Enjoy Labor Day travels with these Android apps

by Kristen Nicole

Labor Day is your last hurrah before heading back to school, or buckling back down at the office—your last chance to say goodbye to summer.  If you’re traveling for this holiday weekend, your Android phone is an invaluable tool.

Here are some Android apps that will ensure your Labor Day is all about the fun of the holiday.

Stress-free

Going Lite will get your holiday travel off to a great start with a travel checklist.  The free Android app has pre-set lists with over 150 items, so you won’t forget your toothbrush or your extra set of PJs. Spend 99 cents on the full version, and add reminder notes alongside your lists.

Trip Advisor will orient travelers in most major cities, finding nearby hotels, cheap flights and restaurants. Get recommendations on the best venues to visit while you’re in town, and read the reviews of others that have been there before you. The free Android app lets you search by keyword, city, activity and other categories.

Take your music and movies on the road with the DoubleTwist Player.  This free Android app syncs content with your computer, and acts as a media center on your phone.  Whether you’re on a three-hour plane ride or cruising in the car, a good soundtrack makes all the difference in the world.

Labor Day is historic, but it’s also the onset of several sports seasons. Make sure you’re in the know, across the board, with the Dean’s List trivia app.  For $3.99, you’ll find yourself immersed in a trivia tournament, working your way up the leader boards and putting your idle travel time to good use.

Cars, trains and planes

Google Maps has voice navigation, search, layers and venue details with contact information.  You’ll never get lost with this free app.  Read reviews on nearby businesses and access your saved history, as well as other custom tools. Recent updates for “Latitude” and “Places” makes this free Android app social, so you can see where your friends are headed.

Another helpful orientation tool is WHERE.  This free Android app combines search and recommendations for local businesses.  With specific categories like “cheap gas,” WHERE makes it quick and easy to find what you need during your travels.

Keeping an eye on your car’s efficiency or other travel data?  The Mileage app tracks distance between fill-ups, fuel economy and costs.  Stats and charts make the data easier to digest, with helpful navigation tabs for entering and reading data. Track multiple cars with the free Android app, and calculate your mileage as your journey rolls on.

Making memories

Facebook’s recent Places update makes its Android app better than ever. Upload and tag your trip locations, and share updates with friends.  Other upgrades to the free networking app offer mobile access to “Events,” so you can see where your local friends will be, and when.

Trip Journal is one of the best Android apps for sharing travel notes, with photo, video and text updates that can be sent to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter -- or directly to friends. The scrapbook motif of the $4.99 app adds to its appeal, with GPS integration and other features that make it drop-dead simple to use.