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 a few apps really took away some of the stress. These apps are available on both Android and iOS and I hope they’ll make your road trip smoother too. So here are my ten must have apps for smooth road trips. Let me know what your must have apps for smooth road trips are.
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.
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, 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.
I’ll be honest, we didn’t use this app during our road trip. Man, I wish we did. We wasted a lot of time trying to find the cheaper gas stations. Because let’s face it, California gas is not cheap. 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?
This app was seriously a lifesaver. 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. The app is so user-friendly allowing you to filter your results accordingly. It made booking an Airbnb super easy. And when you find yourself in a huge emergency … well …
Because even photographers sometimes get tired of carrying around their DSLRs and camera gear. Sure you can use your phone’s camera but I find quite limited. Camera+ lets you adjust exposure and focus much like a real point and shoot. The only bad thing about this app is that if you want to record video on it you have to pay for the premium version.
This is another app I haven’t used yet. But I’ve seen it floating around other travel app lists and it sounds fantastic 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.
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!
Starbucks: Because We're Coffee Addicts Click To Tweet
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 Starbucks has an amazing rewards program! Sometimes I go to Starbucks just to earn those stars and when I’m on the road, I rack up free drinks fast! Don’t judge me.
Spotify: No Road Trip Is Complete Without Music Click To Tweet
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.
A fantastic finance app that helps you keep track of your expenditures. 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.