Travel Apps for St George Express

Travel Apps to Download for Your Road Trip

After writing Travel Tips For The Ultimate Road Warrior, we realized we could do a whole separate piece just about helpful travel apps to download before hitting the road.

So if you’re planning a road trip this summer, or you know you’ll be driving your way back to Rexburg, make sure you try these travel apps and let us know your experience.


GasBuddy

If you’re driving instead of flying, you’re probably trying to save some money. So why not save on gas too? GasBuddy is a mobile app that shows users all of the available gas options nearby and their prices. The app works based on user reports, and GasBuddy rewards users for updating a station’s prices. If you earn enough points, you can enter raffles for prizes, like free gas. 

iExit

Think about all the reasons you might need to make a quick pitstop — that’s exactly what iExit is for. Need a nap? Need to grab some snacks? Need to get some cash from an ATM? iExit helps you see what businesses and facilities are coming up on your route and what exit you need to take to get there. The app also lets you search for specific businesses or perks so if you’re looking for Taco Bell, it’ll help you find the closest one. If you’re looking for Wi-Fi or a campground, it can help you find those too.

Google Maps

While there are countless navigation apps that you could use for mapping your trip, Google Maps is easily one of the most functional and simplistic to use. It offers turn-by-turn directions specific to your mode of transportation, so even if you’re riding a bicycle for part of your trip, it’ll get you where you need to go. You can also add multiple destinations if your plan is to hit several locations in succession. Maps also lets you know when places with strict hours of operation close and checks to see if the route you’re taking includes tolls.

Spotify

Road trips, especially cross-country hauls, are a great reason to catch up on all the music releases you’ve missed since high school. Spotify arguably is the most practical way to control the soundtrack of your journey with on-demand music. Spotify provides curated playlists specifically designed for road trips and an enormous library of artists, bands and podcasts to listen to. The app is free, but if you want to ditch the ads, you might want to consider the $9.99-a-month premium subscription ($4.99 for students). And unless you’ve got unlimited data, make sure you download everything for offline listening.

Flush Toilet Finder

It might seem like a joke to include an app that helps you find and rate public restrooms, but Flush Toilet Finder might be what saves you and your shorts from a nasty gas station porta-potty.  The app uses location sensors to check its database of more than 200,000 toilets worldwide, and even while offline will show you nearby toilets with information about fees, key requirements or handicap access. With the ability to integrate with Google Maps, you can even get specific directions to the restroom of your choice.


Travel apps to accompany you on the road

Obviously, there are countless travel apps that will help you improve your travel experience. Depending on what you’re looking to do, there might be something out there that these apps just can’t do. But these are some of the best for any road trip experience. If you decide to give them a try, or if you find something you like better, let us know. We’re always looking for cool new travel apps.

All of these apps are free to download and can be used on iOS or Android devices.

Snow Canyon State Park

What To Do In Snow Canyon State Park

Home to some of the most breathtaking vistas and diverse life in the west, Snow Canyon State Park has much to offer its visitors. The appeal of this state park is reflected in its average attendance of a quarter million visitors annually. Why do so many people visit Snow Canyon? What is there to do in all 7,400 acres of this state park? You’re about to learn.

Hiking

There are over thirty-eight miles of hiking trails in Snow Canyon State Park. These many trails range from easy to moderate, making it a very family-friendly hiking destination. There is also a three-mile paved trail for walking and biking as well as fifteen miles of equestrian trails. Nevertheless, hikers of all skill levels will enjoy the beautiful canyons and dunes of Snow Canyon.

Some of our top picks are White Rocks Trail/Lava Overlook, Whiptail Trail, Petrified Sand Dunes Trail, and Johnson Canyon. Find a more comprehensive list here.

Snow Canyon State Park

Camping

One of the good things about Snow Canyon’s location — besides the amazing landscape for which people visit — is the fact that it rarely receives snow. Low precipitation and mild climate allow for their campground to be open year-round.

The campsites feature a large number of amenities and accommodate motorhomes, RVs, and tents. Water hookups, bathrooms, electricity, and more are available to campers, and pets are allowed. Anything you need for your basic camping or extravagant glamping is available.

Reserve your campsite at Snow Canyon State Park here.

