19 Best Road Trip Apps for Your Next Epic Adventure

Forget paper maps, guidebooks, and CDs. What you need are some great road trip apps! Thanks to technology, we all have access to treaming services for music and podcasts, Google and Apple maps,  and finding just about anything you need – ahead of time. The smartphone has simply made road tripping so much easier, cheaper, and fun.

Whether you’re looking for the cheapest gas and avoiding traffic, planning your trip, or finding unique food and roadside attractions, these apps will have your back.

Here are the best road trip apps for your next epic adventure.

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1. Spotify (arguably the most widely-used of all road trip apps)

Let’s face it – it’s not a road trip without that perfect playlist. With more than 80 million tracks in their catalogue and plenty of podcasts, Spotify will keep you more than entertained on the road. While you can download and listen to Spotify for free, ad breaks and data consumption can be a drag. For $10.99 a month you can get a Premium membership which has no ads and allows you to download your favorite music and podcasts to listem to offline. Spotify is available for iOSand Android.

2. Google Maps

Sure, not a big revelation here that you can use GoogleMaps to navigate. But many people don’t realize how robust this app can be! From the ability to add many stops along a route to being able to pause and resume your navigation (like when you have to make a pit-stop using the next app), there is a reason why Google Maps is a universal go-to. If you’re not familiar with the MyMaps feature, check it out by clicking, you’ll thank us later! Google Maps is free and available for iOS and Android. 

4. GasBuddy

This app has saved us from overspending on diesel more times than we can count. Just let it find you or enter your route, and it will show you the latest-reported prices at gas stations along the way. BONUS: Join their loyalty program for even more savings. Even if you’re not going to download all of these road trip apps, this should definitely be one of them. GasBuddy is available for iOS and Android

5. RoadTrippers

This is our go-to planning app. Not only does it get you from point A to point B, but it helps you discover all kinds of stopping points in between. With a $59.99 annual membership to Roadtrippers Premium, you can plot up to 150 points along your route, making it perfect for long trips like our upcoming 10-month camper van adventure! And with RV-friendly routes and options to avoid packed highways, it’s the ideal app for mapping out your own epic journey. BONUS: Use our promo code BTR5QTP for $5 off a new membership! RoadTrippers is available for iOS and Android. And since you’re into road trips, follow along as we continue our Mission to See All 50 States (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico) in our Sprinter campervan, “Ace!”

3. iExit Interstate Exit Guide

This is the app for pit stops. Whether you’re looking for a restroom, a snack, or to fill up your gas tank, just open iExit. If you’re on an interstate, it will locate you quickly and show you exactly what’s coming up down the road. It also shows hotels, if you need to call it a night. iExit is available for iOS and Android.

6. BringFido

©2024 Stephen & Andie

Fellow dog humans, we’ve got you covered, too. Bringing your BFF (best furry friend) along for the ride? We know firsthand how many special considerations come with that. And even though we no longer have dogs (for now), this is probably closer to our hearts than any of the road trip apps in this list. Finding dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks, activities, and more is easy with this free app, available for iOS and Android. 

7. Atlas Obscura

We love to see unusual and quirky spots when we travel. It’s such a great way to learn more about the history and community where we visit. That’s where this website and app come in handy. “The Definitive Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders” has already helped us discover things like Cadillac Ranch, the last Shell Oil clamshell station and white BBQ sauce. Atlas Obscura is available for iOS and Android. 

8. Surfshark

If you’re already familiar with VPNs, then you know you should use one when you travel. If the concept is new to you, here’s a quick summary: VPNs are services that help protect vour devices and personal data from hackers when you’re using public networks. So if you use your phone or other devices in airports, coffee shops, gyms, or other public spaces, signing up for a VPN will give you some peace of mind. BONUS: Our Surfshark link gets you an extension on your new membership! Surfshark is available for iOS and Android. 

9. OpenSignal

If you’re a digital nomad, or if you like to stream entertainment while you’re on the road, knowing what your connection speed will be essential. OpenSignal provides accurate mobile network speed and signal strength for 4G and 5G networks, and is available for iOS and Android. 

10. Flush

​​It’s okay if this one made you giggle like a kid – we did, too. But this brilliant app is a great way to find public restrooms all around the world. It includes critical details like if it is handicap accessible, whether a key or payment is required for access, and more. Trust us, you don’t want to leave home without adding this as one of your road trip apps. Flush is available for iOS and Android. 

11. Uproad

One of the most confusing parts of road trips can be figuring out each state’s toll systems. Many offer toll by mail, which is convenient but often results in higher toll fees. Take the guesswork out of paying for tolls when you use Uproad to manage toll payments and plan your routes. Choose from annual memberships to pay-as-you-go. BONUS: They give you alerts with estimated costs when you pass a toll gate, making it one of the most helpful road trip apps. Uproad is available for iOS and Android. 

