Monday, July 8, 2013

Travel Technology

We all travel with technology these days.  It’s pretty amazing what we now have in a small device  to help us find our way, stay in touch, find a camping spot, fix a problem, entertain ourselves, and help cook a meal.  I can’t even think of not traveling with some of these items. 
I know each will have their own preferences and things they have found that works for them.  I thought I’d share what I’m currently using to help me while I’m on the road.
  • Midland Portable CB with NOAA Weather Radio to get local weather broadcasts.  This unit is about the size of a wallet.  There’s not a lot of CB traffic these days but it good when there’s a tie up and for weather info when I can’t get on-line.  Its also good for when NOAA issues alerts for the local area you're traveling in.
  • Garmin Nuvi 550 Motorcycle GPS – I bought this for my motorcycle and also use it in my RV.  Its water proof and fairly indestructible.  It has a windshield mount, does audio instructions, and I can program it to tell if I’m a motorcycle, car, or truck.  Tells me what's nearby for services (gas, ATM, stores).  I have the latest US maps installed on a SD card.
  • ASUS Eee Netbook PC – I got it before smartphones and tablets became the rage.  I primarily use it for off line writing and blogging.  It runs MS XP, has wif-fi, a 5+ hr battery, has a very small footprint, and still good for basic stuff when a keyboard is needed.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Tablet  - My main web access device.  It does wifi and 4G LTE mobile data.  It also functions as a mobile hotspot when I want to connect my netbook.  It has a 7.7 inch LED screen and can even watch movies on it.  I use this in lieu of having a smart phone.
    • Travel apps (all free unless noted) 
      • Standard stuff –access to all email accts, Google Maps, Weather, internet
      • GasBuddy - to find the lowest gas price based on your GPS location 
      • Skype - for long distance and video calls with family
      • RadarNow! – instant access to the current NOAA radar image based on your GPS location.  No adds, just the current radar image
      • Compass – turns your screen into magnetic compass (good for finding which way the sun will be setting / rising) 
      • Allstays C-RV Lite – free app showing camping spots
      • Sanidumps Lite – where to find a local dump station
      • iTriage – all in one medical app to diagnose an ailment, find doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, medication info and for first aid procedures.
      • RoadNinja – shows what’s near your Interstate exit
      • myPilot - Pilot/ Flying J mobile app for travel planning and finding tuck stops in your area.  Shows the facilities at each Pilot and Flying J truck stop. 
      • Recipes – mobile cook book app 
      • Flashlight – turns your rear camera sensor on bright to use as an emergency flashlight.  Comes in great when you loose power and can’t find a flashlight 
      • Games – Scrabble for playing remotely with friends and family while on the road (better than WWF IMHO) and Cribbage for playing against friends or the computer.
      • – web based site.  Cost $25/yr. but shows you where you can park overnight based on recent user feedback. Shows, Wal-Mart’s, Cracker Barrels, Cabelas, Casinos, Truck stops, etc.  It was accurate and up-to-date on my recent western road trip.  It pays for itself with one stay.
  • LG Octane Cell Phone – basic 3G phone using Verizon Family share plan for mobile calling and text.  Has all my contacts and contacts are synced with my tablet.
That’s my list.

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