You’re excited to pack up the kids and the car for a trip, but which apps will help you save time, money and hassle? What about finding things to do along the way? This list will get you started.
It’s pretty much a given that you’re using Google Maps if you own an Android phone. You can set your home, look up businesses in a location, get directions by car, foot or public transportation and check into places once you arrive. Google Maps now included information such as hours of operation for businesses, which is great when you head out of town.
This app can literally save you money on your road trip by helping you to find the cheapest gas stations around. You know how expensive it might be to fuel up at a truck stop gas station right off the highway, and GasBuddy can take you directly to the station that will be nicest to your wallet. You can also log on to GasBuddy’s website, which is mobile friendly. If you’re interested in helping the community, make sure to update prices from your local gas stations.
If you’re going to need a hotel to stay at, the review system from other users on TripAdvisor is a boon. Aside from hotel information, you can find recommendations for hotels and local attractions if the family it looking a little bored with your itinerary. You’ll find that the app is less cluttered than some alternatives, so it’s easier to find exactly the information that you want.
You probably remember playing the license plate game as a kid when your parents were behind the wheel, so why not offer something for your children to do as you drive across the state or country? RoadTripBingo is that app, which encourages youngsters to find various items as you drive and then shake the device to clear the screen. Even Mom and Dad might get in on the fun.
Perhaps you’re the type of person who cares more about than the journey than the destination. If that’s the case, check out Roadside America, an app that points out the crazy tourist destinations along the way that you may have missed if you simply stuck to GPS. You can subscribe to any or all of the six regions, which offer over 6,000 attractions from balls of twine to the world’s largest six pack (of beer). Roadside America includes user reviews, so you know what to skip. Addresses, prices and other helpful information are offered in this app and on the Roadside America website.
Of course, plenty of other apps exit. Yelp and UrbanSpoon offer reviews of restaurants and other businesses that you might frequent while on vacation, and OpenTable allows you to make reservations for your party. If you’re planning to cross borders, iTranslate can help you get over the language barrier, too. Most of these apps are free, so don’t feel bad if you don’t love them.
Image Credit: digitalart.