12. Harvest Hosts

This one is for those traveling with self-contained vans, RVs, 5th wheels, and similar vehicles. We LOVE our Harvest Hosts membership, because it allows us to spend the night in safe, friendly places, meet locals, and support small businesses. From vineyards to lavender farms, 50s diners to space museums, the types of places we’ve discovered by staying with Harvest Hosts have been diverse and fun. Annual membership is $99 and the Harvest Hosts app is available for iOS and Android. 

13. Viator

If guided tours are your thing, Viator is a great way to discover cities and towns along your route. Choose from activities like whale watches, food tours, and even helicopter tours! It can be a great way to get to know the culture of a destination from your local guide’s perspective. For example, on our recent three-month road trip (#vanlife!), we spent a jam-packed day in Minneapolis. We booked a self-guided river walk tour through Viator, and not only was it a great way to see the city, but we learned a ton of really cool history, too! Check it out in our vlog, One Day In Minneapolis, and don’t forget to give the video a thumbs-up if you dig it, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more of our epic road trips! The Viator app is available for iOS and Android.

14. Hotel Tonight

This app is a lifesaver for last-minute hotel needs. And since you’re helping hotels fill rooms that would otherwise sit empty, you can often get a pretty sweet deal. BONUS: This site and app can be used to find hotels in many places throughout the Americas, Europe, Japan and Australia. Definitely add this one to your phone’s road trip apps folder! Hotel Tonight is available for iOS and Android. 

15. Campendium

©2024 Stephen & Andie

Campendium has been one of our most-used road trip apps for finding places to camp. It gives you free boondocking spots and paid options, and has a great interface, too. We do a mix of parking lot, rest areas, state and national park camping, and boondocking, and we’re always on the lookout for dump stations and fresh water. No matter what we might be looking for, we usually start with Campendium as it’s a great resource for all of those things. Campendium is available for iOS and Android. 

16. FreeRoam

This free app is great for boondockers. Use it to find free and low-cost dispersed camping and overnight parking sites around the country. They provide detailed information including amenities, nearby facilities, elevation, and even what kind of cell signal you might get for each of the major carriers. And with a community chat feature, you can get up-to-date information from travelers who have staved recently at a spot. If you’re curious what boondocking is, or if you’re just looking for some fresh tips, check out Everything You Need to Know About Boondocking. FreeRoam is available for iOS and Android. 

17. PlugShare

Like GasBuddy, but for electric vehicles. PlugShare lists 610,000 charging stations across North America and Europe, helping to answer the question of where to “fill up” your EV. A crucial addition to your collection of road trip apps, PlugShare is available for iOS and Android. 

18. TV Food Maps

This one’s for the foodies, because if you’re going to have a bunch of road trip apps you gotta have at least one just for food! Still haven’t decided where your next road trip will take you? Why not take a tour of the hot spots you saw on the Food Network or Travel Channel? The TV Food Maps website has a great feature: RoadTrip. Enter your starting and ending points, how far you’re willing to wander off the main route, and watch it drop pins on each TV-featured food establishment along the way. TV Food Maps is available for iOS, but not Android, as far as we’re able to find. So, for our Android-using readers, fire up your browser and head to that Road Trip link. We can’t think of a more delicious way to plan a road trip!

Hungry for more food content? From the 7 Best Pizzerias in Naples, Must-Try Foods in Bavaria, an Organic Winery On the Amalfi Coast, and Must-Try Foods in Japan That Aren’t Sushi, we’ve got something for you. 

19. Parkwolf: U.S. National Parks

And last but certainly not least, let’s talk wildlife. We don’t know about you, but viewing epic wildlife is one of our favorite parts about road tripping (heck, about traveling in general!), especially when visiting national parks. Wildlife in its own habitat (the best way to view it, in our opinions) is so unpredictable. But with this free, frequently updated crowdsource app, you can see not just what wildlife to look for, but also real-time heatmaps showing exactly where animals were recently spotted. How cool is that? What’s more, it’s also an offline GPS that explains what’s coming up ahead as you drive through national parks. And before you pay that first national park entrance fee, read this: Why You Should Buy an America the Beautiful Annual Pass. As for Parkwolf, it’s available only for iOS at this time. 

BONUS HOT TIP: Buc-ee’s!

If you’re not familiar, Buc-ee’s is as much a roadside attraction as it is a gas station and “convenience store.” Buc-ee’s doesn’t have an app, but they’ve got pretty much everything you could want in a pit stop. Not only are Bus-ee’s locations flush with gas tanks and clean restrooms, but they’re also one of the best places to fuel up yourself, as well. In fact, if your journey takes you through a region where there’s a Buc-ee’s, we recommend stocking up not just for the road trip, but for when you get home, too. Our go-tos: Beaver Nuggets and the fresh potato chips. 


The post 19 Best Road Trip Apps for Your Next Epic Adventure appeared first on Travel Matters.

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