Archives for Jessica Feaster

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  1. I think we can all agree that everyday life offers us plenty of adventures. Whether we are managing business meetings, soccer games or planning a trip with friends and family, each and everyday is filled with adventure.  As Dr. Seuss said: “Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!”

    With this in mind, we created My Maps.  We debuted this tool when we launched the New MapQuest back in June, but with all the changes, you may not have noticed the addition and/or realized all the things it can do! To give you an idea, My Maps lets you create and save maps of important (or not so important) locations and then easily share it with friends and family. With My Maps you can:

    1. Create a Trip ItinerarySpring Break Road Trip, Napa Wine Tour, etc
    2. Plan an EventWedding Weekend, Pub Crawl, etc
    3. Create a CollectionMy Favorite Pizza Places, Vermont Cheese Trail, etc
    4. TBD – In other words, things that we haven’t even thought of yet



    MapQuest My Map for a Wedding Weekend

    If you still need some ideas to get started on your own My Maps, we have plenty. How about the best route to see holiday lights – plan ahead and share with neighbors to give them tips on where to go. Or are you planning a weekend ski trip or three days in a new city? How about something more off the beaten path? Think about these trips now and start building, save it, add to it, ask friends for suggestions and then publish it to your social network.

    Still need more inspiration?  Well, check out our latest My Map Thanksgiving Dinner…On a Map.  As a heads-up, this one falls under that ‘TBD’ category that I mentioned earlier.  Take a peak – you might be able to use it as a way to talk to that cousin that you’re always seated next to at Thanksgiving. Hey, we all need some good conversation starters….

    We hope you’ll take a sec to check out My Maps and find it as entertaining/helpful/fun/informational as we do.  Check back again next week for a quick ‘how-to’ create your own My Map.  Until then…

  2. With November comes the beginning of the holiday season and, for most people, that means gift buying, road trips back home and endless holiday parties.  With all that going on, who has time to think about planning a vacation?  Well, as a matter of fact, we do!  MapQuest is all about helping you discover new places and getting you there so we decided to start this season with a sweepstakes to win a Ski Trip to Colorado for you and three of your favorite people. Head over to the MapQuest Facebook page and enter yourself to win a trip for four to Copper Mountain, a premier ski resort in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.  If you haven’t skied the Rockies before, it deserves all the hype it gets and even more (believe us, we live here).

    MapQuest Snow Day Sweepstakes - Win a Ski Trip to ColoradoBest part? We have you covered from the tarmac to the ski slopes. Trip includes: a flight out to Colorado, a rental car to transport you from Denver International Airport to Copper Mountain, 3 nights of lodging that’s minutes from the slopes, lift tickets and even ski rentals.

    So you are probably asking, how do you enter to win?

    1.    Go to the MapQuest Facebook page
    2.    Click the “Snow Day Sweeps” tab
    3.    Click “Enter to Win” and then follow the quick steps from there

    And there you have it; you and three of your favorite people are entered to win! Share with your friends and family - maybe they’ll even choose to take you along. Good luck!

  3. Somehow another year has passed and it’s again time to say goodbye to the Rockies and hello to Manhattan (for a week anyway). Advertising Week brings the greatest minds in the industry – agencies, clients, media, and more – to one place for a week of inspiration, announcements, and entertainment.

    MapQuest is the official map provider of Advertising Week this year – in other words, you’ll find MapQuest maps of the event in their printed Official Guide and we’ll also be part of the AOL Gallery at TheTimesCenter.

    For those of you headed to Advertising Week too – stop by TheTimesCenter and say hello. If you’re coming in from out of town, we’ve created some My Maps to help you make the most of your time in the city:

    MapQuest My Map of 'Where to Drink' during Advertising Week

    Or, if you hate to plan ahead, we’ll also have those maps on display for you to check out while you’re at TimesCenter.

    Hope to see you next week in NYC!

  4. AMapQuest 4 Mobile iPhone App with a 'Tank' as the Position Icon T-Rex.  A Robot.  A Double Rainbow.  What do these all have in common?  They’re just 3 of the many options you can vote for to be the next Position Icon on our iPhone app!

    Vote for the Next MapQuest 4 Mobile Position IconSince the MapQuest 4 Mobile app debuted, you’ve been able to customize your icon.  After all, who wants to be a be a plain old pin or waving man when you can be Skull & Crossbones, a Hot Air Balloon, a Football or even upload your own photo?

    So, go vote for what you think should be the next Position Icon.  Once you vote, you can come back to the voting page at anytime to see whether you’re icon is in the lead.  You can only vote once, but if you get your friends and family to vote, your favorite has a better chance of winning! Voting is open until next Thursday (9/23) and then we’ll announce the winner that Friday (9/24).

