Question: We have a long drive to see family for the holidays and were wondering if you have any suggestions for an app on our smartphone that would be helpful on the trip?
Besides using a GPS or mapping system, the next best tool is the AAA app. We all know and love AAA and their app provides amazing features when you’re traveling.
I use it for finding gas stations and restaurants since no matter how many times I take that same trip, I always underestimate how much fuel I’ll need – both for myself and my car. But, the app features a variety of other tools for any road warrior.
You don’t need to be a AAA member to enjoy the benefits of the app, but if you are, be sure to enter your membership number when prompted.
Also, if you don’t want to rely on your smartphone while driving, AAA still offers TripTiks and free maps for members. You can make your own TripTik online from their TripTik and mapping site, or contact one of your local offices. (If contacting an office, please give them at least a few days to process.)
How-to’s for the app:
Download the app and open. You’ll see this as your main screen once you answer the first questions:
I’m focusing on the “AAA Maps” feature at the top, so click on that first tab and then you’ll see this:
First, you’ll want to hit the “Search” button on the upper right. From there you can select “Current Location” or type in a city.
Once you’ve selected the location, you can start using the icons at the bottom of the map screen. If you put your finger over them and pull sideways, you will see all the options. Here’s what they all mean:
Whatever icon you highlight, it will then show on the map. You can highlight several icons at a time, or un-highlight some if the map gets too crowded.
Using the “List” icon in the top bar gives you a list of everything popping-up on your map as well as how many miles you are away from that place. (Hit “Map” at the top to get back out of the “List” view.)
For example, if you select “Gas Stations,” it will show you the gas stations in the area as well as the cost of the gas once you click on that specific station.
By selecting “Hotels” or “Dining” you can also view the location’s AAA diamond rating and the TripAdvisor rating. (Image below is using the “List” view.)
I’ll let you play around with the other features. This app really is handy once you get the hang of it.
And remember the app can be used even when you aren’t traveling to find new restaurants near your house, the lowest cost on gas or where you can get a AAA discount.