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Plan Now for Your Summer Travel Getaway

by Dr. Bruce Ellis
travel

You have worked hard this year. And with all of the challenges and chaos you have experienced, you may already be dreaming of a simple getaway to reset and recharge you without breaking the bank. Here are some resources to help. Whether you are looking for a vacation destination that isn’t too far away for complete R&R or you are considering a staycation with a some great learning to energize you, check out these resources and start planning for a summer to remember!

Travel Planning Sites

Road Trippers is a great site if you aren’t really into all the details of planning. Enter your starting location and your destination and let Road Trippers highlight places to stay and lots of interesting activities that are on the way or near your route. Even the look of this site is user friendly, so much so that it looks like it should be in an elementary social studies text book. While investigating along your path, Road Trippers will overlay a pink “route shade” that identifies specific mileage on either side of your route so you can easily plan to jump off the path and explore without completely interrupting the schedule. As you zoom in, you’ll find interesting attractions that include categories such as Outdoors and Recreation, Attractions and Culture, Food and Drink, Camping and RV, Points of Interest, and more. Besides calculating the mileage and hours driving, Road Trippers will also share the estimated gas cost of the trip. It will even generate a trip guide that you can add details to in order to document your memories and fun; you can even share the final document with friends. And if you find that you want someone else to do the planning, then check out their pre-made trip guides for a vacation that is even simpler.

MeetWays is the perfect tool if you are wanting to get together with family or friends, but neither party wants to drive all the way to the other’s place. Just enter the two addresses (or zip codes) and MeetWays will identify the midway point, as well as suggest places to meet. If you are interested, you can specify particular points of interest such as restaurant, hotel, campground, etc.

Games to Play Along the Way

If you need a break from the great learning from TCEA that you can access while on the road, consider checking out a few of these sites that have lots of fun ideas to make the drive go faster.

Helpful Apps for a Smooth Travel Trip

Now that you have your trip planned and know what attractions and cultural sites you are going to see, you definitely want to download this list of apps to make time in the car more enjoyable.

  • Texas Historical Marker Guide – If you’ll be traveling in Texas, be sure to download the great app (available on Google Play and iOS). It is $2.99, but is well worth the price. It works even when there is not internet and shows you information about the more than 16,000 markers in Texas and allows you track which ones you’ve seen.
  • Gas Buddy – Always be in the know of the nearest gas station and the best prices for gas with Gas Buddy. Check out some of their tools to help you budget for gas, improve gas mileage, and even log your gas mileage.
  • AAA – If you are in your vehicle a lot, then you probably already know about the benefits of being a AAA member. While roadside assistance may the be main benefit for most of their customers, you can also get discounts on repairs (parts and labor), hotels, and rental cars.
  • Audible or Scribd – Audible and Scribd are both known for having tons of books for you to read and listen to while traveling or just relaxing at home. Both are monthly subscription services. With Audible, you can purchase one (or more) books a month (based on your plan); you get to keep access to these books even after you end the subscription. For those who aren’t necessarily interested in keeping their digital book, Scribd may be a better option; while a member, you have access to all their books, audiobooks, magazines, podcasts, sheet music, and other documents.
  • WiFi Finder – With real-time updates that are crowdsourced, you’ll find that this app is a great tool to have on hand, especially when you are away from home. A Pro account gives you additional features that you might want to explore before starting off on your extended journey.

Learning Along the Way

TCEA members and enthusiasts have great learning opportunities ahead. Consider checking these resources out for engaging and exciting learning to fit your schedule. You can find more events and activities on our Events Calendar.


Technotes is a robust resource for daily posts that include relevant educational technology and how it is impacting the classroom. You’ll find this award-winning resources full of helpful information!

TCEA’s Ed Tech Club podcast is all about the tech tools you love, the resources you need, and the insights you value. Each week, we’ll sit down with educators and experts to discuss everything from big ideas to useful tips for your most-used ed tech resources. Along the way, we’ll introduce you to new tools and ideas, and expand on some of the most exciting trends in ed tech.

Join us for the virtual Elementary Technology Conference this summer for fresh teaching insights, juicy tech tips, and plenty of lively ways to connect with other like-minded elementary teachers, administrators, instructional coaches, and tech directors.

Where Will You Go?

Share with us in the comments below where you and/or your family are heading to get away and have fun and recharge. And if you have a favorite app to use while in the car, let us know that, too.

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