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6 Best Road Trip Apps To Help You Plan, Save Money & More

apps for road trips

By Sky Fisher

Looking for the best road trip apps?

Then you’re in the right place!

A road trip can be one of the most fun and adventurous modes of travel; however, what is not fun is getting lost, running out of gas or listening to the same song 50 times.

This list of must-have apps for road trips can help you avoid negative situations and find cool things to do on the way to your destination. Download them before your next group or solo road trip!

apps for road trips
GasBuddy

1. GasBuddy. When planning a road trip, GasBuddy should be your new BFF.

Gas is usually one of the biggest expenses of any road trip and GasBuddy is the best app to help you save money.

It finds the cheapest places to fill up your tank and where the nearest gas station is for those times you’re almost on empty.

My favorite feature, though, is the “Trip Cost Calculator” which offers a semi-reliable estimate of how much a trip will cost.

apps for road trips
Google Maps

2. Offline Google Maps. Google Maps is a go-to map app for most as it’s typically already installed on devices.

The regular version is fantastic — as long as you stay within cell service and are comfortable using up data.

For times when you know you’ll be without cell service or don’t want to constantly use data, though, you can download maps ahead of time for use offline.

apps for road trips
Spotify

3. Spotify. The most annoying thing about spending any significant amount of time in a car? Trying to find a radio station that comes in clearly for more than ten minutes…and hearing the same song 15 times because you have to keep switching stations and every one is playing the same 5 songs.

The solution? Spotify.

Spotify allows you to create custom playlists with all of your favorites or listen to playlists they’ve already curated for virtually every mood and situation under the sun.

Basic Spotify does require cell service and uses data so I recommend upgrading to Spotify Premium.

For around $10 a month, you receive additional mobile features and can download playlists to your phone so you can listen for hours without using up all your data or in regions where cell service is less than stellar.

apps for road trips
HotelTonight

4. HotelTonight. Last-minute hotel booking apps like HotelTonight can save you a bundle if you’re flexible.

They basically take unsold hotels up to a week out and offer them at a discounted rate. The closer to the stay date the better deals you’ll find.

HotelTonight is especially awesome for road trippers, as with one click the app uses their location to pull up a real-time map of what’s nearby with prices. 

Bonus Discount: Use referral code “JFESTA4” when using HotelTonight and save $25!

apps for road trips
Roadtrippers

5. Roadtrippers (use code “BTR5QTP” for $5 off). If you go on road trips, Roadtrippers simplifies the process by a million — and makes it fun.

Choose “Plan A Trip” and enter in your starting and ending points to be brought to an interactive map.

From there, click the interest icons representing attractions, restaurants and outdoor fun (among other choices) to be shown options along the way.

All of these will show up as waypoints on the map. Click the waypoint to learn more about the site, with the option to “Add To Trip.” Once your map is complete, you can share it with your friends.

Even if you’re not going on a road trip, you can “Explore The Map” by typing in your destination, choosing your area of interest and having cool experiences around town shown for you to plot on the map.

RoadTrippers is the app for a US-based roadtrip. The app helps you plan your route by showing everything from hotels and camping to restaurants and bars; however, the best part of the app is all of the offbeat attractions listed, ranging from categories like “Weird Places” to “Natural Wonders”.

This is perfect for long days of driving when you want to see something cool without going off course or to create a unique road trip based on all the wacky attractions they find (and there are a LOT of them in the US!).

apps for road trips
Waze

6. Waze. Though Waze was originally intended as a way to improve daily driving, it’s also a life (time) saver on the road.

Waze allows you to see real time traffic updates more than any other app because they allow other users to add updates.

Beyond finding a route around the traffic backed up for miles, Waze can also alert you to a police car sitting up ahead or a recent accident.

It’s a great tool for avoiding traffic, construction, and getting to your destination via the quickest route possible based on real time conditions.

What would you add to this list of best road trip apps?

About Jessie Festa

Jessie Festa is an New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture, an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys, which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

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4 Comments

  1. Vicki on at 5:10 pm

    I was just on a road trip last week and realized I didn’t print out my list of states for the license plate game. And just using a notepad on my phone wasn’t fun enough (or easy enough to check off). It only took me 3 hours to think “There must be an app for that!” Sure enough..It’s called Plates Free. Gives me license plates for the US, Canada and Mexico, as well as territories. Keeps track (We got 33 / 50 on our trip, but 3 bonus plates!) and shows you a picture of the standard issue license plate for each state.

  2. John on at 12:25 pm

    Many of the apps listed above – Google Maps, Waze, Gas Buddy, RoadTrippers – are available on Amazon. If something above interests you, it’s worth checking on Amazon to see if you can get it for your Fire phone.

  3. Helen on at 5:07 pm

    I love Wanderlog.com. It is great for planning trips and it interfaces with Maps and TripAdvisor to give suggestions of places to see. You can forward your hotel confirmations to your itinerary and it will add them to your trip. Some of the features I used to use when it first came out (like route optimization) is now available only on the premium version. But I still love it and use it for any trip worldwide. Also I can’t survive without Rome2Rio.com. Tells you the ways to get between any two spots in the world and includes links to the schedules!

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