Archives for General Info

  1. holidaytravelThe travel journalists behind MapQuest today unveiled a series of tips for surviving the busiest travel period of the year, which unequivocally falls during Thanksgiving week.  These tips cover off on air, rail and car travel tips to decrease costs, increase convenience and efficiency, and deliver travelers more easily to their destinations.

    “Most of us have experienced the challenges travel can create any given day, but the time around Thanksgiving introduces inclement weather, larger travel crowds, greater variety in travel fluency and increased costs can cause greater chaos and uncertaintly,” said Michael Yessis, editor-in-chief, MapQuest.  “MapQuest has always tried to eliminate the worry from wayfinding, and our tips address the primary pain points of travel during peak times.”


    Busiest Time of the Year to Travel

    Some of MapQuest’s heaviest traffic falls prior to Thanksgiving Day when folks are determining bigger vacation itineraries for the holiday season or last-minute plans for smaller getaways and overnights over the Thanksgiving weekend.  The editorial team responds to inquiries MapQuest has received from its community, as well as issues they’ve experienced in their tenures as travel journalists. Though not an exhaustive list, top tips are below:


    Charge and Prep Devices

    A delay can sneak up without warning, and coveted outlets are not always readily available at airports or train stations.  Charging a phone or tablet, and also inputting numbers for the customer service line of the airline carrier can serve displaced travelers well.  Portable chargers are another good idea.


    Use Twitter as a Travel Resource

    Twitter is increasingly becoming the go-to place for travelers to resolve issues that arise during their travels. Some airlines are responding by stepping up their presence in the social sphere. American Airlines, for instance, will be adding extra resources to its Twitter team around the Thanksgiving holiday. Need help with a missed connection? Can’t locate a checked bag? Need to rebook? Travelers may want to consider Tweeting at their carrier.


    Have Alternative Routes and Travel Options Ready

    Those affected by a cancelled flight won’t likely find an agent with time to spend researching re-booking options.  The savvy traveller will take screen shots of other potential itineraries and note local or regional airports as backup destinations.  Having that information at hand can provide travelers with greater flexibility and a greater likelihood they will arrive sooner.


    Keep Overnight Items On-person in Case of Delays

    Many tips stem from the possibility of a delay, which can be even greater at certain airports; but nobody wants to be stuck without a toothbrush or contact lens fluid during a delay that extends into the night. Those small personal items can make travelers more comfortable while waylaid without baggage. With the 3-1-1 rule at the airport, though, all liquids must fit in a container of 3.4 ounces or less.


    Plan with the MapQuest App

    The MapQuest app provides alternate routes and can direct travelers around trouble spots. Should the vehicle need a tow, run out of gas, lock out the driver, MapQuest’s free navigation apps on iOS, Android and Amazon provide integrated, on-demand roadside assistance via  Now travelers can find local, reliable roadside service providers, connect with them via the app and track their arrival to the car in real time.


    Gas Up in Advance

    Lines are inevitably long the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Nobody wants to add a gas station pit stop to what will probably be an already long and stressful drive.  Gassing up early in the week can provide shorter lines, better prices and a streamlined start to the holiday weekend.


    Board Early Using Amtrak’s Red Cap Baggage Service

    Red Cap agents can carry a passenger’s bags to the train early and, in doing so, deliver that passenger to the train and even to her seat before general boarding. It’s a free service, though tipping is recommended. Red Caps are available at 12 major stations, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Note: Passengers will need to ask an agent to help. Red Caps can’t solicit work.


    Stock Up on the Kids’ Stuff

    Charge their devices. Stash extra batteries in the glove compartment. Download a favorite movie onto a tablet. Leave a new game or toy in their seat for them to discover when they get in the car. Pack lots of snacks. And the experienced guardian will also invest in kid-friendly headphones.


    Use a GPS Luggage Tracker

    To operate, travelers can place a GPS luggage device inside luggage to always know the location of their belongings. If the bag fails to arrive at the destination, travelers can let the airline know exactly where it is, whether that’s inside the building or on another continent. Engadget points to Trakdot ($49.99) as one option.


    Don’t Be That Stressed-out Traveler

    With so many extra errands and activities to facilitate during the holidays, travelers may want an extra hour or two to get to the airport or train station as to not feel harried. Not only will they feel less stress, but they can benevolently reduce other travelers’ stress by stopping to help pick up the toddler’s fallen toy or by stepping aside to let someone through a doorway. Planning ahead can make stressful situations better for all.


