The summer travel season is quickly approaching. You might be in the process of planning your summer vacation, and for a lot of people, a road trip is a plan. Gas prices are high, but for many travelers, they’re less expensive than plane tickets would be, with airfare hard-hit by inflation.
If you’re thinking about a road trip, whether solo, with your family, or with friends, there are some apps that can make it simpler and safer.
The following are some of the best apps for your next road trip, no matter where you’re headed.
With a name like Roadtrippers, it’s not surprising we’d include this on our list of the best apps. A top-rated app, Roadtrippers is a comprehensive trip planning platform.
You can build a route in the app and then use the navigation as you hit the road. It’s the world’s top road trip planning tool, and with it, travelers have covered nearly 17 billion miles.
You can discover places like roadside attractions, diners, national parks, hotels, and scenic points.
If you know you want to take a road trip, but you’re not sure where yet, you can get inspiration from trip guides that are pre-made.
You can use the app for free as you come up with your initial ideas. You can plot a route with a maximum of seven waypoints for free. Then, if you want more than seven, you can upgrade to the Plus version of the app, with up to 150 waypoints per trip and other features like offline maps and options to collaborate with friends.
The GasBuddy app is always a must-have when you’re traveling, but especially right now, with gas prices at record highs. GasBuddy has saved users billions of dollars over the past 20 years.
You can download the app and find ways to save at the pump. You’ll also have access to deals and rewards exclusive to app members.
If you use the free GasBuddy fuel card, you can save on prices at the pump, no matter the station. You can save up to 25 cents a gallon.
You can use the gas map feature to find the best prices, and you’ll also see stops that have restrooms. Figure out driving tips to use less gas, and report gas prices so other drivers using the app get a heads-up.
The iExit Interstate Exit Guide is an app that determines where you’re located on the interstate to let you know what’s ahead. The app is available for iPhone and Android devices.
When you download it and give it access to location services, it’ll find you on the highway. Then, the app will show you an exit guide and let you know what’s at each, including rest areas and welcome centers. There are icons for restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and more.
You can use the iExit app to find fuel, and it will list prices at each stop.
The app integrates with Yelp, so you can see what people say about hotels and restaurants before you stop, and you can search for particular types of lodging, like pet-friendly hotels.
The Outbound App is another top-rated tool for traveling that’s specifically geared toward hiking, camping, and adventure activities.
The Outbound Collective app helps you identify local campsites and adventures. You can discover spots for photos, and you can filter your adventures by type and feature. You can save your favorites as you plan trips, and you can download routes for navigation offline.
National Park Trail Guide
If you’re taking a road trip to any of the country’s national parks, you should check out the National Park Trail Guide.
The National Park Trail guide offers comprehensive and detailed guides to all the hiking options and sight-seeking in the parks. You can find hikes on the best-of lists that are curated by the community or search for hikes using a map. You don’t need a cell signal because the data is available even when you’re offline, using built-in GPS to show your location.
You can check out the difficulty ratings and elevation profiles for hikes, see star ratings from people who have completed them and get information on available food and drink and campaign and lodging.
There are lists of family-friendly hikes if you’re traveling with kids, and if you want to make your way to the most scenic spots in any given park, you can use the list of Gems.
You can track your hikes, send your location in case of an emergency and create a to-do list plus, the app is entirely free.
You can use the GPS to see where you are on trails.
If you’re someone who likes to see where the road takes you, make sure you’re taking advantage of the HotelTonight app or website. You can save money by booking a last-minute hotel room.
The app features everything from boutique hotels to major chains.
You can search based on certain categories like Basic, Hip, or Luxe. You can also find hotels based on the city you’re in or if you need special features like pet-friendly lodging.
Geo Rates will help you save even more on already-discounted lodging rates by using your current location.
Weather on the Way
Finally, the Weather on the Way App helps you see not just what the weather is where you currently are but what it looks like on your path ahead. This will help you time your drives for safety and avoid potential weather delays.
If you’re taking a longer road trip, you can add waypoints and stops on your route. You can check alternative routes to make sure you’re going to get the best weather, and you’ll see details like temperature, visibility, conditions, UV index, and more.
You can plan your trip on the app up to seven days before you plan to leave so that you can time it well.
You’ll get weather alerts and radar access, so you’re aware of severe conditions, and if you’re towing a trailer or RV, the app also lets you know about dangerous wind.