Well, hello world! Haha, I’m actually writing this for myself since this site has been pretty dormant over the last couple of years. Well, I’m getting back on the horse. Reving up the engine. Attempting to restart my blog writing and bring life back to this site. This is the first of what I hope will be the start of some daily writing or image sharing.
Getting back onto the website, I just happened to read my intro about “map in hand” and that I had never used GPS for road trips EVER…I was really kind of proud of that fact. But after years of going “old school,” I was forced to finally give in to using a map app in preparation for driving around New York last September with mom, who is no navigator. I even got a new iPhone 8 Plus because I knew my Galaxy Samsung 4 would never be able to keep up (so make that two things I thought I wouldn’t do—use a GPS and get an iPhone).
I tried a few apps and finally settled onto HERE WeGo because it seemed easy to use. I downloaded maps of New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario. The most critical part of the trip and the main reason I got the app, was to navigate our way from JFK after picking up the rental car, to a point in between Niagara Falls and New York (I broke up the six-hour drive into 3-hour drives over two days).
I swear, I would NOT have been able to use a paper map on that drive. Looking at the interconnecting roadways, I knew I’d be happy once we got out of New York since I was most worried about having to drive through the city. There were way too many freeway interchanges, turns and roads nearly every mile or less that I had to follow just to get out of New York. The drivers, I can deal with, but navigating the roads would have been so much more nerve wracking. I also made quite a few wrong turns, but the map always redirected me back to the route. The verbal directions to “turn left” or “turn right in 100 feet” became very comforting and I couldn’t have been more relieved. Turns out the app provides users with options on recommended routes, so we totally avoided having to drive through the city. And even that was still crazy hectic!
HERE WeGo works like most other map apps (I’m guessing) though I did notice that one or two times it took us off the freeway then back onto it for no reason. Strange. There was no construction or no accident that backed up traffic. Luckily, the off and on ramps were within sight of each other; that’s how I knew it was a strange anomaly. I liked the verbal cues, being able to see portions of the route on the screen and how it changed it for night driving.
The phone and the app worked seamlessly together, and made driving from Point A to Point B something I didn’t have to worry or feel hesitant about. Picking up dinner? Where’s the nearest grocery store? Want to visit Watkins Glen? Need to get to a pharmacy? No worries. I had the app and used it every single time to get around.
I have to add that my eyesight has undergone some changes as well, so listening for the directions vs reading the map was a huge plus.
I won’t say I’ll never go old school again; it’s always good to have an actual map, just in case. But it was really nice to leave the route directing to “someone” else and not have the paper map on the steering wheel for those quick route changes. Count me as a convert.
If you have any questions about road tripping, New York or Niagara Falls, just ask! I’ll help if I can.
Let me know of any map apps you prefer and why. This won’t be my last road trip, and I’m open to trying out new apps!