What a year we've had so far, I think I need a vacation! Honestly, a lot of us are just happy to have jobs, our families, and our health intact. Whether you get to go on vacation this year or not, it's always great to have some help when you're traveling. And one of the best things about my car is that it has Apple CarPlay, which you can see a demo of below. I had no idea that this was going to make my life so much easier, especially because it is voice activated. And trust me, I'm not a technology whiz, and even I can manage to use the features.

I've also gathered up some of my favorite apps to make travel easier, with a little help from USA TODAY. I promise you, none of them are scary, and they really are fun to use. And not just for summer vacation, either. They are listed below, but I would love to hear about some of your go-to travel apps as well. Have fun on your summer vacay, y'all.

  • Waze. Driving directions, arrival times, accident alerts and shortcuts. All in real time. Oh, it also lets you know if there are police on the road ahead. This app has saved me so much time, and gotten me out of traffic jams many times. I even use it while just driving in town.
  • Around Me - shows you what is nearby, and how to get there on Google maps. Looking for a local bakery or ATM machine? This is your go-to. This app has helped me out so much when I'm in a city or town that I've never visited before.
  • Google Translate - real time translations in over 59 different languages. It also includes camera translation, where you can point at a sign and it translates what it says for you. This is perfect for the international traveler, whether you are proficient in the language or not. And honestly, how great would this be to use in cities like San Francisco or New York, where there are wonderful neighborhoods like Little Italy or Chinatown to explore? You wouldn't have to act like a tourist at all!
  • Moovit - Everything you need to know about mass transit, including schedules, times, and live updates. Particularly good if you live in a smaller city, and you're not used to looking for bus, subway, or train info.
  • Mobil Passport. Really good info if you are going to be traveling overseas. This is definitely the one you need to get. USA Today says 'It lets you submit your passport control and customs declaration information through your phone, replacing the traditional blue-and-white paper declaration form required of most travelers entering the U.S. by air or sea.'
  • Google Maps.  This is one of my favorites. It's not perfect, but if you are traveling in an unfamiliar place it can be a lifesaver. Just FYI - It can be tricky if you're trying to get to a place that doesn't have a standard spelling.




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