Top Apps and Tools for The Perfect Road Trip
Top Apps and Tools for The Perfect Road Trip
Road trips are a popular travel option, with almost 80% of Americans planning to take one in 2023, according to Travel Pulse. To make the trip more enjoyable, digital tools and apps can help plan the perfect route and make stops more engaging. Google Maps is a popular choice, but there are many other apps available that can enhance the road trip experience. Some apps can help plan the route, while others can suggest activities or restaurants along the way. To plan your dream road trip, explore the top contenders for these types of apps.
Planning a road trip can be made easier with the use of the Roadtrippers app. This app not only provides directions, but also highlights places of interest along the route recommended by others. With over 300 extraordinary places in its directory, including campgrounds, attractions, nature destinations, hotels, activities, gas stations, rest stops, and more, the app makes it easy to find a place to eat or sleep for the night without having to exit the directions. Additionally, the app includes an RV mode that shows recommendations for those driving recreational vehicles. It also provides free travel guides and suggested itineraries based on your destination, and allows you to share your travel plans with others through the app.
Unexpected construction or road closures can disrupt even the best-planned road trip. To help navigate these situations, the Waze app offers real-time information, including notifications about traffic, construction, car crashes, and more along your route. With over 13.4 million downloads in 2021, it is the second most popular navigation app after Google Maps. It automatically reroutes to the fastest option if something comes up, allowing you to focus on the road and not your ETA. Additionally, Waze offers notifications of obstacles in the road, sudden slowdowns, and speed traps. The app is free to use, but it's real-time road information is gathered from other users, so it may not be as useful in remote rural areas.
Gas prices can be volatile, so finding the cheapest gas can be crucial on a road trip. GasBuddy is a website and app that offers tools to help you save money on gas. The app is free and shows the gas stations near you and their prices, highlighting the best deals. You can search for gas stations and prices according to zip code or city, and view results on a list or map to see which gas stations are along your route and how far away they are. Additionally, the app provides directions to the gas stations. Another handy feature is the trip cost calculator, which helps you stay within your budget by figuring out how much gas might cost for your upcoming road trip. You can even get more savings by signing up for their free rewards card.
If your road trip takes you through beautiful terrain, you may want to take a break to explore. The AllTrails app is a great tool for this, as it is the all-time best hiking app according to More Than Just Parks. The app is free and helps you find hiking trails by region, complete with photos, reviews, maps, trail guides, and more. The map even has a GPS feature, so you can track where you are and make sure you're keeping to the trail.
Even if you're not interested in hiking, you can still use the app to search for short walks or strolls in the park. The trail search feature can be sorted by length, elevation gain, and difficulty, and will also indicate if the trail is dog-friendly, family-friendly, or has accessibility issues, as well as how busy you can expect the trail to be. You can also get tips for potential attractions along the trail, such as wildflowers, waterfalls, hot springs, caves, and more.
When you're hungry and in an unfamiliar area, finding a good place to eat can be difficult. Yelp is a popular app that can help with this by providing restaurant and bar recommendations by region, with over 178 million visitors per month. You can search for whatever you're craving and get a list or map view of your options.
One of the most valuable features of the Yelp app is the user reviews, which can help in the decision-making process. Stats show that a majority of people look at Google reviews before choosing a place to eat, but about 45% check out Yelp reviews. Yelp provides the location, contact information, operating hours, and additional information about each business, as well as many filters like price, distance, and more.
When searching for a place to stay during a road trip, vacation rentals such as Airbnb can be a great alternative to traditional hotels. According to a survey by Goldman Sachs, once someone stays in an Airbnb, they often prefer them over hotel rooms in the future. Airbnb is an online vacation rental marketplace that connects people looking for lodging with those who have places available for rent. The company started off by offering people to rent air mattresses in their homes but has grown to offer a wide variety of accommodation options such as rooms in shared spaces, apartments, condos, luxury houses, cabins, houseboats, tree houses, tiny homes, and more. Users can personalize their search based on their preferences and needs. Additionally, the company provides financial protection for all users in case of any issues.
