Road Trip Season is Coming; Know how to Navigate
4 Navigation Apps to Help You Travel
Summer travel is a way of life for Americans. Nearly all summer vacations of yesteryear were done on the open road. As air travel became more practical and affordable, many Americans have opted to fly instead of drive. However, as air travel costs have gone down dramatically, so has the comfort. To compensate, we are taking more vacations by car, they don’t last quite as long, and we don’t drive quite as far.
Navigating around your hometown isn’t that tough. Unless you’re hitting up a new friend’s house and you’re not exactly sure of the location, or if you’re scoping out an area of town with which you aren’t entirely familiar, you likely don’t need a navigation app. But when you’re hitting the open road, even just visiting one of the great drives near Billings, you want to be able to find your way around.
As we strive to be the best auto body repair shop in Billings, we have put together a list of the best navigation apps that you can use on your next road trip, big or small.
Waze – The Waze app tops the list because it’s really quite fantastic. Not only will it explain with turn by turn directions on how to get to your destination, but since it’s community based and crowd sourced, it updates in real-time based on what other users are experiencing. So it can warn you of an accident ahead that is delaying traffic. It lets you know of debris in the road, where the cops are (you’re following all traffic laws, so this is moot), and any construction that may delay your trip. Definitely a great app to keep you on the road.
Apple Maps – If you have an iPhone, you have Apple Maps. A few years ago they got a lot of flak for their crude interface that often led people astray… really, really astray. Fortunately if you have the latest update installed, you don’t have to worry about all of that. Siri can direct you to your destination quickly.
With integrations to Yelp, you can quickly review the business that you’re looking into. With Siri’s comforting voice guiding you turn-by-turn, even when you’ve locked the screen so you’re not driving while distracted, you can arrive safely.
Google Maps – Apple’s biggest competitor has been in the map business for a long time. In fact, if you’re using a computer, you most likely turn to Google for all of your map and direction needs without thinking about any alternative.
On the phone you can use Google Maps through the browser, or download the app. It will guide you along the same way that Apple Maps will. A nice perk is that if you’re driving to a big city, where foot transit is more efficient that in your vehicle, you can quickly change over to GPS map guidance by foot. Cool technology that’s supported around the world.
Maps.me – Although it was developed about 8 years ago, Maps.me is still considered the new kid on the block. It’s surging to popularity due to enhanced user experience that goes beyond the simple turn-by-turn directions.
Integrated with open source mapping, you can download maps to use offline, you can have it offer suggestions for restaurants, historical points, and points of interest. And if you find yourself getting held over in a city that’s not your destination, quickly book a room with their booking.com integration.
Bonus: Topo Maps+ – This one comes to us as a bonus because it’s not a road trip navigation app… but it is a navigation app! If your destination is taking you on hikes, backpacking adventures, or anywhere off the beaten path, Topo Maps Plus is an excellent way to keep yourself on track. You can quickly see your elevation, where you are on the map, and even your speed if you’re zipping along in a runaway mine cart that you happened into Indiana Jones style.
The downside: the free version doesn’t work if you don’t have cell service. So for those backcountry Montana mountain adventures, you will need to buy the full version, or find a different app. Also, it appears to be iPhone only.
Big Sky Collision Center Says to Drive Safe!
When you’re out and about on the roads, visiting exciting locales both near and far, be safe! Remember your driving safety rules, don’t make dumb choices, and enjoy the trip.
If you do get in an accident, due to ice, an animal, another driver, or you had a lapse in judgement, bring your vehicle to us. We have more factory certifications than any other collision repair shop around, and we have the skills and tools to restore you to full factory safety specifications.