Panama City or Bust!

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Above are some pictures from 2008, the last time I visited Florida. We visited Daytona Beach, Huntington Beach and Orlando.

If I learned anything from last year’s Gypsy Trip its that the keys to surviving long drives is good music, good directions and good company. Well, and wild berry Skittles. Yesterday I embarked on an 11-hour drive from my home in Walton, Ky., to Panama City, Fla. A piece of cake compared to last summer’s 7,000-mile adventure, but still a long time to be in a car. Thankfully, this time I have some new gadgets at my disposal.

I traded in my Blackberry for a Droid last fall, and with it came the never-ending app store. Y’all can have your iPhones. Sh’niqua (only sometimes) lets me down. Here are my top five road trip-approved apps:

Pandora Internet Radio

Its an endless supply music, as long as your network lasts.

My favorite thing about this channel is it plays more than just whats in my library. And the more you listen to it, the more it gets to know you. So I know that my Matchbox 20 channel I’ve had for years is always going to play something I want to hear and my Cage the Elephant station, the newest addition to my collection, will be in shape by the time I get to Florida. Plus, I can pipe it through the car speakers with the same adapter I use for my iPod.

AAA Triptik

Here’s where good directions come in. I love Google Maps, but sometimes they lead you wrong. Triptik has become my go to for directions. I can build a route on my computer, save it and download it to my phone and get turn-by-turn navigation when I’m on the road. Then, I can keep doing searches anywhere I am to find hotels, mechanics, attractions, restaurants and even campgrounds.


This is a good app to have for every day use anyway. You can use GPS or type in a search location to find nearby gas stations and compare prices. This helped me last week find gas five cents cheaper just a couple of miles from where I normally go.


After I nosed around the Android Market, I did a quick Google search to see what other people have used on their road trips. Most of them suggest the same things, but this blog was the first to suggest GeoReader.

The app is kind of a battery suck, so I’d only run it if I was connected to a constant source of power. As you drive, it searches the National Registry of Historic Sites for locations close to you, and announces them as you go by. The only downside is it hasn’t been giving me details of the locations.

Angry Birds Rio

Or the original Angry Birds or Angry Birds Seasons. Any one of these games will entertain you for hours.

I looked for a travel journal app that would help organize photos and video and allow me to post directly to Facebook and Twiiter, but I didn’t see anything that I was free or a somewhat reasonable price. But I’ll keep looking! What are some apps you can live without?