“It feels so good to be lost in the right direction.” -Unknown
When was the last time you actually used a paper map? Except for areas where cell services is limited (Oh! The horror!) or satellite service may be unreliable, the use of paper maps that unfolded to fill the front seat of the car and were impossible to refold to original form seems to be a distant memory. Instead, with modern technology, most of us have come to rely on, and can’t function without, the various, convenient forms of GPS tools available to navigate as we travel. Most of these tools are demanding in their directions to turn here and there, and once in a while, they actually get you lost or deviate your trip without much warning. They are great tools but not that entertaining, right? Well, recently I discovered a great tool called GyPSy Guide that took us turn by turn through Miami to Key West and made our trip a lot more fun.
What is GyPSy Guide?
GyPSy Guide is a GPS-based, self-narrated tour guide that plays automatically as you drive along popular routes in designated regions. The app works at any point in your route, and in a pleasant, friendly voice, gives turn-by-turn directions like a traditional GPS while also offering lots of fun facts, history and points of interest as you drive along the set route. Using GyPSy Guide is like having a knowledgeable local or tour guide in the car with you who knows all the great spots to stop for a quick meal or to explore. If you decide to stop for a break or at a recommended point of interest, you can pause or stop the narration at any point and pick it up where you stopped when you are ready to continue your drive. Cool, right?
I named our guide George! He started off a bit chatty, giving some initial instructions and jumped right into our tour. He was almost conversational, offering more than just turn-by-turn instruction. He was funny and entertaining and made our three hour trip from Miami to Key West go by quickly.
How much is GyPSy guide?
The app is free to load onto your phone and it offers individual tours which you buy based on where you want to go, like the one we took from Miami to Key West along US Highway 1. Don’t worry, you can start your drive at any point in the tour and as soon as your GyPSy Guide hits its first marker on the drive, the tour will begin.
Inside the app, you will see the various tours offered by GyPSy Guide. Each individual tour is purchased separately but the app also offers tour bundles.
What tours are offered?
Currently, GyPSy Guide offers tours in Canada, Hawaii, US East, US West, and Australia. Inside each of these categories are the individual tours offered, like the one we enjoyed, and each individual tour can cost between $3.99 to $9.99 with the Canadian Rockies National Parks being an outlier at $19.99. If you are traveling extensively, tour bundles are available and can cost $25.99 to as much as $64.99. Keep in mind that the bundles are multiple tours in one.
At purchase, your tour is downloaded right to your device and is available off line so no cell service or Wi-Fi signal is needed. A great plus for those areas where service is not reliable.
Tours currently offered
Canada: the Canadian Rockies National Parks; Icefields Parkway; Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, & Yoho National Park; Banff Town Area; Jasper National Park; Calgary to Banff; Kamloops Banff Highway 1; Vancouver Kamloops Highway 1; Drumheller, Vacouver Downtown; Vancouver Whistler; and Waterton National Park & Alberta’s South West Communities.
A tour bundle for Vancouver & Canadian Rockies is available.
Hawaii: Maui; Road to Hana-Maui; Big Island-Hawaii; Haleakala Volcano, Maui; Kauai; Oahu; and Volcano, Kauai, Oahu, and Volcanos National Park-Big Island Hawaii.
A tour bundle for Hawaii is available and includes tours of all four main islands; Big Island, Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, and Kauai.
US East: Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Miami, Key West & the Florida Keys; and Vermont Scenic Route 100 Byway.
US West: Yellowstone & Grand Tetons; Grand Canyon, South Rim; Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks; Big Sur PCH Highway 1; Yosemite National Park; Arches & Canyonlands National Parks; Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, & Badlands; Going to the Sun Road & Glacier National Park; Rocky Mountain National Park; Arches National Park; Canyonlands National Park; Grand Canyon West Rim, Hoover Dam & Red Rock Canyon; Yellowstone National Park; and Grand Teton National Park.
Two tour bundles are available for the US West. If you have the time and can do it all, one bundle offers all of the tours noted above in one tour ($64.99). The other bundle available is called California and Grand Circle which includes Big Sur PCH Highway 1, Arches & Canyonlands National Parks, Grand Canyon West Rim, Hoover Dam, and Red Rock Canyon, and Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks.
Australia only has one tour available currently and that is for the Great Ocean Road.
GyPSy Guide is a terrific addition to any trip planning and does a great job of making a drive entertaining and educational. It’s a terrific addition to gear that an RV family would be using to travel or if you are planning your summer vacation to any of these areas by car. It offers a lot of information about the area in which you will be traveling that you would likely not learn otherwise and the suggestions on where to stop and get out of your vehicle is helpful.
If you try it on your next road trip, be sure to tell me about your experience.