Julia Dimon knows a thing or two about travelling.
She caught the travel bug on a trip to Italy at 16. Since then, Julia has travelled to 80 countries on all seven continents.
The Canadian writer, who now lives in Los Angeles, is currently taking a Rogers Roamtrip along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Her road trip started yesterday in L.A., and she’ll make her way to San Francisco by Thursday.
She’s documenting her trip on a Rogers Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, that’s enabled with the new Rogers US roaming internet rate. For only $7.99 a day, Rogers customers get up to 50 MB of data. You can follow Julia’s travels on Twitter or on her blog, Travel Junkie Julia. Of course, we’ll also be posting the highlights from her trip here on RedBoard and on @RogersBuzz.
Before she left, we asked Julia for her travel and technology tips.
How do you use your smartphone on the road?
I use my smartphone for maps, getting from point A to point B with the least amount of traffic in the quickest amount of time. I also use it for restaurant recommendations or areas of interest that might be nearby.
Was there a trip from the pre-cellphone age where you wished you could access the internet from your wireless device? What happened?
I went on a road trip with my parents through Arizona when I was a teenager. As a cranky teenager, a family road trip was the last thing I was interested in. I know my teenage self would have wished to have the technology of today, so I could stay in touch with friends, tweet, share photos and stay connected.
Why is it important to stay connected while you’re travelling?
For safety, for ease, to have information at your fingertips, to stay in touch with loved ones and share the travel experience in real time.
How has technology changed the way you vacation over the past 10 years?
The ease of acquiring and sharing information has changed the way I travel. With the click of a button you can pull up maps, reviews, apps, language translation services and currency exchanges.
Is there something you used to bring on trips that your smartphone replaces now?
I used to bring paperback guide books with me when I travelled, but having a smartphone changes that. I can now pull up valuable travel info (from maps, to hotels, attractions and transportation advice) using my phone.
What advice do you have for someone planning a U.S. roadtrip?
- Don’t get too ambitious with your itinerary. You don’t want to be pulling 10-hour drive days.
- Make plenty of stops — at least one every two hours;
- Pack a phone charger for your car;
- Use these apps:
- Gas Buddy (Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows): Select a city, plug in your zip code and the aggregator will present all of your fuel options by distance and price;
- SitOrSquat (Android, iOS): A bathroom finder that provides a list of nearby places to make a pit stop;
- Sites like Groupon, yipit and Living Social have deals to the cities you may be visiting. Sign up and check out the activities they offer.
Rogers and Samsung would like to send you on your own Rogers Roamtrip. Click here and tell us what you would do with the new Rogers $7.99/Day US roaming internet rate. You could win a Rogers Ultimate Roamtrip prize pack: which includes a cash prize of $5,000, a Samsung Note 8.0 tablet and a Samsung Galaxy S4. Contest closes August 15, 2013. Open to residents of Canada who are 18 years or older. No purchase necessary. See full rules for all details.
Where would you go on your ultimate summer road trip?
Update: Aug. 21: We’re happy to announce Victoria Smith from Halifax has been awarded with a Rogers Roamtrip. She is super excited to take her “extremely good-looking” boyfriend to New York this September. While in New York, she’ll be using her new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone to stay in touch with friends, snap photos, and resolve arguments she has with her boyfriend. Her new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 LTE tablet will be used to take and view pictures, keep up with work and play scrabble. Thank you to everyone who participated in our Rogers Ultimate Roamtrip Contest! We’ll stay in touch with Victoria as she travels to the U.S. in the fall and share her experience here on RedBoard.