California-rest area sign

Traveling with Mobile Technology

Is having a cell phone enough for traveling the byways of California?

The short answer is most likely not. Although with current smartphone technology you will usually have access to maps, directions and even traffic information. This way of navigating will only work of course if you’re able to save your route on your phone (just in case if you lose the data signal).

GPS navigational systems work well, the maps are preloaded and can be updated, and even some vehicles thankfully have NAV-GPS systems installed. You may purchase a portable GPS unit without too much fuss. Just be aware that dense forests, deep valleys/canyons and for that matter dense cityscapes can interfere with GPS signals. In any case ‘old’ tech, yup paper maps are still available.

Let’s chat about CB Radios. Yes, they’re still in use today and most professional drivers of trucks and even some tour bus drivers rely on them. Why? Its a great way to communicate short distances. It’s relatively inexpensive and has saved numerous lives when there’s no cell service available. Pick one up that has a magnetic mount antenna and you are ready to roll.

If you have what it takes to get a HAM license (Amateur Radio) it will pay dividends with the potential of reaching out, it’s amazing the distances your signal can cover by using radio repeaters at the top of hills and mountains.

Of course, there is the SAT phone (Satellite phone) option, prices have dropped, just like GPS though you’ll need a clear view of the sky to get your signal out.

Traveling the California byways is a wonderful experience, we wish you safe travels.