Wildlife Viewing

Snow Canyon’s location not only creates a welcoming climate for camping, but its geography lends to fascinating wildlife. Situated at the crossroads of the Mojave Desert, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau, its dryness attracts a unique fauna. In fact, wildlife enthusiasts can discover thirteen state or federally-protected sensitive species, such as the peregrine falcon, desert tortoise, and Gila monster.

You can, of course, see many, many other types of wildlife in the park. The Utah Department of Natural Resources has identified coyotes, kit foxes, quail, roadrunners, and more. If you have an eye for wildlife you’re sure to see much more!

Always remember to exercise caution around wildlife; look, do not touch.

Snow Canyon State Park

Photography

Whether you’re into wildlife, beautiful views, or different species of plants, Snow Canyon State Park is a haven for photographers. The red Navajo sandstone and black lava rock make for colorful, stark, and striking backdrops. Wildflowers are beautiful in the spring and fall, and everything from narrow leaf yucca to blackbrush dot the landscape. Time and climate have carefully carved out this beautiful state park for us, and a picture is worth more than a thousand words — its beauty is inspiring.

Taking photographs is highly recommended; removal of plants, rocks, or wildlife is not.

Junior Ranger

Snow Canyon State Park is also a proud participant in the Junior Ranger Program, which is a national program to educate children on state parks. Their mission is best expressed in their motto: “Explore, Learn, Protect!”

Kids between the ages of 5-13 can participate in this program by following a few simple steps. You don’t have to go to Snow Canyon to earn some of the badges, but it sure makes it a lot more fun! As you and your child explore Snow Canyon State Park, you’ll both love what you see and learn.

Snow Canyon State Park

At over 7,000 acres, Snow Canyon State Park has everything to offer: gorgeous vistas, hiking, camping, wildlife, and activities for visitors of all ages. Plan your trip, remember to take pictures, and take in the wonder of one of Utah’s amazing state parks.

St George Express is helping you elevate your bus travel experience

How to Elevate Your Bus Travel Experience

Unfortunately, trying to survive the ride to school and back is the only sort of bus travel many people are familiar with. Fortunately, 1985 is long behind us, and whether or not you have a lunchbox no longer determines how many times you’ll get hit in the back of the head by a bully who just discovered spitballs.

Even though we’ve all grown up a little, there are still some quick to-dos to ensure you avoid any unnecessary discomfort when riding the bus. Check out our list of ways to elevate your bus travel experience.

Hand sanitizer

Let’s be honest, other people can be disgusting. Most long-distance bus travel companies provide travelers with multiple opportunities to use the restroom, but may you want to clean up sooner than later.  If you accidentally touch some “ABC” bubblegum under the seat, a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer can be a lifesaver in an otherwise sticky situation.

Snacks

We all get the munchies from time to time. Remembering to bring a bag of chips or a chocolate bar can help soothe that sweet tooth or put off the tummy-grumbles until you reach your final destination.

Tablet (Laptop)

Sometimes looking out the window is all the entertainment you need, but it helps to have other options on long bus rides. Prepping a tablet or laptop with your favorite eBooks, podcasts, TV shows or movies can help you pass the time when you grow tired of looking at corn fields.

Neck pillow

Despite the efforts of everyone at St. George Express, bus travel isn’t always the most comfortable experience. Bringing a travel size pillow can give you just enough cushion to sleep through the entire trip or take a quick power nap.

Battery charger

Most bus travel companies like St. George Express have individual charging outlets on each bus, but bringing a personal battery charger is a smart backup plan. If you’re expecting an important phone call or need to make sure you’re fully charged for your entire trip, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Sweatshirt (blanket)

You never really know if the temperature on the bus will be too hot or too cold. Speaking to the driver of the bus can be a solution but packing a lightweight blanket or a sweatshirt you can quickly throw on will help keep you comfortable if it’s a little chilly on board.

Travel Bag

Last but certainly not least, the one thing that will let you bring all the other things with you. A backpack or travel bag is the perfect way to pack your snacks, tablet, blanket and hand sanitizer, while still keeping your hands free.

You want your trip to go smoothly, and so do we. St. George Express does everything we can to make your experience as positive as possible, but remembering some small personal items can make all the difference.

car on u.s. map for a road trip

The Road Trip Checklist: 7 Things to Remember

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. – J.R.R. Tolkien

What does freedom feel like to you? For recent graduates, spring breakers, or fortunate victims to wanderlust, this freedom likely manifests itself in the form of a full tank of gas and an open road. Whether you are heading home, to the airport, to the coast, or simply wherever the road takes you, the commencement of any road trip is full of possibilities.

