Planning a road trip should be much easier with the power of mobile technology at your fingertips. With these road trip apps, you can plan your schedule and itinerary, get accurate directions, and – should a detour becomes necessary, adjust your route accordingly and enjoy the view. Here are 22 road trip apps to download before your big trip:
Roadtrippers is designed to make traveling an adventure in discovery. Plan your trip, discover new places and find them. There are millions of entries to explore – from local restaurants and diners to scenic points, parks and roadside attractions. From staid and formal museums to quirky and fun spots, Roadtrippers can find it for you.
Trip.com (formerly Gogobot) is powered by a large user community that travels the globe and uploads information that other travelers may find useful. It is a great app that makes it easy for you to search for hotels, inns, restaurants, bars, parks, and similar places of interest. Places are rated by users who have been there and each location is accompanied by photos taken by the users themselves. These photos, along with ratings and comments allow you to browse each location to get a sense of whether or not you want to come visit. Each place is also tagged, which makes it easier to browse by interest or category.
3. Google Maps
Google Maps is an old standby for travelers, and it’s probably safe to say that no one should leave home without it. The app allows users to enter an address and find the quickest route from one point to another. Google Maps also offers information that can help you plan your route around possible obstructions along the way such as traffic jams, accidents, road construction and the like. If you do not have a car GPS, this app works just as well but you do need to be online to use it.
Triposo is an offline map app that will come in handy in case you do not have mobile data service. It offers guidebooks by city, state and country so you have information you need when you need it most. It relies on algorithms to search through websites and user reviews to provide you with useful information in 50,000 destinations around the world. You can book through the app as well. Just pick a favorite hotel, inn, restaurant or activity, or simply check out suggestions for stuff that might interest you.
iExit is recommended for people who often find themselves missing a turn or a scenic spot at the next exit. This road trip app shows you upcoming exits and what types of facilities you can find nearby, such as restaurants, shops, hotels, etc. This is useful if you need to buy something at the next exit or are interested to make a stop at a landmark. You can even search for hotel deals, campgrounds and yes, even the next available Starbucks or Walmart if you really must. It utilizes information from your current location to show you, in real time, upcoming exits so you never miss one again.
6. Locus Map Pro
Locus Map Pro is the nearest-to-a-GPS app you can download. You do have to pay for it but it is worth a try. It is a perfect navigation tool that even professionals use and it’s great for mountaineers, bikers, trail runners and hikers due to the detailed guide it offers. You can also download offline maps, take a peek at the weather any place in the world with its 24/7 forecast, and even use its sports activity monitor tool so you can still keep fit even while traveling. There is a Locus Map Free if you want an app with more basic functions.
Maplets offers assorted maps you can download for use in case you are stuck in an area with no network connectivity. The app features various maps to explore a city, ranging from road and street maps, mass transit maps, bike trails, hiking trails, to local spots such as museums, schools, and parks. This is a useful app for times when Wi-Fi is unavailable or unreliable. With offline maps in your mobile device, you have access to directions to places you want to visit. Take note that the maps and guides on Maplets are simply the electronic equivalent of their paper version, so do not expect them to be interactive. You can use the pan and zoom features of the phone, though.
GasBuddy is a useful app if you never want to worry about where to find gas on the road. This app helps travelers find gas stations wherever they may be and even compare prices. GasBuddy runs on Android and iOS but also works on Windows Phone and BlackBerry. It harnesses the power of about 60 million users to help you save time and money. You can even participate as a user yourself – report gas prices at specific gas stops and earn points. You can even enter your name as a participant and stand to win free gas worth $100.
9. Fuel Buddy
If you want to keep track of how much you are spending on gas, this is a good road trip app to use. It keeps a record of the number of gallons, the price of gas per gallon, and your odometer so you can monitor your expenses. You can even determine how well your car is burning up fuel using this app.
If you need to make a pit stop along the way, use Foursquare, a road trip app that shows shops, restaurants and popular spots nearest your current location. Make your choice based on your preferences or heed the hive and use their comments and ratings as reference.
11. TV Food Maps
This is one of the road trip apps to download if sampling local food is a major reason for your travel plans. It shows restaurants and food stops that have been featured on the Travel Channel and the Food Network. If you are a fan of either show, this app will whip up a good appetite for you.
12. Food Tripping
If fast food is not your idea of good food on a road trip, this app will help you find better eating options along the way. If you want to find healthier fare, Food Tripping will help you locate local eateries, microbreweries, organic food stalls, farmers’ markets and the like nearby. The GPS-based app has a growing database that lets you enjoy great food without worrying about your waistline.
