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Road trip tips – Summer streaming

Roadtrip summer streaming tips - A man and a child looking at a phone. Smiling broadly because it's a stock photo and that's what people do in stock photos

Road trip entertainment past: I spy, license plate spotting, punch buggy and the classic game of brinkmanship “keep it down back there or I’ll turn this car around.”

Road trip entertainment present: All the above plus everything the internet has to offer (which is rather a lot) thanks to our smartphones and tablets.

Staying entertained on a road trip is easier than ever before. We’ve pulled together a few handy road trip tips, plus a few helpful ideas for once you reach your destination. 

Pre-download

Streaming audio uses about 100 MB of data per hour. If you’re on the Ting Mobile Set 12 plan, you can stream for five straight days and nights. That’s one long road trip. Still, for stuff you know you’re going to want to listen to, it makes sense to pre-download and save your data for something else.

To download music in Spotify:

  1. Open any album or playlist
  2. Tap the download icon
  3. Repeat

Don’t worry about growing tired of your downloaded playlists. With a Ting Mobile data plan, you can still change your tune and listen to anything you want… or fall down a rabbit hole and discover new music you might love.

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

Name that tune

Scanning for local radio stations as you drive is a classic road trip diversion. If you hear a song on the radio and you’d like to learn more and maybe add it to your own playlist, your phone can help.

Open up Google Assistant (say “hey Google””) or Siri (say “Siri”) then “what song is this? 

Your digital assistant will listen in and report back. Complete with handy links to learn more or search for the song/artist using any audio streaming apps you have installed.

Audiobooks

Audiobooks are great on a road trip. A vacation is a chance to get into that book you’ve been meaning to read. We love Audible for its always-on access to audiobooks. Don’t forget your local library though.

Many libraries offer a bunch of audio and ebooks, available to borrow right on your smartphone or tablet. With the Libby app, you can log in with your library card credentials, grab any audio or ebooks that are available or put yourself on the waitlist for more popular titles.

Photo by vnwayne fan on Unsplash

Power up

While your data plan can handle streaming music all day, your phone battery may not be as up to the task. A portable power bank can help. 

Anything from Anker is a good bet, but it’s far from the only choice. You can also power up while you charge with a solar charging power bank; unlimited power! (as long as the sun is out)

Hotspot

Turn your phone into a hotspot so tablets and other devices can connect via Wi-Fi in the car. Ting Mobile plans allow you to use all or a portion of your fast data in hotspot mode, from 5 GB on the Set 5 plan up to 18 GB on the Unlimited Pro plan. A word of caution: data used in hotspot mode can rack up fast on a road trip so be mindful.

Turn on hotspot on Android:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap Network & internet then Hotspot & tethering
  3. Tap Wi-Fi hotspot, name your network, add a password then flip the switch from Off to On

Turn on hotspot on iPhone

  1. Open Settings the Cellular then Personal Hotspot
  2. Tap the switch for “Allow Others to Join”
  3. Set a Wi-Fi password

Stay dry

This tip is pure practicality. Keep sand and water out of your smartphone with a simple, inexpensive dry bag. Complete your vacation look by opting for a lanyard so you can carry your phone around your neck. Bonus points for displaying an analog clock on the screen for a Flavor Flav vibe.

Ting Mobile plans for summer streaming

With a Ting Mobile plan, you can get all the fast data you need to stay connected without blowing your vacation fund on your cell phone bill. We think Set 12 is the perfect summertime plan, but it’s far from your only option.