This time of year at least one John Hughes holiday movie classic has made an appearance on your TV screen. Kids are setting booby traps to mimic Kevin McCallister’s infamous showdown with the Wet Bandits, and fathers nationwide are reveling in the opportunity to pay homage to Clark Griswold with a shining, Christmas-light beacon of a house. But nobody, not even your own version of Uncle Frank or Cousin Eddie, wants to end up F-bombing their way through holiday travel like Steve Martin in Hughes’ Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Sure, Martin drops the F-bomb 18 times in 60 seconds. But it’s not the language Martin uses that strikes a chord with us. It’s how we can all relate to that rude salesperson behind the counter, the insane holiday traffic downtown at all hours of the day, or the congested off-ramps to the store that’s got your perfect gift.
Many consumers this holiday season are shopping online, but there are still the traditionalists that enjoy touching and feeling their way to the perfect gift. Whether you’re escaping the family, last minute Christmas Eve shopping for the wife, or knocking it all out by making the trek to New York for the weekend, here are five mobile apps to keep you from F-bombing your way through holiday shopping.
- RideScout your way into the best mode of holiday shopping travel. Don’t wanna get stuck in downtown traffic? Think maybe taking the metro is better? Or maybe you want to save your legs from the walk, and take a carpool option from Point A to Point B. Find the best option that suits your shopping schedule and budget.
- Gas Buddy Who knew that gas could be your buddy? If you have to drive, make sure you’re paying for the cheapest gas near you so you can spend what you might save on fuel on your perfect holiday gift.
- Parking Panda helps drivers find hassle-free parking wherever you’re shopping. If you’re driving to downtown Chicago, DC, NYC (or to the 40 other North American cities the app serves), take the stress away from circling city blocks and save money while you’re doing it!
- Shyp: You bought way too much while shopping, and now you can’t take it all with you. Snap a photo and shypsters will come a knockin’ at your door. And now Shyp has teamed up with Banana Republic as part of the retailer’s Procrastinators Event.
- Hotel Tonight You’ve made the trek to the Big Apple to knock out all of your holiday shopping and don’t want to head home (cause Something Rotten!). Check out the latest (and hottest) hotel deals near you so you can give your tired feet a rest, and before going to a show at St. James Theater.
Obviously there are lessons to be learned from John Hughes’ movie classic this holiday shopping season. Swearing 18 times in 60 seconds at a salesperson might not get you that last Apple Watch (Pro tip: Go to another Apple Store where there are hundreds of salespeople on the floor, or buy it online after you play around with it in-store). Steering, putting out a cigarette, and taking off your coat while driving could put you into oncoming traffic (Pro-tip: If you’re steering, fuddling with Waze, and taking off your coat, make sure to change the guide’s voice to C3PO before you leave your destination). Maybe carpooling with Owen and his little lady that gave birth sideways might not be your best option into the city (Pro-tip: Riding in the back of a truck on square bales with chickens is only for hayrides in October. #wrongholiday). And, these 5 apps could’ve saved Steve Martin (and John Candy) plenty of grief, time, and money.
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