Where is the best place to get free driving directions? Not all of us have vehicles equipped with navigation systems or want to purchase a stand-alone GPS unit to help us reach our destinations. Here's a look at some of the best places to find driving directions for free.
Where to Find Free Driving Directions
- MapQuest - To find the best route to your destination, simply enter a starting address and ending address. Once MapQuest calculates the route, a map will appear with street names and a red line showing you which way to drive. You can also click on "Get Directions" for a written version and print both the map and the written directions. MapQuest allows you to find various types of businesses you might need along your way, such as grocery stores, gasoline stations, restaurants, and hospitals. Directions can be emailed or shared on places like Facebook or Digg, and if you have an iPhone, you can even download a MapQuest application directly to your cell phone. New to MapQuest are 360-degree views, traffic updates, and instant gasoline prices in the area where you are driving. This site will provide an estimated time of arrival and the number of miles you will travel.
- Yahoo Maps - With Yahoo Maps, enter your point A address and your destination or point B address. Yahoo Maps instantly offers a standard map and hybrid and satellite maps that show geography images. You can send your trip directions to your email or cell phone, but Yahoo Maps warns that some cell phone carriers charge a fee for this service. There are live traffic updates available and a handy feature is their "get reverse directions" for your trip home. Written driving directions do not appear on the screen but do appear when printed. With Yahoo Maps you also get trip distance in miles and time.
- Google Maps - A visit to Google Maps initially shows a map of the United States. From there, click on the "Get Directions" tab on the upper left and enter your starting and destination address. Google Maps offers you a choice of directions by car, public transportation, or walking. Once your driving directions are calculated, you'll see both a map with a visible blue line, as well written directions on the left. You can print, email, or send your trip map to some in-vehicle model navigation systems and stationery GPS systems like Garmin and Tom Tom. Google Maps also offers instant traffic, satellite and terrain maps. You can save your trips with Google to reuse in the future and set default starting destinations.
- Rand McNally - First enter your starting and destination address and hit the "Get Directions" button. The next screen provides both written directions and a map outlining your route; however, you have to scroll down through advertisements to see both. You can save, email, and print your trip, and Rand McNally offers an "Add a Stop" feature that is good for long trips where you might need down time. Rand McNally's "Plan a Trip" feature is nice, especially for long-distance trips. This feature even asks you if you will be driving with kids to help you find things to do along the way. Planning a trip is easy at Rand McNally, and you can easily print hard copies of both maps and written directions with your planned stops.
Tips For Online Driving Directions
- Explore - Visit each free driving directions website to explore and browse. Take some time to see what they have to offer. Some services are better for short-distance trips, while others provide more detailed information on hotels, things to do along the way, and add-a-stop features.
- Compare - Route your trip on more than one driving directions website, and compare distance and travel time. If you are traveling in a very rural area, some of these websites will not have weather or real traffic updates available.
- Save - Whether you use one or more of these websites to help you travel, use the save features. This way, when you plan another trip, your starting points are readily available. Most sites will let you save more than one starting destination.
- Cell Phone Transfer - Check with your cell phone carrier before sending driving directions to your phone to make sure this service is free. Some carriers charge a fee that appears on your monthly statement.
Free driving directions are easy to find on the Internet, and while all of them are slightly different, each has options and preferences to suit everyone's driving needs.