    If you want to check out the feature now, download the app, click ‘Settings’ -> ‘My Position Icon’ -> and choose the icon that you want!

  5. This is it – the last post in our summer vacation series. We hope that the tips we provided on driving, planning and taking a summer vacation have been informative. We are going to wrap up this series with some additional statistics from our survey of nearly 1900 individuals.

    While it appears that cost and experience/adventure are reasons that people are driving more this year than in 2009, people are also sharing the experience with others. Only 4% are driving alone to a summer vacation destination and nearly half of our respondents will be driving with a spouse/significant other this summer. And, a lot of you will be traveling with children under the age of 18.

    We suggested some car games and ideas for traveling with kids in the last post, so we thought that once the games end and the food is gone, music will help everyone keep up the excitement of reaching the destination. Here are some road trip song suggestions.

    Not surprisingly, 54% of those traveling in a recreational vehicle are traveling 900 miles or greater this summer. Driving also seems to be split fairly equally between those driving shorter distances 100 – 500 miles and those driving longer distances 900 – 1200 miles. No matter if you are driving 100 miles or 1200 or greater, there are tools that can help make sure you reach your destination more easily.

    Our own MapQuest 4 Mobile free application provides you with the ability to access any saved maps and directions from MapQuest.com to your phone. In addition to the voice guidance feature, it also has a “find me” feature that uses GPS to automatically locate you within your driving directions.

    There are so many apps these days that we thought we would also suggest some that will help with other portions of the drive or your overall vacation. We have also included some overall must haves for both the drive and the actual vacation:

    Finally, since we are talking about smart phone applications, including our own MapQuest 4 Mobile and even though the majority of you are not traveling alone, we want to be sure to point out that all of these apps should be used by passengers or when pulled over on the side of the road. Make sure you know the laws along your route concerning cell phone use while driving. Here’s a handy chart of cell phone laws by state. However, even if it’s legal to talk on a cell phone where you’re going, it’s usually safest to use a hands-free device.

    We hope that you enjoy your summer and we’d like to see photos of your trips. You can post summer vacation photos to our Facebook page over the course of the summer and we will make sure to hold on to them so we can look back again when there is snow on the ground.

  6. Summer Trip Planning Tips from  MapQuest

    This is the second in a three part series based on our online survey asking people what their vacation and driving plans are for summer travel this year. The survey was completed by nearly 1900 individuals ranging in age from 17 to 60 and older. The first post in this series shared tips on summer travel and driving to your destination.

    Today, we want to talk about summer road trip planning – with 84% of our survey respondents considering driving when they plan a summer vacation, we figured trip planning would be a good topic of discussion.

    Not surprisingly, more than half of the respondents use an online mapping site to plan their route for their summer vacation. However, only 8% use a road assistance/trip planning company and 17% still use an atlas.

    We see the compelling reasons to use an online mapping site for planning, particularly because you can map critical points along the route you plan on taking. In our survey it was clear that people were planning ahead when driving. And, gas and hotels were the top choices for the most important things to plan ahead for before getting in the car.

    The Experience/Adventure of It All:
    In our survey, experience/adventure was one of the top three reasons people were choosing to drive for summer vacations this year (28% of respondents). If you are looking for some added adventure, map out roadside attractions and oddities ahead of time. RoadsideAmerica.com is a good resource to make the planning easy and fun.

    With 17 – 35 year olds choosing to plan for places to eat second to cost, here are some good resources for planning what, where and when to stop for food:
    Road Food
    Healthy Eating on the Road
    Diners, Drive Ins and Dives

    Now that the gas stops, hotels, roadside attractions and food are all taken care of and planned ahead, here is a list of other things to consider as you plan the drive for your summer vacation:
    Plan and learn the geology along the way
    Beware of scams
    Car games & ideas for kids

    Tune in for our next post that will be the last in our summer vacation survey series and will give some stats on how far people are driving, who they share their ride with, as well as some ideas on how to make the most of the actual drive.

    Stop by our Facebook page and let us know what your travel plans are this summer!

  7. Ann Koerner's, Director of MapQuest Consumer Products, family  vacation to the beach.

    We recently conducted an online survey asking people what their summer vacation and driving plans were for this year. The survey was completed by nearly 1900 individuals ranging in age from 17 to 60 and older. When considering that 66% of the respondents said that they are taking a summer vacation and 49% said they are taking more than one summer vacation, we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on summer travel and driving.

