Tech for traveling | What the Tech?
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — AAA predicts 42 million Americans will travel over Memorial Day weekend, which would be the most in over two decades.
That means crowded highways, traffic jams and high gas prices, so you’ll want to know about some tech gadgets and tricks to make your trip more enjoyable.
First, if you’re not using Waze as a GPS for the car, you’re traveling wrong. Sure Apple Maps is convenient for iPhone users and has improved, but Waze has users who constantly update traffic information, hazards, and police presence.
Waze isn’t totally hands-free and you can’t make it the default GPS app on the iPhone. If you ask Siri to “give me directions to Denver, Colorado”, it’ll open Apple Maps. If you’ve deleted it, you’ll be prompted to install it. Still, you can ask Siri to “launch Waze and give me directions to Walt Disney World.”
Gas prices jump over summer holidays, to find the best price while you’re tooling down the highway.
The app “GasBuddy” is the most dependable way to find gas prices. Other travelers widely use it. Places also update prices, generally daily, if not hourly.
If your internet connection gets super slow on the highway, here’s a trick: turn on airplane mode for 3 seconds, then turn it off again. This forces the phone to search for the nearest cell tower.
Ever wonder why your phone doesn’t charge very fast in the car, if at all? The USB ports in most cars are made for listening to music or connecting CarPlay.
Pick up a charger that plugs into a cigarette lighter. These provide 4-6 amps and can charge a phone 10 times faster than a USB port.
Use a brand-name charger and cable. The cheapos you see in gas stations aren’t reliable, or fast, and can overheat.
The cigarette lighter also isn’t always easy to find these days. The one in my car is well under the passenger seat foot room.
Also, get a very long charging cable for the people in the backseat.