Roadtrips can be a lot of fun – if you plan in advance. Aside from stocking up the car with Mad Libs, snacks and portable chargers for all of your devices, did you know that there are some really helpful apps that can help make life on the road a bit easier? We’ve all heard the saying “there’s an app for that”, right? Well, it’s true. I just survived an eight hour road trip with my family this past weekend and here are a few of the apps that I downloaded onto my Droid that helped us along our way.
Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. You can join drivers in your area who share real-time traffic & road info to save time, gas money, and improve daily commuting for all.
In addition to just looking up the traffic in your area, you can also actively report accidents, police traps and other hazards you see on the road. Get road alerts along your route and find the cheapest gas prices around you shared by the community. Plus, you can add friends, send locations or keep others posted on your arrival time.
Note: Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. Waze will automatically shut down if you run it in the background and haven’t driven for a while.
Download this free app on Google Play here!
What is a roadtrip without great music? With Spotify, you can listen to artists and albums, or create your own playlist of your favorite songs. On Spotify, you can even get personalized recommendations.
Spotify is free and you can play any artist, album, or playlist on shuffle mode
Get it for your Droid here.
3. SitOrSquat: Restroom Finder
This is quite possibly one of the best apps of all time – especially if you have kids in tow. With SitOrSquat, you can search and view public restrooms nearest to your current location on a map or in a list. Not only that, but you can add public restrooms to the database by entering basic location information and optional details like pictures and features.
You can also filter results by choosing specific features such as Open Now, Sit-or-Squat Rating, Family Bathroom, Baby Changing Table, Handicap Accessible, or Pay-Per-Use toilets.
SitOrSquat is available in English and Spanish and you can download it here – and it’s free!
With GasBuddy, you can find cheapest gas near you. Simple as that. You can search by city/zip/postal code and you can report gas prices to help other people find cheap gas, too. This app is available in the US and Canada and you can get it here (it’s free).
AroundMe quickly identifies your position and allows you to choose the nearest Bank, Bar, Gas Station, Hospital, Hotel, Movie Theatre, Restaurant, Supermarket, Theatre and Taxi. Download this free app right here.
Yelp is your local guide to finding just the place to eat, shop, drink, relax, and play. You can filter search results by neighborhood, distance, rating, price, and what’s open now. Who wouldn’t want to read reviews written by a community of active, expert locals? They know places best, right? You can add your own reviews, too.
Of course, it’s free. Here’s the link to download it.
6. Google Maps
Enjoy voice-guided GPS navigation for driving, biking, and walking. Google Maps has comprehensive, accurate maps in 220 countries and territories plus live traffic conditions, incident reports, and automatic rerouting to find the best route.
Download it here for free.
7. Hotel Tonight
Hotels give them last-minute discounts on their empty rooms, so if you use this app, you will get the very best rates -guaranteed. It literally take just 10 seconds to book a room if you need one. You can even find the perfect room for you with this app because they narrow it down to categories like Basic, Hip and Luxe. There are also custom hotel descriptions that give you all the info you need to know before you book
You guessed it, it’s free – get it here.
iExit tells you what’s coming up in real time when driving on the interstate. It’s designed to easily communicate which upcoming exits have what you need, whether that’s gas, a hotel, a rest area, or specifically a Starbucks.
Download it here (it’s free, so why not?).
9. License Plate Game
What’s a roadtrip without games? This one is the classic License plate game! Use this to keep track of all the different license plates you pass on your next road trip. This app supports single or multiple players and you can even add a timer to see how many you can find before time runs out
It’s another freebie, so make sure you download it before your next roadtrip! Get it here.
Before you set out to your destination, you need to pack, right? I don’t mind packing that much, but for some people, it’s their least favorite part of traveling. Packing doesn’t have to be the hardest part of travel preparation and this app is the solution.Use this app to create a travel checklist – specially for you. Easy peasy.
You know it, it’s free. Download it here.
So now you’re ready for your next roadtrip. Where are you heading?