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Stress-free travel Android apps for Thanksgiving

by Kristen Nicole

Bus, plane or train. Many of you will be traveling come the end of November, headed halfway across the country to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones. It’s a long weekend but a short holiday, which makes Thanksgiving the busiest travel holiday of the year. Stay safe, and sane, with a few Android apps designed to help navigate your surroundings and plan for your trip. From flight tracking to last-minute hotel deals, road trip aids and cheap gas finders, your Android device is equipped to make this the easiest holiday of the year.

Kayak (Free)

This app is useful for Thanksgiving travel for multiple reasons. You can search multiple booking services all at once. That means you can compare flight, hotel and car rental deals at once, and book directly from the app. And while Kayak is known for its comparative search capabilities, it can also help predict the best time to purchase an airline ticket for most domestic destinations. If you have the opportunity to research flights early, take advantage of Kayak’s extensive search options to make the best, and most affordable decision possible. An added bonus: you can track flight statuses directly from Kayak as well.

FlightTrack ($4.99)

Kayak may be able to track flights, but their add-on feature is nothing compared to FlightTrack, an Android app dedicated to this tedious task. The app delivers real-time flight statuses, including boarding and arrival gates, delays and cancellations. You can view flights on a map as well as interactive flight cards. FlightTrack spans 16,000 airports around the world, tracking 1,400 airlines on a global scale. The pro version is worth consideration for Thanksgiving travelers in a pinch, as it helps you find alternative flights when you’re faced with extreme delays or cancellations. With the pro version you’ll also get a homescreen widget, delay forecasts, SeatGuru seating maps and more.

Hotel Tonight (Free)

Thanksgiving travel is condensed and expensive, leaving little room for error. Whether your flight was cancelled or you just need a place to rest your head during a cross-country road trip, Hotel Tonight finds immediate deals on local hotels. With booking until 2am, Hotel Tonight keeps you from having to sleep on terminal seats, and the massive discounts don’t hurt either! Now global, Hotel Tonight supports bookings in London, Amsterdam and beyond, so global travelers can always find a place to crash.

Gas Buddy (Free)

Driving home for Thanksgiving? You need the GasBuddy app. This free Android app locates the cheapest gas prices in your vicinity, helping you get through road trips with cost effectiveness. This crowd-sourced app lets you discover and submit local gas prices, helping all road trippers this holiday season. Search by city or zip code, earn rewards and points for reporting gas prices and become part of a larger, budget-conscious community.

Audible for Android (Free)

Not too long ago I set a 12-month goal to read 40 books. I’m currently at twelve, and I fully intend to make headway during Thanksgiving holiday travel, with the help of Audible. It’s a great way to passively take in a book (we don’t all learn by osmosis), narrated through your earbuds as you while away the hours waiting for a flight, sitting on a plane, or in a car for hours. Loaded with over 100k books, Audible has bestsellers, classics, news, interviews and every other genre you can imagine. You can download books to your device, navigate through chapters and sections, change the narration speed and switch between reading and listening format with Whispersync for Voice (requires an Android-powered Kindle).

AllTrails - Hiking & Biking (Free)

Even when traveling, I look for the nearest gym. Thanksgiving is particularly pertinent, with all that sleep-inducing turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potato souffle. It’s enough to make anyone skip a workout or three, but the holiday season doesn't have to start that way.  Curb holiday pounds with AllTrails, an app that can help you find local trails for hiking, biking, jogging and more. Browse over 40k trail guides for outdoor activities, which means you can stay active wherever you go. Trail reviews, top maps and routes and photos are included, and trails can also be downloaded for offline use. Even if you only make it out for a post-turkey constitutional, your body (and belly) will thank you later.