7 Road Trip Apps That’ll Make Your Next Journey More Epic

road trip apps

Smartphone technology is a wonderful thing. In the year 2015, the phrase “there’s an app for that,” could be updated to “there are 7 apps for that.” Now that summer is upon us, we thought we’d share 7 road trips apps that will help you eat, sleep, and sightsee your way across America. All we ask is that you let your co-pilot manipulate these apps while you drive — otherwise you may need the “Send an Ambulance” app.

Cover art1. Navigation: Waze

Since Google Maps is the undisputed king of navigation apps, we’ll just assume that you already have it. Instead, we’d like to talk to you about Waze. This community-based map-building app can help you identify traffic jams, cheap gas stations, lurking police officers, and more. If there’s a chocolate milk spill on I-90, for example, other Waze users will alert you in time to find a quick and easy alternate route.

(Free — iOS, Android, Windows Phone)

Cover art2. Lodging: Hotel Tonight

When it comes to for lodging, we don’t recommend that you book every single hotel room of your trip ahead of time. You never know what side adventures you’ll embark on. That said, you might find yourself in a real pickle if you roll into Sandusky, OH at 3am and find zero vacancy signs. That’s where the Hotel Tonight app comes in. As the name suggests, Hotel Tonight can help you find a hotel . . . tonight. With a few swipes and touches you can book a reasonably priced hotel room in the basic, hip, or luxe category.

(Free — iOS, Android, Windows Phone)

Cover art3. Food: iExit Interstate Exit Guide

Driving along the freeway is often a roll of the dice. How many times have you missed out on fine dining experiences in the name of pressing on? You may never know. The iExit app allows you to search the upcoming 100 exits on your route, making it easy to tell precisely what’s ahead.  In addition to identifying tasty restaurants, iExit can help you spot rest stops, hotels, gas stations, and quite a bit more.

(Free — iOS, Android, Windows Phone)

Related: Road Trip like a Boss in a Cricket Trailer

Cover art4. Entertainment: Audible

If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you’ve likely heard a somewhat intrusive ad for Audible. If you haven’t already given in to Audible, you might use your upcoming road trip as an excuse to finally use that podcast promo code. During a free 30-day trial, you can treat yourself and your traveling companions to an audiobook or three. With over 180,000 titles to choose from, there’s bound to be something you agree on.

(Free to install, free 30-day trial, $14.95/month membership after — iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire)

5. Attractions: Roadside America

There are a whole lot of funky places along this country’s less traveled roads. The Roadside America app makes it easy to find America’s hidden gems, including the world’s largest ball of twine, a 300-foot wide reproduction of the Ten Commandments, and a gas station made completely of petrified wood. Wherever you are, you can search for nearby attractions in a number of categories, including celebrities, music, dinosaurs, and zombie army (yes, really).

($2.99 per region — iOS)

Cover art6. Gas: GasBuddy

Fuel is a considerable but necessary expenditure of any road trip. The GasBuddy app can track down the cheapest gas stations along your route, helping you save every time you fill up. This app also has a community element to it — by reporting gas prices, you can help others save big time, too. If you do, you’ll earn points and a daily chance to win $100 of gas.

(Free — iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry)

Cover art7. Camping: Oh, Ranger! Parkfinder

Though it’s nice to sleep in a bed during your road trip, the cost of hotel rooms can stack up very quickly. If you own a tent and sleeping bag, you might try camping out for a few nights. The Oh Ranger! Parkfinder app boasts an extensive database of national parks, state parks, and other recreation areas. It also lists each spot’s amenities, allowing you to search for parks with disc golf courses, dog parks, campsites, and much more. This is a must-have app for the more outdoorsy roadtrippers out there.

(Free — iOS, Android)

So there you have it: some of the best road trip apps we could find. To ensure that you can enjoy these road trip maps to their fullest, we suggest that you invest in a car charger or a portable charger, if you don’t already have one. Also, it’s important that you take regular ol’ maps on your journey, as you’ll likely come across a few gaps in your carrier’s data network. Happy trails!