All opinions and recommendations are our own
Finding the Best Road Trip Planner App is key to making the most of any trip. If you’re anything like me, you want an app that is not only easy to use but also offers the best filters so you can plan based on key points of interest. I tend to use Road Trip Planner Apps that will improve the quality of the trip by offering additional resources such as accommodations, scenic stops, points of interest, traffic updates and obscure attractions.
In this post, I’m going to share some of my favorites.
Roadtrippers is a fan fav of mine. This Road Trip Planner App allows you to explore hidden gems, the obscure, roadside attractions and much more. The great part about this app is that you can save/edit your trip, share your trip, check out “shared” trips, and get ideas for attractions, accommodations, restaurants, etc. and add them directly to your route. What’s also great about this app is the filtering system. Let’s say you’d like to check out haunted houses on your route. You can click “points of interest” and then filter to “spooky places.” It’ll give a list of places on your route. You can also remove stops, move stops around, or even add a stop for the The International Hamburger Hall of Fame because you’ve always wanted to go.
Roadtrippers also publishes a free magazine on its website that includes stories and ideas for making the most of your trip. It offers inspiring ideas for planning a trip as well. Personally, some ideas I haven’t considered before. They also offer a special section for “road culture” which I LOVE. It has a plethora of odd and unique roadside stories and attractions.
The one downside to this app is that you only have a limited amount of “free” waypoints before you have to upgrade to a paid version. If you travel long distances you may want to invest in this upgrade called, Roadtrippers Plus. With Roadtrippers Plus, you have the ability to create longer trips with expanded options such as offline maps, expanded trip, live traffic conditions, and more. They offer a yearly fee and/or monthly fee based on your needs.
Roadtrippers allows you to:
- Discover millions of places, like local diners and quirky roadside attractions, or scenic points, national parks, and hotels.
- Get access to pre-trips for inspiration
- Share your route and collaborate with friends
- Create your own road trip within minutes
- Any trips you create will save across devices
- And much more…
Roadtrippers really gives you everything you need to discover, get out, and go exploring. You can check out a couple of longer trips that I created here.
We also used Best Road Trip Planner Apps, Roadtrippers, to create our Route 66 Road Trip, which I’ll be sharing in another blog post soon.
2.) Gas Buddy
Gas Buddy is great and easy to use the app if you like to save money at the pump! It helps you locate gas stations with the lowest priced gas near you – No matter what type of gas you need.
Gas Buddy allows you to:
- Find the best prices out there
- Save 5¢/gal on every gallon using the free Pay with GasBuddy card
- Earn free gas when you shop favorite brands via GasBuddy — brands like Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot and many more
- Filter your search results by price, location, brand, and amenities like car washes, restrooms, and even restaurants
- Use GasBuddy Trips and using motion detection native to your phone, the app will show you events that are costing you fuel economy and dollars
- Get price alerts and find deals offered by local convenience stories
- Report gas prices to help others save money and support the community of GasBuddy users.
You’re able to find the cheapest gas on your route, earn GasBack and pay less, find discounted parking, and keep track of your vehicle’s fuel economy. What else could be better? Gas buddy is a must if you like to save on gas!
Download on iOS
Download on Andriod
Waze is a great app to avoid traffic backups, road hazards, and the police.
This Best Road Trip Planner Apps is great for knowing what’s happening on the road ahead. It instantly alerts you of construction, traffic, police, crashes and even that huge piece of debris that landed on the shoulder of the road ahead of you. Personally, Waze has saved me time, patience and energy by staying alert to the ever-changing road conditions on our trips. And honestly, just the random stuff that shows up on the road that can be logged is helpful to you and other drivers.
I’ll never forget the time I was driving home from vacation and the car in front of me lost their luggage. WTH. Little by little pieces were flying off until the large luggage went flying off the side towards the shoulder. Bless it, people! You all know I reported those crazy people and the roadside luggage to Waze!
Great tool not only for saving time, but also to keep you and family/friends safe on the roads!