    Top Summer Vacation Destinations
    The top three summer vacation destinations people are choosing to visit this summer are: the beach, the mountains and historical/educational summer vacations. Those 60 and older chose historical/educational vacations as their number one choice, while all other age groups noted the beach as their first choice.

    Beach Summer Vacation – Ideas and Tips
    If you’re looking for a great beach, check out a list of 35 fantastic US summer beaches or if you are just looking for sand-and-surf getaways for the summer season take a look at this list of secret beaches of the US.

    With the recent oil spill in the Gulf, many people may be worried about their Gulf Coast beach vacation, and with good reason. There are some travel companies that have already implemented booking guarantees – make sure you check to see if yours is one of them. Another good resource is the NOAA Map, which provides a view of the ever-changing conditions. In addition, you can use Twitter (some examples: @AlabamaBeaches, @APTravel, @USoceangov) and Facebook (including, Alabama Beaches, Destin Area Chamber) to see real-time updates and photos of your destination to help you make a decision.

    Hitting the Road
    Nearly 60% of respondents are using their vehicles for summer vacation travel this year — up from those using their vehicle for summer vacation in 2009. For all of you driving this summer, we think the guys at Car Talk have compiled a good list of summer driving trips to get your car ready.

    And with 87% of you driving your car for vacation – compared to 6% who will be driving a recreational vehicle and 2% taking a motorcycle – it is important to know how to pack the car for your destination. Check out these tips before you start loading up the car.

    No matter if you are traveling to the beach, the mountains or Washington DC, summer vacations are important for your mental health. It gives you time to recharge batteries and enjoy the great outdoors. So grab the sunscreen, flip flops, cooler and sunglasses and get your summer started!

    Photo taken by Ann Koerner, Director of MapQuest Consumer Products, of her own family vacation to the beach!

  8. About a month ago, we told you about our new, free tool called MapQuest Route Planner. It’s already helped thousands of people and I’m hoping we can help even more.

    Here’s what you really need to know about MapQuest Route Planner:

    • Saves you time & money by finding the fastest route for your trip (up to 25 addresses)
    • It’s Free!
    • Ideal for Realtors, Sales Reps, Local Delivery Drivers or anyone that often makes multiple stops on their trips

    MapQuest Route Planner Optimizes  Trip Routes

    We also created a quick video tutorial that shows you how to use the tool and highlights some of the features.

    Hopefully this is helpful! Try out MapQuest Route Planner now at mapquest.com/routeplanner.

  9. As MapQuest/AOLers, we consider ourselves to be in the business of helping people. With this in mind, AOL celebrated it’s 25th anniversary with a worldwide day of service event last Thursday and both the Denver, CO and Lancaster, PA MapQuest offices were psyched to participate!

    Back east, the Lancaster office spent the day at Chickies Rock County Park cleaning and painting this Lancaster county area. A local news station visited the site – take a look:

    Out west, the Denver folks brought some life back to a local community center by bringing some color to the walls – it’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do!

    MapQuest office in Denver paints a local community center

    All of us are so grateful to be part of a company that supports such important, rewarding events like this. I hope we’ve inspired others to do the same!
  10. With summer fast approaching, many families are beginning to plan their vacations. A national increase in the price of fuel has many people looking for ways to save fuel, both on vacation and in their daily commute. According to a recent Energy Information Administration report, the national average gas price this summer will hover near $3.00, approximately a $0.50 increase from last year.

    Whether you are planning a family road trip this summer or just trying to save money on trips around town, here are a few fast and simple ways to improve your consumption and find the best deals on fuel.

    Find the Best Deals on Gas
    The MapQuest Gas Prices feature can save you money by finding the cheapest places to fill up in your area. The tool is simple. Either select a city and state or type in a zip code to find the cheapest gas prices in that area. You can find alternative fuel stations or different fuel grades and sort stations by distance and price. Our gas finder tool makes it easy to find the best deal on gas prices.

    Find the cheapest gas in your area with MapQuest Gas Prices!

    Calculate the Cost of Gas for Your Trip
    MapQuest Gas Prices also features a Gas Price Calculator, a tool that calculates total cost of gas for your trip. All you have to do is enter your trip distance, miles per gallon and cost per gallon and the calculator will let you know approximately what you’ll be spending on gas for that trip.

    Improve your Gas Consumption
    To improve fuel consumption, the US Department of Energy suggests altering your driving habits as well as properly maintaining your vehicle. Maintaining proper tire inflation can improve gas mileage up to 3.3 percent. Try to avoid excess idling or speeding, as both dramatically decrease vehicle efficiency.

    No matter if it is a long-weekend trip or a cross-country excursion you are planning this summer, check out these tools to help save on gas and find the best places to fill up.