Reprinted with permission from the weBoost blog.
Road trips are a popular way to explore the country, whether you’re driving Route 66, making your way along the coast, or visiting a national park. While families have been piling into cars to take vacations for decades, smartphones and other cellular-connected devices are making modern-day road trips a breeze.
Before you pack your bags and hit the highway on your next family adventure, check out our road trip tech tips. With a cell phone booster, you can enjoy a reliable connection wherever your journey takes you, increasing the fun factor and making travel easier.
6 Reasons You Need Reliable Cell Coverage on Your Road Trip
There are many ways your smartphones and tablets come in handy on a family vacation. Take full advantage of technology with strong cell coverage in your car, SUV, or RV.
1. Make Plans on the Go
When you’ve got reliable internet access, you can put the finishing touches on your plans while your partner’s behind the wheel. Check the operating hours of water parks, book tickets at attractions in advance, and find the perfect park to have a picnic lunch.
You can keep the kids engaged by involving them in your planning. Hand them a tablet and ask them to check Yelp for reviews of local restaurants before you arrive at your destination, or let everyone choose one tourist sight they really want to see. You can also ask them to each find an interesting fact about the locale you’re about to visit.
2. Keep Everyone Amused
While classic road trip games are a must with the kids, a reliable mobile connection keeps everyone occupied when you’ve had enough of 20 Questions for the day. Kids can use their smartphones and tablets to watch YouTube videos, find new Spotify playlists, post to Instagram, and chat with friends using messaging. They can also download a variety of fun, creative, and educational apps.
3. Go with the Flow
One of the advantages of a road trip is the ability to be spontaneous. It’s easy to shift your plans if needed. Maybe you’ve decided to spend an extra day in the mountains because it’s so beautiful, or maybe the kids are getting carsick because of the winding roads and you want to trade the scenic route for the highway.
When your connection is reliable, you can access maps, adjust hotel bookings and add new attractions or stops to your itinerary at any time.
4. Stay Connected
A strong cell signal gives you clearer reception and fewer dropped calls and missed texts. This lets you stay in touch with friends and family. You can send a text to let your cousin know your estimated arrival time in town or ask the house sitter how the kids’ pet goldfish is doing.
And as much as you don’t want to take work on the road, sometimes you do need to check in. Take advantage of the faster streaming and data speeds provided by a cell signal booster to upload the file your colleague can’t find or to download your email. If you’re taking a road trip during the school term, your children can finish assignments while in the car and stay caught up on their studies.
5. Know Where You’re Going
Tools such as Google Maps have changed the way we navigate, serving up the best routes to a destination. With a reliable cellular signal, you can make sure you don’t take a wrong turn on your way to the Grand Canyon and subject the family to an hour-long detour. And if you do miss the exit, your maps app can tell you where you are and get you quickly back on track.
Arriving in a busy city at the wrong time can mean sitting in backed-up traffic instead of getting to your hotel. Use your cellular connection when heading into a metropolitan area. If Google Maps is alerting you to congestion, take the opportunity to pull over before you hit rush hour. This gives you the chance to stop for an ice cream or spend time at the lake outside of town while traffic disperses. Your children will appreciate getting out of the car to stretch their legs instead of being stuck at a standstill.
6. Be Safe
One of the most critical reasons to have a reliable connection on the road is to keep you covered in case of emergencies. If your car breaks down outside of city limits or your child gets sick and you need to find the nearest hospital, a reliable cell signal enables you to get assistance when needed.
How to Improve Connectivity With a Cell Signal Booster in Your Car or RV
No matter what carrier you use, you’ll encounter weak cellular coverage in some areas of the country. The obvious reason is the distance of the nearest cell tower, but man-made construction materials like concrete, metal, and coated glass from buildings can also interfere with signals. Even natural terrain such as mountains, trees, hills, and rocky cliffs — while perfect for holiday snapshots — can interfere with cell coverage.
As long as you’re getting a cell signal, even if it’s weak, you can amplify it with an in-vehicle booster. Our line of weBoost signal boosters can pick up faint radio waves that a smartphone isn’t able to. The boosters amplify the signal up to 32 times to give you reliable connectivity in your car, SUV, or RV.
weBoost kits come with everything you need to optimize connectivity in your vehicle.
- Outside antenna to pick up faint cell phone signals
- Booster to amplify the signal
- Inside antenna that sends the boosted signal to cellular-connected devices
The booster also makes sure signals from your car make it back to the tower, ensuring two-way communications so you can respond to texts and call for assistance if needed.
Your Road Trip Tech Checklist
There are a few road trip essentials that you must have, including a first aid kit, a flashlight, jumper cables, and plenty of snacks for a hungry crew. To ensure you’ve optimized the technology, add these tasks to your road trip to-do list.
Stock Up on Portable Chargers
Navigation, streaming video and other apps can quickly drain your battery. Have more than one charger available to keep everyone’s device fully powered. If you have a variety of devices, make sure you’ve got compatible USB cables for everyone.
In addition to chargers that plug into the car, you can also purchase portable chargers. Just make sure to plug them into a power source when you’re at the hotel for the night so they’re ready to go for the next day.
Know How to Set Up a Mobile Hotspot
Most smartphones have a feature that enables you to turn your device into a mobile hotspot. Before you head out onto the road, make sure you know how to set up the hotspot so you can provide connectivity for the whole family. Even if your kids don’t have their own data plan, they can tether their tablets and phones to your device. By sharing your data, they can access the internet, send emails and use messaging apps while the miles click away on the odometer.
Check Your Cellular Plan
You’re going to need the right cell plan if you’re navigating with maps and tethering multiple devices to your mobile hotspot. Check into unlimited data plans to ensure you’re not surprised with a hefty bill at the end of your road trip.
Choose the Right Cell Signal Booster
Whether you’re driving a car, an SUV, or an RV, you can find a weBoost cell signal booster to optimize your signal. The standard weBoost cell phone booster for cars and SUVs is the Drive X. For more powerful coverage, opt for the Drive Reach, which is the best if you’re driving in remote areas. weBoost also has Drive X and Drive Reach models for RVs. Most of our products support multiple devices, so everyone in your car can be connected.
As you plan your road trip, make sure you’ve got the technology covered so you can enjoy reliable coverage for all cellular devices. You can keep the kids occupied, find a place to eat dinner, and make the most of your road trip adventure, no matter where you are.