Sometimes you just need to get away for a bit, hit the open road and recenter yourself amongst new settings. A good road trip can be formative, creating bonds between those packed into a vehicle for a few days. It can be utilitarian, giving you the chance to hit interesting and fun locations before you reach your final destination. Or they can simply just be a good time.
That’s the beauty of road trips, they can be pretty much anything you want to make them. And there are a number of apps that can help anyone build out their ideal road trip, no matter what flavor it takes on. Here are the top options as chosen by us.
It is easy to see why a navigation app would be the first entry here. When crisscrossing the various highways out there, it’s always good to have a tool that can keep you on track. Google Maps and Waze offer similar options, including downloadable maps for offline access and sourced traffic information, so it really comes down to personal preference.
Road trips usually involve a full carload of people, which means that making splitting payments and other forms of financial flexibility are heavy needs. Venmo and CashApp are perfect for sending money between fellow trippers, especially when bank and ATM access is limited.
Speaking of financial flexibility, gas prices across the country are still at eye-bulging levels despite their slow tick down recently. Staying on top of the best, cheapest and closest options when the need to refuel, and GasBuddy packs all of that into one app. And for electric vehicles, PlugShare sources charging station information from multiple services to show nearly every charging station near you at any given point. It even has options to filter searches by specific charging speed.
Long stretches of highway beckon for an ample supply of tunes, and while there are many options for streaming music, Tidal is perhaps the best option. It isn’t the most popular service out there, but it is the one among the most popular platforms that pays artists the most. Why not help out those providing your trip’s soundtrack by using the service that helps their bank account the most?
There is a lot of weird stuff stored in the pockets of America. Sometimes they’re right under your nose yet remain unknown or out of view of the usual attractions aggregator. Roadside America is built specifically to help you find the wacky and odd (such as the world’s largest ball of twine in Cawker City, KS) along your route. You never know what you might find.
For those that want to experience nature during a break from the road, AllTrails is a valuable tool. The app provides hundreds of hiking trails that meet any degree of difficulty. It also provides navigation and maps to help maneuver any option you choose.
Sometimes you just need a one-stop shop, and that is where Roadtrippers fits into the picture. This app provides plenty of trip planning tools, including route builders, regional attractions and lodging. Roadtrippers also has a selection of pre-made trip guides that can inform and inspire your own getaway.
You’re probably going to need a place to lay your head at the end of the day, whether you prefer to slumber under the stars or in air conditioning. HotelTonight and The Dyrt have you covered either way. HotelTonight delivers great deals for day-of hotel bookings, making it a lifesaver in last-minute situations, and The Dyrt sources thousands of campgrounds available to you should you want to throw up a tent or roll out a sleeping bag instead.