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The Gemini Giant

Wilmington, IL

World's Largest Catsup Bottle

World's Largest Catsup Bottle

Collinsville, IL

Blue Whale of Catoosa

Blue Whale of Catoosa

Catoosa, ok.

Golden Driller

Golden Driller

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Albuquerque, NM

Illustration of Cabazon Dinosaurs

You’re always a short detour from an

Extraordinary place.

Our collection of more than 300 Extraordinary Places will take your trip to the next level. Look for the illustrations on our maps and read our takes on what make these places so special. We’ve been there, and we think you should go, too.

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Yellowstone National Park

Mammoth, wy.

A photo of Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

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Walt Disney World

Lake buena vista, fl.

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Keystone, sd.

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Graceland Mansion

Memphis, tn.

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Glacier National Park

West glacier, mt.

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World's Largest Buffalo Monument

Jamestown, nd.

A lake located near looming mountains in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite valley, ca.

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Cadillac Ranch

Amarillo, tx.

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Acadia National Park

Bar harbor, me.

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Mothman Statue

Point pleasant, wv.

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Grand Canyon National Park

Grand canyon village, az.

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Statue of Liberty

Liberty island, ny.

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Las Vegas Strip

Paradise, nv.

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The Fremont Troll

Seattle, wa, build your perfect road trip.

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Hit the road with safety and ease by using turn-by-turn directions, designed specifically for your RV. Simply enter your rig’s size and propane restrictions, and we’ll find the best routes to your next destination.

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Create custom day trips, weekend getaways, and cross country adventures worldwide

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Configure route preferences such as avoiding highways or tolls for each day or any segment of your trip.

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Plan trips from your desktop computer, iPad, Android tablet, and mobile phone with the same easy-to-use interface. No app to download or software to install.

Automated To Do List guides you through the road trip planning process.

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The Best Road Trip Apps That Help You Find Cheap Gas, Avoid Traffic, and More

Download these before you hit the highway.

Elizabeth Rhodes is a special projects editor at Travel + Leisure , covering everything from luxury hotels to theme parks to must-pack travel products. Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth moved to New York City from London, where she started her career as a travel blogger and writer.

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Carmen Martínez Torrón/Getty Images

Technology has revolutionized the way we travel in countless ways. Paper maps and GPS navigation systems have been replaced by Google and Apple Maps, old-school CDs by music streaming services, and guidebooks by apps that can notify road-trippers of roadside attractions in real time. One thing is certain: the smartphone has made road trips infinitely easier and, arguably, cheaper.

Whether you need a digital road trip planner to map out your next journey or something to help you avoid traffic jams, here are 11 of the best road trip apps to download ahead of your next adventure.


Roadtrippers is one of the most practical and popular road trip planning apps out there. Maybe you want to see national parks or the quirkiest roadside attractions. Perhaps you want to stop for the night at an iconic or underrated hotel. You can plan your stops right in the app, adding up to three waypoints for free or 150 with a Roadtrippers Premium account. There are also Basic and Pro memberships that allot you 20 and 50 waypoints per trip, respectively. The higher-tier memberships allow you to collaborate with friends and family and use navigation. The app features lodging, sights, outdoorsy destinations, restaurants, activities, shopping, fuel, and more all around the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The app is free, but you have to upgrade to a membership plan to enjoy all the bells and whistles. The Basic plan costs $40 a year, the Pro plan $50 a year, and the Premium $60 a year. It's available on iOS and Android .

Google Maps

Every road-tripper needs a trusty navigation app in their arsenal, and Google Maps is consistently one of the most — if not the most — downloaded in the U.S. every year. Its dominance can be attributed to how comprehensive its data is, which allows it to generate the very best directions based on distance, road conditions, and traffic patterns.

Google Maps gives you route options and provides accurate estimates of how long it takes to get from A to B. Plus, you can plot several waypoints along your route — be it a mid-morning coffee stop or a hotel for overnighting (you can see reviews right in the app).

Google Maps is free and available on iOS and Android .

Waze is another one of the top navigation apps. With real-time updates that help you avoid traffic jams, construction, and more, it will have you navigating new cities and unfamiliar streets like a seasoned local. It's perhaps a little more proactive than Google Maps in changing up a route when problems arise, and that means Waze users should prepare for their drive to be a little unpredictable.

No one wants to spend hours sitting in traffic instead of exploring, so the fact that Waze collects data from other drivers to streamline the driving experience is a huge help. The app is free and available on iOS and Android .

Paying for fuel can eat up a good chunk of your road trip budget, but GasBuddy can save you a few bucks. The app crowdsources up-to-date fuel prices for more than 150,000 gas stations around the U.S. and Canada. The app also tells you how recent the submission is so you know whether it's outdated.

GasBuddy is not just helpful for finding cheap gas but also for finding gas stations in general (and parking), which can be difficult in foreign territory. The app is free and can be downloaded on iOS and Android . While using it, be a good road-tripper and submit gas prices you see as you travel.

Roadside America

Barry Winiker/Getty Images

The offbeat and kitschy roadside attractions you can find throughout the U.S. are often some of the most delightful parts of a road trip. The Roadside America app helps you find the most unique attractions worth stopping for, like the large sculpture of a cartoon mouse holding a cheese platter in Plain, Wisconsin — where else? — or the decidedly odd larger-than-life-sized three-way electrical plug that rests on a lawn in Philadelphia. The app features museums, murals, tours, quirky restaurants, and photo ops.

Roadside America costs $3 to download, which gets you access to one region in the app. You can purchase more regions for $2 or get access to all of the U.S. and Canada for an extra $7. The app is available only on iOS .

iExit Interstate Exit Guide

Knowing where to stop for road trip snacks, a drive-through latte, or a public restroom can be challenging with all the exit signs whizzing by at 70 mph, but iExit Interstate Exit Guide takes the guesswork out of it. The app will list which exits are coming up on your route, what's there, and what they offer — including food, lodging, fuel, and even hospitals. It pulls fuel prices from OPIS (the Oil Price Information Service) and displays Yelp reviews for businesses.

The app is free to download. Find it on both iOS and Android .


