The idea of a road trip always seems fun at first, but oftentimes reality sets in after that third hour in the car. Boredom overcomes you, navigating can become complicated, and outrageous gas prices can set you back. You start feeling regret for not booking that flight instead. But by downloading these essential apps for your iPhone or Android, your road trip will fly by without a hitch.
If music is a must-have road trip essential, be sure to download the Spotify app before you head out. If you opt for a premium account, you’ll be able to save songs and playlists to your phone to listen to in offline mode. So if you’re driving through the mountains and service is spotty, you’ll still be able to listen to your tunes without interruption. The first month of Spotify Premium is free, so keep this in mind if you want to use it for that big trip, but aren’t wanting to pay the normal $9.99 monthly fee.
This is an obvious must-have app for your road trip, and chances are you already have it downloaded onto your Android or iPhone. Google Maps is probably the easiest navigation tool to use, and is great for inputting the names of restaurants, bars, monuments, and landmarks rather than having to input an actual address. But if you think your reception might be poor throughout your trip, search the route beforehand on the app and take a screen shot, just in case!
There is nothing worse than seeing those red brake lights ahead of you when all you want to do is cruise through your road trip. This is where the Waze app can help. Waze automatically updates your route when there is traffic spotted ahead, based on the observations and information inputted by other drivers. It also takes into account other things that drivers want to avoid, like cops and construction zones, and alerts you when these things are coming up along your route. You can even input your own observations onto the app to help other drivers out.
The GasBuddy app allows you to compare gas prices in the surrounding area, so you’ll always be able to find the best price for filling up. You can also set the app to send you alerts when prices are projected to rise, so you can fill up your tank at the most cost-efficient time and location.
If you’re a picky eater, or travelling with someone that is easy to please when it comes to food, download Foursquare. It gives you suggestions for nearby restaurants based on your food preferences, and you can be as specific as you want. So if you’re looking for a decent vegetarian meal or you’re trying to stick to your paleo diet during your road trip, just use Foursquare to find delicious food near you.
Even though there is a monthly fee of $2.99 to use the TollSmart App, it’s worth the three bucks. TollSmart actually shows you each toll fee throughout your road trip, and it allows you to change your route depending on the cost of tolls to save some money. It also allows you to change the settings depending on if you are an E-ZPass holder. So if you know you’ll have to pay tolls throughout your drive, download the TollSmart app for Android or iOS.