The BEST Road Trip Apps: Updated 6.27.2017
In my younger days, road trips meant freedom and the joy of the unexpected. Just hearing those two simple words, “road trip” would have me fluttering with excitement and quietly singing the ultimate road trip song, “Born to Be Wild”.
♫ Get your motor running,
Head out on the highway,
Looking for some danger,
And take whatever comes our way♫
It’s amazing how times change, isn’t it? Of course, I’m not saying I don’t like a bit of excitement once in a while; but these days I’m never, ever looking for “some danger” and I’m certainly not going to just “take whatever comes our way”. Nowadays, I don’t have to—there are road trip apps for that!
As much as I like a good spontaneous adventure now and then, I’m a meticulous planner at heart and always like to know exactly what the roads have in store for me on any trip, whether a quick weekend jaunt or a long car journey. Yes, that’s right, I still want to get my motor running and head out on the highway, but I’ll be foregoing any danger and unforeseen events thanks very much to my favorite road trip apps.
These days, there are probably thousands of Apps that are designed to make our road trips not only safer and more efficient, but also affordable. Road trip apps are there to take the unforeseen issues out of the way so you can enjoy a nice trip without having to worry about getting ripped off at the next gas station or missing some great tourist attraction that’s hidden just 10 minutes off the next exit. To make the most out of your next road journey, here are our choice for the best road trip apps. They’re indispensable for any road warrior.
This is a great app for those curious and adventurous road trippers. This app helps you discover and navigate to over 60,000 awesomely unique and independent places all around the U.S.A. With an extensive list of under-the-radar spots like drive-ins, quirky landmarks and hotels, film and tv sites and hidden scenic points of interest, Road Trippers has got all the information needed to make your next road trip chock full of interesting information. Available for iPhone. Free.
Never miss an exit again! iExit is the must have accessory for those who, like me, are “exit challenged” sometimes and need a good bit of warning beforehand. Those suckers really do sneak up on you, don’t they? (iPhone only)
If there’s any two words besides “road trip” that can get my motor running its “roadside oddities”. Yes, Roadside American App alerts you to not only the most popular road side attractions like farmer markets or shopping outlets, but various “roadside oddities” that only true road runners can enjoy. I’m guessing it lists anything from the World’s Largest Hog in Dothan, Alabama to the World’s Largest Spinach Can in Alma, Arkansas. On top of that, this App gives you opening hours, entry prices and directions to all the road side sites in the U.S. You’ll never miss that giant ball of twine again! (iPhone only)
The Along the Way app is like having your own personal travel assistant by your side. Once you add your road trip itinerary into the app, it’ll search along your route to find interesting landmarks, restaurants, shopping, coffee shops, gas stations and more. Available on iTunes for $2.99
Now that you’ve got your directions, your exit strategy and your roadside oddities, let’s talk about everyone’s favourite money saving App, Gas Buddy. Yes, as many road trippers can attest, this is the ultimate App for those looking to save a few bucks. Gas Buddy lets you compare gas prices anywhere on the map, showing you the cheapest gas station in your area. (Android and iPhone)
As any road warrior knows, safety is the priority when driving. Whether you’re on a solo drive or carting around your entire family, safety comes first. And as more and more of us are magnetically drawn to our smartphones, we tend to forget that it is imperative not to pick it up while driving. Behind the Wheel is a great way to resist the urge to answer an incoming call while driving. Once an incoming message is received, Behind the Wheel has an auto responder that sends a message to that person that you are currently driving and will respond later. (Android only)
THE app for finding nearby parking options. And while there are many parking apps on the market, this one really leads the pack thanks to its helpful information included in the search for parking assistance for over 100 cities and 115 airports. Not only does Best Parking lead you to the nearest parking lot, but it can help you find the best rates available and often lists daily parking discounts. Available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android and Blackberry. Free.
This is a great tool for information-hungry road trippers. While enjoying the surrounding beauty of national parks and landmarks, Travel Storys allows visitors to listen to a GPS-enabled audio tour of the local history, ecology, and geology. The technology is synched with the surrounding landscape and as you drive, you can listen to some interesting information about the local area along with some beautiful tales of historic events and sites. Available for iPhone and Android. Free.
You’ll want this app for road trips and daily commutes. Waze is a community based traffic resource that gives real-time information on traffic situations. It’s a great way to avoid pesky hold ups such as accidents, road detours, traffic jams, etc. Available on iTunes and Android for free.
Not the most exciting app, but if you’re on a camping trip, it would be a big mistake not to use this useful tool. Designed for campers and caravaners, EHU allows you to keep track of the electrical output of your various electrical gadgets so you can avoid overloading the circuit. It requires a bit of set up beforehand, but the resulting peace of mind knowing that you won’t blow the circuit is really worth it! Available for iPhone. Free.
What a terrific way to catch up on your reading while driving. Although some may love to listen to music while they drive, it tends to get a little tedious on longer road trips. So, why not take some great stories along for the ride? Available on iTunes and Android for free.
Are you a traveling foodie? Love the food channel and other culinary/travel shows? TV Food Map can take you to the 5,000 food destinations featured on the Food and Travel Channels. Available on iTunes and Android for free.
As most of us know, family road trips (multigenerational in the case of boomer travelers) tend to be filled with extreme highs and lows. For those moments when, “mom, Joey’s hitting me” is about to turn into a tear-filled nuclear car scuffle, this game app is perfect for passing the time peacefully. Thankfully, the app offers instructions for over 100 games you can play on the road. There is no equipment necessary and all games can be sorted by age, difficulty, type of game, etc. I suggest “Inky Pinky” or “Grandma is so Weird.” Available for iPod touch and iPad. $1.99.
While there are many Apps to choose from in our modern-day traveler’s world, these road trip apps are the best of the bunch as far as travel efficiency, driver safety, and affordability go.
Need an app for getting there? You’ll find it in our Travel Apps For Your Next Trip ebook!
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