Avoid hotels and enjoy a home-away-from-home-style accommodation quite literally using this road trip app. It helps connect people looking for a place to stay and people offering a spare couch, bedroom or a whole house for rent. The rates range from small budget-friendly to affordable. If you’re new to Airbnb, you can get a $40 credit your first trip through my link.
If hostels are your preferred accommodation, Hostelworld can help you find places in specific areas and even compare prices. Hostelworld collects information from hostels around the globe and lets you view selections based on user rating or price. Many travelers also leave comments behind, so you can choose the place that suits your style and needs.
Bringing Buster or Mr. Snoogles along for the ride? Not every hotel or inn lets you room with your pet, and it can be agony leaving him behind with strangers. BringFido helps you find hotels, inns and other places that let you bring your pet along so you can plan your trip with no worries. The app is essentially a directory that lists more than 25,000 hotels, campsites, rentals, bed & breakfasts and inns that offer lodging for both humans and their pets. You can view reviews, and facility and airline policies so you know what you and your pet are allowed to do.
BringFido includes both local and international pet-friendly lodging places in more than 150 countries, so if you want your pet to tag along for a trip overseas, you are both covered. The app also provides information about pet-friendly local restaurants, parks and attractions in your destination. You can book through the app, which doesn’t charge a fee. It guarantees the best price for users but in case you find another accommodation that offers a lower room rate, BringFido will even offer to cover the difference through a refund.
Apple | Android (not available)
Sometimes you simply must stop driving and just find a place nearby to sleep. Unfortunately, you have already booked a room at a hotel about an hour’s drive away and have paid the nonrefundable deposit. Get your money back (or at least a portion of it) by offering your hotel booking to someone else. It’s also a great app to use to find hotel rooms from a fellow traveler who can’t or won’t use his reservation. Note: if you are a seller, Roomer will charge you as much as 15% of your price for their fee. There is no charge if the room is not sold or if you are a buyer.
When traveling, you want to be prepared and forewarned, particularly about the weather conditions along the way. WeatherPro has a very good user interface that gives you access to accurate indications and warnings to determine whether or not you are safe on the road. It provides a 7-day advance forecast and increments of at least 3 hours on the basic version (1 hour for the Premium version). WeatherPro is useful not just for ground, air and sea travel but also if you want to take side trips. Going to the beach? Today may be cloudy, too windy or too cold to enjoy a swim. There is a slight learning curve initially but the range of information you will get is well worth the lesson. Plus, the basic version is ad-free.
Staying on top of your expenses while you travel can be hard but AndroMoney can help you keep your spending within your budget. It is a simple, easy-to-use app that lets you keep track of various purchases using built-in calculators, and analyze your expenses using charts. It also lets you manage multiple accounts in one device, and is a useful app on or off the road.
19. TuneIn Radio
You may have brought along your trusty playlist but long hours on the road listening to songs you’ve heard before can be mind-numbing. What you need is a fresh set of tunes to keep you interested. Besides, what’s a road trip without a soundtrack? Try TuneIn Radio with its choice of over 50,000 radio stations around the world. Listen to samba from Brazil or K-pop music from South Korea, or choose a genre or category you like from more than 120,000 streaming radio shows.
Have a few hours to kill before hitting the sack at a campground or hotel but want to avoid the numbing shows on cable TV? Netflix is the answer. It offers a range of movies and TV shows you can enjoy at excellent streaming quality as long as you have access to a reliable Wi-Fi service. It’s a free download that comes with a paid subscription but is a nice way of winding down when there is nothing else on TV.
Overdrive lets you download audiobooks and ebooks if reading is your preferred form of entertainment on the road. Overdrive lends you a wide range of titles from over 30,000 libraries from around the world. You will need a valid account that you get as a member of a participating library or school. Overdrive lets you choose titles, make wish lists, sync libraries and create bookmarks. It also returns the titles automatically, so there’s no need to worry about late fees and penalties.
22. PackPoint Packing List
This is one of the best road trip apps to download if you fail at packing lightly or have terrible organizing skills. It lets you create a packing list on your own or you can generate one from a pre-loaded packing list. Check items you want to include from this master list to create and customize your own list. PackPoint Packing List is useful if you have multiple destinations and are bringing along a few bags. You can group each item on the list by luggage, location and category, and include information such as weight, quantity and other notes (“Fragile”, “Consume By Noon”, etc.). You can also create multiple lists – helpful if you are accompanied by equally packing-challenged passengers. Print out copies of your lists to use as reference just in case you lose a bag. I also created a packing list of must-have items to take along the road just in case you need to triple check everything.
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Are there any road trip apps you would add to this list? Share your thoughts by commenting below!