Thursday, June 21, 2012

Planning A Road Trip, You Need These Tools

We're headed to Charleston, South Carolina, for a weekend of exploring the streets and alleys and restaurants. It's the first road trip of the summer and we are stoked. We love a long drive and we love Charleston, so it's the best of both worlds. 


Even though Charleston is only a few hours south of Wilmington, I found two must-use road trip tools. One from The Weather Channel, one from a place called Roadtrip Mixtape.


Trip Planner, from The Weather Channel, lets you input your starting point and destination, then tell it when you'll hit the road. From there it gives you the weather forecast at every point along the trip. For a short jaunt, like Wilmington to Charleston, it's not much more than a novelty, but for a longer trip, like the 8 1/2 hour monster drive to West Virginia to see my family, it looks to be pretty handy. 




Roadtrip Mixtape, from Paul Lamere at The Echo Nest, is a little piece of genius. Enter the beginning and end of your trip and it generates a list of local artists to listen to. For Rdio subscribers, you can listen to the whole songs, for everyone else, you'll hear 30 seconds of each song. The short preview is fine because right now, there's no way to make it mobile (unless you go to it on your phone and play it that way, but it could be a data hog). 




I suggest generating your roadtrip mixtape and hitting up iTunes or Amazon to buy the suggested songs. It's not free, but what's a buck a song to learn some new local artists and get a surprising playlist that gives you something good to listen to and something to talk about?

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