If life truly is a highway, then the urge to ride it all night long is certainly understandable. However, life on the road can be tough for the ill-prepared. Luckily, modern technology offers plenty of solutions to the loneliness of the long-distance driver. Here are some apps to keep you on track, find you necessities, and pass the time more enjoyably.
Let’s start out with a hub and build out from there. Roadtrippers, an app attached to the website of the same name, is an uber-travel-app that lets the user find places by category on the road, navigate the world’s winding streets, and share “bucket lists” of their favorite destinations. It all syncs between the website and the mobile device, too, so you can access your account through your favorite means. Roadtrippers is available through both Android and Apple devices.
Knowing an area’s good restaurants is a sign of mastery of the city; once you’ve lived in a location for long enough, you’ll get to know where to get a good grub on. In new places, though, finding enjoyable comestibles can be a challenge. Urbanspoon takes the guesswork out of finding yummies, allowing users to share photos and reviews, get contact info for reservation purposes, and locate eateries on a map. Additionally, the app has a random feature where users specify a number of parameters and receive a recommendation. Urbanspoon is available for both Android and Apple devices.
Let’s face it, if you’re reading a list of useful travel apps on the internet, you’re likely the kind of person who needs to be wired in constantly. However, life on the road, far away from the comforts of your high-speed wireless setup, can be rough on your devices, especially if you regularly move large amounts of data (such as apps) through them. That’s why you need WiFi Track, an Android app that lets you home in on signal sources as you stay mobile. Who says you can’t download big files on the go?
Ever been on a back road in the middle of nowhere with no sound but a radio preacher for miles? A road trip just isn’t a road trip without some pumping tunes to sing along to. Pandora, the internet radio service, allows users to build stations around favorite artists, so listeners never have to sit through some local station’s idea of what music you should like. The Pandora mobile app puts that musical freedom in your pocket in smart-device form. Pandora is available for Apple or Android, and it is the perfect thing for fighting off those late-night, long-drive blues.
For the budget-conscious traveler, hostels, a low-cost alternative to hotels, can be a blessing. However, experienced hostellers will tell you that they can be of uneven quality, which is a diplomatic way of saying super-scary. Hostelworld’s mobile app takes the guesswork out of finding a hostel where you won’t spend the night curled up in fear, with 35,000 entries in 180 countries, all attached to user reviews, photos, and pricing information. Available for both Android and Apple, Hostelworld is as vital to smart hosteling as remembering to buy a pair of shower shoes.
Of course, some travelers might find the backpacker-y aura of hosteling is not for them. For such discerning voyagers, an app focused more on the hotel experience might be best. Hotel Tonight connects users with last-minute deals on hotel rooms around the world, allowing unprepared travelers to solve their accommodation issues in moments. Photos and ratings from others help ensure that you find the best possible lodgings for you money. Hotel Tonight is only available on Apple devices, though, so I guess Android users will be stuck sleeping under the stars.
A road trip should be a time for relaxation and refreshment. Unfortunately, the stresses of travel can turn a pleasant experience into a nightmare if the unexpected occurs. However, the judicious use of apps like those mentioned above can turn a potential disaster into a wonderful experience. Just don’t forget to take pictures.