Updated 04.30.2020: As boomer roadtrippers, we love sharing our recommendations for best road trip apps. Through the years, we’ve covered apps for scenic drives, California coastal journeys, and USA road trips. You’ve been asking, “Couldn’t we have them all in one place?” Your wish is our command.
Now you’ll find all of our road trip app recommendations in one handy location. If you’re looking for the best apps for planning your itinerary, finding where to eat and stay, staying healthy on the road, making the most of your trip, entertaining yourself in the car or the practicalities of roadtripping, you’ve come to the right place.
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The BEST Road Trip Apps
In our 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 Alan quietly humming the ultimate road trip song, “Born to Be Wild”.
♫ Get your motor runnin,
Head out on the highway,
Looking for adventure,
In whatever comes your way♫
It’s amazing how times change, isn’t it? Of course, I’m not saying that Alan and I don’t like a bit of excitement once in a while; but these days we’re never, ever looking for “some danger.” And we’re certainly not going to just “take whatever comes our way.” Nowadays, we don’t have to—there are road trip apps for that!
As much as we like a good spontaneous adventure now and then, Alan and I are meticulous planners at heart. We like to know exactly what the roads have in store for us on any trip. Yes, that’s right, we still want to get our motors running and head out on the highway, but we’ll be foregoing any danger and unforeseen events thanks very much to our favorite road trip apps.
Road Trip Apps for planning your itinerary
Roadtrippers helps you discover and navigate to over 60,000 destinations throughout the U.S.A. and Canada. 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, Roadtrippers has all the information needed to plan an interesting road trip itinerary. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
If there are any two words besides “road trip” that can get our motor running its “roadside oddities.” Yes, Roadside America gives you opening hours, entry prices and directions to all the roadside sites in the U.S. You’ll never miss that giant ball of twine again! You’ll find maps, information and photos to 10,000 unique things to see in the USA. Available for purchase at the App Store.
Apps for the practical roadtripper
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? Includes summaries of each exit, names of hotels, restaurants, gas stations and fuel prices. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Now that you’ve got your directions and an exit strategy, let’s talk about everyone’s favorite money saver, Gas Buddy. The app lets you compare gas prices anywhere on the map, showing you the cheapest gas station in your area. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Do you drive an electric car? Plugshare guides EV (electric vehicle) drivers to public electric charging stations around the world. Not only is it handy for US roadtrippers, but if you rent an electric car on a European driving trip, you’ll know where to charge up. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Tollsmart Toll Calculator for Cars, Trucks & RVs calculates tolls along your U.S. route. Tollsmart calculates Canadian and Mexican tolls, too. Travel in-the-know or save money by avoiding toll routes, the choice is yours. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Waze is a community based traffic resource that gives real-time information on traffic situations. The app will even change your route to arrive at your destination on time. It’s a great way to avoid pesky hold ups such as accidents, road detours, and traffic jams. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Looking for a place to park? Meet the Best Parking app. Not only does Best Parking lead you to the nearest parking lot, but it can help you find the best rates available in over 100 cities and 115 airports. Look for the list of daily parking discounts. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Weather Live provides meteorological data on precipitation, pressure, humidity, wind direction and visibility. The animated weather radar map lets you quickly see if weather is coming your way so that you can get off the road if necessary. Available for purchase at the App Store.
There are times when you just need to know where to go. Right? Well, there’s an app for that. Flush Toilet Finder lists over 190,000 bathrooms around the world. And you don’t need an internet connection to use the app. Handy! Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Travel apps for making the most of your road trip
Are you looking for an audio guide filled with National Park tours? Just Ahead: Audio Travel Guides automatically begins narration when you drive by colored markers on the map. Not only will you learn about geology and history but you’ll also be entranced by park stories written by award-winning writers. Works without phone service or WIFI. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
While enjoying the surrounding beauty of national parks and landmarks, TravelStorys 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 beautiful tales of historic events and sites. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Apps that help you find a place to stay
Alan and I use the reviews at TripAdvisor when we’re researching trips. But their app is also handy when we’re on the road. We ignore the best and worst reviews knowing that the truth is somewhere in the middle. TripAdvisor reviews have kept us from making some major travel mistakes on the road. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Sometimes we need to book hotels on the fly. That’s where HotelsCombined comes in handy. Alan and I can compare prices and book from the app. We appreciate the convenience after a long day on the road when our accommodations haven’t worked out. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Food apps for finding your next meal
Are you a traveling foodie? Love the food channel and other culinary/travel shows? TV FoodMaps can take you to the 5,000 food destinations featured on the Food and Travel Channels. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
With over 135 million restaurants and businesses, you’re sure to find somewhere to eat at Yelp. Location based searches help you find restaurants, diners, even fast food. Very handy when you’re husband has waited too long to pull off the road for a meal. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Entertainment apps for the road
Catch up on your reading while driving with Audible. 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 for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
We listen to Pandora at home—all day long. And the Pandora app allows us to bring our favorite stations along on road trips. An in-app purchase makes it possible to listen even when we’re offline. A great feature for when we’re traveling off-the-beaten-path. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
As most of us know, family road trips (multi-generational in the case of boomer travelers) tend to be filled with extreme highs and lows. Family Car Games 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, and type of game. Available for purchase at the App Store.
Stay safe on the road with these apps
One Tap is a great way to resist the urge to answer an incoming call while driving. Once an incoming message is received, the program has an auto responder that sends a message to that person that you are currently driving and will respond later. Available for purchase on Google Play.
You’re out in the middle of nowhere and the check engine light starts blinking. How do you know if it’s serious? Automatic will help you diagnose the problem. Simply plug the wireless accessory into the on-board diagnostic port near the steering wheel and start the app. Being able to fix the problem is up to you. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
About that flat tire or mechanical failure, Blink Roadside will connect you to a tow truck or mechanic from a member of its national roadside assistance network. The best part—you don’t have to join anything. Just use your app. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Road Trip apps for RV’ers and Harley Riders
Are you roadtripping on a Harley? The Harley Davidson Road Trip Bundle is a collection of three apps: road trip planner, Harley Davidson dealer locator and one for Offbeat Attractions. It’s the prefect app combination for your cross-country drive. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
RV Road Trip Bundle provides apps for RV Dump Stations, Truck and RV Fuel Stations, Road Trip Planner, Offbeat Attractions and an app for USFS and BLM Campgrounds. With this collection, RVers can go anywhere. Available for purchase at the App Store.
Looking for a campsite? Camping Road Trip app locates available campsites not only at National Parks but also in the National Forest and other Federal Recreation Facilities. Information is instantly available for campsites, RV slips, cabins day-use and other sites. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
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, trip enjoyment and driver safety go.
Do apps make your travel life easier? From luxury cruises to hiking, you’ll find all of our reviews at the Travel Apps page.
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