Even if you've planned out all your stops ahead of time, you might find that you need to pull over for a night unexpectedly. Driving is tiring, and unplanned naps can be life-saving. HotelTonight can help you find accommodations in a pinch. The app offers day-of deals on unsold rooms, and the user-friendly interface means you can book a discounted room in minutes. There are well over 1,000 properties to choose from in cities all over the world, from Mexico City to Jakarta (in case you happen to take your road-tripping global).

It's free to download and available on iOS and Android .

If staying in a tucked-away A-frame cabin, a yurt, or a private guest house in someone's garden is more your travel style than bouncing between hotels, then Airbnb is the ticket. On the Airbnb app, you can search properties (millions in the U.S. alone) on a map and read reviews before you book, which you can do in advance or at the last minute.

The app features not just vacation homes but also activities, so if you're keen to experience a city like a local you can do so via a pottery class or a guided walking tour, for example.

The Airbnb app is free. You can download it on iOS or Android .

Patchareeporn Sakoolchai/Getty Images

Travelers who dream of camping out under the stars should download The Dyrt , a free app that helps you find tent, RV, and cabin sites across the U.S. One of the top camping apps on iOS and Android , it has more than a million registered users who submit reviews, pictures, and tips. On The Dyrt, you get real intel on campsites and a built-in community that makes camping on a road trip especially fun and safe. You can even book some of the campsites right on app.

The app is free, but there's a premium version for $36 a year that allows you to plan trips and search campsites while offline — convenient for remote regions.

What is a road trip without a perfect playlist? Whether you're keen to create a soundtrack of nostalgic singalongs, modern pop songs, or music inspired by your destination, you'll find even the most obscure tunes on Spotify , a catalog of more than 100 million tracks. When you tire of Taylor Swift, you can turn to podcasts or an audiobook to keep you company. Road trips are a great opportunity to delve into a docuseries like "Serial," an all-time favorite.

Spotify is free to download and listen to, but the ad breaks are annoying and streaming can chew through your phone data. A better option is to purchase a premium membership for $11 a month. It's ad-free and you can download music to listen to offline. The Spotify app is available on iOS and Android .

Electric vehicles are increasingly commonplace and great for more environmentally friendly road-tripping. The problem is often finding charging stations, as most EVs can go 100 to 300 miles before they need to be plugged in. PlugShare lists 700,000 charging stations across North America, Europe, and beyond. Users share their reviews of the stations, helping to guide EV drivers to the best, fastest, and most reliable charging spots.

PlugShare is free and available to download on iOS and Android .

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Plan your journey with our state-of-the-art trip planner! Map your route , your waypoints and stop over times. Work out your travel times , calculate your arrival time and even see if you’re going to arrive before sunset with enough time to set up camp or get in some exploring before dark.

With our trip planner, your journey will be seamlessly organised, allowing you to maximize your precious time on the road and create unforgettable memories at every step.

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Not one for planning ? Or perhaps you want a record for another time? Track where you have been and record how much money you have spent and on what. However you travel, use Traveld to calculate your carbon footprint and offset it. When it comes to making plans with friends, especially for a road trip or holiday, having the best road trip planner or group travel planner can make all the difference.

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Making memories is what travelling is all about. Collect notes, add photos and videos to your maps building an interactive journal of your travels. Add travel companions to travel together . 


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When making plans with friends and organising a memorable trip, utilising the best AI road trip planner and group travel planner is essential.  Hook up your social accounts and  share to your social media accounts. You can bring in memories and share your travel dashboard with family and friends, letting people know your progress as you go.

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Welcome to Traveld+ – where your travel experience reaches new heights, unencumbered by ads and limitations. Say goodbye to interruptions and hello to unlimited adventure. Here’s just a taste of what awaits you: Unleash Your Wanderlust: With Traveld+, the world is your oyster. Seamlessly plan and execute unlimited trips without the distractions of ads. Capture Every Moment: Upload photos directly from your device to immortalize your adventures. Share the beauty of your journeys without delay. Elevate Your Journey: Your journey begins at home with our intuitive dashboard, offering a bird’s-eye view of your app usage, trip details, and more.

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The Trippy road trip planner automatically calculates the optimal itinerary including stops recommended by Trippy members, favorite restaurants and hotels, local attractions and things to do based on what people who live in the area have suggested, and more.

Once you have a quick trip planned, you can customize every detail, adding or removing stops, or changing what time you leave in the morning or how long you stay at each stop. Then you can save your custom trip and share it with friends and family.

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The 10 Best Road Trip Planner Apps for 2024

Save time, money, and energy with these apps so you can focus on the fun instead

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We love road trips! Planning them can be fun but, let's be honest, also stressful. The right road trip planner apps can take some of that stress away by helping you plan, organize, and manage travel before and during your trip. We've researched and tested these apps to help give you peace of mind so that you can spend more time enjoying your trip.

The Ultimate Map App for Planning Your Route: Roadtrippers

Access to free and convenient travel guides.

Share-ability so friends can join in on the planning process and suggest places to visit.

The app can use up the battery life of your device quickly. Take a car USB charger with you.

Built for travelers, Roadtrippers helps you create your route while allowing you to discover great places as you plan it out. Add a new place to your itinerary to work it into your trip.

The app features an easy-to-use interface. In addition to covering the U.S., it also covers Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Download For:

Automate Your Trip Planning and Organization: Google Travel

Automatic trip organization via Gmail integration. 

Offline access so you can see your trip information even when you don't have an internet connection.

Limitations with customizing some day trips exactly the way you want.

You can count on Google to make your trip planning a breeze. Pre-constructed day plans are available for hundreds of the world's most popular destinations, which you can customize to your liking.

It's one of the most versatile travel planner apps out there, giving you one convenient place to see your hotel, rental car, and restaurant bookings.

Find and Book a Last-Minute Place to Stay:

A fast, easy-to-use booking feature.

For every 10 nights you book through, you get one night free, provided it's the average daily rate of those 10 nights.

No option to easily cancel if you change your mind.

Whether your road trip itinerary changed, or you haven't decided on a place to stay yet, can help you find a place and book it when you're on the go, even when it's super last-minute. You can sort and filter hotels, see the amenities they have to offer, compare prices, and catch a glimpse of how many rooms are available.

This is the app you'll want to have handy if you want to see in-depth hotel details at a glance and need to find a place to crash ASAP without breaking the bank.

Find Local Restaurants, Read Reviews, and Make Reservations: OpenTable

Lots of great filter options and suggestions.

