The best smartphone apps for your driving holiday

You’ve booked your car hire, sorted your policy and got yourself and the kids packed. All that’s left to think about now is how to keep everyone entertained on the drive and making sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Here’s a selection of great apps that we think might help.

1. Google Maps

Never get lost again! Even when you leave the car you can get directions on foot to that restaurant you’ve been searching for, or that landmark that you swore was just around the corner.

Available on: (iOS / Android / Other devices)

It 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.

2. Audible

This great service allows you to download from a choice of over 60,000 audio books to your device before you head off, then you can listen to your favourite book while you drive. It’s also a great way to keep the kids quiet and entertained in the back with headphones on, while you listen to your music for a change.

Available on: (iOS / Android / Windows Phone / Blackberry)

3. Spotify

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.

Available on: (iOS / Android / Windows Phone / Blackberry)

4. Games

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!

Angry Birds: (iOS / Android / Windows Phone / Blackberry)

Fruit Ninja: (iOS / Android / Windows Phone)

5. 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, and being an augmented reality app, it allows 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)

6. 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.

Available on: (iOS / Android)

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.

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