Thinking of going or planning on a road trip? Today, I’m sharing my must have apps for a smooth road trip. They helped make our road trip smoother for sure and I hope they’ll make yours smoother too.

When I moved back home from Los Angeles I wanted to do a road trip up to San Francisco. So that’s what I did when my brother came to visit. We rented a car and took the Pacific Coast Highway up to San Francisco. This was our first road trip and we made tons of mistakes but having these apps really helped us ease some of the stress.

must have apps for a smooth road tripThese apps are available on both Android and iOS so have fun downloading them and let me know what your must have apps for a smooth road trip are.


1. Google Maps

Google Maps Logo must have apps for a smooth road trip

Google Maps is my all-time favorite navigation tool. It’s amazing at recognizing accidents and any construction that may be causing delays that day. The navigation system notifies you of a quicker route and you can either choose to accept or ignore. Being as impatient as I am, I ALWAYS accept the quicker route. Why wouldn’t you? But hey, I’m not here to judge.

One thing to keep in mind though is like all other navigation systems, Google Maps can get finicky in rural areas. So pay attention to your location and be sure to have a backup plan so you don’t get lost in the woods.


2. Yelp
yelp must have apps for a smooth road trip

Let’s be honest, you should already have this app on your phone. I find it to be the best app to find restaurants and places to grab a little snack.

What I love about this app is that the reviews are from honest everyday people who aren’t food snobs or paid to leave positive reviews. It’s extremely easy to filter the restaurants by price or location or popularity and this was our go to app for finding food. Plus, it helps a lot with the spontaneity of a road trip.


3. Gas Buddy

gasbuddy must have apps for a smooth road trip

I’ll be honest, we didn’t have this app on our phone and man I wish we did. There were so many times during the trip where we wasted time trying to find the cheaper gas station. Because let’s face it, California gas is not cheap so if I could save $15, that’s $15 I can put towards the next time we needed gas.

I first heard about this app from a friend and completely forgot to download it for our road trip. Then I heard about it again on the Today show. When it’s on the Today Show, you know it must be good. or maybe they were sponsored. Either way, why wouldn’t you want a way to save gas?


4. AirBNB

airbnb must have apps for a smooth road trip
This app was seriously a life saver. AirBnB itself is an amazing resource and I love using it. Sometimes staying at an AirBnB is a lot more pleasant and cheaper than staying in a hotel. And when you find yourself in a huge emergency … well … let’s just say that AirBnB can save butts. The app is so user-friendly allowing you to filter your results accordingly. It made booking an AirBnB super easy.

5. Camera+

camera+ must have apps for a smooth road trip
While you can use the camera already on your phone I find that it’s limited. Camera+ lets you adjust exposure and focus much like a real point and shoot. It’s very handy because it gives you a lot more control over your photography than the usual IPhone camera. I just discovered this new app and I can’t stop using it. One con about it though is that it’s literally just a camera so no video yet 🙁 Maybe in a future update?

6. Roadtrippers

roadtrippers must have apps for a smooth road trip

This is another app that I haven’t used yet. But I’ve seen it floating around other travel app lists and it sounds like a fantastic app for Type-A personalities. You can plan your entire road trip complete with preferred routes and accommodations on here.

You can save and share these itineraries and even check out other people’s itineraries. Really cool for discovering new attractions.


7. Daily Budget

daily budget must have apps for A Smooth Road Trip

This app is just so simple to use but it’s so effective. You can input your expenses as easy as 1-2-3 and see how much you spent that day. There are monthly reports and my favorite part about this app is that it will create a budget for you based on your monthly income and expenses. Plus the logo is a piggy bank. So cute!


8. Starbucks

starbucks must have apps for A Smooth Road Trip

If you meet me in person you will quickly find out how much I love Starbucks. I live off of coffee and let’s be honest, coffee is an absolute must when you are on the road. With this app, I don’t have to grab anything but my phone. Less stuff to carry is always a good thing. And if you aren’t a Starbucks addict like I am, then let me tell you my favorite part of the Starbucks app. You can earn free drinks by using the app. Yep, free drinks…Starbucks has an amazing rewards program! Sometimes I just go to Starbucks just to earn those stars and when I’m on the road, I very quickly rack up free drinks! Don’t judge me.


9. Spotify

must have apps for A Smooth Road Trip

Literally, music is my life and rather than listening to the same songs again and again on the radio, I’d rather listen to what I enjoy. On Spotify, you can create your own playlists, choosing music based off of your favorite artists or music genre. You can even listen to certain playlists based on mood. Spotify has a free and premium version. With the premium version, you can listen to your music completely ad-free and bring your playlists offline.


10. Mint
mint must have apps for A Smooth Road Trip

A fantastic finance app that will help you keep track of your expenditure. You can link several accounts and have all of them on this one app. It’s a great way to watch your account and make sure you’re staying on budget. There’s even a section to create budgets for certain categories. I love using this app.

What are some of your must have apps for a smooth road trip? 
must have apps for a smooth road trip

Don’t question my love for all things Supernatural and Simple Plan!! I’m proud to be a fangirl. I hope to inspire discovery and passion through these fandoms and to showcase the magical power that comes with being a fangirl.

  • haha true true! I don’t use all of them on a daily basis but I use them pretty often for sure.

  • I feel like these are 10 must-have apps for a smoother LIFE hahaha!! I use most of these on a daily basis!

  • I thought about throwing Netflix in there but I didn’t use it all that much on my road trip.

  • Yeah I haven’t used Roadtrippers but I hear such great things about it

  • Glad you enjoyed the read!

  • I definitely have used most of these on my road trips! Very helpful.

  • I’ve used Roadtrippers – It’s definitely helpful to find some unique stops along the way! I love a good travel app almost as much as I love a roadtrip. There are a few on here I haven’t tried, I’ll have to check them out!

  • Andrew

    Definitely must-haves! I’d throw in Netflix too, just so you can catch some of those important comedies while on the road