Autumn’s crisp winds are perfect for taking a long stroll or winding drive, jazzed on pumpkin spice lattes and fiery fall foliage. Take advantage of off-peak deals and low gas prices by exploring the land of the free! America has an abundance of attractions—both cultural and natural—to satisfy your thirst for travel. But before you put the pedal to the metal, invest in this tech that will maximize your mileage.
Don’t you wish all birthday celebrations lasted 365 days? As 2016 winds down, there are still plenty of opportunities to celebrate our National Park System’s Centennial. The National Geographic National Parks app presents an award-winning interactive guide to 25 of the most popular parks—including visitor information maps and photo galleries so you can ensure you check out all of the highlights.
Kickstarter recently brought another genius invention to life: Hudway Glass. Hudway Glass is a heads-up display (HUD); a transparent screen that lets you read text and maps without looking away from the road. Hudway Glass is compatible with any smartphone, offering assistance without distraction. It sits on your dashboard and projects an image that’s 20% larger than your phone screen, within your line of light, that’s visible on a sunny or cloudy day. Already know the back roads like the back of your hand? Hudway can also connect with apps to display things like local MPH regulations, so a speeding ticket doesn’t ruin your getaway.
If you’re driving solo and want to update your friends and family with your ETA while keeping both hands on the wheel, use Glympse to share your location in real-time. Simply select a contact, decide on the duration of how long they can track you and hit send.
Get outta your car and onto a trail using the AllTrails app. The #1 outdoors app boasts 50,000+ trails for hiking, biking and running. We love that this app offers insight on trails virtually everywhere, rather than being confined to protected parks and popular areas. If a spot gets good reviews, simply download the offline map so you’ll never get lost, even when you’re out of cellular range.
Strolling solo? Podcasts give you millions of entertaining sound bytes to tune into. Serial is the most popular podcast of all time, famous for its epic non-fiction storytelling that investigates a murder trial. But if you don’t want to get sucked into a series, laugh and learn to listen to a station like Stuff You Should Know or NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour. If you love a good story, individuals tell their true tales on The Moth, or Welcome to Night Vale boasts 100% fictional stories.
Don’t get us wrong; winding roads and crooked creeks look pretty sweet from eye-level. But you can seriously elevate the awesomeness of your photos by taking them from an eagle’s perspective—or the parrot’s, in this case. The Parrot mini drone is sturdy, shock-resistant and customizable to any photographer’s preferences. It’s compatible with Android or Apple via the FreeFlight 3 app, plus boasts multiple control settings so you can determine the drone’s acrobatics in the air. Follow @droneoftheday, @dronesdaily and @dronesetc on Instagram to get your daily dose of dronespiration.
Rather than taking the shortest way, Greatest Drive helps you chart the most scenic, fun and beautiful routes. Let’s say you want to drive from Big Sur to Los Angeles: the app helps compare routes based on user ratings broken down into fun, twisty, scenic and traffic level. Greatest Drive includes maps and stats on the length and duration, so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Curious about pit stops? This app is integrated with Yelp, so you can find awesome roadside attractions and try locals’ favorite eateries.
Fill ‘er up and blast some epic road trip jams. America is waiting, and these apps and gadgets will help you experience (and remember) your journey like never before. Hit the road with eyes wide, windows down and gadgets charged.