Heading out on the road this Holiday season? So are millions of others. Yikes! All those other drivers on the road can lead to freeway frenzy and highway hazards. Are you ready to find the best path past the latest traffic jam? Find the nearest public restroom when nature calls? Do you know where to go when hunger strikes?
You will if you take these ten apps along for the ride. Most are free. Those that aren’t, are worth the small fee. My opinion, of course!
1. Google Maps – For All-Around Navigational Needs
Start that holiday road trip on the right page with Google Maps. With its voice-enabled, turn-by-turn directions, GoogleMaps gets you where you need to be. And once there, you can continue using GoogleMaps for those adventures around town on foot. Simply switch from navigation by vehicle to navigation by pedestrian and start exploring. Who needs a separate GPS device when you have a smart phone? And it’s free!
Why I like GoogleMaps? The voice-enabled, turn-by-turn directions ensure I don’t need to look at the screen when I’m navigating by myself.
2. WAZE – Helping You Bypass That Traffic Jam
Alert! Traffic Jam Dead Ahead! Use WAZE and you’ll receive alerts like this before you hit that miles-long traffic jam, drive past that speed trap beneath the bridge, or encounter that road blocking hazard. WAZE’s free, interactive, community-based traffic and navigation app provides real-time updates on traffic jams, accidents, police traps, and other road hazards that could affect your drive. It might just be your best road trip companion!
Why I like WAZE? It’s simple. I hate getting jammed up in a traffic jam or snared in a sneaky speed trap.
3. CoPilot GPS – For Those Off-Grid Driving Needs
If your road trip takes you off the beaten path, and off the grid, then you need a friend to CoPilot those roads. CoPilot GPS is a free, powerful offline mapping and route planning app that will navigate where you want to go, no signal required. Just download maps and directions before you hit the road, and you are good to go! CoPilot also offers a premium app with more advanced navigational tools for purchase. Compare CoPilot GPS vs Premium to decide which version is best for you.
Why I like CoPilot GPS? Sometimes my roads take me down the lesser traveled path, and I prefer having a back-up navigation option just in case.
4. GasBuddy – Because Cars Need Gas
Gotta get gas? Then you gotta get Gas Buddy. Gas Buddy will find the best gas price in town, or on the highway. Search real-time gas prices exactly where you are at that moment in time, or search gas prices for where you plan to be in 100 miles. With search options by city, state, and zip code, you can easily plan your path to least gas prices. And once you find that gas station with the best price, Gas Buddy can navigate you right to the gas pump.
Why I Like Gas Buddy? I like paying the least amount possible for gas no matter where I am. Don’t you?
5. Along The Way – For That Long-Needed Break
In need of a coffee or restroom break? The kids getting antsy? Tell Along the Way where you are, and it will tell you where to go. Whether you need a break now or 30 minutes from now, Along The Way finds the nearest food, coffee, park, shopping mall, and more based upon the route you are driving. Best of all, Along The Way works practically any where in the world. Great for road trips from home, and road trips afar. The app costs $2.99 – a small price to pay for a plethora of road-side information.
Why I Like Along The Way? I can plan stops for immediate need, or for further on down the road. I like to plan ahead, you see!
6. Roadside America – For Some Roadside Fun
In search of adventure along the way? Fire up Roadside America and let the discoveries begin. Roadside America’s searchable, mappable listings put a plethora of roadside attractions, including natural wonders and the odd, offbeat and quirky, right at your fingertips. Use the Near Me feature for a fun roadside detour perfect for breaking up that monotonous drive. Roadside America is $2.99 – a bargain for this treasure trove of roadside fun just waiting to be discovered.
Why I Like Roadside America? I’ve discovered places I might not otherwise have found. And it’s just plain fun!
7. Food Tripping – When Hunger Strikes
Need to feed along the drive? Prefer to nosh on something besides the typical fast food joints that often line up along freeway exits? Belly up to Food Tripping and you’ll find alternatives to that roadside fast food joint. This GPS-based app will have you noshing on healthier options at that next highway exit in no time. Food Tripping is also great for finding alternative eating establishments in your backyard!
Why I like Food Tripping? Given the option, I would prefer to not eat at the typical fast food joints, and Food Tripping helps me find those options!
8. SitOrSquat -When You Need To Pee
When nature calls, will you be able to find the nearest restroom? The answer is yes if you have the free SitOrSquat restroom finder app. SitOrSquat provides directions to public restrooms as well as cleanliness ratings based upon your current location. So the next time you have a bathroom emergency, just pull up SitOrSquat and find the nearest public restroom. You’ll be relieved you did!
What I Like About SirOrSquat? Because somebody in my car always seems to need a bathroom.
9. Spotify – Pass The Time With Tunes
Listening to favorite music can help pass time on the road, and Spotify can provide the tunes. Don’t have a subscription? The Spotify app offers free internet radio streaming. Subscribers have the added benefit of access to the complete Spotify album collection as well as offline access to your playlists. Great for those moments heading down roads lesser known, where radio signals are weak, and you just gotta have your music.
Why I like Spotify? Sometimes I just can’t find a radio station with my kind of music.
10. Hotel Tonight – When That Drive Is Too Long
Sometimes things happen. Maybe you didn’t plan to stop for the night, but now you want to. Good thing you have Hotel Tonight on your mobile phone! Find nearby hotels and available rooms in a snap, and often at a better-than-rack-rate price. Hotel Tonight not only helps you find where to rest your head tonight, it also lets you book that room right from the app. One stop shopping before you pull in for the night.
Why I like Hotel Tonight? Because sometimes life throws me a curve ball, and it’s time for an unscheduled stop for the night.
What’s Your Favorite Road Trip App?
Essential to any road trip I take are apps that can help navigate where I need to be, as well as find what I need when on the open road. These ten apps are the foundation of my own essential road tripping apps.
Are you hitting the roads this holiday season? Do you use apps on your mobile device to help that road trip fly by? What’s your favorite road tripping app? Please share in the Comments section below.