Just like any type of freedom, it comes with a cost. There is a literal cost associated — road trips tend to dip into your wallet, if just for gas alone. You also face several hours in the car alone or, for better or for worse, with a full cab. You need to consider food, lodging, and not to mention you are racing several thousand pounds of machinery through the country which denotes some obvious hazards.

Prepping for your road trip, however, can be a joy. After all, remember, with the freedom of the open road there are innumerable possibilities. How will you equip yourself for such a journey? Here are some things we believe you should absolutely consider when getting ready to hit the road.


healthy snacks on a road trip

Snacks

A robust cache of road trip snacks is invaluable when driving cross-country. Your body is still burning calories just by sitting there, and more so if your playlist is good. Plus, what else is going to keep you awake when the hour is late and the scenery is bland? (Or if your playlist is bad.) You never really need an excuse for snacks, but a road trip is a good one.

Some tips: avoid too much sugar. It tastes delightful and makes you feel great while listening to “Life is a Highway” for the fourteenth time. But you’ll crash hard. Maybe in more ways than one. Caffeine may or may not sustain you; a good alternative is orange juice or green tea.  Try throwing in some healthy snacks like apples or something that will make you work, like sunflower seeds.

listening to a podcast on a road trip

Soundtrack

Depending on your destination, you’re facing a lot of hours just staring straight ahead. Thinking time is criminally underrated, but it is also good to fill the silence.

Assemble a killer road trip playlist with a good mix of your favorite tunes. Get creative and try to explore beyond the hooks of the afore-mentioned “Life is a Highway” or “Surfin’ USA.” Finding songs named after your destination or places you’re traveling through can be fun — then again, your music choice doesn’t have to evoke a place at all. Songs with deeper meanings and plenty of layers engage your mind — rotate these in with more danceable tracks.

You don’t have to limit yourself to music, either. Subscribe to different podcasts that interest you, or rent an audiobook online or from the library. However you can best engage your mind and senses is worth preparing beforehand. Above all, avoid distracting yourself from attentive driving.

hand out the window - road trip

Working vehicle

There’s something thrilling about going by the seat of your pants, just hopping in and handing the reigns over to fate and adventure. But you may find that if you’re too footloose, you could end up stranded on the side of a lonely stretch of highway — you don’t want that much adventure.

Swing by your favorite service center on your way out of town for a last-minute checkup. Get an oil change, top off your fluids, replace wipers, whatever you have to do to ensure a safe journey. Your vehicle will thank you and show you a heartwarming amount of loyalty throughout your road trip.

road trip buddies

Buddy

Some of the best memories you can create are shared memories of a road trip. Inside jokes, stories both intimate and exaggerated, and experiences at that one place with the guy will follow you forever. This is the principle upon which some of the best travel and buddy comedies build: Planes, Trains, and AutomobilesThelma & LouiseDumb and Dumber…in fact, has there been a good travel comedy recently? Shout at me.

Whether you take a friend, a family member, or a perfect stranger, this person or people will undoubtedly make your road trip memorable. That being said, Salt Lake Express generally advises against picking up hitchhikers.

idaho map for a road trip

Map

Yes, I know you usually get your instructions from Siri. And sure, if you’re heading home chances are you already know the way. This one is more of a fun invitation: buy a roadmap from the gas station while you’re filling up and let it be your guide. Not only does it enhance the adventure but it gives you a bigger picture of where you are. You’ll learn more about surrounding areas and maybe even be tempted to take a quick detour to see that thing over there. Plus, when dead zones may strip your phone of its authority, your map will cease to be a novelty and will save the day.

However, it is the digital age, and we recommend you also keep your phone charged and ready to save your bacon. Physical maps don’t update as quickly or often as Google Maps…you should be ready to let technology go to work when you need it.

first aid kit on a road trip

Emergency supplies

As they say, “[stuff] happens” and perhaps, despite all your precautionary measures, you end up stranded or worse (we certainly hope not). You don’t have to plan on it before you head out the door but absolutely plan for it. Again, this undercuts the spontaneity that can be so fun about road trips. But when it comes down to it, you’ll be very glad you thought ahead.

