Apps that Make Traveling Easier

Apps that Make Traveling Easier

Gas Buddy Logo

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

GasBuddy– When it comes to fuel, we are all looking for a way to save money. This social app allows users to share the prices they are paying at the pump.  This makes it easier to find the best value in a given area. This is also a great resource for finding the closest gas station and nearby parking.


Image Credit: TJ DeGroat/ flicker

Hotel Tonight Logo

HotelTonight– Usually when planning a trip, the destinations and stops are usually predetermined. There are times, though, that you could find yourself needing to stop to rest to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel. This app is designed to allow you to book discounted rooms in just a few minutes at the last minute.

TripAdvisor LogoImage Credit: Wikimedia Commons

TripAdvisor– TripAdvisor is a great app that has countless recommendations for different things such as hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more. This is perfect for those on a road trip as it is easy to not be aware of what’s around you if you aren’t familiar with the area. In addition to giving you recommendations, it allows you to book tables and restaurants in the app and compare prices for hotels and flights.

ParkMe Logo

ParkMe Parking– Specifically designed to check parking in any location, it is the world’s largest and most accurate parking database. Through the app you will be able to compare prices and buy your parking spot. It includes street parking and meter rates and parking lots. Real-time updates will be given to you on parking spots. The only thing to keep in mind is that the rates and hours may be inaccurate in some locations. This is a beneficial app to use when taking a road trip in the US, Canada or Europe.

Open Table Logo

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OpenTable– If you are looking for somewhere to eat while on the road that isn’t a well-known fast-food chain, this is the app to use. It allows you to search local restaurants, check out the reviews and make reservations all within the app. There are filters for you to choose your preferred settings and you will be able to access images of the dishes as well to help you make your decision.

Image Credit: Sean MacEntee  / flickr

Hotels.com– This is another great app to help you look for a last-minute stay. Perfect for when your plans change unexpectedly, you will be able to find and book somewhere while you are on the go. You will be able to filter through hotels and see what amenities they have included as well as compare prices and see what rooms are available.


Image Credit: Dominic Alves  / flickr

RAC’S Motoring Service- Safest driving routes is the name of the game with this app. They believe safety is the top priority and assists you in helping to avoid accidents. It is also extremely conscious of current weather conditions. You will be able to find hotels, and it has a fuel cost calculator included to ensure you aren’t overspending on gas. Unlimited stops are possible without a subscription in this app unlike some of their competitors.

TravelSpeed

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TravelSpend– This app allows you to keep track of your budget. Simply input your budget and expenses for the length of your trip to keep yourself accountable to avoid overspending. If you are travelling with friends, you will be able to pay debts, split bills and check balances all within your app. TravelSpend is perfect to keep you accountable while you are out having fun.

 

 

Best Multi-Stop Routing Apps

Best Multi-Stop Routing Apps

Traveling is a great pastime, especially when traveling by RV. No one uses paper directions anymore and the days of just winging it and hoping for the best are thankfully behind us. Technology has brought us a slew of apps designed specifically to coordinate multiple stops for gas stations, rest areas, camping spots and more.

Top Apps for Multi-Stop Routing


Image Credit: petterijokela / Pixabay

Google Maps– Google Maps is by far the most popular app used by travelers. It informs you of traffic issues and gives estimated arrival times based on current traffic conditions. It will automatically reroute you if there is an increase in traffic, an accident, or other problematic road conditions. You can even use this app offline. A couple of things to keep in mind – the GPS requires a lot of battery power and there is no social sharing feature.

 


Image Credit: Ian Lamont / flickr

Waze– This multi-stop routing app is constantly updating to ensure the information is fresh. Based on traffic conditions, Waze will find the most efficient route. It will also inform you about accidents, construction, police, and road closures.

What sets Waze apart from other mapping apps is its social features. It allows you to:

  • Chat with other drivers.
  • Share your location.
  • Share your drive with others.
  • Send a beep beep to your friends.
  • Send a private message to other Wazers.
  • Carpool with other Wazers.
  • and more…

One pitfall of this app is the speeding alert obscures the speed limit icon for an extended period of time, so you can’t tell what your speed SHOULD be. Like the other GPS apps, it uses a lot of battery power.

Image Credit: @gletham GIS / flickr

Mapquest– has been around for years, and was originally a website that required users to print out directions. The app version offers multiple route options and allows you to use filters to set preferences. The app will alert you to slowdowns in traffic. In addition to mapping routes, this app shares gas prices and even has a function for making hotel and restaurant reservations. Some cons to using Mapquest;  the map size can be small, directions are reportedly less accurate than other apps and it cannot be used offline.

Image Credit: Harry Wood / flickr

Maps.Me– The main feature of this app is that it is entirely offline. This is perfect when you are in a spotty cell service area as you can still navigate to your destination.  Because everything on this app can be used offline, the app uses much less battery power. Not too many complaints from users, but there have been reports that the maps load slowly after being updated and businesses on the maps are not updated frequently.

Image Credit: ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay

Inroute Route Planner– A benefit of this application is that you can design your trip based on weather, elevation, and road curviness. Simply drop pins where you are looking to stop, and the app compiles a route for you. You will be able to search along this route for gas stations, hotels, or restaurants. There are also special features for motorcyclists, RV’ers, and truckers. With the free version, you can specify up to 8 locations. Users have reported that it can be hard to get back on track if you go off route and that it may be difficult moving and changing pins.

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Apple Maps– a rival of Google Maps comes preloaded on every iPhone. It includes turn-by-turn directions and voice navigation. It plots the fastest way to get to your destination based on traffic, location, time of day, and your schedule. Another helpful feature is that it gives guidance on which lane you should be in. On your map, you will be able to see the current weather and air quality for your location. Some users have reported that exit directions and information about businesses are not always correct. There is also no option to use this map offline. The street view function does not have images for everywhere in the US.


Image Credit: Tumisu / Pixabay

Mapfactor Navigator–  is a free offline multiplatform GPS navigation app, with maps for over 200 countries.  There is also voice navigation to assist you in your journey. Keep in mind that even though the maps are up to date, the traffic information is not. Some users have stated the maps have some inaccuracies and can be slow to load or crash. To receive premium features, you will also have to pay a yearly or monthly fee.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Roadtrippers– collaborate with your friends and family to find exciting hot spots along your planned route, such as national parks, gas stations, restaurants, and more. This app is free to use but there is an upgrade needed to use all features.

                                                                   
Image Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

Plotaroute– is an application that allows you to plan out routes for outdoor activities. It is the perfect app for designing your perfect walk, run, or bike ride. It allows you to check out scenic routes, so it is a little different than the typical road trip app.

                                                               
Image Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

Scout GPS– Typical features are included in this app such as turn-by-turn navigation and real-time updates on traffic and speed. Scout prides itself in being a social destination app, as users can recommend restaurants to each other, notify their contacts of ETA, and can see in real-time when their friends will be arriving. One downfall of this app is concern over privacy because of location sharing.

When it comes to planning a trip, it is always best to have the best resources available. As much as we want everything to run smoothly, there are times that catastrophe happens, and the plan you had falls through. By downloading a few of these apps, you will have plenty of information in your arsenal to help you get to all your destinations, and find new ones along the way. Not only will you be able to get to your locations seamlessly, but you will be able to find exciting places to stay, eat, buy cheaper gas, and more.