To say we love road trips in an understatement. We travel via car often and we use various apps along the way in order to make our travels easier.
I covered our choice in navigation apps in a previous post, so here are the other apps we use on the road.
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Apps While Driving
One of the main apps we use on the road is iExit. iExit allows you to find what services (if any) are at a particular Interstate exit. While it does not have every listing, it is pretty accurate and will let you plan out where to stop for lunch or get gas. It also will let you know about rest areas, which is handy for planning bathroom breaks. iExit makes finding that elusive Taco John’s that much easier to find.
Road Ninja was its principal competitor, but it has since been deactivated, which is OK by us… we like iExit better.
myPilot is one of the better gas station apps out there. We like Pilot and Flying J for when we are traveling with the camper. Typically, you can find parking space long enough for a towed vehicle, as well as a fast food restaurant, making it an easy place to pull in with the camper for lunch while we are on the road.
The app will also tell you what the price of gas is at a particular Pilot or Flying J, which comes in handy. Waze and GasBuddy will also tell you the price of gas, but both of those are reliant on crowdsourcing. myPilot has the present fuel price directly from the station itself.
Additionally, both Good Sam members receive a $.05 per gallon discount on gas! We save significantly more than the $25 annual fee on gas alone.
Love’s and TA Petro also have apps that will give you the location of their nearest stations. Love’s gives gas prices as well. Having those apps, especially if you are an RVer, is incredibly handy when you need to find a place you can pull into and out of.
Apps For Places to Stay
Need to find a campground and have exhausted the usual channels? I have one main app I use to find a campground if we don’t have one reserved: Allstays Camp and RV. Allstays finds all kinds of campgrounds as well as other useful sites like Wal-Marts and other stores, dump stations and low clearance bridges. Truly, it is worth every penny.
Another good app is the recreation.gov app. The app will show you all of the federally managed campgrounds in an area. This can come in handy when looking for that one site in a particular area or if you are on the road and need a cheap campground for the night without a lot of frills.
We like Hilton properties, so of course, I am going to recommend the Hilton app. It is very functional as a hotel app, allowing you to get most all the information you could need while on the road. It also supports digital keys, something we have not tried out yet.
The other app I am going to recommend is the Booking.com app. We use that app extensively whenever we need to stay in an area without a Hilton property nearby. It provides one of the widest arrays of hotels available. If you are not brand loyal when it comes to hotels, this is one of the best apps to have.
Apps For Places to Eat
For food, we typically use either Trip Advisor or Open Table. Open Table is great for finding an… wait for it… open table at a restaurant which takes reservations. It’s easy and it makes making a reservation for a special dinner just a few clicks away. For our anniversary this summer, we booked VOLT through the Open Table app.
There are other apps for finding restaurants but we typically use Trip Advisor.
Trip Advisor is so well-known, it seems foolish to put it on a list of apps for a road trip, but we use it all the time. Whenever we go to a new town, the first thing we do is pull up Trip Advisor to look for a place to eat. We also use Trip Advisor extensively for our reviews.
One note on using Trip Advisor: there are a lot of ways to game the reviews and rating, so it is often good to spend a little time reading the reviews before blindly choosing the “top” restaurant in an area. Even then, one of the best recommendations we have ever gotten for a restaurant was for a food truck in Key West (Garbo’s Grill). We only wish we had gone sooner!
One Last App…
The last app I have on the list is one I hope you have but never need: AAA. The AAA app will pinpoint your location and, with a couple of clicks, send roadside assistance to you. We have had AAA for years and the membership fee more than pays for itself in discounts (10% at Hilton properties), not to mention the paper maps you can have shipped to you at any time.
The app also allows you to put your AAA card in your Apple Wallet, a very handy feature.
What great apps do you use on your road trips? We are always looking for suggestions for better apps to make our travels easier.
We use Skyscanner to find deals on flights. Skyscanner has a great interface and compares tons of airlines for the best pricing and routing. That said, it does not always have every airline and some airlines will have better deals on their website. Still, Skyscanner is a great place to start.
Click here to search for a flight.
We typically stay at Hilton properties, so we use the Hilton website. We can find good Hilton Honors discounts or AAA discounts for a hotel there. We make great use of our free night certificates from our Hilton Honors American Express.
Click here to book a Hilton property.
If there are no Hilton properties available, we use TripAdvisor to read reviews and book the hotel. We find we can get the best price that way.
Click here to search for a hotel.
We use Vrbo for the times when we have rented a cabin for a weekend getaway, like this cabin in Townsend, TN, or needed to rent a house for a large family vacation. We had a great experience with them in terms of refunding deposits when COVID hit and will continue to use them.
Click here to search for a vacation rental.
As a general rule, we book with Hertz for rental cars. We have had nothing but good experiences with them. Plus, we really like unlimited mileage and not worrying about crossing state lines. We have even rented from Hertz overseas in both Slovenia and Croatia.
Click here to book a rental car.
We have found some amazing prices booking a cruise through Cruise Direct. We have saved a lot of money on our cruises compared to what we found elsewhere, making a last-minute Bahamas cruise even cheaper.
Click here to book a cruise.
We highly recommend Outdoorsy for RV rentals. We rented a camper van for a week to visit Rocky Mountain National Park for the elk rut and Custer State Park for the Buffalo Round-Up and had a blast. The program was easy to use and we really enjoyed the freedom of having a camper van for that trip.
Click here to rent an RV.
We don’t often book tours. Typically, we like to do stuff on our own. That said, there are some experiences you just can’t have any other way. So, when we do want to book a tour, we always check Viatour first.
Click here to book a tour.
We make extensive use of both Good Sam and AAA on the road. Good Sam is normally regarded as a discount card for RVers at campgrounds and Camping World but anyone can use the 5 cents off a gallon at the pump at both Pilot and Flying J.
Click here to get a Good Sam membership.
We have had AAA as long as we have been married and it has more than paid for itself in discounts at hotels, aside from the peace of mind of having roadside assistance. Add in paper maps and the ability to get an international driver’s license and it is more than worth it for any traveler out there.