Driving home for the holidays and in need of some apps to help make the journey run a little smoother? We’ve rounded up 10 apps that will do exactly that. Whether they’re simply helping you get from A to B, or giving you some interesting insights along the way, they’re essential additions for keeping you sane and keen as you drive.
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1. Waze (Free) - If you only download one navigation app, Waze should be it. Entirely free, it's the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app. It relies on users to share what they witness, giving others the heads up when traffic is bad. Alongside that is turn-by-turn voice guided navigation, automatic rerouting, and frequently updated live maps.
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2. Scout (Free) - Scout works a lot like Waze, but offers more of a focus on giving your friends and loved ones a heads up on your arrival. Besides allowing you to chat easily as you travel, you can use Scout to arrange a meet up - a pitstop on your long journey - so you can catch up easily while on your way somewhere.
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3. Google Maps (Free) - Understandably the go-to app for many, Google Maps offers voice-guided navigation whether you're driving, walking, or cycling. Covering 220 countries and territories, as well as providing transit directions and maps for over 15,000 cities and towns, Google Maps will keep track of things for you, as well as offer some destinations to visit along the way.
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4. Mapquest (Free) - Mapquest uses various calculations to work out the best mode of transportation for you, based on the time of day, cost, weather and situation. If you're walking, it'll estimate how many calories you'll burn and, if you want to take a cab, it'll consult Uber, car2go and other services to work out what's best for you.
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5. Urgent.ly (Free) - Kind of like Uber, but for roadside assistance, Urgent.ly means you can enjoy help as and when you need it, rather than having to pay an annual membership fee. The app will detect your precise location before dispatching a tow truck, with mapping functionality meaning you'll always know how far away they are from you. You can pay via credit card or Apple Pay once your problem has been fixed, too.
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6. Yelp (Free) - A favorite whether you're driving or walking around a new area, Yelp makes it easy to find great new local businesses, through its millions of user submitted reviews. You can easily look up details and even make reservations online through the app before adding your own reviews and tips.
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7. AAA Mobile (Free) - Despite the name, this isn't just an app for those who have a AAA membership. AAA Mobile also provides a place to check on more than 59,000 hotels and restaurants, plan a trip and book a hotel or rental car. Members can also enjoy discounts across many of the locations.
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8. GasBuddy (Free) - Gas prices can change drastically depending on where you go. GasBuddy does all the hard work for you, easily finding the cheapest gas thanks to crowd sourcing efforts. Find a great price that hasn't been previously reported? You can submit it yourself, while benefiting from a chance to win $100 worth of gas for doing so.
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9. Roadtrippers (Free) - Roadtrippers will keep you entertained, letting you know all about the best places to visit on your journey. The app will help you find the best hotels, restaurants, diners, as well as local scenic spots you might not already know about. It adds some much needed personality to your trip.
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10. Along the Way ($2.99) - Want more advice on where to visit while you travel? Along the Way does that. Simply type a theme into the search bar and the app will come up with some relevant suggestions. If you're not sure of what you're after you can browse by category, too. Each result comes up with a photo, special deals, opening hours, as well as those all important directions.