Access to gorgeous, high-quality images of menu items and informative reviews from other users.

Reported problems and inconveniences with their built-in reward system.

Searching for specific restaurants is more difficult than simply looking at what's around in the area.

Deciding on a place to eat in a new area is quick and hassle-free with OpenTable. See what's nearby, filter restaurants by cuisine, see photos of what's on the menu, make reservations, and get personalized recommendations based on your preferences.

OpenTable is known to be one of the top  location-based food apps  available, so you know you can trust its information when you're dying for something to eat.

Navigate Like a Local: Waze

Hands-free navigation with voice commands.

Alerts-only mode for road hazards and police.

Share up-to-date ETA with friends.

Spotify and Apple Music widgets get in the way.

Cluttered maps can be confusing.

Higher battery usage than Google Maps.

Waze  is a community-driven travel app that shows you the shortest possible route to your destination. Like Google Maps, Waze makes real-time adjustments for traffic jams and other obstacles—but Waze is often more accurate since it caters specifically to drivers.

The app syncs with your Google Calendar and can tell you when you should leave for appointments based on traffic. There's also a cool option to record your own voice and use it for directions .

Know Exactly When and Where to Make a Pit Stop: iExit Interstate Exit Guide

Access to detailed summaries of what's at the next exit (including gas prices at nearby gas stations).

Search for the next 100 exits from your location.

The app can only be used on major U.S. exit-based highways.

No offline access, so you'll use your data plan while you're on the road.

Making a pit stop for food, gas, or a bathroom break is easy when you have the iExit app. Using your device's GPS, the app offers helpful suggestions for when and where to stop based on your location along the highway.

Whether you're looking for well-known franchises like Starbucks and Walmart to convenient amenities like free Wi-Fi and truck or trailer parking, this app has you covered.

Find the Cheapest Fuel Nearby: GasBuddy

An in-app gas payment feature.

Opportunity to save 10 cents per gallon on your first fill-up and five cents per gallon on every fill-up after.

The app can take up a lot of data and battery life as it runs in the background.

GasBuddy is an app specifically designed to find nearby gas stations and save money on gas. Use it to find the cheapest gas in your area and filter gas stations by amenities like car washes, restaurants, and bathrooms.

It's the app you want to have if you're serious about finding the cheapest gas around. Information comes from users like you, so you have the most up-to-date prices.

Download For :

Never Forget an Item: PackPoint Premium Packing List

Access to a built-in library of items to pack with the ability to add or remove items as needed. 

An elegant, intuitive app interface.

Can't input multiple destinations for a single trip.

Not a free app.

PackPoint helps you make sure you have everything you need based on where you're going and what you're doing. In addition, the app takes into consideration the length of your trip and the expected weather conditions. Perhaps best of all, this app turns a mundane chore into something that's actually quite fun.

Find Out Where to Park and How Much It Will Cost: Inrix ParkMe

ParkMe is the only app that also includes street parking and parking meter rates where available, in addition to parking lots.

Real-time updates on available parking spots.

Rates and hours may be inaccurate in some areas.

ParkMe claims to be the world's largest and most accurate parking database. It allows you to purchase your parking spot through the app and compare prices across parking providers to help you save more money.

If you're road tripping around major cities in the U.S., Canada, or Europe, this app can be a huge help. You can even compare parking options and prices so that you always get the best deal.

Automate Your Itinerary: TripIt

Automatically creates itineraries from your inbox.

Widget displays trip details on your home screen.

Annoying amount of alerts by default.

If you're planning a trip, you'll likely have a lot of confirmation emails for hotels, appointments, restaurants, and attractions. TripIt syncs with your inbox and uses that information to compile an itinerary so that you don't have to scramble for it.

The free version is fine for road trips, but if you ever fly, the premium version gives you the option to upgrade seats and track reward miles.

In addition to your phone, laptop, and tablet, other travel tech essentials include chargers, headphones, travel adapters, cameras, luggage trackers, and off-grid communications

Yes. You can use Google Maps as a trip planner through the “Places” and “My Maps” features. Both the Google Maps website and app let you save locations to lists and get directions.

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Best road trip planner apps: 5 apps to map out your adventure

How to plan your roadtrip with apps in the driver's seat

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Regardless of your destination, planning your trip is an integral part of the adventure. Otherwise, you’ll spend way more than you need to and, chances are, you won’t get to see everything on your wishlist. 

We live in a golden age of technology that we often take for granted. But, in all the time we spend playing our ‘Spin Addicts’ and our ‘Cat Quests’, very rarely do we think about the utility that our smart devices can provide on the open road. 

As such, we’ve gone out of our way to do the thinking for you.

That’s right, to help you out with your next big outing we’ve assimilated five of the best road trip planner apps for your lengthy expedition below. Above all else, we imagine you’ll be enticed by the fact that they’re all free to download, even if you may or may not be tempted later on to shell out some cash for a monthly subscription fee. (You’ll know what we mean when you see it.)

Best road trip planner

1. Roadtrippers 

As its name and slogan suggests, this is the only map built for travelers. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but this app will help you find virtually everything you could ever need along the way. 

Open Roadtrippers and you’ll find millions of locations, including local diners and roadside attractions that, admittedly, Google Maps is prone to miss. Then, once you’ve outlined your road trip plan, you can share it with your travel buddies so that they can make suggestions. 

Download it now on iOS | Download it now on Android

Best road trip planner

2. Waze 

Like Roadtrippers, Waze hones in on social interaction, but it does so by letting the community decide which routes are the best to take. Users can report nearby collisions, police radar and traffic jams so that you can safely avoid those routes in favor of arriving on time. What’s more, you’ll find the cheapest gas prices around, as gathered by the community. Regardless of whether you set out to save time or money, Waze is the best way to do both.

Best road trip planner

3. GasBuddy 

Unlike our previous mentions which can potentially save time or money, GasBuddy promises a specific amount of money you’ll save by using it.

Similar to Waze, GasBuddy is a community-driven platform that helps you locate the most affordable gas prices around so that you never have to pay full price for fossil fuels again. The difference is that, with this app, you can subscribe to GasBuddy Pay for additional savings of 15 cents per gallon on your first fill-up and 5 cents per gallon on every fill-up after that. 

