In your wild college days, the words “ROAD TRIP!” meant squeezing your friends into the back of a compact car and hitting the road. You survived on a steady diet of fast food burgers and Jolt Cola, and spent your time arguing about which songs to play, and whether Kerouac’s “Dharma Bums” or “On the Road” best captured your adventure.
Now, “ROAD TRIP!” is more likely to mean squeezing the stroller into the back of your SUV and hitting the road for several sleep deprived days. Burgers are probably still a staple, but now it’s more about which Blue’s Clues Episode to watch, or which Nintendo DS game to play. Whatever your circumstances, Nerds has created the ultimate Road Trip Survival Guide to help you make it through your summer adventures, whether it’s across town or across the state.
First things first, make a list: Remember the Milk (http://www.rememberthemilk.com) is a cool way to make a virtual list of everything you need to do, or bring with you. Create a list through the website, or with your Smartphone, and share it across your devices. You can update it from anywhere. This is the easiest way to hand out a packing list to every family member, and get real time updates on who forgot to pack socks.
Ditch the burgers, find good eats: Wandering a strange city looking for a good place to eat can be tough when you’re alone, but meeting the culinary needs of a car full of minions can be downright frustrating. Yelp (http://www.yelp.com) compiles user reviews of restaurants, and you can search by type of food, kid-friendly, or even just highest rated. It is available online, or on any mobile device, including a convenient app for smartphones, iPads and iPods. Never settle for scary taco cart fare again… unless you consider gastrointestinal roulette part of the adventure!
Can you believe gas costs this much? With gas quickly approaching $5 a gallon, stopping at the gas station located nearest to the off-ramp can break your budget. Gasbuddy (http://www.gasbuddy.com) helps you locate the cheapest gas, nearest your GPS location. There’s an app for Android, iPhone, and Windows phones, or you can use the website if you have your laptop with you.
Mobile Entertainment: Without some kind of digital entertainment, you and your kids aren’t likely to make it across town, much less across country. Make the most of your Smartphone, MP3 player or iPad by checking out some cool road-trip friendly applications. For when you’re in the middle of nowhere and can’t find anything on the radio, Pandora will let you stream a radio station tailored around your music preferences to a Smartphone or internet capable device. Check out Audible.com to download audio books to your MP3 player or mobile device and keep the car entertained for hours, with no one getting sick from reading in the backseat. You’ll all appreciate a break from playing iSpy.
Plot your potty breaks: Whether you need a kid-friendly restroom, or are looking for one clean enough to run in Britney Spears-style, the Sit or Squat app.
About The Author: Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.
About Nerds On Call: Established in a spare room in Redding, Calif., in March 2004, Nerds On Call offers on-site computer and laptop repair services to consumers and businesses. Nerds On Call provides trouble-shooting for PCs and Macs, home and office networks, printers, iPods® and MP3 players, handheld devices and cell phones, home theaters and game systems, and virtually every other form of digital entertainment. In 2009, 2010, & 2011 the company was named to Inc. magazine’s list of 5000 fastest growing private companies. With 7 locations across California and Oregon, Nerds On Call serves more than 40,000 satisfied customers per year. For more information, visit callnerds.com or call 1-800-919-NERD.