Staying Connected with Straight Talk while Big Trippin

This is a sponsored post, and as such I have received a phone, service, and compensation for my post as part of the #StraightTalkTesters program.  However, all opinions are 100% honest, and are solely mine.

As a family that is on the go, we are constantly connected.  When I say constantly, I mean ALL the TIME!

I know there are reasons to unplug every now and then.  I know that it is good to be off of social media channels for blocks of time; but I also know that there are times when it is enjoyable to be able to share with family and friends while you are on vacation, or otherwise having family time.  Being connected all the time is not necessarily bad.. right?

We recently took a family road trip.  When I say road trip, I mean 4140 miles from my front door, back to my front door.  That is not exactly a trip (with 2 kids) for the faint of heart.  You MUST be “All in”, or you might as well stay at home.  I remember when I was a kid taking a trip, or even just heading to a new town for a day, you would take a map with you.  Nowadays, most kids have no idea what a map is.

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HERE! This was in the middle of Kansas and I had great service. No hiccups at all.

Is that the thing on your phone Daddy?

Well, ummmm.. sort of son.

Thanks to the Folks at Straight Talk, I recently upgraded my wireless plan and phone.  And while I am a old guy, with kids, this is also something you should keep in mind for the kids.  Whether it’s the high school senior, or the college freshman, ALL ages can benefit from the savings of Straight Talk.  

Just to be clear, from MY point of view, Dad must have a phone.  I mean MUST have a phone. Why, you ask?

While paper maps might be a thing of the past, maps are not.  A great wireless phone and the right apps, can make a trip to you-know-where, an easy-peasy adventure for the entire family.  I will say that quite of bit of pre-planning went into our trip, and much of that was done via technology.  Specifically technology that was to be integrated into my phone.  THAT is how I was to keep track of everything.  I have a few apps on my phone that I consider standby apps for travel.  Whether it be finding the next gas station, the next camping spot, or checking the weather; they are apps that I turn to at a moments notice to give me JUST the information I need.

Lets start from the top.  At the beginning of our trip I had an approximate route that I wanted to take. I knew where I wanted to go, and which roads would get me there (and back home again).  Problem was, I really didn’t have any idea where I wanted to stop along the way.

That is where RoadTrippers came in.

Roadtrippers is a great app to plan a trip on!  It’s free, but even if it weren’t, I would spend quite a few bucks on it.  It allows you to set a route, and to pick different categories of points along that route to stop at.  You can define how close you would like to stay to your main route, and it will show you everything from food, to attractions, history points, oddities, camping, hotels…just about anything.  The neat thing is is that there is also a desktop app.  I planned the entire trip on my laptop and then synced to my Nexus 6 on Straight Talk.  Very simple and very handy.  I kept this app running when we were looking for the next leg of our trip, so we wouldn’t miss any stops along the way.

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Google Maps

Yeah right, no kidding.  I’m not going to go too deep into this one, that is a blog post unto itself.  I will just say that we used google maps dozens of times over our 16 day trip.  I mean dozens of times!  Anytime we needed food, or gas, or a campground to stay at, this was almost always the “go to” app.

Redbox

Well, while this isn’t exactly an app, we did use the Redbox mobile site to find movies for the kids to watch.  We took along portable DVD players for each of the kids and it was as easy as pulling up the redbox mobile site and finding a nearby kiosk. Grab a movie, drop an old one off.. and for a little more than a buck apiece, each of the kids were entertained for the next couple of hours.

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You would think that in the middle-of-nowhere Kansas, a Redbox would be hard to find.  NOPE.  I swear, they are around every corner.  Look for a McDonalds or a Walmart, and most times they are very close by if not inside.

Rainy Days

 

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One thing you will immediately become aware of when you are traveling is the weather.  You have to keep an eye on it, not just the daily forecast, but the actual radar map in your immediate area. I have used Rainy Days on my android phones for quite some time now and although I have tried other apps, I keep coming back to it.  The reason is, IT JUST WORKS. Don’t look for an extensive forecast from the app, that’s not what it’s for.  But if you want a fast, accurate, easy to use radar app for Android, THIS IS IT!  Couple this with our nationwide coverage from Straight Talk, and we had instant radar maps right away.

RV Parky

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RV Parky is an app that lets you look for cheap and free overnight parking for your RV, travel trailer, motorhome, or teardrop.  It’s a free app, and is really helpful.  We used it throughout our road trip.

Remember I mentioned the nationwide coverage of StraightTalk. Well, I traveled through about 1/4 of it, and here’s the deal.

In 16 days I picked up my phone hundreds of times, and I had no service…..

Once.

One time, out of hundreds.  Honestly, that was much better than I had anticipated given the middle of nowhere places we visited in Kansas.  

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That is why I can say, without reservations, that I am proud to be apart of the the #StraightTalkTesters program.  A great phone, with nationwide coverage, at half the cost of what you would pay from other nationwide companies. 

ANNNNNDDDD.  Due to the overwhelming popularity of the 5GB BYOP (Bring your own phone) plan, Straight Talk has now expanded this program.  Now ALL Straight Talk customers on the $45/30 day plan get 5GB of Unlimited Data*

Go checkout Straight Talk on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  If you prefer video, checkout their Youtube channel.

 

DISCLAIMER: *30 day unlimited plans include unlimited talk and text with 5 GB of high speed data per 30 day cycle. After 5 GB, data speed will be reduced to as low as 2G for the remainder of the 30 day cycle. At 2G speeds, the functionality of some data applications such as streaming video or audio may be affected. All currently active Straight Talk BYOP customers will also receive the first 5 GB Data at High Speeds at the start of their next 30 day cycle. Please refer always to the Terms and Conditions of Service at StraightTalk.com

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