Download it now on iOS | Download it now on Android  

Best road trip planner

4. Hotel Tonight 

We’ve all been in that position. The one where we get too tired to continue driving and we need to find a hotel quickly and cheaply, else suffer the wrath of sleepy driving with the windows rolled down and the music turned all the way up. (Pro tip: don't do that, ever. It's super dangerous.) 

But if that sounds like a horror story that you’ve experienced before, Hotel Tonight is the app for you. Specializing in last-minute hotel deals, Hotel Tonight makes it possible to book a room in three easy taps and one seamless swipe. 

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5. Spotify  

Close your eyes. Now imagine you can listen to any song you want, including but not limited to “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers. Now open them. 

Though it seems jokingly obvious now, Spotify would have been a dream come true in the days when top 40 radio hits triumphed over all else. Finally, you don’t have to listen to the same handful of songs on repeat. 

Instead, you can hand-pick your own playlists, choosing between over 30 million songs in the Spotify catalog. Of course, if Spotify isn't your music scene, both Apple Music and Google's own Play Music streaming service are also good travel companions.

  TechRadar’s The Road to the Show 2018 sees our intrepid writers braving a cross-country trip across the US, using the best gadgets to bring you their daily travel blog and offering the best tips for a tech-based roadtrip. The journey is brought to you in association with ZTE and the ZTE Axon M, with car transportation provided by Genesis.  

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plan your journey by car

plan your journey by car

Route Planner

Driving directions.

The route deemed to be the safest and simplest with minimal scope for error along the way. The default recommended route from Michelin.

The route offering the shortest distance to a destination via the most accessible roads. Journey times for this option will tend to be longer.

The most fuel-efficient route that also avoids toll roads.

My cost options

  • B7 (Diesel)
  • E5 (Unleaded)
  • E85 (superethanol)
  • CNG (Biomethane)
  • H2 (Hydrogen)

My route options

  • E5 (Unleaded) €1.700
  • Route : Fast
  • Distance in : Kilometres
  • No restrictions
  • Route from this place
  • Directions to this place
  • Route via this place
  • Nearby hotels
  • Nearby restaurants

Arrive at %{address} Organise your trip

Accommodation, other services, restaurants at %{address}.

  • See restaurants from the Michelin selection

Tourist Attractions at %{address}

  • View the must-see tourist sites

Keep in contact

My michelin account.

Work in progress.

plan your journey by car

Tips on how to plan your holiday car journey

The Easter weekend is approaching and many holidaymakers will be hitting the road to see friends and family all across the UK.

Driving during peak holiday periods can be stressful and will need a lot of planning and preparation to make sure that you and your family arrive at your destinations safely and on time.

Heavy traffic, poor weather and breakdowns can all cause stress levels to skyrocket over a holiday driving period, but they can all be helped by having plans in place.

Here’s our guide to planning your Easter weekend car journeys so that everything can remain as hassle-free as possible.

Car maintenance

Your car is the most important part of the journey. It gets you to your destination in a safe and quick space of time. However, not keeping up its maintenance will not stand you in good stead.

Before setting off for the Easter weekend, check all the fluid levels are topped up. For example, ensure that the oil is topped up to the correct levels and do the same for the windscreen washer fluid too. You may want to check your coolant levels as well. All these are vital components in making your vehicle start, stop and run smoothly.

If you are planning a long-distance journey this weekend, make sure your car is fully serviced. If your car is due one, then book it in preferably before you plan to go away – or if you are good at self-car maintenance, change the oil and filter yourself.

Also, look at its latest MOT certificate for any advisories or minor defects. Even though at the time of the test, your vehicle is legal and safe to use, any advisories may have progressively worsened – which could lead to your vehicle being dangerous and putting you, your family and other road users at risk.

Timekeeping and traffic

Before heading off, make sure to leave in plenty of time. Britain’s roads can have some unpredictable occurrences whereby heavy traffic and roadworks can play havoc with your journey time.

If you are planning on a journey that will take hours and you have small children, it might be an idea to leave earlier, so you can stop off occasionally to allow your children to stretch their legs. Remember that if you’re travelling with pets you’ll need to stop routinely to let them have a walk around as well.

Food and drink

If you plan on making a journey that will mean you are on the road for a long period of time, don’t forget to take plenty of food and drink. Snacks are the best solution as they can be eaten quickly so it doesn’t affect your journey time and drink keeps you hydrated – which helps you stay refreshed and alert on the road.

Breakdown cover

We don’t like to think about it, but cars do break down from time to time. Having breakdown cover in place can ensure that if the worst should happen, you’re not completely stuck on the roadside.

By making sure that you’ve got cover, you’re ensuring that if your car does let you down, you’ll be able to get on your way again with help – or at least get moved to a safer location than the side of the road.

Make sure that you and your car are prepared for driving in poor weather. This weekend’s weather is set to be a wet one, meaning the roads will be slippery and car accidents are more prone to happen.

Check the tyres on your car, and make sure they have an ample amount of tread. The legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm – anything lower than that can be dangerous and be an MOT failure. Check the tyre pressures and check the tyre condition for perishing, cracks, cuts and nails.

Also, check if all the lights are working, especially if you plan to drive at night, or leave for your journey in the early hours of the morning. Look at your main, side, dipped and high beam, fog lights, indicators, reverse lights and brake lights. If you can’t check your brake lights on your own, a tip would be to get a family member or friend to check for you – or reverse up to a wall and look at the reflection of the lights to see if they are all working.

Get plenty of sleep before you travel

Driving while tired is almost as bad as driving when drunk. The best solution is to get plenty of sleep prior to a long journey. If you don’t get enough sleep, then it’s better when planning your journey to look at potential locations to stop off and have a nap.

Having enough sleep makes you more alert and your concentration levels are a lot better, making you a safer driver and puts you, your family and other road users at less risk of accidents.

Route planning

Planning your route is the best advice as it will mean you will arrive at your destination calmly and on time. If you plan to be in the car for a long period, look at the best places to stop. Check weather apps and traffic information, as well as look for routes which avoid often-congested areas.  If your car doesn’t come with sat-nav, make sure you have an app on your phone with maps or you have your own stuck-on satellite navigation.

Easter weekend is set to be one of the busiest for car journeys in the UK.

How long will the solar eclipse last? Why you should plan 2.5 hours for viewing.

