Friday, December 16, 2016

10 Tech Gadgets to Take on a Road Trip

If you are taking a road trip for vacation this year, reliable technology can help improve the family experience. The GPS navigation device alone reduces the aggravation of reading maps and trip planning. And if you are armed with a Nintendo, an iPod and a DVD player you can keep the kids occupied for hours. But don’t leave your maps and tour books at home; these have been updated to help you find concise information and help you use the latest technology, plus technology can fail and you’ll have these for an emergency. For a lengthy road trip, consider renting an SVU or a van with GPS navigation, a DVD player and a back up camera if it is in your budget.

Best technology for trip planning and driving:
Take a good quality GPS device. With a larger than average display, the Magellan Maestro 1470 allows you to program several destinations ahead of time. This GPS device has several nice features. It includes AAA tour book information plus AAA road side assistance if your car breaks down. You can find points of interest with the user friendly programming like Bluetooth technology and one touch programming. For instance, you say “gas” and the program displays the closest gas stations. It keeps up with your mileage, how long it will take to get there and gives you a heads up for lane changing. The Garmin nuvi 1260t GPS is thin but it has some cool features for sightseeing (the city explorer). If you are renting a car with a navigation system, research its features so you can plan appropriately. If you have never taken a road trip with a GPS you’re in for a treat.


The Whistler XLT Radar alert is great for road trips as it will warn you of laser and radar checks. This one has both a visual and audio warning.


Rent a van with a back up camera or install your own. This is great because you can fill up the back of the van with suitcases and not have to worry about blind spots. The back-up camera will really help you move out of parking lots easily. Install your own back up camera- Boyo TVK costs around $120. Reviews say you get what you pay for but even the poorest performing camera is safer than nothing.


Best technology to entertain kids:
You may not typically allow your kids to play Nintendo DS for long periods of time, but it is a great way to keep them occupied for a while on long highway trips. Wait until you leave to give them a new game, this will hold their attention for awhile. Some educational game are really challenging so takes those along. You can rent games at Blockbuster – pay attention to the due date or you will have to buy them.


For younger kids a portable DVD player is a great idea and some are built into the car, wait until the trip for a special movie they have been waiting to see. Some SUVs already have the DVD player installed or you can ask your dealership to do it. I recommend Phillips DVD 7402 for $180 (Amazon.com) because the reviews state that it is easy to use, has two monitor and includes ear phones. There is also a good selection of less expensive players if this is too pricey.


The iPod or MP3 player may be the most popular way of listening to your own type music for teens and up. Adults will enjoy the time to catch up on podcasts they’ve missed so don’t forget to download before you go.
And don’t forget to take your eReader. Amazon’s Kindle is particularly good for trips, easy to read, and quick to download books. You can download and read newspapers and magazines on this on too.


Must -have technology for information on the road, sightseeing and touring:
You need internet access if you are sightseeing. Bring your computer or try a cell phone that has a 3 G Network. The iPhone or Droid are best because you can use the internet, check email and it comes in handy for checking gas prices or weather information. Find times and ticket information without having to call. If you don’t have a phone with the internet and are staying in a hotel, most have an internet service you can use.


For great photo memories take a digital camera. Easy to use for everyone, including the person you pull aside and ask them to take a picture with all your family members together. Sony Cybershot costs around $160 (Amazon.com). Make sure you bring several memory cards if you don’t have a laptop to transfer the photos.
If you have independent tweens or teens who like to explore but you want to keep tabs on them, take a Zoombak GPS and set a boundary. You’ll be notified on your cell phone if the designated area. They can check in with you to let you know where they are.


Resources:
Best Buy Stores
Amazon.com


Labels: 10 Tech Gadgets to Take on a Road Trip

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