Road trips have become the safest pandemic getaway for many of us, as the car is a protected social bubble, and you know the travel history of the people with you. A road trip is a great stress buster; it is more about the journey than the destination. They don’t require you to book air tickets, and your travel plan is totally in your hands. But planning one requires a lot of meticulous organizing and all that could potentially worry you.
So, to assist with some of that brain-numbing organizing and planning, your smartphone has got ways to help. They have transformed the way we travel for the better! From booking hotels via apps, ordering our favorite food, to finding our way when on the road, there are countless road trip apps to make your trip memorable! We’ve rounded up a list of the 11 best road trip apps for iPhone and iPad. Let’s get tripping!
11 Best Road Trip Apps for iPhone and iPad
1. Google Maps
It is always possible to lose your way while driving in an unfamiliar place, and it certainly isn’t an ideal situation to be in when you want to enjoy it. Google Maps is undoubtedly the one app that will eliminate all your navigation woes. It trumps over Apple’s own Maps app because it offers more features and versatility. It is available on iOS and iPadOS devices and usually comes pre-installed on Android phones. This is a must-have among all the road trip apps.
Using Google Maps, you can check your Expected Time of Arrival (ETA), distance from the destination, turn-by-turn voice route directions, restaurants near you, convenience stores, and much more. You can also get real-time traffic updates to keep you posted. Your smartphone will now be your map and GPS device, and the best feature of this app is that you can download the route for using it offline so you wouldn’t have to spend data.
We bet you can’t imagine a road trip without music. It is like yin and yang; they are not mutually exclusive. And if you are new to the world of streaming music online, Spotify is the most significant player. It is an online music streaming service available for free on the App Store with a premium subscription at $9.99 per month. Your road trip won’t face a dearth of songs as Spotify offers you a library of more than 20 million tracks, so there’s barely anything you want to listen to that isn’t listed.
The app’s easy to use and clean interface is the best way to find and stream music when on the road with a hundred other things to do. Do note that Spotify is also available on Android and Windows devices. If you are listening for free, you will have to be online to stream music, and ads will support it.
As the immunization drive against COVID-19 picks up pace around the world, people are looking to venture out finally. Not just the local grocery store, but a full-fledged vacation that they had to bid goodbye to last year. Road trips are just that and much more. But figuring out the accommodation arrangements can get tricky. Airbnb is the perfect road trip companion to help you find a place to stay. It allows you to book experiences, vacation stays, or just a place to crash in at night.
It is available in 200 plus countries for helping travellers and tourists to find cheaper accommodation than a hotel and for the hosts to earn income from their property. The search feature on the app offers numerous filters to adjust your results like budget, location, type of property, date, etc. A flexible date feature is also there, aiming to let your trip fit your schedule and not the other way around.
Apart from losing direction, the other greatest fear on a road trip is running out of gas and not finding a station near you. Well, GasBuddy has got you covered. The app is meant to guide you to your nearest gas station and save money on gas. Yes, saving money on gas! You start by linking your bank account to the app, after which they issue a free GasBuddy card to you. Using this card, you can save up to 25¢ per gallon. The search leads you to the cheapest gas stations in that area.
Apart from amazing deals on gas prices, you can use this app to navigate to bathrooms, restaurants, car washes, etc. and see live gas prices. It can be used in the United States and Canada. The app is very helpful to streamline the money spent on gas throughout your road trip and hence makes GasBuddy an essential among road trip apps. You also find helpful driving tips on the app, shared by users like you, making them more relatable and authentic.
As we all know, planning a road trip is no mean feat. The packing, destinations, stoppages, hotels, etc., are essential aspects that require careful attention. To help share the workload, Roadtrippers allows you to plan your road trip in much simpler ways. Everything from your visits, meals, stay, itinerary, etc., can be organized neatly on your smartphone. And the best part is that you can share and collaborate on the planning with your friends and family going with you.
You can discover places to add to your itinerary, monuments, museums, hotels, popular roadside attractions, and much more. The free travel guides greatly help and cover the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. You just have to put in the starting and finishing points, then work your way through the waypoints. It also gives you a gas price estimate based on how much gas your trip will use. Once you’ve decided on a basic map, you can use the “Find Places” feature to get started. It is a free app available on iOS, but you need to pay $29.9 per year for unlocking more advanced features.
