Has there ever been a more valuable travel companion than your smartphone? Every time you jump in the car, you’ve got all the key information you need right at your fingertips. Anyone who has ever needed emergency assistance, wrestled with a roadmap, been frustrated by an unexpected traffic backup, or nervously wondered about the location of the nearest service station as the gas needle dipped towards ‘E’ surely appreciates the handy amenities a smartphone now provides.
The great thing is, many of the best apps you can download to help assure safe, serene travels are absolutely free! I’m sharing four free, simple-to-use apps that I can’t imagine leaving home without. At one time or another, they’ve all helped me turn a bumpy road trip into smooth sailing.
Google Maps comes loaded on every Android device, or can be downloaded for iPhone, which also includes Apple maps as well. The interface has the familiar look and feel of a traditional map, and offers turn-by-turn voice navigation. It uses real-time traffic information and lane assist so you’ll be aware of any slowdowns along the way—and know how to avoid them, if possible.
If you prefer alternate forms of transportation—or just want help getting around once you reach your destination—Google Maps also provides information on walking routes or taking public transportation. Plus, if you’re searching for a business, it lists hours and busy times, making it an invaluable resource for planning your day.
You’ll get a slightly different experience using Waze. This is also a map-based navigation tool but its primary function is to find you the fastest possible driving route to your destination. It uses live traffic data to keep your route updated, and also has social network integration, which lets users share real time traffic information. If you’re flat-out in a rush to get there, Waze can be a big help. It’s available both for Android and iPhone.
At some point along the way, you know you’ll need to make a re-fueling stop. Now, you don’t have to worry about spotting the next filling station. You can find it easily with Gas Buddy, which is also available for both Android and iPhone. This is the simplest, most efficient way to find the closest and least expensive gas in the area. It provides a full list of the stations nearest to you, along with their current pump prices. And if there’s a particular station you prefer for collecting or redeeming fuel points, you’ll be able to find one that’s located nearby.
Finally, what’s a road trip without some classic car games? My family still loves to play the “License Plate Game,” and with the Android-only ST8PL8, you’ve got an actual scorekeeper for it! Whenever you spot a license plate, keep track of it by clicking on the picture on this fun app. It includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia—see how many miles you rack up before you’ve got them all!
Now that you know you won’t get lost or run out of gas, it’s time to head out on the highway and enjoy a little adventure. Before you hit the road, just make sure that both your gas tank and your smartphone are fully loaded. Happy Trails!
Why is my phone “out of service”? I am paid up, time left, no problems, why am I out of service?
We’re sorry to hear that, Arnie. I’ve taken a look on our end, and everything looks fine. Please try turning your phone off, then back on again. That should allow your phone to reconnect to the nearest tower with a strong signal. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, please give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we will troubleshoot further. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and we appreciate you posting today!
I lost my phone and bought a new one today a doro 626. For some reason I keep getting this message sim not provisioned mm#2. I talked to two people and was told that it could take from 3 to 24 hours for phone to activate. It is not rocket science to connect a phone. Hopefully it is being done hundreds of times every day by your company. I am a 78 year old woman living alone, without a phone. I DO NOT HAVE A PHONE UNTIL THE NEW ONE IS CONNECTED. Please correct this asap thank you.
We do apologize for any confusion, Helen. In general, it can take 2-24 hours for a number transfer to be completed and for a new phone to be activated. I reviewed your account, and I’m pleased to see that your new phone became active not long after you posted. If we can assist you with anything else or answer any questions you may have, we’re happy to do so at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope you have a wonderful day!
Why doesn’t my wifi work in Canada? Will my wifi work on a cruise ship?
Thank you for reaching out to us, Patti. If your phone is on and in airplane mode, you should be able to connect to a Wi-Fi network while you’re in Canada or on a cruise ship. Our service is designed to work within the United States only, so you may not be able to make calls or access the messaging and data functions. We always recommend keeping your phone in airplane mode when outside of the U.S. so that you can avoid any roaming fees. If you like, we can answer any other questions you have via email at [email protected]. We appreciate you taking the time to post!
Do you offer robo call blocking for the envoy model phone ?
Thank you for asking, Steve. The Envoy does not have a call blocking option at this time. We’re happy to talk to you about other device options if that feature is particularly important to you. Just give us a call at 888-345-5509, and we’ll help you find the perfect fit. We’re so glad you posted today, and we look forward to speaking with you soon!