    MapQuest editors spend every day writing about travel, reading about travel and, yes, actually going on trips. We want to help you travel better, so we’ll be sharing our favorite tips, secrets and discoveries from the road in this Editors’ Column.

    Have comments or questions? Find us on Facebook or Twitter!

  2. Each year I look forward to Monster Help Day. It’s a great way to spend time with my co-workers while giving back to our community. This year was extra special, as I was nominated to choose the day’s activities and decided to return to the Denver Children’s Home for the 2nd year in a row. These kids have so little and the team’s rewarding experience last year made such an impact on them that they were excited to be a part of it again this year.

    Denver Children’s Home (DCH) restores hope and health to traumatized children and families through a comprehensive array of therapeutic, educational, and community-based services. As the first non-profit in Colorado, Denver Children’s Home was originally created by Colorado’s founding families as the Denver orphan’s Home in 1876 to take care of the orphans building railroads, working in the mines, and the thousands of poorly housed homeless children.

    Our day consisted of several projects including, cleaning up the garden, and painting the 2nd floor, deep cleaning and my favorite part–cooking lunch for the staff and kids (a total of 80 people). We made tacos and had a sundae bar with all the toppings–THEY LOVED IT! The kids were so excited and told us it was their favorite meal. It was great interacting with them and seeing first-hand how our contributions impacted their day. We were able to create a fun and friendly atmosphere, and with one boy in particular who was celebrating his birthday, a lasting and positive impression.

    This experience with DCH is especially rewarding for me as I’ve prior experience working with abused children. Before I came to AOL, I was a social worker for 10 years at the Denver Family Crisis Center.  Working with kids on a day-to-day basis can be a challenge and leaves its mark—usually with frustration and exhaustion for those involved. As a mother I am grateful to have a wonderful family and be able to provide for them, so taking the time to pitch in to help DCH–weeding their garden, painting their walls a little brighter, and making their lunch a little tastier and fun—is just another way to make a difference.

    I keep in touch with Denver Children’s Home throughout the year to see how MapQuest can help with supplies for the kids, whether its shampoo, body wash, clothes, head phones or other needs; we keep a box in the office and I take it over as it gets full. We even have interest from co-workers to continue to cook for the kids either once a month or on a quarterly basis so I will be organizing that soon. I love working for a company that allows us to do such wonderful things and has amazing values. We really are in the business of helping people. Period.

  3. Travel is more fun today, isn’t it?  Travel is easier, more intuitive, more fulfilling and just plain better.  If you had asked the good people who founded MapQuest in 1996, I think they would have shared that their hope for this — the pioneer provider of online maps and directions — would be to do just that: Make travel better.

    Nearly two decades later, that’s why we MapQuest folk get out of bed every day.  Our teams around the country and partners across the globe spend literally every second on the job working, yes, to improve travel, but also to expand your idea of how we can help make your DAY better.

    As consumers, we look for help making 254,800 decisions each year.  It’s exhausting!  Just trying to decide what’s for dinner or where to take fido for a groom can spin the day in a sour direction.

    But what if that didn’t have to happen?  What if MapQuest were there to help with the most remedial decisions required every day?

    Friends, that day is here.  If you haven’t checked out the new MapQuest Local experience launched just last month, that’s a good place to start.

    • Taking Timmy to a soccer game and need to have dinner waiting when you get home?  Review menus and order online from hundreds of thousands of restaurants nationwide.
    • Did your favorite professional hockey team surprise everyone and make it to the second round?  Let us help you try and find last-minute tickets.

    And don’t miss the myriad of other functionalities from booking an appointment and checking your flight status to finding a hotel or making a dinner reservation. It’s the beginnings of what we believe will be the best single source of local discovery and experience on the planet.

    Though we find people appreciate printed directions and riding shotgun with them, millions have taken a liking to our free, re-imagined navigation apps launched late in 2013.  Our heralded iOS and Android apps focus on the three most important areas for our consumers:

    • Safety: Our upside-down mode means you don’t have to monkey with your phone to navigate the road.  Keep your hands on the 10-and-2, and we’ll flip things around for you.
    • Accuracy: Nobody in this business offers the plethora of algorithms we do to get you there, even if road conditions change and an alternate route is required.
    • Relevancy: Driving more than a few hours on your trip?  Drag and drop the map icon to find hotel options along your route.

