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10 Must-Have Apps To Ace Your Next Road Trip

10 Must-Have Apps To Ace Your Next Road Trip

This summer is the opportune time to go on a road trip with friends. If you are a college student, you are away from classes until August and have a couple of weeks to spare. With 20 percent of all Americans going on a road trip last year, you will most likely be in good company this year. While road trips can be fun and exciting, they aren’t for everyone and can be a bit nerve-racking for the antsy. But today, we will go over 10 must have road trip apps that will ensure that your next road trip is fun and goes smoothly.

Google Maps

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    Google Maps is a must for any individual with a car, feet, or a metro/bus ticket. The traffic, route changes, offline maps mode, and more makes Google Maps a great alternative to that of Apple Maps. Google Maps used to come with iPhones out of the box, however due to contract changes, Maps and YouTube are both only available by download. Thankfully, this wonderful map software is free from the App Store.

    Yelp

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      Yelp is helpful for any individual either in a new city or wanting to find a new place to eat or enjoy themselves in their own city. While Yelp does excel with restaurant reviews and information, you can also use Yelp to find the nearest gas station, reviews on nearby pit stops, and more. With the Bookmarks feature, you can mark your favorite restaurants you enjoyed while on the road. Yelp is a must for finding new sights and eats on the road.

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      Hotel Tonight

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        Whether your drive is becoming too long for you to stay awake or you have a change of accommodation plans, there are times when we will need to find a hotel on short notice. This is the situation when you can find yourself landing some of the best deals. With Hotel Tonight, you can simply search the city and after 9:00AM, hotel deals for only that specific day are made public and ready for you to reserve. A lot of individuals can find deals of upwards of 40 percent off.

        Gas Buddy

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          When you are on the road for a long period of time, you will find that you’ll need to get gas. That is just a given. However, what doesn’t have to be a given is paying out of your nose for it. With Gas Buddy, you can shop around for the best gas prices without having to waste more gas looking around in the process. You are able to mark the type of gas you use and sort the list based on distance, price, and more. Gas Buddy continually updates, ensuring you don’t experience sticker shock!

          Roadtrippers

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            As the saying goes, sometimes the fun can be found in the journey rather than getting to the destination. Roadtrippers is the application that exemplifies this saying. Instead of helping you find sights to see and activities to do at your destination city, Roadtrippers outlines great places to go, eat, and rest while on the road. Places you mark to visit, on your route, are all viewable on the Roadtrippers website.

            BestParking

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              When traveling to your vacation spot by car, you’ll also have to make use of this transportation while exploring the city as well. When in an unfamiliar city, one of the biggest plagues that hit drivers is the parking situation. Once you find a perfectly legal parking spot, you have to make sure it fits your car well without having to drive away with scratches and dints. This is all if you don’t have to pay out of the nose for that spot. BestParking is the app that works to alleve you of your parking woes.

              TripIt Travel Planner

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                The TripIt Travel Planner is essential for any individual travelling by plane, car, or rail. The TripIt planner allows you to outline your day-to-day activities you’ll partake in once you arrive to your destination, from start to finish. The destinations you visit all come with directions and weather information. You can even keep friends and family updated with the sharing features found with the TripIt planner.

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                Uber

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                  While you may find yourself driving to your destination, you may find that driving around the city can be a bit of an overkill after driving so many hours to get there. You may also find yourself enjoying a night of partying and don’t have a designated driver to get you to your hotel that night. This is where Uber comes in. Available in multiple large and mid-sized cities, Uber ensures you get from point A to point B at a lower cost than your cab (TAXI or UBERx). If you want to arrive in style, Black Car or SUV might be your transportation of choice. Uber brings the convenience of a personal driver to anyone.

                  Spotify

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                    A silent car ride isn’t a good part of a road trip. Many times, the radio simply isn’t planning the tunes you want to enjoy. While you can utilize iTunes, others in the car might want to enjoy something new. This is where Spotify comes in. With Spotify, recommendations are given based on preferences. You are able to listen to favorites while also enjoying new songs that fit the style and genre you like. This prevents having to constantly skip songs when your eyes should be on the road.

                    iExit Interstate Guide

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                      Interstate signs telling you the nearest restaurant or bathroom can be great, but they aren’t always 100 percent helpful. Say you are hungry and see a sign for an okay restaurant nearby. You get off the exit, eat, and get back on the road to only find that your favourite restaurant was only a couple of more exits ahead. iExit Interstate Guide prevents this from happening by giving you a full list of nearby restaurants, gas, ATMs for tolls, and pit stops. This gives you the power to choose ahead of time, ensuring your road trip runs smoothly.

                      If you are traveling by car this summer, these ten applications can make sure you are having the time of your life. Let us know in the comments below where you’re headed this summer and which application you feel will best get you there.

                      Featured photo credit: BBC via ichef.bbci.co.uk

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                      Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                      Listen carefully:

                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                      1. Pray Daily

                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                      3. Smile Often

                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                      8. Go Exercise

                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                      The Bottom Line

                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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