Never get lost again! Even when you leave the car you can get directions on foot to restaurants, tourist attractions, hotels and more.
If you’re not a confident map reader, Google maps will even give you turn-by-turn navigation (iOS and Android), meaning you can save money on renting a sat-nav from the rental company, just don’t forget about your network’s data charges when you’re abroad.
If you’re using Google maps while driving, it’s advisable to have your device in a holder so that you can see it without having to hold it or take your eyes off the road. Alternatively, ask one of your passengers to help.
Download audio books to your device. Choose from over 60,000 titles and download yourself a mini library before you head off. Then simply hook your device up to your car stereo and listen to your favourite book while you drive. It’s also a great way to keep the kids quiet and entertained in the back either by having them listen to it through headphones on your device or (if you’re very tolerant!) out loud on the car stereo.
It goes without saying; don’t change books or skip chapters on your device while driving as this will distract you from the road. Safety first.
If you don’t want to take a collection of CDs with you, Spotify is the ideal alternative. A monthly subscription allows you to stream from over a million songs directly to your device (make sure to check your data plan, especially as roaming costs can be significantly higher abroad). Not only can you listen to as much music as your ears can handle, you can share your playlists and songs on Facebook directly from the app.
Again, we can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your eyes on the road and your hands free. Even if you’ve accidently added “Barbie girl” to a play list, think about the safety of you and your passengers before taking your hand off the wheel and diving for the skip button.
Where to start? There are thousands of great games for keeping the children (or big kids) busy on those long drives to the south of France. Angry Birds, for instance, has been downloaded over a billion times in its various iterations. Games like Fruit Ninja allow for multiplayer over two devices, or if you’re lucky enough to have an iPad, you can have two players on one screen. Dig into the games section of your devices app store and you might never come out!
Ok, we know you’re not silly but we still have to say it; don’t play games while you drive. Do so and you’ll be playing with your life and the lives of your passengers and other road users.
Car finder AR
One problem with hiring a car is that you might forget what it looks like, making finding your car a problem. It’s not as stupid as it sounds. Car Finder AR is one of many apps that help you remember where you’ve parked. The app uses augmented reality to allow you to use the camera as a viewfinder, overlaying your view with an icon, telling you how far away it is. It will also provide you with walking directions and handy timed reminders so you don’t risk getting a ticket.
Available on: (Android)
Lonely Planet apps
Lonely Planet has a series of apps and eBooks for Android, iOS and Nokia phones. Once you have the free app, you can purchase city guides (currently available for over 70 cities), audio phrasebooks and audio walking tours – perfect for enjoying a trip at your own pace.
These are just a few of the best apps out there. There are thousands of apps available to make your road trip more interesting, just remember to drive safely and never use your mobile phone whilst driving. Leave it to the passengers.
Do you have a favourite travel app that we’ve missed off our list? Get in touch on Facebook or Twitter and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.