Road trips are a longtime fixture of summer travel. Gone, however, are the days of paper maps blowing in the wind and the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Technology has helped solve some of the previous issues with road trips: not knowing how much it will cost, which ways to go, and how to get help if you need it. We’ve compiled some of the best apps and technologies that can help you not only get to where you’re going but enjoy your time on the road as well.
1. Roadtrippers – For the adventure-seeker
Roadtrippers goes way beyond the classic navigation system. It allows you to discover interesting places along a route, from historic sites and scenic drives, to delicious eats and convenient hotels. Suggested places typically include photos and reviews from other users to help with the planning process. You can even save places you enjoyed for future reference. Roadtrippers also integrates a social-sharing components, empowering you to share routes or good finds with friends. In addition, the app has a free version and a paid, subscription-based version.
2. Waze – For efficient routes
Waze helps users get where they want as quickly as possible via their community-based navigation system. The app crowdsources real-time data and input from other users to ensure that you are always on the most efficient route available. Waze flags everything from police sightings, road hazards, accidents, or traffic jams. It even highlights the cheapest gas stations around! Users can also share their arrivals times with one another, so friends can coordinate more effectively. The app is free on Google Play or the App Store.
3. Tollsmart – Save money on the road
Tollsmart calculates total toll costs on your planned route for any trips across North America (United States, Canada, and Mexico). You can specify your vehicle type to ensure an accurate estimation for total cost. Plus, the app considers transponder discounts, such as E-ZPass and I-PASS, among others. Once you enter your origin and final destination, the app returns possible routes and their respective toll costs. The app is available for download on Google Play or the App Store.
4. Blink Roadside – Get help when you need it
Blink is a nationwide roadside assistance platform that connects users to nearby providers when trouble strikes on the road. The app provides you with access from a wide variety of services, from towing to jump-starts, from vehicle lockout services to spare tire installation and more. Help is available in over 99% of zips across the country. The fee structure for the app is service-based vs. subscription-driven.
5. iExit – Map out your pit stops
Ever question whether to stop at one exit or the next? iExit can help you plan out your pitstops. It uses GPS to recognize your position and show you amenities such as restaurants, gas pumps and hotels at the amenities ahead of you. You can stop at the places you want and not be driven by necessity. iExit is available for free on both the Apple app store and Google Play.
Other apps to consider include HotelTonight, which allows you to find un-booked and discounted hotel rooms the night you need them, Spotify, which has planned road trip playlist for any destination and audible, audiobooks to keep you engaged and entertained.