10 Free Road Trip Apps for a Smooth Vacation

10 Free Road Trip Apps for a Smooth Vacation


Out of all the possible summer vacations, road trips have the unique ability to crumble apart as soon as they begin. What you predict will be a long, character-building family trip through the countryside quickly dissolves into a car of hungry, screaming relatives — if you’re not careful.

We’ve compiled this list of free, helpful apps to make your road trip roll smoothly, and to keep your family from attacking each other at the next truck stop.

1. RoadNinja

RoadNinja composite

Mashable composite, images courtesy of RoadNinja


Download: Android and iOS.

Billboards become redundant with the free RoadNinja app — users learn the locations of restaurants, gas stations and points of interest near every highway exit. View real-time gas prices and access RoadNinja special offers and coupons.

2. HotelsByMe

HotelsByMe composite

Mashable composite, images courtesy of HotelsByMe


Download: Android and iOS.

Plans changed last minute? The HotelsByMe app can help. Offering real-time availability and hotel pricing in your area, this app pulls hotel ratings from TripAdvisor. So, you’ll know whether the “Five-Star Inground Pool” is actually a four feet-deep mosquito habitat lorded over by a territorial Canadian goose.

3. Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers Dumb and Dumber Map

Image courtesy of Roadtrippers.com


Download: iOS.

Take the road less traveled with this app, which finds obscure small businesses and attractions on your custom vacation routes. Roadtrippers — both a web and mobile app — gives you a localized road trip, for a more adventurous feel.

4. OpenTable


Image courtesy of OpenTable


Download: Android and iOS.

Make a dinner reservation while you’re still stuck in traffic three states away, with the OpenTable app. Restaurants opt in to the service, often providing menus, photos and more. You can search for available locations by price, cuisine and rating.

5. Field Trip

Field Trip App

Image courtesy of Google


Download: Android and iOS.

This free Google app runs in the background of your smartphone, alerting you to locations fit for a field trip: historical sites, architecture, entertainment, etc. The app talks about interesting places as you drive by and will customize recommendations based on your “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.”

6. BatteryGuru


Download: Android.

If you have an Android, you have battery problems — this is a fact of life. If you’re taking a long road trip and haven’t invested in a car charger, BatteryGuru can help. After a few days of “learning” how you use your smartphone and data, the app creates a customized battery optimization plan that’ll give your phone a bit more juice.


7. Project Noah

Project Noah App

Image courtesy of Project Noah


Download: Android and iOS

If you have any science lovers on your road trip, use Project Noah, a great app for discovery. Just upload a picture of a cool specimen, tag your location and it will document in the huge, crowdsourced science experiment that is Project Noah. You can also view any recent documentations near your area or filter based on organisms that interest you.

8. Sky Map

Night Stars

Image courtesy of HDRshooter.com


Download: Android.

Decided to pass up the hotel and camp out for the night? Use this educational app to search for stars — as you see them. Sky Map uses GPS data, compass data and date/time to display planets and constellations viewable in your location. A similar free iOS app called Star Chart is available in iTunes.

9. Postagram


Image courtesy of Postagram


Download: Android and iOS.

Want to keep family and friends up to speed on your road trip? This free app sends customized postcards anywhere in the U.S. for $0.99 ($1.99 for addresses outside the U.S.). You take the picture, write the message and the app sends your creation anywhere you’d like.

10. The Traveler

The Traveler

Image courtesy of The Traveler


Download: Android.

The Traveler app organizes, documents and stores your trip all in one place: a virtual road trip scrapbook. When you capture photos and videos, the app will add corresponding markers to your map. Compatible with the newest version of Google Maps, it takes pictures through the app’s action bar.

Know of any other great free road trip apps? Tell us about them in the comments.

Homepage image via iStockphoto, labsas


About smokeycamping

Well let's see have lived in NY for my whole life, have always loved the outdoors (as long as it is warm out) have always hated the cold, and like a dummy have stayed in NY. But now with my second try my wife, we have been camping now for well over 25 yrs. We currently own a 2010 Cedar creek silverback 35TS and can not wait to get out on the highways and see this great country we all call home. Hope to see every National park before my medical issue becomes too bad to travel. I love my African gray parrot (she is my baby) and have two dogs at the time brother and sister mutts, but love them all the same. Have always been a big Nascar fan, love computers (have a number of certificates to build and work on them) am trying to learn photography, enjoy light hiking, being with good friends and folks. country music, pop music and just being outdoors. So I hope someday to meet some of the great people who like what I like and post out there in some great campground somewhere in the country, till then I will keep posting and I hope you keep liking.

Posted on November 13, 2014, in The world as i see it as a camper and who loves his country and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I would add Spyglass for iOS to this list. It works extremely well for off-road navigation and travelling. It’s crammed with all that necessary data like gps coordinates, current azimuth, altitude, speed, potential arrival time to your target and much more. Users are granted access to a wide array of features, including offline map saving. This allows travelers to navigate even without a cell phone signal, assuming the map is saved in their app.

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