If your road trip involves camping, then The Dyrt app is a must-have resource. The website and free app has the largest camping database in the U.S., with over 50,000 campgrounds and can help you find great camping spots along your route. It offers a wide range of camping options, from tent and dispersed camping to RVs, vans, trailers, cabins, yurts, and more. Users can view options on a map to see what's closest to them or see a list ordered by which ones come highly recommended.
The Dyrt is known as the "Yelp of campground reviews," and it lives up to that reputation with over 1 million reviews by users. This allows you to gather helpful information about campgrounds to find the best one to suit your needs. The app also provides useful information like site access, cell reception, types of sites available, and whether or not it's dog friendly.
If you're looking to save money on lodging during a road trip, the FreeRoam app is a useful resource. The app is free and provides "boondocking and camping resources." Boondocking refers to free camping spots located on public land, such as national forest land, federal land, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas. These places typically have no resources or amenities, and are best suited for those with RVs, camper vans, or airstreams.
The app also provides recommendations for designated campgrounds, which may require a reservation or site fee. It includes details such as directions, fees, weather, cell service, road difficulty, and more. Users can also leave reviews with tips and advice for others.
The Weather Channel App
Bad weather can greatly impact a road trip. It's important to be aware of the weather conditions along your route, especially if it may affect road conditions. Severe weather such as icy roads, blizzards, monsoons, and high winds can make for dangerous driving conditions. Additionally, natural disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires can also occur unexpectedly.
The Weather Channel app is a highly rated tool to help you stay informed on the weather. With over 100 million downloads, it offers live radar updates, hourly rain information, and weather forecasts that can warn you of upcoming severe weather patterns. This app can be useful not only for planning road trips but also for daily life.
The Roadside America app is perfect for those who enjoy quirky and unique tourist attractions along the road. The app boasts over 15,000 points of interest that are sure to add excitement to any road trip. The user tips and reviews are also entertaining in their own right.
The app costs $2.99 to unlock one region out of seven available and with it you'll get hundreds of attractions organized by region or category, complete with detailed descriptions and visitor critiques. It's a small price to pay to ensure you don't miss out on seeing the Muffler Man, the Roswell alien attraction autopsy exhibit, the world's largest bobblehead, unusual museums, famous gravestones, and more. The Roadside America website also offers free travel tips and a blog that features recommended attractions across the U.S.
The Splitwise app is a useful tool for keeping track of expenses during a road trip with friends. It is free and easy to use. Simply create a group, invite your friends, and enter expenses as they come up. You can even have multiple groups going at one time.
In your group, you specify the expense, who paid for it, and if it's split equally or just between specific people. The app then calculates everything and determines how much is owed to each person. You can pay people back through linking your bank account, Venmo, or PayPal, and there's even an option to record a cash repayment. This eliminates the need to keep track of expenses manually and makes settling up at the end of the trip a breeze.
Travel blogs are a great resource for road trip planning, as they often provide valuable first-hand information from professional travelers. They can include suggested itineraries, road trip routes, and tips that may not be available in guidebooks or apps. Additionally, travel blogs are often full of beautiful photos that can help build excitement for your trip.
To find the best travel blogs, you can start by searching for recommendations of things to do or see at your destination or a specific location along your route. You can also find travel bloggers on YouTube, allowing you to see and experience what it was like for them when traveling on a similar route. These blogs are a great way to get a sense of what to expect and plan your trip accordingly.
Instagram hashtags can be a valuable tool for planning road trips. By searching for hashtags related to your destination, you can find recent photos that may provide valuable information for your trip. For example, if Google Maps or other reviews suggest that a destination is closed or that roads are impassable, a quick search on Instagram may reveal otherwise.
To use Instagram hashtags for road trip planning, go to the search bar in the app and enter the name of your desired destination. Click "tags" to explore all of the photos with that tag. By clicking on individual pictures, you can access more information such as the date the photo was posted, caption text, comments, and more. This can help you to get a sense of what to expect and plan your trip accordingly.
Now that you have read through all the amazing tools and apps that exist, you can start planning your perfect getaway! AVR Van Rental is always here to help and we truly understand that the real journey is the one you make along the way. AVR, because the journey should be just as fun as the destination.