Having just come back from a little road trip to Des Moines, Iowa, I’ve discovered a few things. One, Adventureland is exactly what I expected after wondering for the last 20 years or so. If you are familiar with the Midwest, you may know that Adventureland is a quaint little amusement park just off of I-80, right outside of Des Moines. From afar the park looks big, especially if you’re a kid, but as you get closer you’ll begin to realize what seemed huge then is not so much now. Still, I enjoyed myself and I can never say no to rollercoasters, no matter the size.
The other thing I discovered is that I cannot live without technology. I’ve been to Des Moines many times, but never had the chance to spend a whole lot of time enjoying what the city has to offer. Thankfully I own an iPhone and put it to good use over the weekend. As a travel nurse, I can see what a blessing a smartphone like the iPhone can be. It has so many applications to help you around your new surroundings. Besides smartphones with their many applications, a GPS or Global Positioning System is the perfect tool for those who travel a lot. I personally do not own one, but I’ve rented many cars that come equipped with these little gadgets and I have to say, they are a godsend for the directionally inept.
There are many GPS providers out there, with Garmin and Tom-Tom being a couple of the more popular brands. Although there’s nothing like peering through an atlas or road map and looking at the big picture, but having a GPS in your car as your guide is much more useful and safe. As a traveling nurse going from one coast to the other, having a GPS can be a great help. You just plug in your destination and let the satellites do the rest. These systems typically mount on the dashboard of your car and are usually spot on with their directions and can also guide you through areas under constructions and give you options to the type of route you’d like to take, from scenic routes to the fastest way possible.
Besides these GPS specific tools, you can also find similar applications for most smartphones available today. I know my iPhone has the generic Google map application and has been pretty accurate with its directions. Though it may be a bit clumsy, it gets me from point A to point B with little to no hassle. There are of course other free and paid applications as well, even offerings from the companies I mentioned earlier. I would highly recommend looking into some sort of navigational app if you don’t want to get a dash mounted GPS device. Just getting from one place to the next can be a challenge, especially if you’re just using road maps and such.
Take advantage of the 21st century and update your navigation means. A road-map can become outdated rather quickly and most times there won’t be maps available for specific cities and towns you may be headed to. With all the technology available at your fingertips, your next trip can be less stressful and give you the opportunity to enjoy the drive and the surroundings a lot more. Next week, I’ll give you a few applications and websites that will help you discover all there is to take advantage at the next destination of your travel nursing job. Until then, travel safe!