Thanks to today’s technological advances, there’s no better time to take a long road trip. Between GPS to help us reach our destination, apps that alert us to fun places to stop along the way and back seat screens to help keep young passengers entertained, it is easier than ever to pass the time on an extended drive.
Here are just a few gadgets and technology solutions you can put to work to help make your next drive a little more fun.
Apple’s in-vehicle mobile operating system lets you use your iPhone’s apps on your car’s “infotainment” screen. Depending on your vehicle, you might have to connect your phone to the CarPlay system with a USB cable. Some car manufacturers are beginning to include a wireless Apple CarPlay feature however. Regardless, you can play your favorite road trip songs and monitor your GPS route on the same screen. You can also make hands-free calls and text messages with Apple CarPlay.
Don’t worry Android users—you’re covered, too. Android Auto lets you connect your phone to your car display where you can see all of your mobile apps. From there, you can tap the screen to get directions, talk or send a text hands-free. You can also use Android Auto to play music, listen to a book, get alerts from Google Maps or find the nearest gas station.
Rear Seat Entertainment System
Sure, backseat passengers can keep busy by looking down at their tablet or phone. But today’s modern rear seat entertainment systems allow children, or any passengers, to enjoy the same viewing experience without straining their necks. A number of automakers have installed screens on the back of each seat, so everyone can watch what they want—movies, educational games and some cases, stream live television.
You’re vehicle does not have to be Bluetooth-equipped to make hands free calls, listen to a game or play your favorite tunes from your phone. A Bluetooth speaker will do the trick. Most models simply clip on to your car’s sun visor so they’re out of the way. Bluetooth speakers also vary in price so there’s likely something that will fit your budget and desired level of sound quality.
Do all of the devices you have on board have enough battery to last the entire trip? If you’re going to be on the road for hours, chances are the phones, tablets, laptops, speakers, etc. will need a boost at some point. Prevent any potential arguments over who gets to charge their device next with a multi-device charger. A charger with multiple USB ports will let you keep your phone, which might be doubling as your GPS device, charged while your passengers power up their tablets and gaming systems.
Your road trip extends into the evening and it’s getting dark. Your passenger seat occupant doesn’t want to put down the great book they’re reading, but you find the side light distracting. What do you do now? Fortunately, a light diffuser can provide a compromise—the device uses your smartphone’s flash to create a soft reading light. Your passenger can keep reading and you’ll be less distracted.
GEICO Mobile App
There’s plenty of tech out there to keep you entertained on your road trip. Make sure you’re using tech to keep you and your passengers protected as well. The award-winning GEICO Mobile app allows you to access your insurance ID cards, request roadside assistance, find parking, locate gas stations and more all from the palm of your hand.
Download the free GEICO Mobile app to your smartphone today.
By Joe Dyton