Mapquest is a free online web mapping service which has become one of the best places to get directions from. It provides detailed, turn-by-turn driving instructions to any destination in North America while also mapping multiple routes to a certain destination. While most people use Mapquest to figure out how to get to a certain point, you can also use it to locate points of interest, such as restaurants, print out maps of most areas in North America, and find cheap gas prices. Mapquest also offers a free mobile app on iOS and Android, which features real-time traffic and a voice-guided navigation system to help encourage hands-free driving.
Program Your Drive
To map a route, first open a browser window on your computer and go to Mapquest’s home page. You can then decide from two choices: request a map of a certain area or receive directions to/from a specific location. If you need directions, use the box titled “Directions”. Then, select a starting point and destination. Be sure to double check the starting and end addresses to make sure they are the correct ones. At the bottom of the page will be the directions, which you can either copy down or print out. You can choose to add another destination by selecting “Add another stop to your route”, and filling in the required address. If you want a map, select the box that says “Maps”. Similar to the directions page, you have the option of printing out the map at the bottom of the page.
Find Alternate Routes
One of the best features Mapquest has to offer is the ability to find alternate routes to your destination. When you insert a starting point and destination, for example, it may give you two or three routes to take. You can then choose the route you like the best, and choose to have Mapquest pick a route based on shortest time or shortest distance. Mapquest will generally recommend the quickest route, but it will give you the option of selecting a route based on a number of different circumstances. If you wish to avoid toll roads, for example, you can select “no tolls” (or something similar), and the site will give you an alternate route. You can also choose to avoid country borders, ferries, seasonal roads, and highways. Your Mapquest app on your smart phone may also have up to the minute traffic conditions, showing you which roads may have traffic on them, allowing you to take an alternate route so you are not delayed.
There are few risks when using Mapquest. It can be a safety risk, especially if you are using the app on your phone while driving. If you are looking down to read directions while driving, you not only endanger yourself, but others on the road as well. Luckily, the app comes with a voice-guided navigation system, which can read you the directions while you drive. It is also important that you are using the correct address. If you only know certain parts of the address, such as the street and city, Mapquest may be able to locate the right address for you, but it might choose a different address, giving you incorrect directions. This could potentially cause you to get lost.