Today’s Tech Savvy guest post comes from Shawna Landers, Director of Marketing for MapQuest. Shawna the lead marketing strategist for the company’s three business units who directs overall efforts for brand marketing, search engine marketing, PR, promotions, trade shows, research, product and trade marketing. Today, Shawna is here to share tips and tricks to help make this summer’s road trips go smoothly.
Ah the days of old style road trips. Remember packing everyone in the ‘aircraft carrier-sized station wagon with mom playing car bingo or telling the kids to find all the state license plates to keep them busy? Dad had the trusty road atlas or paper map folded to guide the way.
Nowadays, cars have DVD players, kids have their own MP3 players and mom and dad can plan their trip down to a science.
That’s where MapQuest comes in. As travelers needs change over time, so does MapQuest –there are several neat features that help make road trip planning a breeze – all while saving some money along the way.
Here are some of my favorite tools that help me plan road trips:
Fuel Cost Calculator
This gem makes it incredibly easy to calculate the cost of gas for your road trip. After you create your route, just click on the Fuel Cost link to input the MPG of your vehicle and voila! Instant calculation of your vehicle’s gas cost. It even makes the calculation based on the local gas prices in the area along your route.
Avoid Tolls / Highways
Want to save a little cash by avoiding tolls? Just look to the right side of your written directions and you’ll see Advanced Routing options. Here, it’s as simple as checking off the boxes to Avoid Tolls, Avoid Highways and more. As soon as you check off a box, the route will recalculate for you.
The Road Less Traveled
We all know that if you go off the beaten path, you can create some of the greatest memories. Want to go through a forest or by an ocean? MapQuest will automatically calculate the shortest distance for your route, but YOU can choose how you want to go simply by clicking and dragging the highlighted route to where you want to go.
Real Time Traffic
How frustrating is it when you sit in traffic for hours, burning gas and raising tension in the car? Before you leave the house, try out MapQuest’s Real Time traffic. You can find live traffic in over 100 cities updated every five minutes. If you see a big jam up, create a new route around the traffic before you walk out the door.
No, I’m not talking about an amusement ride…the MapQuest Place Carousel is a simple on-map search toolbar that lets you click on any business category or select brands and they will instantly show up along your route. If you’re looking for a shopping center, coffee shop or hotel options along your route, you can find it instantly.
MapQuest has a nifty feature called MapQuest Local that lets you see local concerts, events, movies, restaurant ratings and more. It’s an easy way to see everything in one place and find things to do nearby your home or where you’re going.
MapQuest Gas Prices
Gas prices can be up to $.15-.20 a gallon difference just a mile or two away depending upon your part of the country. Next time you want to fill up, check out the gas prices in your area or where your destination may be. MapQuest has a Gas Price portal that lets you easily find gas prices by lowest price or distance – and the prices are updated up to seven times a day.
Finally, this last feature really makes trip planning a snap. Now, you can set up an account and save all your routes, maps and searches. Save all the kids soccer fields, make a route to drop off the Cub Scout troop boys, and so much more.
Save time and money the next time you set out on that cross country journey or just going away for a short getaway- give these MapQuest tools a try!
Thanks to Shawna for being our Tech Savvy guest and offering these great cost saving ideas for road trips.
No promotional consideration was paid for this post.
Thanks for reading Tech Savvy Mama through your feed!
Original post by Tech Savvy Mama