You can spend more than two hours watching the entire eclipse, but total darkness lasts only a few minutes and depends on where you are..

plan your journey by car

As we get ready for today's Great American Eclipse , you may have heard that a total solar eclipse lasts just a few minutes.

That's false. Totality may last a few minutes, but an eclipse, from start to finish, is typically much longer than that.

If you're planning to watch the eclipse ( safely, of course ), prepare to spend a couple of hours looking skyward , from the moment the moon begins to cover the face of the sun until it moves completely out of the way. In the middle of that span is totality, the part that lasts a few seconds or minutes , but only occurs in a path that stretches from Texas to Maine. The path of totality will be from 108 to 122 miles wide.

More: Is it safe to drive during the solar eclipse?

The 2024 solar eclipse, will last for roughly 2.5 hours, give or take a few minutes depending on your location.

Here are some tips for watching the eclipse:

What will the 2024 eclipse look like?

Go to to find precise times with an eclipse simulator for multiple communities in southeast Michigan.

You also can search your ZIP code below to see what the eclipse will look like near you, plus the start and end times of the eclipse.

How long will the 2024 eclipse last?

The solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, is expected to last about two-and-a-half hours , from the moment the moon begins crossing in front of the sun to when it completely moves out of its way. Expect to look skyward from about 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. if you want to see the entire celestial show; to find exact times in your area, use the ZIP code locator above.

How long is the totality of an eclipse?

Totality may only last a few minutes, depending on your location. If you're in the path of totality, expect it to last about 4 minutes.

If you're not in the path of totality, don't fret; there are plenty of other things to observe.

Where should I watch the eclipse?

If you're in Michigan, the southeastern part of Monroe County is the lone part of the state that will be in the path of totality. There are plenty of locations in Ohio that are good spots to watch the eclipse within the path of totality. Here are last-minute hotels you can try to book.

What should I expect during an eclipse?

Look for shadow bands — rapidly moving, long dark bands separated by white spaces shortly before and after totality; the short-lived Baily's Beads, points of light that shine around the moon's edges; and a bright spot at the edge of the moon's shadow that looks like a diamond on a ring.

Expect the temperature to drop in the path of totality

A drop in air temperatures of as much as 10 degrees is likely, along with an eerie silence, even if it's cloudy. NASA says don't just look skyward, check out the people around you in case they have a deep emotional response to the darkening sky.

Other considerations

Make sure you are not trespassing on someone else's property. And use eyewear with the ISO standard 12321-2 . NASA does not endorse a particular brand of glasses.

When is the next eclipse?

The next total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States will take place in 2044 . The next solar eclipse with a path of totality that crosses Michigan will take place in 2099.

Contact Jennifer Dixon: jbdixon@freepress .

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For more audio journalism and storytelling, download New York Times Audio , a new iOS app available for news subscribers.

The Eclipse Chaser

As millions of americans prepare to see a total solar eclipse, a retired astrophysicist known as “mr. eclipse,” discusses the celestial phenomenon..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

Can you hear — Fred, can you hear me?


The internet is a little wonky.

OK. Well, [DISTORTED SPEECH]: Arizona. So the internet speed here isn’t really fast.

I think we’re going to call — yeah, I think we’re going to call you back on a — for the first time in a really long time — a landline.


Hey, Fred, it’s Michael Barbaro.

You can hear me OK?

I can hear you.

Perfect. So, Fred, where exactly am I reaching you?

I’m in Portal, Arizona, in a little community called Arizona Sky Village. And it’s a very rural community. So our internet and phone lines are not very good. And the nearest grocery store is 60 miles away.

Wow. And why would you choose to live in such a remote place with such bad internet?

Because the sky is dark. It’s like the sky was a hundred years ago before cities encroached on all of the country. I guess you’d call it an astronomy development. Mainly, amateur astronomers who have built homes here far from city lights for the express purpose of studying the sky.


So it’s literally a community where once the sun goes down, it’s pitch black. And some, perhaps all of you, are stargazing?

Yes, exactly.

Well, I think I’m beginning to understand why you might have the nickname that you do. Can you just tell our listeners what that nickname is?

My nickname is Mr. Eclipse.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.” Today’s total solar eclipse will be watched by millions of people across North America, none of them as closely as Fred Espenak, a longtime NASA scientist who’s devoted his entire life to studying, chasing, and popularizing the wonder that is an eclipse.

It’s Monday, April 8.

Fred, help me understand how you become Mr. Eclipse, how you go from being Fred to this seemingly very hard-earned nickname of Mr. Eclipse.

Well, I was visiting my grandparents at their summer home. And it was a partial eclipse of the sun back in the early 1960s. And I was a 10 - or 12-year-old kid. I got my parents to get me a small telescope. And I watched some of the partial phases. And it was really interesting.

And I started reading about eclipses. And I found out that as interesting as a partial eclipse is, a total eclipse is far more interesting. The moon is only 1/400 the diameter of the sun. It’s tiny compared to the sun. But it’s 400 times closer to the Earth. So it’s just this incredible coincidence that the moon and sun appear to be the same size in the sky. And once in a while, the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun. And you’re plunged into this very strange midday twilight.

But they’re limited to a very small geographic areas to see a total eclipse. And this little book I was studying had a map of the world, showing upcoming paths of total solar eclipses. And I realized that one was passing through North America about 600 miles from where I lived. And that eclipse was in 1970.

And I was reading about this in 1963, 1964. And I made a promise to myself that I was going to get to that eclipse in 1970 to see it because I thought it was a one chance in a lifetime to see a total eclipse of the sun.

So just to be very clear, you see a partial eclipse, and you immediately think to yourself, that was fine. But I need the real thing. I need a full eclipse. And you happen to find out, around this time, that a real eclipse is coming but in seven years.

Right. I mean, there were other eclipses between that time and seven years in the future. But they were in other parts of the world. And I couldn’t buy an airplane ticket and fly to Europe or Australia.

And by 1970, I’d been waiting for this. And by this point, I had just gotten a driver’s license. And I convinced my parents to let me drive the car 600 miles to get down into the path of totality to see this great event.

Wow. Wait, from where to where?

From Staten Island, New York, down to a little town in North Carolina.

How did you convince your parents to let you do that? I mean, that’s —

Well, I had seven years to work on it.

