Traffic at Your Fingertips: Top Driving Resources
Before heading off on your trip to Europe, you should definitely do all you can to prepare the essentials, but what about those little extras that could help you with your journey? These additional online and mobile resources could ensure you travel smoothly to your destination, and are especially useful for avoiding the all too familiar build up of traffic when the holiday season reaches its peak.
Taking GPS maps to the next level, Waze is a social community based traffic and navigation app. By allowing users to provide information regarding traffic jams and alternative routes, this app could come in handy when on the road, allowing you to avoid unnecessary build ups. Of course, it would be wise to cross reference the information you receive with your original travel plans, doing all you can to avoid getting lost in unfamiliar territory, but you could certainly use this app to advise your route and reduce unnecessary road trip stress!
Whether you’re a dedicated Motorhome owner, or it’s your first time taking a campervan across Europe, the All Motorhome Parkings app will undoubtedly come in handy. Developed by the Dutch Motorhome Club (NKC), this app is available for both Apple and Android, allowing you to identify over 17,000 motorhome sites in 38 countries.
If you’re new to travelling in a motorhome across Europe, you might find the task a little daunting, so it’s nice to see such a comprehensive resource that can help keep your holiday as relaxed as possible!
It should be noted that the app has a free trial that contains some (but not all) of the motorhome site locations and you would need to purchase the full app to experience the complete package of information. In addition to this, the paid version of this app has the benefit of offline maps, allowing you to use the app when you aren’t connected to the internet – a great feature to prevent expensive data roaming charges while in Europe!
The Twitter account of Gibraltar’s Borders & Coastguard Agency, this resource provides live updates of the border’s traffic build up. While there isn’t any interaction with other Twitter users, it could certainly come in handy if you’re heading to Gibraltar and would like advance warning of any potential hold ups.
Twitter is a brilliant hub of information for a whole range of topics, consisting of both industry-led and user generated material. Often, members of the public will Tweet images or effective news bulletins from the scene of a road incident before the media has had a chance to begin reporting. It might therefore be worth using twitter to search for live updates of any major roads you intend to drive through, as this could pick up information on any incidents that might have taken place while you’ve been en route.
Of course, due to the unreliability of public Twitter accounts as traffic news resources, they should not be relied upon as official news accounts.
4. Going Abroad by the European Commission
Preparing to travel in Europe is a lot of work, especially when it comes to remembering the rules of the roads on which you intend to drive. However, the European Commission have made it that little bit easier to stay updated with the latest regulations, as well as providing easy access while on the go. Recently featured in our News section, their new app allows you to check the country-specific driving information you need, when you need it.
As the Going Abroad App is developed by the European Commission, you can be reassured that the information provided should be more reliable and up to date than other unofficial European driving apps. However, the European Commission state on their website that if the information in the app differs to the “rules in effect within a given country, the latter take precedence”.
These resources could prove invaluable if you don’t wish to leave the events of your journey up to chance. By covering such topics as traffic updates, country specific driving laws and even games to entertain your passengers, you can do your best to ensure an enjoyable trip to the Continent!
Whether or not you choose to make use of these resources, it’s very important to prepare for your trip to the best of your ability, and hopefully you can have a thoroughly pleasant drive through Europe.
Author: Paul Quigley
1 September 2014