“I did it.” Clark Griswold (Main character from the movie Christmas Vacation) said to himself as he looked up into the cold night sky on Christmas Eve.


Because despite all of things that could go wrong and everything teetering at the, “…threshold of Hell.” Clark persevered and held his family together long enough to make a memorable Christmas for the whole gang. You can do the same thing this Christmas (minus the atrocities that Clark had to deal with) by using your trusty iPhone.


Let’s start with travel and how you can help your extended family (even cousin Eddie) get to your house safe and on time.

Here are a few apps that can help them arrive safely:

(You can send each app as a gift by tapping the share icon when you’re in the App Store and on the page for the app.)


1) Apple Maps = Great directions and beautiful maps. In the beginning this wasn’t the case, but they have since corrected their errors, and Maps is now one of the best map applications on the market. (Turn-by-turn voice prompts are now a standard with Maps.)

(Free and already installed on your iPhone)


2) Garmin Street Pilot = It does everything the Apple Maps application can do, but includes a few nifty little extras (PhotoReal junction views, speed display with alerts, and red light camera warnings.) Garmin being a titan in the GPS industry offers in-app purchases that will give you handy information such as real-time traffic updates, photolive traffic cameras and fuel pricing.

($49.99 not a bad price for a true GPS app)


3) TomTom = Another titan in the GPS industry uses their signature look and style to keep you updated on traffic, estimate time, nearby gas stations & restaurants, and delay times.

(.99¢ to start with a 30 day trial, but $24.99 is the cost of the full license that you can buy inside the application.)


If your loved one is flying in, then try these apps:

1) Flight Tracker Free (Airport Maps, plane layouts, departure/arrival times, and Arrival weather) It’s hard to beat for the price of free.

2) FlightAware Flight Tracker (Flight Status, Private and Commercial tracking, Gate/Terminal info and changes, delays, flight connections.)

3) Kayak Pro Flights, Hotels & Cars (Flight status, trip timelines, time travel ‘peek ahead in your trip’, price alerts, and private deals.)



For the passengers in the car or plane staying busy is important. So, here are few suggestions to keep them occupied:

1) Word & Puzzle games: Ruzzle, Word Streak With Friends

2) Classics: Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Air Hockey Gold

5) Role Playing Games: Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy VII Baldur’s Gate, The Bard’s Tale, Super Dangerous Dungeons, Bastion, Legend of Grimrock, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf, Evoland, Icewind Dale:Enhanced Edition.

6) First person shooter games: Modern Combat 5:Blackout, Deus Ex:The Fall, Nova 3: Freedom Edition, Republique, Call of Duty:Strike Team, Dead Trigger 2, Epoch 2, Frontline Commando 2, Fields of Battle, ProGame-Max Payne 3, and Dead Effect.

7) Reading: Scribd, Kindle,iBooks, and Kobo

8) Movies: Amazon Video and iTunes Store (Built into your iPhone)


1) Relax+ with Andrew Johnson, Sleep Pillow Sounds, Sleep Time+

2) Heart Rate (Similar to a pulse oximeter)

With all of these apps to help the family get to your house safely, relaxed and entertained you’ll be the hero of the season. Take care everyone and have a happy holiday.

(Remember to bring your charger to keep your iPhone in working order.)