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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 July 10, 2020

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                      Boundaries are limits

                      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                      • When do you feel disrespected?
                      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                      • When do you want to be alone?
                      • How much space do you need?

                      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                      Sample language:

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                      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                      Final Thoughts

                      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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