    There’s a lot to see and do with the new MapQuest these days, and while we hope you take a peek at these meaningful offerings, we’re not even close to being done with them.  Keep an eye on us these next few months as we continue to roll out features to make the every day better.  Because it’s what happens AFTER you get there that matters, isn’t it?

    We’d love to hear from you!  Tell us what you think and what you want: @MapQuest or

    About the Author

    General Manager, MapQuest
  4. Our goal is simple: to make MapQuest the best place to work in the world. With this in mind, our amazingly talented team held the First MapQuest Culture Hack Day yesterday where we stopped our day-to-day work, and transformed into culture hackers dedicated to improving the quality of our MapQuest life.

    What is culture hacking you might ask?  Here’s just a sampling of what we accomplished:

    • Built a MapQuest branded beer-bike – which will hold a full keg, seating and a counter top bar.
    • Crafted a new tiki-bar for the Denver office – made from a real 30 foot boat.
    • Installed a new doorbell system in our Lancaster office to notify the team when someone arrives.
    • Completely revamped the MapQuest new employee on-boarding process (including a website).
    • Created a foozball scoring system and ping pong scoring system to keep track of scores – with a fully functioning iPhone app.
    • Beautifying our patios in Lancaster, Dulles and Denver

    #MapQuestCultureHack was officially a success. Cheers to making a great place to work even better!

    p.s. Sound like a place you want to work?  Good news,  we’re hiring.

  5. In case you hadn’t heard, you can now book hotels, flights and rental cars right from, making it incredibly easy to get directions and book travel all from one place!  To show you how easy it is, we’re giving away one trip per day for the next 30 days.  Yes, that’s 30 trips in 30 days.  How do you enter?  Just book travel on MapQuest and that’s it!  Plus, you can get 3 more chances to win just by sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest after you book.

    Road trippers, business travelers, weekend warriors – you’re booking travel already, why not book on MapQuest and see if your trip will be paid for?  Just like other travel sites, you can search, compare and book hotel rooms at thousands of chain and independent hotels around the world, including hotel specials like instant discounts, free breakfast, and more.  You’ll also have access to thousands of rental cars worldwide and airline tickets with almost all major airlines.

    The only question remaining now is what you would do with all that extra cash…another vacation perhaps?  ;-)

    *No purchase necessary.  Reimbursement up to $5,000.  See Official Rules to learn how to enter without a purchase.



  6. With the recent release of MapQuest Travel Blogs, we’re excited to start using it ourselves. We’ll be taking photos and sharing our trip down to Austin later this week along with some friends.

    Cell service is sometimes spotty on the road, and our free Travel Blogs app was built with this in mind. You can build your blog and add photos and reviews while offline and then sync all your posts once you find internet again.

    We’ve collected all of our Austin blogs on one Best of Austin page so you can join in our adventures.  You’ll find:

    There will also be 5 live blogs starting at the end of the week. If you like music, bbq and shenanigans, follow along by subscribing to any or all of them:

    • RVSXers – Sit shot gun with the RVSXers as they road trip in an RV from Chicago to Austin (and back).
    • Jeremy – 10 days in Austin…or at least staying as long as he can handle.  Follow along to see if he makes it.
    • Monika – Telling us all about The Sounds of Austin…pretty sure there will be some stories live music in this one.
    • Kaitlyn – Your eyes are never bored at SXSW…as you’ll find out via Kaitlyn’s blog, The Sights of Austin.
    • Anke – Foodaholics rejoice!  Anke’s blogging about yummy food trucks and awesome hidden gem restaurants in downtown Austin. Follow along and give her your suggestions for what to try and what to avoid.

    No matter if you’re planning to experience SXSW in person or virtually, keep our Best of Austin guide handy.  If you are lucky enough to go, you can create your own Austin blog on or get the iPad / iPhone app here.