[LAUGHS]: Right.

And I was just a nerdy kid. I didn’t get into trouble. I was interested in science. I was out in the woods, studying frogs and wildlife and stuff. So this was just a natural progression of the type of things I would normally do.

Right. OK. So I wonder if you can describe this journey you end up taking from Staten Island. How does the trip unfold as you’re headed on this 600 mile?

So, I think, on March 6, 1970, it was a Friday. My friend and I left to drive to the eclipse path. We probably got on the road probably at 5:00 AM because it was going to be a very long day.

And we’ve got a detailed map in the car, which I’ve plotted the eclipse path on. And we’re just trying to get far enough south to get into the path of the eclipse, which for us is easternmost Virginia or Eastern North Carolina. And I drive and drive and drive all day long. Very long day.

We get down to North Carolina right about maybe 6:00 PM. And we just see this little town in North Carolina that we’re driving through. And it happens to have a convenient motel right in the center of the path. And that was good enough. Got a room available. And we check in. And that’s where we’re going to watch the eclipse from.

And the next morning was eclipse day. It was a bright, crisp, sunny morning. There weren’t any clouds at all in the sky. And I was amazed that outside the back of the motel, in this grassy field, there were dozens and dozens of people with telescopes out there, specifically there for the eclipse that morning.

We were really excited about this. We set up our — my telescope. And we had another camera set up to watch it. And we walked around and marveled at some of the other people and their telescopes and discussed the eclipse with them. And the eclipse started probably around noon or 1:00 in the afternoon.

Describe the actual event itself, the eclipse. How did it begin?

Well, all solar eclipses begin as a partial eclipse. And the sun is gradually covered by the moon as the moon takes larger and larger pieces out of the sun, as it slowly crawls across the sun’s surface. And you don’t really notice much going on with a naked eye.

It’s really only in the last 10 minutes or so that you start to notice changes in the environment because now enough of the sun has been covered, upwards of maybe 90 percent of the sun. And you start to notice the temperature falling. There’s a chill in the air.

Also, since so much of the sun is covered, the daylight starts to take on an anemic quality. It’s weak. The sun is still too bright to look at. But the surroundings, the environment is not as bright as it was a half hour earlier.

You start to notice animals reacting to the dwindling sunlight. They start acting like it’s sunset. And they start performing some of their evening rituals, like birds roosting, perhaps calling their evening songs. And plants start closing up and the dropping sunlight. And then the dropping temperatures.

And there’s an acceleration now of all these effects. The temperature drop, the drop in the sunlight, it starts happening faster and faster and getting darker and darker. And maybe about a minute before the total eclipse began, we noticed strange patterns on the ground beneath us, on the grassy field that we were on — these ripples racing across the field. And these are something called shadow bands.

They look a lot like the rippling patterns that you would see on the bottom of a swimming pool, bands of light and dark, and moving very quickly across the ground. The sky is — it’s a dark blue. And it’s getting darker rapidly in this dwindling sunlight. And you go from daylight to twilight in just 10 or 20 seconds. It’s almost like someone has the hand on the rheostat and turns the house lights down in the theater.

You just see the light just go right down.

And the sky gets dark enough that the corona, the outer atmosphere of the sun, starts emerging from the background sky. This ring or halo of gas that surrounds the sun, and it’s visible around the moon, which is in silhouette against the sun. And along one edge of the moon is this bright bead of sunlight because that’s the last remaining piece of the sun before it becomes total.

And this is the diamond ring effect because you’ve got the ring of the corona and this dazzling jewel along one edge of it. You only get to see this for 10 or 15 seconds — it’s very fleeting — before the moon completely covers the sun’s disk. And totality begins. Suddenly, you’re in this twilight of the moon’s shadow.

And you look around the horizon. And you’re seeing the colors of sunrise or sunset 360 degrees around the horizon because you’re looking out the edge of the moon’s shadow. And looking back up into the sky, the sun is gone now. And you see this black disk of the moon in silhouette surrounded by the sun’s corona.

Maybe this says more about my nature than anything else, but what you’re describing, a little bit, feels like the end of the world.

Well, I think, when you see this all transpire, you can easily understand how people thought this was the end of the world because it seems far outside of the realms of nature. It seems supernatural. So you can see how people panicked that didn’t understand what was going on.

That was not your reaction?

No. I think it’s a sense of belonging — belonging to this incredible universe, both belonging and a humbleness that how minuscule we are. And yet we’re a part of this fantastic cosmic wheel of motion in the solar system. You almost get a three-dimensional sense of the motions of the Earth and the moon around the sun when you see this clockwork displayed right in front of you, this mechanics of the eclipse taking place.

It almost lifts you up off the planet, and you can look back down at the solar system and see how it’s all put together. And you’ve only got to, in that case — in that particular eclipse, it was only 2 and 1/2 minutes to look at this.

Wow. It’s kind of a clock in your head, saying, you don’t have much of this.

You don’t have much of it. And it almost seems like time stops.

And at the same time, all of a sudden, the eclipse is over. Those 2 minutes just raced by. And it’s over. All of a sudden, the diamond ring forms again on the opposite side of the moon, as the sun starts to become uncovered at the end of totality. And the diamond ring appears. It grows incredibly bright in just a few seconds. And you can’t look at it anymore. It’s too bright. You’ve got to put your filters back on and cover your telescope with a solar filter so it doesn’t get damaged. And you’re trembling because of this event.

Everybody was cheering and shouting and yelling. I mean, you would have thought you were at a sports game, and the home team just scored a touchdown. Just everybody screaming at the top of their lungs. And I immediately started thinking that this can’t be a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve got to see this again.

We’ll be right back.

OK. So, Fred, it’s the early 1970s. And you are not Mr. Eclipse yet. You’re just a kid who felt something very big when you watched an eclipse. So how did you end up becoming the premier authority that you now are on eclipses?

Well, after that 1970 eclipse, I started looking into upcoming solar eclipses so I could get a chance to see the sun’s corona again. And the next total eclipse was in Eastern Canada in July of 1972. And I started thinking about that eclipse. And by then, I was going to be in college.

And I started planning because that one was still something I could drive to. It was 1,200 miles instead of 600 miles.