Keep some emergency cash on hand and pack a little extra food and water than you normally would for yourself. Also, and this is just a good rule of thumb, keep a full first aid kit and blankets in your car.

And don’t just pack safely for yourself — it’s good practice to carry extra automotive fluids, a spare tire/jack, and if you’re a super prepper maybe even a gallon of gasoline. The most important thing is that you feel secure when hitting the open road.

open road on a road trip

Games

What was your favorite road trip game to play as a kid? Pumping your arm to make semi drivers honk their horns? I Spy? M.A.S.H.? Mad Libs? Kids are amazing at coming up with fun ways to pass the time, and as an adult, you can too.

Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper if you are the driver and can’t get too distracted. You can entertain yourself (and your passengers) without the luxury of “games”, too; pretend you’re a guest on a talk show host and ask yourself questions or sing about things you pass on the road. It sounds a little crazy right now, but after enough time in the car (and perhaps enough caffeine) it can become very entertaining.


Assuming you have everything else packed, you’re all set to get going. Charge your phone and your camera battery, lock up behind you and let the road trip begin.

 

Guide on What To Pack for Spring Break

Are you heading somewhere warm and sunny for spring break? Or are you going to head up to the mountains and take advantage of the late winter? Either way, we have a spring break packing list for you!

Spring break is a much-needed vacation in the middle of your busy semester. Typically it’s full of fun and adventure with your college friends so that you can make memories and take a much-needed break from school! If you are still looking for somewhere to go check out our blog post about taking a trip from Cedar City to Vegas.

Spring break accessories

Accessories (No matter where you go)

Snacks – You shouldn’t go anywhere without some snacks packed. These would be great for while you travel and when you get there.

Camera – Spring break is all about making memories so be sure to have a way to document them. This could be your phone or if you have a camera, bring it!

Phone charger – I’ll admit that I have forgotten this more than once. Don’t forget to pack your phone charger because nothing is worse than having to borrow someone else’s the whole time.

Sunscreen – We know that you are going lay out and tan. Be smart and pack some sunscreen so you don’t burn. Even if you are going somewhere in the mountains you can burn easily. If there is snow it reflects the UV rays and you will burn. The higher altitude also makes it easier to burn so if you are going out be sure to put some on.

Passport – If you are lucky you will need this. Be sure to remember it and have it somewhere safe when you get there!

Cash – We know that you don’t carry cash anymore with Apple Pay and your cards but you should bring some cash. These make it easy to tip, pay for small items, and are especially helpful when traveling out of the country.

Book – Bring a good book to keep you entertained in those not-so-entertaining moments of the trip. It’s so nice when you’re at the beach or pool or sitting in a cabin.

Headphones – Even though spring break is all about hanging out with your friends be sure to pack some headphones so you can listen to music.

Spring break for warm weather

Warm Weather

Swimsuit – This is a MUST! Most likely if you are headed somewhere warm there will be pools, hot tubs and if you are lucky, the ocean.

Hat – Don’t let your head burn. Too many times this item of clothing is forgotten and trust me, you’ll want it. Bring a hat.

Sunglasses – Everyone needs a pair of sunglasses. Not only are these useful for the warm weather but you can use them as an accessory too.

Shorts – You’re gone for a week so be sure to bring at least 2-3 pairs of shorts. Try to mix it up a little so you have some for every outfit. I would suggest one pair of jean shorts, one pair of black or white shorts and another of your choice.

T-shirt – Bring some t-shirts! You can make these casual shirts look cute with shorts and if you like you could tie a knot on the bottom to add something extra to your t-shirt.

Pants – It’s a good idea to have AT LEAST one pair of pants in case it gets cold in the evening or you are going somewhere nice.

Dresses (for the ladies out there) – Spring break wouldn’t be complete without some cute dresses. Try finding one that’s versatile for both a day out and a night out on the town with your friends. Maxi dresses look especially cute if you are headed somewhere near the beach.

Nice shirt – Bring one or two nice shirts for events or dinner. I would recommend a short-sleeved button-up for the guys or polo and a blouse for the girls.

Sandals – Let’s face it, flip flops can be comfy but there’s something about sandals. Bring both! Don’t forget that spring break usually involves some sort of walking.

Toiletries – Of course bring all necessary toiletries! Try to go through your morning routine to make sure you remember everything. If you are heading somewhere sandy I would also recommend some baby powder. After sitting in the sand throw some baby powder on and rub the sand off. It takes it off super easily and makes it hurt less.

