If you’re into technology, you could get a GPS satellite messenger. This is a high tech way to update the old “magic marker on the map” method for recording your route.
We’re talking about a small unit that’s a satellite tracker. It’s only 4.5 x 2.75 x 1.5 inches (111 x 69 x 44 mm). This little powerhouse can send your location and a status message to your friends and relatives almost anywhere in the world.
We recently used a GPS Satellite Messenger called Follow Me Spot. We used this tracker on a trip with a little old airplane. A Piper J-3 Cub that my brother-in-law flew to Oshkosh, Wisconsin from California.
We were the ground crew that followed along on the roads. As we raced along in a motor home, we kept track of the plane’s progress when we couldn’t drive along side. We got reports every 20-30 minutes while he was flying.
We received phone call messages when the plane had landed…. and since we were trying to keep up, it was good to know his progress and how far behind we were. There were times when he was dodging thunderstorms that it was really a relief to know he was OK.
“Spot” became almost like a part of the family… we talked about it. We’d say, “What is Spot telling us now?” -or- “Did he remember to turn Spot on?” -or- “Does Spot say he landed at that airport or decided to fly on?”
The added fun part of this was that all of our friends back home also followed along on our adventure via this GPS satellite messenger. They could go to a link and see a map with our route updated on the map as long as the tracker was turned on. We blogged and put up pictures whenever we could to supplement the news from “Spot”.
Now this was an extraordinary trip, but you could do something like this for your friends and family back home if you wanted to when you travel. The GPS tracker we used was small enough that it could go into your car or your backpack or purse.
This isn’t necessarily just for fun…. it’s a serious device. In the interest of safety, it lets friends that you have programed in know where you are and that you are OK.
You can send a message to ask for help at your GPS location. You can even have the tracker help emergency services find you if you are on an adventure into wild areas. It sends the GPS coordinates to rescuers. Pretty dramatic that it could save a life.
It’s great for active outdoor enthusiasts, but if you’re not a mountain climber or a jungle trekker, you could still have fun with it. Use it like we did with a small airplane. Turn it on when you get on a train or a bus in Europe or Asia. Carry it in your rental car. Take it on a boat if you’re bare boating in the Caribbean.
This might not be something that you’d want to take on every trip, but we have great memories of that Cub to Oshkosh flight using that GPS Satellite Messenger.
This travel tip is brought to you by Stuart Hely of BookCentralCoast.com.au, the specialists in Central Coast accommodation including Avoca Beach accommodation.