Road trips: there’s an app for that. Seriously—there are countless apps that have been developed to assist with just about every aspect of a road trip, from the moment you pull out of the driveway to the moment you return, a little worse for wear.
Ranging from practical to informative to fun, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most useful and valuable apps that will make your next road trip the best one yet.
Roadside America (iOS—starting at $2.99)If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to miss out on any adventure, even the weird and unusual ones, then you’ll want to download the Roadside America app. This handy guide highlights unusual attractions along your road trip route—you know, the ones that the major guidebooks don’t cover.
The app covers different regions throughout the US and Canada, allowing you to buy only what you need. You can search for attractions by map or by theme—no Beach Boys monument will go undetected!
PostaGram (iOS, Android—free, with an additional cost per postcard)Forget browsing cheesy postcards to send your “wish you were here” notes—PostaGram allows you to create and send your own customized post cards entirely on your phone. Pick your favorite road trip pic for the cover, type in your message and recipient’s address, and PostaGram will take care of printing and delivering your personalized greeting. The app is free to download, but there is a cost for each postcard sent (only 99 cents per card, within the US).
GasBuddy (iOS, Android—free)There’s nothing more frustrating than filling up your tank mid-road trip, only to come across a gas station minutes later with cheaper gas. GasBuddy will ensure that this doesn’t happen to you: the app finds the cheapest gas option wherever you are, allowing you to save money throughout your journey.
The Traveler (Android—free)It’s a travel scrapbook on your phone: The Traveler app allows you to journal your road trip through maps, photos, videos, notes, and more. This app seamlessly blends the little details of your trip into one perfect little package, allowing you to relive your trip and share it with others. The Traveler is currently only available for Androids, but keep your eyes open for a future Apple-compatible version.
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt (iOS—$0.99)Road trippers with little ones in the back seat will welcome apps that will keep the kids entertained. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt is a version of the familiar road trip favorite, I Spy. This apt keeps kids engaged in the road trip magic: though the phone is the source of the game, their eyes won’t be stuck to the screen the entire ride. Not only will it provide prompts for items to locate (like a car pulling a trailer), it will also track each family member’s score. Unlike many game apps, this is one that everyone can play together.
TripIt (iOS, Android—basic version is free)Planners, rejoice: this is the app for you. TripIt keeps all the details of your trip in one place: maps, directions, confirmation e-mails, calendars, and so forth. You can share your travel details with the click of the button, which is helpful for keeping family members or emergency contacts in the loop.
TV Diner (iOS—$3.99)Fans of TV shows that travel the country (and the globe) in search for the best dining experiences will love this app, which maps the many one-of-a-kind diners, drive-in, restaurants, food trucks, and other establishments that have been featured on these shows. You can base your itinerary around certain spots, or simply see what happens to be along your road trip route. Bon appétit!
Wi-Fi Finder (iOS, Android—free)Wi-Fi Finder is a traveler’s best friend: make your data plan last longer by scouting out wi-fi hotspots with this app. Wi-Fi Finder will not only find the closest wi-fi options to your current location, it will also tell you how to get there. You can also filter by location type (i.e. restaurants and cafes are okay, but hotels are not), cost (free public wi-fi versus paid) and even by service provider.