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  1. Default Route planning/Route tracking

    Ok, I have spent all day researching this. I am going home to another state for easter to see my family. It is an 8 hour road trip and I am pregnant and somewhat ill. I'll need to make stops along the way. I plan on purchasing a Microsoft Streets and Trips with GPS locator package to get me where I am going without getting lost. This is where it gets tricky.

    The family members I am going to see are somewhat excitable, and the last couple of times I've made this trip I've spent a good amount of time on my cell phone reassuring them that we are still underway. In order to avoid this problem this time, I've been looking into sharing my GPS location. This is where I am running into problems. We are already going to be spending a good deal of money on gas, and the GPS kit. Now it seems that if I want to let my sister track my location, I'm going to need to spend more money. My mini laptop has an integrated AT&T aircard, but I have never used it and have yet to find a cheap prepaid way of getting time for it. Even if I did go through the effort of finding something I could use, it appears that the connection is iffy while in use in a moving vehicle.

    I've found several tracking applications for cell phones, but I have the data option turned off on my cell phone. In order to use one of these easy to use applications, I'd have to buy a prepaid cell phone and it seems to me like a waste of money if I'm going to have to buy a cell phone just so my sister can track my location. So I'm hoping someone here has a more reasonable solution. Is there anything I can buy that will give me turn by turn instructions to get me home and allow me to share my location with my family?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default If its their concern?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Honestly, if your family is so paranoid that they feel the need to be tracking your every movement, then maybe you can convince them to pay for the upgrades to your phone to make it easy for them. I really can't think of any way to do what you are talking about for free.

    For your actual travel, you may find that just getting a GPS unit is cheaper and easier than going with Streets and Trips - at least from the perspective that you wouldn't have to have your laptop out the whole time. That isn't going to solve your tracking issue, but it will be another option to consider for your actual navigation. I don't think that S&T is a bad option, it just might be easier to have something that's the size of a cell phone rather than a big computer.

    I certainly can appreciate and enjoy technology, but sometimes its easy to get too caught up in it, and forget that people have been traveling across this country for decades without things like cell phones, gps units, and computers. I actually think the most simple solution to your problem with regards to your family following your movements is to tell them to back off! Tell them you'll call before you leave, and you'll call again each time you stop for gas (which should be 2 or 3 times on an 8 hour trip) and tell them you will call one specific person with updates - and they can share that information with other family members. Otherwise, tell them that you'll be turning the ringer on your phone off so that you can concentrate on driving while you are on the road. That's still being very fair with them, but more importantly it should reduce your stress level (even if they aren't as happy about it) and really, when taking a trip like this, you need to be worried about yourself and your driving far more than anything else.

  3. #3


    There's a low-tech solution to this. Let's say you want to leave 6am. Tell them you're leaving at noon. By the time they get all worked up about where you are and if you're still ok, you'll be at their doorstep.

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