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The Best 6 Apps to Have on a Road Trip

July 25, 2018 • Jesse Herrin • Tags:

Thinking about hitting the road to take a vacation in the near future? You obviously don’t want to waste any time while you are savoring every moment on your memorable trip.

This road trip app guide will give you 6 very useful apps that could help you get the most out of your vacation, including the potential to save you lots of money by finding the best deals around!


Gasoline App

1.       GasBuddy

GasolineThis app works as a community-based service with over 70 million users giving real-time updates of gas prices at different gas stations so you will be able to find the lowest prices near you.

According to this article from USA Today, GasBuddy will allow you to save up to $340 yearly with its new payment plan: Pay with GasBuddy.

This is how it works:

  • Sign up by visiting the website pay.gasbuddy.com or download the GasBuddy app and click on the wallet icon
  • Connect your checking account to Pay with GasBuddy
  • GasBuddy will send you a card in the mail – activate the card by setting up a driver ID in the app – and swipe your card at a gas pump as you would with any other credit/debit card
  • Save 15¢ per gallon on your first fill up and 5¢ off every gallon every time after

GasBuddy also utilizes a point system for its users – earn points by posting gas prices, completing challenges, and commenting in forums – to enter weekly drawings for $250 gas cards.


Driving App

2.       Android Auto

Android Auto was created by Google to make driving safer by helping drivers keep their eyes on the road, free of distractions on their phone.Dashboard app

The app works as an alternative dashboard client by syncing all of your phone’s features to your car’s display screen (smart display) so you never have to look down. 

One of the coolest features is being able to use Google Maps on your display screen so it acts as a built-in GPS system.

Earlier this year, Google implemented its Google Assistant into the app. You can utilize this feature by simply saying, “Ok, Google” and then proceeding with basic voice commands or questions. You can also reply to text or email with the speech-to-text feature.

Android Auto has also partnered with many third-party apps on your phone including Pandora, Spotify, Skype, Facebook Messenger, etc. You can find all of the apps compatible with Android auto here.

Here is a list of all compatible cars which will allow you to use Android Auto on your dashboard.

Any phone running on Android’s 5.0 (Lollipop) operation system or higher is able to use the app. Sorry, iPhone users. :(


Navigation App

3.       Google Maps

Navigation appGoogle Maps is not only the most used navigation app in the world, but is also in the top-5 most used smartphone apps in the world, according to Statista.

The app is used in more than 220 countries, providing business info for over 100 million locations, so it has become arguably the most accurate navigation app ever from the amount of data Google has to work with and give to its users.

Waze, a very popular community-based navigation app, has received praise for its most up-to-date incident reporting from its users. 

However, Google acquired the company in 2013 and is now currently using this feature in its own app. The app aims to get you to your desired location at the fastest time from real-time updates and route recommendations.

Google Maps is not only designed for driving, but also provides other services such as: reviews, ratings, pictures of foods/businesses, discovering local places, etc. If you aren’t driving, it will also show you walking, biking, or other transit distance details.

One of the other really cool features this app gives its users is the ability to still be able to search, get directions, and navigate without an internet connection.


Music App

4.       Google Play Music

What’s better than popping on some jams in the car for a long drive? To help you pass the time on this adventurous road trip, Google Play Music comes to the rescue!Music app

This is an app that acts as a music streaming service and personal music library. Google Play Music offers up to 40 million songs in its streaming library, but you can also upload your own musicWhen I made the switch to Google Play Music, this was the feature that sold me. 

You are allowed to upload 100,000 of your own personal songs to the music cloud which can then be streamed from anywhere. The best part: the songs you upload to your library will not take up any space on your phone! Save those precious gigabytes for other apps and content on your phone.

Additionally, you have unlimited access to streaming radio stations and playlists made by other users.

If you want to listen to music offline or without using data, no problem! Google Play Music also allows you to download music to your phone so you can listen to anything at any time.

This is an incredible digital tool to compile countless playlists/music into and not worry about losing any of it throughout your lifetime.

The best part is Google Play Music is FREE! If you want to unlock other features such as no ads or selecting music to listen to outside of your personal library, then the price of a single account is $9.99/month and the family plan (up to 6 people) is 14.99/month.


Hotel Booking App

5.       HotelTonight

Hotel appThis app provides you with a selection of last-minute hotel rooms – basic to luxurious – available around the globe with discounts as high as 50% off!

Hotels are willing to offer these steep discounts because the US hotel room occupancy rate is roughly 66%, according to Statista, meaning 34% of rooms are unoccupied every night. 

In order for hotels to maximize their profits, they would definitely like to book every single room – offering a 50% discount off a room is still better than gaining no profit at all. Thus, hotels pack the HotelTonight app with these deals in hopes of selling their unoccupied rooms.

When you buy a plane ticket, the longer you wait, the more expensive the ticket will become. Dissimilarly, the purchasing system for HotelTonight works opposite of this model. The value of a hotel room declines the closer you are to your arrival; therefore, the best deals can be found the day of or at the last-minute.

If you don’t want to wait until the last minute to still get a very good deal, HotelTonight expanded their reservation time to up to 100 days in advance in 2017.

The app also provides a rewards program. This program essentially gives customers better discounts the more they book through the app. More specifically, you can level up to different tiers which will unlock greater discounts and even more savings.


Dining App

6.       OpenTable

OpenTable is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, working with over 46,000 restaurants. Because so many people use the app globally, you will haveDining app access to thousands of reviews, photos, and menus of restaurants around the world.

The app is very simple to use:

  • Search the mobile app or website to find a restaurant you are interested in
  • Select your party size
  • Find an available time slot at the restaurant
  • Type in your name and phone number if you haven’t signed up yet
  • Click the “Complete Reservation” button

The app is completely free to use and also has a rewards program offered to its users – points are accumulated by making reservations and can be used for future discounts.


Give them a try!

Let us know how these apps work for you! They will provide you with, gasoline discounts, driving assistance, navigation, music/streaming entertainment, hotel discounts, and the best restaurant picks & reservation management. These apps have definitely made my life easier on the road and at my final vacation destination.

If you have any other suggested apps that could make this list more beneficial or exciting for others, feel free to comment and reach out to us on social media!