So the summer of 1972 rolls around. And I drove up to the eclipse in Quebec to see totality and was unfortunately clouded out of the eclipse. I saw some of the partial phases. But clouds moved in and obscured the sun for that view of the sun’s corona.

You were robbed.

I was robbed. And I realized, well, I’ve got to expand my outlook on what’s an acceptable distance to travel to see a total eclipse because the next total eclipse then, in 1973, was through the Sahara Desert in Northern Africa. So I traveled to the Sahara desert for the eclipse, where we had decent weather, not perfect but decent weather. And we got to see totality there.

You saw totality in the desert?

In the desert. In the Sahara Desert. After that, it was just trying to get to every total eclipse I possibly could get to.

At this point, you’re clearly starting to become an eclipse chaser. And I don’t even know if such a thing existed at that moment.

Yeah. I don’t know if it was called that then, but certainly, yeah.

And if you’ll permit me a question that might seem maybe dopey to someone in your field, after you’ve seen one or two or three of these, do they start to blend in together and become a little bit the same?

Not at all. Each one is distinctly different. The sun itself is dramatically different. The sun’s corona is different at each eclipse because the corona is a product of the sun’s magnetic field. And that magnetic field is changing every day. So the details, the fine structure in the sun’s corona is always different. So every eclipse is dramatically different. The appearance of the sun’s corona.

Right. If you look at one Renoir, it’s not the same as the next one. You’re describing the corona of each eclipse as its own work of art, basically.

Exactly. Yeah.

So as you’re chasing these eclipses around the world, what is the place of an eclipse in your day-to-day academic studies and, soon enough, your professional work?

So I went to grad school at University of Toledo and did some work at Kitt Peak National Observatory, learning the ins and outs of photometric photometry — that is, measuring the brightness of stars. And eventually, this led to a job opening at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

And I got interested in the idea of predicting eclipses and started studying the mathematics of how to do this. And I took it over unofficially and started publishing these technical maps and details. And we published about a dozen books through NASA on upcoming eclipses. People would just write me a letter and say they wanted a copy of the eclipse bulletin for such and such an eclipse. And I would stuff it in an envelope and mail it to them.

So you take it upon yourself to make sure that everyone is going to know when the next eclipse is coming?

And no doubt, during this period, you keep going to each and every eclipse. And I wonder which of them stand out to you.

Well, I’ve seen total eclipses from Australia, from Africa, from the Altiplanos in Bolivia, from the ice sheet on the coast of Antarctica, and even from Northern China, on the edge of the Gobi Desert. But one of the most notable eclipses for me was I traveled to India to see a 41-second eclipse, which was very short. And besides seeing a great eclipse in India, I also met my future wife there. She was on the same trip.

I have to hear that story.

Well, she had been trying to see a total eclipse for about 25 years.

She tried to see the 1970 eclipse. But her friends who were going to drive down from Pennsylvania down to North Carolina talked her out of it at the 11th hour.

They talked her out of seeing the same eclipse that was your first total eclipse that was so important to you?

Yes. And they talked her out of it because from Pennsylvania, they were going to have maybe a 90 percent eclipse. They didn’t know any better. They thought that was good enough. And she regretted that decision.

So then she said, OK, well, I’ve got to get to the next total eclipse, which was in Quebec in 1972, the same one that was my second eclipse. And we were probably within five miles of each other in Quebec. And we were both clouded out. Then she was married. She was raising kids. She got busy with domestic life for 20 years. She became a widow.

So now, 1995, there’s this 41-second eclipse in India that is very difficult to get to. It’s halfway around the world. But she’s still itching to see a total eclipse. And we joined the same expedition, a travel group, of 30 eclipse chasers and end up in India for the eclipse. And we have fantastic weather. It’s perfect.

She was in tears after totality. She had been waiting so long to see it. And we struck up a friendship on that trip. By the time the 1998 eclipse was taking place in the Caribbean, at that point, we were together. That was our first eclipse to observe as a couple. I think our wedding cake had a big eclipse on the top of the cake.

[LAUGHS]: Perfect.

We made a music CD for the wedding that we played during the reception. And of course, all the music on the CD had sun and moon themes to it.

Nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart

Of course, we had “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” It was a must-have.

Had to. Had to.

It strikes me, Fred, that eclipses are such an organizing principle in your life. Your life seems to literally orbit around them. When you were a kid, you started planning for them years in advance. This work becomes central to your career. It’s how you meet your wife.

And you said, when I asked you, about each eclipse that they’re all different. And obviously, you’re different at each eclipse because time has passed. Your life has changed. And it just feels like your life is being lived in a kind of ongoing conversation with this phenomenon of the sun and the moon overlapping.

Well, the eclipses are like benchmarks that I can use to figure out what else was going on in my life during these times, because I remember the dates of every single eclipse I’ve been to. And if I see a photograph of the solar corona shot during any particular eclipse, I know what eclipse that was. I can recognize the pattern of the corona like a fingerprint.

That’s amazing.

And I the year of the eclipse. It reminds me of when Pat and I got married and between which eclipse we were getting married and had to plan our wedding so it didn’t interfere with any kind of eclipse trips.

And they just serve as benchmarks or markers for the rest of my life of when various eclipses take place. So they’re easy for marking the passage of time.

So we are, of course, talking to you a few days before this year’s eclipse, which I cannot fathom you missing. So where are you planning to watch this total eclipse?

Pat and I are leaving for Mazatlán, Mexico, actually tomorrow. And we’ve got about 80 people joining us down in Mazatlán for this eclipse in our tour group.

And for you, of course, this year’s eclipse is just the latest in a very long line of eclipses. But I think, for the rest of us — and here, I’m thinking about myself — this is really going to be my first total eclipse, at least that I can remember. And for my two little kids, it’s absolutely going to be their first.

And given the hard-earned wisdom that you’ve accumulated in all your decades of chasing eclipses around the world, I wonder if you can give us just a little bit of advice for how to best live inside this very brief window of a total solar eclipse, to make sure, not to be cliche, but that we make it count.

Well, I think one mistake that people tend to make is getting preoccupied with recording everything in their lives, what they had for lunch, what they had for dinner. And seeing the eclipse is something that you want to witness firsthand. Try to be present in seeing the eclipse in the moment of it. So don’t get preoccupied with recording every instant of it.