Waze allows you to:
- Get to your destination faster with live traffic data. Super helpful during holiday and summer travel
- Receive alters about traffic conditions, traffic hazards, and police
- Listen to Music and Podcasts right from the Waze app
- Drive with Apple CarPlay – use Waze on your car’s display.
- Report incidents, accidents, and police
- Keeps you up-to-date on live road conditions
- and much more…
4.) Google Maps
Next on the list of Best Road Trip Planner Apps is, Google Maps. This app is great for planning your next adventure. There are so many places to get inspirational travel planning ideas online such as facebook groups, Instagram, Pinterest, Apps, etc. but there’s nothing like actually seeing locations dropped on a map to really get your planning off the ground. And one of my favorite apps to do just that is Google Maps. It’s free, easy to use, and because it’s part of the google suite it’s easy to collaborate with google docs and family/friends joining you on your trip. Note: I initially plan the trip on my laptop or tablet.
Best Road Trip Planner App for Europe
Last Spring, we planned a trip called “The Sampling of Europe.”
The trip was 4 countries, 5 cities, 3 trains completed in 1 week with my trusted buddy, brother Mike. So, the goal was to create a European experience that explored the diverse and rich cultures among European countries.
So, what were we going to use to plan the trip?
I suggested we use a couple of my favorite Apps. We went back and forth on the topic of Best Road Trip Planner Apps. Then we both agreed to try Google Maps for this trip. We would start in Amsterdam and end in Barcelona, Spain.
We both agreed to start our planning by creating a google drive document. The free google drive doc allowed us to make a list online of the place we’d like to visit, museums, budgeting, must-see excursions, etc. The doc also offered each us a place to share and discuss the trip when it was convenient. I’d add notes on Monday, and then he would add his notes Tuesday and we could go back and forth to discuss things. Google drive is friendly and easy to share and allows users to edit the doc. Highly recommend this as a jumping off point for planning.
How to create a trip in Google Maps
3.) Select Maps from the top left banner bar –> “Create Map” at the bottom
4.) Begin exploring and creating your routes
Note: If you have Location history turned on, Google Maps can suggest places you might be interested based on where you have traveled or visited before. You can also choose specific interests to make Maps more helpful when creating your trip. You can learn more about managing your location history here.
For example, in your Google Maps settings, you may select that you like Tex Mex cuisine or that you prefer Authentic Mexican instead. You can also list places and things you dislike. Based on these preferences, you’ll get a certain match score, indicating the likelihood of you being interested in that place.
Overall, Google Maps is one of the Best Road Trip Planner Apps. For me, it took a bit of getting use to but once I got the hang of it, it became super easy, quick to use and shareable with collaborators. Not only that, it’s jam packed with fun extras that most don’t even know about. And I’m even learning more each time I plan a trip using it.
So, to recap:
Google Maps allows you to:
- Provide transportation routes based on your mode of transportation (trains, car, planes, walking, etc.)
- Allows collaboration and map sharing
- Get to your destination faster with up-to-date traffic conditions
- Voice command instead of typing
- Personalized location history to find what you are interested in
- Drop pins and create as many routes as you need
- Use layers to overlay other data/maps – very cool feature!
- Has the Google earth feature to see a live view of the terrain
- And so much more…
Last on our list is TripIt. This Road Trip Planner App has some pretty cool features in the free version and also has a paid version that is loaded down with much more. Let’s take a look at some of the features.
TripIt allows you to:
- Create a mastery itinerary
- Import travel info into the master itinerary
- Organizes all your travel plans
- App provides access across all devices
- Adds plans from your inbox for you
- Syncs plans with your calendar
- Stores important travel information
- Includes airports and terminal maps
- and much more…
TripIt also allows you to organize your travel no mater where you booked it. As soon as you book a flight, hotel, car or other reservation, simply forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll instantly add it your master itinerary.
When choosing the Best Road Trip Planner Apps, it’s best to jump in and get started. You may choose one you like and then later change it but testing it out is the key. I hope this list gets you off to a great start!
Happy Travel Planning.
Have a questions? Send me a message.