Planning for any road trip involves figuring out what to pack and where you ultimately want to end up, but a truly memorable trip takes a little more preparation. Whether you want to stop to see the world’s largest frying pan or try some of the best barbecue in America, your phone’s app store has everything you need to create an awesome road trip. Use these eight travel apps to plan your next unforgettable adventure.
Learn more about places you want to visit with Findery, an app that shares details about local spots and roadside attractions. Find the best places to stop during your road trip by looking at reviews from other visitors. The app also lets you share locations, photos, or interesting stories about specific destinations. (Free, Available for iOS, Android, and Windows)
Looking for the cheapest gas along your route? GasBuddy shows nearby gas stations with the most affordable fuel prices, and an online companion tool called the Trip Cost Calculator allows you to gauge the cost of gas for your entire trip. If your destination is still up in the air, you can look at a map of the U.S. to compare gas prices along all of your tentative routes. (Free, Available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry)
3. Google Maps
Google Maps provides real-time transit information, alerting you to traffic congestion and faster available routes as you move toward your destination. Turn-by-turn navigation prevents surprises at upcoming directional changes, giving you a calmer driving experience. Additionally, OpenTable has partnered with Google Maps, so you can check out nearby restaurants and make reservations without having to switch apps. (Free, Available for iOS, Android, and tablet devices)
If you love shows like Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Man vs. Food, or No Reservations, this is the app for you. TVFoodMaps lists eateries that have been featured on television shows, meaning you can easily discover which restaurants celebrated chefs and Food Network stars favor. Just enter your starting point and final destination to see all the pit stops you should be making for meals. (Free for basic application, in-app upgrades available for purchase, Available for iOS and Android)
Do you like to read but have a problem with carsickness? The Audible app has over 180,000 books that you can download and listen to on your next road trip. Whether you like romance, science fiction, or classic literature, Audible has picks for every literary taste. Try it out to keep your car rides nausea-free. (Free for 30 days, then $14.95 per month, Available for iOS, Android, and Windows)
6. Camp Finder
One of the hardest parts of camping is finding the perfect spot — especially after a long day of driving. With the help of Camp Finder, though, you can find campgrounds and RV parks anywhere in America. With a few taps, you can easily search through 19,000 camping locations to find the closest, best rated, or cheapest nearby sites. If you’re looking for specific activities or amenities at your campsite, Camp Finder shows those options, too. The app also works with Google Maps to give you step-by-step directions to your chosen campground. Make use of RV satellite Internet to access your apps when out of cell coverage range. ($3.99, Available for iOS and Android)
What’s a road trip without an accompanying soundtrack? Spotify lets you customize your audio experience by organizing playlists and radio stations based on your favorite artists or genres. Although the free option only plays through shuffle mode and includes commercials, it’s still one of the best music apps available on the market — a must-have for music lovers looking for existing favorites and new artists during a road trip. (Free with commercials; $9.99 for Premium, Available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry)
If you plan on skipping the campsites and splurging on a hotel during your road trip, you need to add the HotelTonight app to your smartphone. Find last-minute deals on hotels anywhere in the U.S. to get luxury accommodations for a fraction of the price. Bear in mind that this app shows deals and reservations only seven nights in advance, making it more appealing to spontaneous travelers. (Free, Available for iOS, Android, and Windows)
Between the apps themselves and their online support, it doesn’t matter where you’re headed on your next road trip — you can leave the compass at home. All the planning help you need is at your fingertips.