We know how making reservations at a restaurant can seem a very daunting task for many. If not daunting, making a phone call is rather cumbersome. To tackle this reservation-via-phone-call task, you can use an app called OpenTable. The app shows you places to dine in near you, which you can filter by cuisine. There are numerous filter options to choose from and to customise your search based on your likings.
It also saves you the awkward silence when you are deciding what to eat while the server waits. The menu of the restaurant is available in high-quality images. When you’re in an unfamiliar town, finding the perfect place to eat can be very hectic, so the location-based suggestions OpenTable gives are just what you need. So, for a hassle-free food-finding experience, download OpenTable on your iPhone or iPad.
7. Weather by Tomorrow
What could be worse than having to encounter cloudy weather when heading to the beach to get a tan? Positively nothing. We may ignore this, but weather plays an essential role in deciding what a particular day in your road trip journey will be like. It also affects things you’d need for the trip, maybe warmer clothes, umbrellas, swimsuits, etc. Whenever you begin planning for a long road trip, you must check out the Weather by Tomorrow app.
This is a must-have app that helps you prepare for the weather in advance. The app gives accurate predictions via ClimaCell (the app’s parent company), and the information gathered is highly localised to help you every step of the way. Among all road trip apps, a weather app is often ignored. But you don’t make that mistake! Use Weather by Tomorrow offers iOS widgets, a live radar map, UV Index, AQI levels, etc.
No one wants to spend any amount of time stuck in a nasty traffic jam instead of enjoying your road trip. The mere idea is ridiculously dull! Plus, in a new town, you may not be familiar with the traffic conditions. Waze gathers data from fellow drivers in that area, who provide real-time route updates and navigation tips. It also provides guided directions to your destination, with attractive maps and social features.
It is an app meant solely for drivers who are looking to go from point X to point Y with dedicated features, easy to use and driving-focused. Google purchased the app in 2013 and segregated its use from Google Maps by keeping Waze focused on commuting solutions. The interface is clean, and you can customize the setting. You can see details like nearby parking lots, charging spots for electric vehicles, and distance.
Groupon is an e-commerce app that lets you choose from various coupons for restaurants, hotel chains, digital services, etc. And when on a budget during a road trip, coupons are a great way to save on money, which perhaps you can use to plan your next road trip! It takes your location into account and then offers relevant deals around you.
There are different categories of coupons like hotels. Entertainment, fashion, electronics, and much more by some of the biggest companies in these businesses like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Marriott, Apple, Hotels.com, etc. Another great feature of this app is that you get notifications whenever you pass a store registered on the app regarding deals and coupons to save your money.
10. Toshl Finance
Planning a road trip isn’t just about organizing; it entails plenty of expenses too. Everything about a road trip, from the fuel required, staying and eating arrangements, site-seeing, etc., requires money. And if you lose track of the expenses, it can pinch your pocket more than you set out for. Hence, managing your budget becomes necessary. To help you with this road trip, essential is Toshl Finance. It is the best finance management app among road trip apps.
This app is a great budgeting app where you can register each one of your expenditures while travelling in an organized way. It supports over 13,000 banks globally, so finding your bank of choice shouldn’t be a problem. The app’s interface is very innovative and allows for more efficient use. Apart from this, 200 plus crypto-currencies are also supported. At the end of your road trip, you can even access a comprehensive expense report to see who ate the extra burgers!
11. Google Trips
Planning your ideal road trip isn’t a cakewalk, and you know it. But is there anything you can do to eliminate some of the manual work? Yes! With Google Trips, you can automate the organization of your trip and sync it with your Gmail account, too, so you don’t miss important notifications. It is easy to use, and you can plan your vacation down to each day. You can rely on Google to deliver excellent performance, and so it does with this app.
You get offline usage which is beneficial for saving data for other important things while on the road. It saves you from an unplanned road trip, which we all know can go very wrong! It is available on iOS for free. You register each trip information into neat folders, which can be accessed whenever needed. Everything from the departure date, destination, etc., is neatly recorded. So if you are searching for road trip apps to download, Google Trips should definitely be on your smartphone.
Wrapping It Up
Road trips definitely make for the best kind of trips you can have with your loved ones. Who doesn’t want a refreshing break from the stress of the pandemic? So, have you thought of when you’re hitting the road again? If it’s anytime soon, make sure you download one of these 11 best road trip apps for iPhone and iPad. They will make your trip much smoother, and you’ll have lesser fights over unplanned arrangements with your friends and family!