquest said the trip would be 14 hours and 40 minutes and it ended up being around 18 hours due to traffic. There tends to be a lot of traffic in the summer, but I appreciate that the Waze app tells you the ACTUAL time it will take…not some magical, no traffic, no hazard over the speed limit time that other map websites and apps promise you.
What is on your list of road trip must-have apps?