Work out clothes – Bring a pair of work out clothes so you can get your sweat on for a while. It could also be fun to take a class with your friends.

Spring break for cold weather

Cold Weather

Scarf – No matter who you are, a scarf is a good idea. Stay warm and enjoy your break!

Sweats – Bring your favorite pair of sweats.

Pants – You’re going to want a few pairs of pants! Try bringing one nice pair in case you go out or have an event. The other pants can be jeans and if you are going in the snow, bring snow pants.

Long-sleeved shirts – It’s cold so be sure to pack some warm clothes! I would recommend bringing clothes that you can layer if needed. For example, you could have a white long-sleeved shirt and layer with a flannel if needed. Thermals are also a great option to stay warm!

Slippers – If you are going to be around the cabin or hotel and it’s cold outside, it’s so nice to have some slippers.

Jacket – Bring a good jacket with you! Check the weather before you go. If there is snow be sure to bring a winter snow coat. Remember that the higher the altitude the colder it will be and feel. 70 degrees with clouds feels colder than 70 degrees with the sun out.

Games – Bring some card games or your other favorite games for the nights or days where you are just hanging out.

Beanie – This is so important! Having a comfy warm beanie will change the trip for you!

Sunglasses – If you are planning on going outside at all during your trip bring some sunglasses. They are especially helpful in the snow so your eyes don’t get burned.

Boots – Bring a good pair of boots. Not fashion boots, but real boots. Trekking in the snow is so much better with some winter snow boots.

Socks – If you are heading somewhere in the mountains that has snow or is just cold I would recommend some wool socks. If those aren’t your thing at least bring some tall socks or thick socks that will keep you warm.

Toiletries – Of course bring all your needed toiletries! Try to go through your morning routine to make sure you remember everything.

Have fun and enjoy your break from school!

What to do in Las Vegas

What To Do in Las Vegas This Summer

Vegas is place full of activities for anyone who visits. If you’re traveling to Vegas soon and can’t seem to decide what to do, let us help you! Consider some of the fun ideas we’ve listed. Check out our list of what to do in Vegas!


FlowRider Wave Machine – Planet Hollywood

If you’ve always wanted to surf but have never had the chance, the FlowRider Wave Machine is a great activity for you to try. Come and test your skills and see if you were meant to be a surfer. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the FlowRider will help you sharpen your surfing skills. If you’re afraid of wiping out, don’t be. The FlowRider is designed to absorb the energy of any impact. The FlowRider will $25 for 30 minutes of riding the waves! This is only one of the great activities on our list of what to do in Vegas.

The Adventuredome at Circus Circus

The Adventuredome has 5 acres of fun for you to enjoy! There’s a variety of rides for you to choose from. Miniature golf, arcades games, roller coasters, and bumper cars are just a few fun options for you here. You’ll never get bored with so many rides to choose from. You have the option to buy passes for individual rides, or to buy an all day pass to get the best value out of your visit.

Ziplining in Bootleg Canyon

If you’re looking for something to do away from the strip, try ziplining at Flightlinez in Bootleg Canyon. If you’re a thrill seeker or are looking for a new adventure, Flightlinez can provide it for you. You’ll be ziplining at speeds of 60+ mph! There are 4 different runs you’ll complete, covering over 1.5 miles. Zipline over the Red Mountains in Boulder City and enjoy the beautiful scenery while experiencing a thrill.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Ever wonder what Vegas looks like from up above? Here’s another great activity if you’re still wondering what to do in Vegas. Vegas Balloon Rides will take you up, up, and away! A hot air balloon ride is great for a birthday, anniversary, or checking it off your bucket list. Come and see the beautiful scenery of Vegas in a way you’ve never seen it before.

Visit M&M World

Calling all M&M lovers! Vegas is home to one of the few M&M World locations. This is a 28,000 square foot, four story building full of your favorite sweets. You can make your own personalized M&M! It’s open from 9AM to Midnight every day, giving you all the time you need to get your candy fill. Go check out M&M world and experience the new interactive and hands on experience.


Now that you’ve got some great ideas for what to do in Vegas, go have fun! Try out some of these fun ideas during your Vegas stay. Don’t want to drive to Vegas? Travel with Salt Lake Express. Let the Salt Lake Express take you to Vegas so you can enjoy your trip!