It seems there's an app for everything these days. They can truly keep you sane during a busy holiday season, but only IF you know which ones to download. Here's a list of some of my favorites that have proved to be helpful when traveling.
If you know of other great apps to download or have opinions on these, leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
1: WDBJ7 WEATHER APP: Duh, this has to be on every Android and iOS device to keep you ahead of problem spots and let you know what type of clothes to pack as you head home for the holidays. It works on Android and Apple devices and has an interactive weather map with every layer imaginable. Let the phone track your location and alert you of severe weather warnings/watches. You'll also get the 10-day forecast for any location imaginable. Did we mention it's FREE and works most anywhere you travel. DOWNLOAD: APPLE | ANDROID
2: VDOT 511: The VDOT 511 mobile application provides real-time access to traffic and road weather information supplied by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Traffic information includes current traffic speeds on interstate and selected primary routes, the latest incident and construction information and bridge status. Road weather information shows the severity of road conditions and road closures caused by weather. The information, which is regularly and automatically updated, is provided to the user through voice alerts and is also shown in real-time on maps along with the location of the user. DOWNLOAD: APPLE | ANDROID
3: FLIGHTVIEW FLIGHT TRACKER: Flight tracking app from the leaders in real-time flight information. Track flights and save them to your My Trips list. Get instant alerts when flight status changes. Easily share your trip itinerary or flight status. View a national airport delay map with weather. Optimized for both phone and tablets! DOWNLOAD: APPLE | ANDROID
4: GATE GURU: Do you get frustrated in airports? Not sure where the freshest food is or where the closest gift shops are located? Stuck with a long layover only to have a terrible meal? Walking around aimlessly in hopes of finding a good book for your flight or that last minute souvenir for your loved one? Standing on the security line forever only to find your best food options were pre-security? If you can relate to any of these situations, then GateGuru is for you. DOWNLOAD: APPLE | ANDROID
5: SHOPSAVVY BARCODE SCANNER: Thanksgiving dinner is the biggest meal that most of us prepare all year, and grocery costs can add up. The ShopSavvy Barcode Scanner lets you use your phone’s camera to read product barcodes. This lets you compare prices to see if you can get a better deal at another nearby store or online. DOWNLOAD: APPLE | ANDROID
Narrowing down apps to just five is difficult, so here's a few more that I've downloaded and enjoy. Try them out. Don't take my word for it. Most are free, but the LiveATC is worth the $2.99 in my opinion.
EPICURIOUS APP: One of the best recipe apps around. You’ll have access to Epicurious.com’s database of over 30,000 recipes, including recipes for holiday favorites like turkey, stuffing, and more. You can save favorite recipes for quick access when it’s time to start cooking and create shopping lists so you don’t forget anything at the store. It's FREE. DOWNLOAD: APPLE | ANDROID
LIVE ATC: LiveATC for Android provides a quick and easy way to listen in on live conversations between pilots and air traffic controllers near many airports around the world. LiveATC for Android lets you browse by U.S. state or by country to find an airport and listen in to live air traffic conversations at or near a given airport. You can also use the "Nearby" feature to find an airport near you. You can then add any channel to your Favorites list for quick and easy access. $2.99 DOWNLOAD: APPLE | ANDROID
PBS VIDEO APP: Save money (and time) downloading videos to your iPad before a trip. The PBS Kids Video app has several clips from your child’s favorite shows like Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Guy, Sesame Street, Curious George, The Electric Company, Martha Speaks and more. Use the browse function to see a list of what’s available, including a smattering of full episodes. DOWNLOAD: APPLE | ANDROID
ROADTRIP BINGO: If your child is sitting up high enough to see out the car window, they’re old enough to play this fun game where you look for signs and vehicles to complete a bingo card. Share between two kids in the back seat with the two-player option. Keeps them busy. DOWNLOAD: APPLE | ANDROID