Paper maps used to be a classic road trip necessity, but they can get a bit confusing, not to mention quickly outdated. You can still go road tripping, old school style, but save yourself some stress and frustration – mobile navigation apps are where it’s at!
Mobile devices and free apps give users the ability to receive turn-by-turn directions, locate pit stops, be warned about hazards, and find detour routes without the stress of a paper map or expense of an integrated navigation system. While on your summer road trip this summer, here are a few noteworthy navigation apps that you should have handy to help keep your trip fun and carefree.
When it comes to free nav apps, Google Maps is a default app on most Android™ powered devices that continues to set the bar. In comparison to other default apps on other devices such as Apple Maps for iOS or Here Drive + for Windows phones, Google Maps is the frontrunner.
It’s intuitive and user-friendly design, along with its precise turn-by-turn directions for walking, biking, and driving certainly makes it a traveler’s go-to navigation app. Synced up with your Google account, the app allows you to save your favorite destinations. The “Around” feature also helps users find local eateries and attractions. Users can also save offline maps for use without a network connection.
If you’re looking for a free, user-friendly app that’ll get you from point A to point B with the least hassle, Google Maps is right for you.
Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic
Waze is more than just your basic GPS navigation app. Waze allows users to become part of a community that “contributes to the ‘common good’ out there on the road”. Their goal is to improve the quality of every driver’s daily commute to help avoid everyday frustrations. A stress-free commute? How is this possible?
By simply driving with the app running on your phone, you can contribute travel data. Drivers can create user profiles that allow them to submit real time traffic updates including lane closures, traffic jams, construction, as well as police sightings on the road to avoid police traps. With the provided data, Waze gives drivers a heads up about the route to their destinations or suggests potentially faster alternate routes.
Users can also connect the app to social media platforms to help find friends and calculate estimated times of arrival – useful when road tripping with multiple vehicles and trying to keep everyone on track.
Before handheld GPS devices went on the market, before the smart phone, there was MapQuest: the paper map that provided directions in list format. The familiar name can now be trusted when it comes to mobile navigation apps as well.
MapQuest now offers the same convenient turn-by-turn driving navigation in a free mobile app using safer and helpful voice prompts instead of a list of directions. The app also provides walking directions, traffic updates and re-routing to help avoid jams and save you time. You can save your home and work addresses for quick everyday use.
The Mapquest app can be especially handy when traveling long distances and looking for a place to grab gas or lunch – it allows users to add multiple stops during one trip. Different filters that can also provide local points of interest like gas stations with the cheapest prices, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and popular hotel chains, just to name a few.
You can even share directions to destinations through text message with your friends, to help make event planning that much easier.
Which of these apps is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for more #LiquiRoadTrips – where the traditional summer road trip meets modern technology!