OnTheWay: Road Trips With a Twist

January 31, 2012

1:00 pm

Imagine this: you wait too long to buy a plane ticket to Austin for SXSW, and now you need to drive 1,500 miles or so.  From, like, Washington, DC.  But that’s OK, you just recruit friends who also waited too long to buy their tickets and turn it into a road trip – a mobile pre-party to the actual parties, events, and, for some of us, ahem, actual work.

Make that road trip a bit more fun with a new app called OnTheWay that promises “a better way to get there.”  (If you have kids – bookmark this site for spring break and your summer vacation.)

Routes are broken up into legs, and because the drive from DC to Austin is kinda far (25 hours worth of far), there are 11 legs.  You can click on their suggested stops – some of which are WAY out of the way – to learn more and add them to your itinerary.

On the first leg, stops include Tysons Corner Center, a Super Target, The Quad at Virginia Tech, and Uncle Bucks Restaurant and Bar in Luray, VA.  And a random McDonald’s.  Once you realize that OnTheWay is integrated with Foursquare, these suggestions make more sense.

Aside from lots of restaurants and Starbucks, and the occasional truck stop, there are some interesting and totally random stops thrown in: The O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, VA, which is perfect for all of you who are into railroad photography, and the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN, in case you want to watch people driving as fast as you wish you could on the highway.  If your iPhone konks out on you during the trip, you can stop at the Apple Store in Little Rock, AR.

I think this app can be improved with one little addition: hotels – unless you like to sleep in your car or randomly choose roadside motels.

Give it a try on your next trip, and let us know if it made a long drive more fun.

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Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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