We have used these apps on our 50 states Adventure Road Trip and still use them on our road trip nomad adventures. They are definitely a life saver. From finding parking — avoiding deadly Tornadoes—checking for the best gas prices to looking for places to eat. We have researched and tried several apps but these are the ones that really worked for us and made our trips more meaningful.
Click the Name of the App to see it google play.
DISCLAIMER: This is only a list and our experience for Android since we only have an Android phone. However, I am positive that Iphone has the same or an equivalent app.
- Google Maps (Free) – This app and manual maps are our only GPS. We love the accuracy and updates of google maps as always. It gives information regarding alternate routes, current delays, and nearby places. We use it to find everything literally like finding grocery stores, churches, libraries, and so much more. PRO TIP: Type “____ near me or near me now” on google map search and you will see all the options.
- Gas Buddy (Free) – As frugal travelers, we try to get the best or most affordable deal in everything if we can without compromising quality as much as possible. This app helps us find the nearest gas stations and their current prices. It also gives the distance of each gas station from your current location. PRO TIP: Use the map icon to check for gas, it gives you the best real time idea which direction the gas station is—because it’s not fun when you are heading to a gas station that’s in the opposite direction. Click the gas station on the map and the distance will pop up.
- MyRadar (Free -In app purchases) – This app definitely saved us from storm and tornadoes. It gives you a real time direction of thunderstorm and tornadoes. It also has alerts and current flood warnings. PRO TIP: It is very helpful to have a basic understanding of the doppler radar color coding. You don’t need to be a weather expert just understand which colors to avoid. So look it up before you start a long road trip if you haven’t.
NOTE: This app eats up data and battery so be sure to charge your phone and have sufficient data when you use it.
- Rest Stops/USA Rest Stop Locator ( Free- In app purchases) – Love, love this app. Gives you the nearest rest area or the distance of the next rest area. It also gives information about the rest stop. Best for Bathroom breaks, short picnic, and short naps or literally for a rest stop. PRO TIP: Use the map option the see rest areas available around you in a bigger scale
- Toll Smart – (Paid) – Wishing it was free but we need it sometimes and could not find any other app that has the same features so swallowed the price. It calculates toll costs across all tunnels, bridges, and toll roads in the US and Canada including the alternate routes. So in a way, it will save you money. I honestly don’t think it’s all that helpful for us since we don’t drive in big cities that much and we try to avoid tolls if we can. Don’t get me wrong, we used it several times in big cities such as New York and Boston. I just think that for a paid app and the type of road trip that we do, it’s not that worth it compared to the other apps we bought and use all the time.
- Trip Expense Manager ( Free) – We like to see the budget, how much we spent so far, and what we are spending most on any trip. This app has it all. PRO TIP: Based on the data, you will know which area you can save the most.
- Best Parking ( Free) – It shows prices of parking spaces and lots on your current location. PRO TIP: Park at a distance and take a walk—gives you more chances to see places and exercise.
- Wunderlist (Free- In app purchases) – A simple and straight to the point to do list and checklist. Keeps us Focus and organize on the road. We travel A LOT and work on the road so really no space for papers and sticky notes. PRO TIP: Only create short checklist that you can accomplish in a day.
- Restaurant.com (Free) – We usually cook on the road since we are vegans. If we must eat in a restaurant we try to get the best dining deals through coupons or through this app. It really helps you save. PRO TIP: Eat lunch time or happy hour – it costs less.
- Restaurant Finder (Free- In app purchases) – As the name implies, it helps you find restaurant and dining areas around you. PRO TIP: Read Reviews before you go.
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