Sit back and try to take in the entire experience because those several minutes pass by so rapidly. But you’ll replay them in your mind over and over and over again. And you don’t want technology getting between you and that experience. And remember to take your eclipse glasses off when totality begins. Note how dark it gets during totality.

Take the glasses off because?

Well, the glasses protect your eyes from the sun’s bright disk. But when totality begins, the sun’s bright disk is gone. So if you use your solar eclipse glasses to try to look at the corona, you won’t see anything. You’ll just see blackness. You’ve got to remove the eclipse glasses in order to see the corona. And it’s completely safe.

And it’s an incredible sight to behold. But during totality, you just want to look around without the glasses on. And take in the sights. Take in the horizon, 360 degrees, surrounding you with these twilight colors and sunset colors.

You’ll easily be able to see Jupiter and Venus shining on either side of the sun during totality. And look at the details in the sun’s corona, fine, wispy textures, and any possible red prominences hugging against the moon’s disk during totality.

And let’s say it’s now the moment of totality, and you, Mr. Eclipse, can whisper one thing into someone’s ear as they’re watching. What would you say to them?

Enjoy. Just take it all in.

Well, Fred, thank you very much. We really appreciate it.

No, thank you. I hope everybody has some clear sky.

After today, the next total solar eclipse to be visible from the continental United States will occur 20 years from now, in 2044. In other words, you might as well watch today’s.

Here’s what else you need to know today. Israel has fired two officers in connection with the deadly airstrike on aid workers from the World Central Kitchen who were killed last week while delivering food to civilians in Gaza. In a report released on Friday, Israel blamed their deaths on a string of errors made by the military. The airstrike, Israel said, was based on insufficient and incorrect evidence that a passenger traveling with the workers was armed.

Meanwhile, Israel said it withdrew a division of ground troops from Southern Gaza on Sunday, leaving no soldiers actively patrolling the area. The move raises questions about Israel’s strategy as the war drags into its sixth month. In particular, it casts doubt on Israel’s plans to invade Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, an invasion that the United States has asked Israel not to carry out for fear of large-scale civilian casualties.

Today’s episode was produced by Alex Stern and Sydney Harper, with help from Will Reid and Jessica Cheung. It was edited by Devon Taylor; fact-checked by Susan Lee; contains original music by Dan Powell, Marion Lozano, Elisheba Ittoop, and Corey Schreppel; and sound design by Elisheba Ittoop and Dan Powell. It was engineered by Chris Wood. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Anthony Wallace.


That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.

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Hosted by Michael Barbaro

Produced by Sydney Harper and Alex Stern

With Will Reid and Jessica Cheung

Edited by Devon Taylor

Original music by Dan Powell ,  Marion Lozano ,  Elisheba Ittoop and Corey Schreppel

Sound Design by Elisheba Ittoop and Dan Powell

Engineered by Chris Wood

Listen and follow The Daily Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music

Today, millions of Americans will have the opportunity to see a rare total solar eclipse.

Fred Espenak, a retired astrophysicist known as Mr. Eclipse, was so blown away by an eclipse he saw as a teenager that he dedicated his life to traveling the world and seeing as many as he could.

Mr. Espenak discusses the eclipses that have punctuated and defined the most important moments in his life, and explains why these celestial phenomena are such a wonder to experience.

On today’s episode

Fred Espenak, a.k.a. “Mr. Eclipse,” a former NASA astrophysicist and lifelong eclipse chaser.

A black circular object stands out against a black sky with light bursting out around its edge.

Background reading

A total solar eclipse is coming. Here’s what you need to know.

Millions of people making plans to be in the path of the solar eclipse on Monday are expecting an awe-inspiring. What is that feeling?

The eclipse that ended a war and shook the gods forever.

There are a lot of ways to listen to The Daily. Here’s how.

We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

Fact-checking by Susan Lee .

Special thanks to Anthony Wallace.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson and Nina Lassam.

Corey Schreppel leads the technical team that supports all Times audio shows, including “The Daily,” “Hard Fork,” “The Run-Up,” and “Modern Love.” More about Corey Schreppel


The one thing you'll want to do is the only thing not to do while driving during solar eclipse

plan your journey by car

The 2024 solar eclipse will shroud much of the United States in darkness on Monday, leaving many people to wonder: Is it safe to drive during the celestial event?

We know Americans should wear certified eclipse glasses when looking directly at the eclipse. And millions of Americans are in the eclipse's path of totality , the moment that occurs when the moon completely blocks the sun's light from reaching us. During totality, the eclipse can be viewed with the naked eye.

The eclipse will begin in Texas at 1:27 p.m. CDT and end in Maine at 3:35 p.m. EDT, but the exact time of the eclipse varies by where you are in its path. If you plan to drive during this time, you may not only have to contend with traffic , but need to take steps to stay safe.

Here's what to know about driving during the eclipse.

Where to get free solar eclipse glasses: Libraries, Warby Parker and more giving glasses away

Is it safe to drive during an eclipse?

It's safe to drive during an eclipse as long as you don't look up at the sky. AAA is telling drivers to be focused on the road if they are operating a car during the total solar eclipse.

"Anyone operating a vehicle should not be attempting to look up at the sky during the eclipse – their eyes should be on the road," said Aixa Diaz, a spokeswoman from AAA.

The automobile insurance company is advising Americans who want to safely view the total eclipse to "find a safe place to park (not on the side of a road or highway) away from other traffic and then wear your eclipse glasses," Diaz said.

Do not wear eclipse glasses while driving

It should go without saying, but authorities are also reminding people to not drive while wearing eclipse glasses .

The Missouri and Texas departments of transportation are both advising drivers to not wear eclipse glasses during the natural phenomenon and to focus on the road.

"Do not wear eclipse glasses while driving," reads a list of safety tips from the Texas department. Thousands people are expected to drive to towns along the path of totality, including Dallas, ahead of the eclipse.

Several state transportation departments  released similar warnings  ahead of the 2017 total solar eclipse. Wyoming's, for example, warned people traveling to the state about how they wouldn't be able to see the road with solar eclipse glasses on.

"When the glasses are worn, a person shouldn’t be able to see anything except the solar eclipse, which is why it is unsafe for a person to wear them when driving," the warning reads.

"Eclipse glasses are for eclipse viewing, not driving. They shouldn’t be treated like normal sunglasses," Diaz said.


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