    MapQuest's Best of Austin Guide

  7. We had a big year at MapQuest and we wanted to thank you for being a part of it!
    Here’s just a quick run down of the 2012 highlights:

    MapQuest Discover

    In the fall we debuted MapQuest Discover, a photo-rich travel board where you can plan your next adventure, share photos of places and cities you’ve been, get inspired by great trip guides from our MapQuest travel writers, or even learn about new places to visit from other people like you. More

    MapQuest Local

    MapQuest Vibe expanded into MapQuest Local. Now you can get insider info like travel guides, reviews & ratings, best restaurants, your friend’s activity, and more for hundreds of cities and all 50 states. More

    Mobile Apps

    We’ve been working hard on our free iPhone and Android apps, so that cheap gas and voice-guided directions that beat traffic are only a tap away. More

    The year saw changes to the site that allow you to hide the steps out of your neighborhood, find the cheapest gas and easily view the best places in any neighborhood.More

    MapQuest API

    For the developers out there, we released our iOS and Android Map APIs, which brings flexible routing, accurate geocoding, and beautiful maps to your own mobile apps. We also refreshed the styling on our Open Map Tiles, updated our Open JavaScript API, and released our Open Geocoding API. More

    MapQuest Culture

    From community gardens to clothing drives, picnics to holiday parties, we made it a point to be active in the community again this year. And with lots of exciting new projects in the pipeline, we’re continually looking for talented folks to join us.

    Big Plans for 2013

    In 2013, you’ll see us continue to improve what you’ve come to love about MapQuest, including exciting new products that move us further along in our vision for the future: to inspire your travel time, family time, free time, anytime; wherever the map meets your life.

    Every month, 36+ MILLION* of you shared the journey with us.
    Looking forward to another great year with you!

    Your friends at:


    * Source: Avg over calendar year, comScore 2012

  8. Just last week, we announced MapQuest Discover, our new photo-rich site that inspires afternoon, weekend and weeklong adventures. To celebrate, we also launched the MapQuest Discover Never Bored Sweepstakes. Yes, that’s right – Never Bored. No matter if you’re desktop daydreaming or actually planning a trip, Discover helps with all of that and more.

    So, how does this relate to the sweepstakes? Well, we want to make all of this inspiration a reality. How does a trip to Key West, FL, Las Vegas, NV, Vail, CO or San Diego, CA sound? Or 700+ instant win travel-related prizes (digital cameras, luggage, gas cards, etc)?

    Enter every day between now and December 20. Remember to come back daily and share with friends as you can get a total of 190 entries to win your dream trip (not to mention one of the great instant wins). Less than a week into it, we’ve already given away more than 116 prizes!

    We hope the MapQuest Discover Never Bored Sweepstakes inspires YOU and your next adventure. Good luck!

  9. There’s a lot of buzz right now around mapping and navigation since Apple removed Google Maps as their preloaded mapping provider and launched their own version of voice guided navigation on the new iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 that hit stores today.

    As two of our biggest competitors in the industry battle it out, the free voice-guided turn-by-turn MapQuest iPhone navigation app continues to grow, helping millions of people each month confidently get them to their destinations. Having pioneered free voice-guided navigation on the iPhone in 2010, here’s a recap of what people like so much about our iPhone app and why it’s in the top 100 of over 500,000 apps in the iTunes store.

    • It’s free
    • Helpful hints in the route narrative for easy navigation
    • One-touch search
    • Trustworthy directions
    • Business information and reviews
    • Real-time traffic conditions
    • Live traffic cameras
    • Multi-stop routes

    Find out for yourself why our iPhone app is so popular. Download MapQuest 3.0 right now (for free) from the App Store and get exploring!

  10. MapQuest Logo
    We’ve got some really exciting things coming up, and the start of our journey begins today on! Our new logos will help you easily navigate the many MapQuest tools that you’ve come to love. Though we’ve long been known for our maps and directions, we wanted to make it easier for you to access additional trip-planning tools to make everything from grocery-getting to going off the grid faster, better and more enjoyable. You can check out the new logos on all of our sites, including, MapQuest Gas Prices, MapQuest Route Planner, MapQuest Developers, and more. It’s even on the blog (look up!) :-).

    As part of this effort, MapQuest Vibe will be rebranded as MapQuest Local, still offering Vibe rankings and scores, voting, rich neighborhood information and the complete local experience you’ve grown to love. You’ll see the new logos across the MapQuest products – from our websites to our free apps.

    Watch for more exciting news soon. In the meantime, keep travelin’.