There’s never been a time in human history where travel has been easier. We have powerful computers in our pocket with the ability to help plan and execute any adventures we can imagine. Developers have created apps to help save travelers money, find the best routes to their destinations, and help find memorable locations where they can rest and take in the sights and sounds.
If you’re planning the road trip of a lifetime, or you’re just looking to get out of town for the weekend, we created a list of helpful apps for you and your vehicle, so your adventure can be even more fun!
Apps for Your Vehicle
1. Hipcamp (Free):
Cross-country road tripping isn’t quite the same if you stay in cheap motels the whole way, even though you may meet some interesting characters. America is best experienced with a nightly campfire, and the Hipcamp app helps you find a campground pretty much anywhere the road takes you.
Don’t just stay at a run-of-the-mill site. Hipcamp has partnered with private landowners so you can reflect over the day’s deeds near campfires on unique sites like vineyards and country farms.
2. iOverlander (Free):
An overlanding rig is the best vehicle for blazing new trails, or discovering old trails for the first time. You can even pretend you’re in the Lewis and Clark expedition, but with engines and cell phones (and antibiotics). iOverlander helps you navigate new territory, find amenities like gas and propane, and share specific routes and locations with other app users.
This is a great safety app to have on your phone during trips since it records your GPS location in case you get stranded.
3. TruckMap (Free):
Anyone who regularly hauls a trailer with their rig knows navigation is far more difficult if you’re towing something, especially something big. The designers of the TruckMap app wanted to help other road warriors find truck-friendly routes with proper bridge weight allowances, low clearance avoidance, and roads that are too narrow for trucks.
Bonus: This is a great app for RVers who tow or drive a motorhome.
4. GasBuddy (Free):
If you haven’t noticed, gas ain’t cheap these days. Before you go selling off the family heirlooms to afford the big roadtrip, download the GasBuddy app. It helps you find the best gas prices in your area, and if you’re needing to answer the call of nature, the app shows you which gas stations have public restrooms. For the professional road-warriors, this app tracks and exports your travel log for tax purposes.
5. Parkopedia (Free):
Parking spots are a limited commodity. Before you experience an unnecessary spike in blood pressure and/or get into a fist fight, try the Parkopedia app. It has an extensive parking database covering 8,000 cities around the world. The app is especially helpful if your road trip includes stopovers in big cities, or if you’re carrying valuable cargo like expensive mountain bikes and need more secure parking.
Apps for You
1. Alltrails (Free):
Even when you’re new to an area, there’s no excuse for sitting on your rear and packing on the pounds. Alltrails allows you to find trails near you at your skill level, read reviews from fellow hikers and bikers, and share your outdoor adventure with your friends on social media. Because who cares what you did if you can’t brag about it on the internet? (wink emoji)
Alltrails Pro ($29.99 per year): allows you to download maps and use GPS even when you don’t have a signal, share route progress with friends/family, get notifications when you’ve left the trail, and design and print custom topographic maps for backup navigation. Also, no pesky ads.
2. Strava (Free):
Competing with yourself gets old real quick. Strava is the ultimate app for pushing yourself to new heights because it has a literal leaderboard comparing times and distances from fellow athletes on local biking and running routes. Set records and challenge your friends to beat them. Boasting about your athletic accolades has never been easier.
Strava Premium ($7.99 per month, $59.99 per year): No ads. In-depth analysis of your performance data, customizable training and workout plans, and live feedback from pros so you can get better results on each workout.
3. Peakfinder ($4.99):
Fortunately for you, Idaho has plenty of peaks unlike some other states in the U.S. (sorry, Kansas). That means you have ample opportunity for natural vistas worth working for. Though it requires a one-time payment, Peakfinder helps you navigate both easy and difficult ascents from Mount Borah to the Boise Foothills with offline capability and lunar/solar orbits, so you can plan your climb for the safety of daylight hours.
Did we mention they don’t collect your data and there’s no ads?
4. Skyview Lite (Free):
Idaho has plenty of wilderness and a big chunk of central Idaho is a designated Dark Sky Preserve, meaning light pollution is restricted so views of the stars are the best you can get on the planet. We all can find the Big Dipper, but pointing your phone at the sky with Skyview allows you to locate other constellations and identify stellar objects like planets and satellites.
You can even see what the stars looked like for our ancestors. Don’t worry about being out of cell range, this app can be used without a data connection.
5. Chimani National Parks Guide (Free):
Before you hit the road on your epic road trip, download this app and explore the national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, national monuments, and state parks in your area of travel. The app also features location descriptions and topographic maps.
Subscribe to Chimani Perks ($29.99 per year, $99.99 lifetime) and get detailed park guides, shuttle bus schedules, and discounts on things like whitewater rafting, inns, and campgrounds.
Toilet Finder (Free):
Mother nature has very strict rules, and when she calls, you’d better listen or you may have a mess on your hands. Not to worry, though, there’s an app for that. Toilet Finder houses an easy-to-use database of thousands of toilets so you can find some porcelain relief when that gas station burrito starts to churn your insides.
You can even help out other toilet seekers and submit bathroom locations in your area to become part of the Toilet Finder mutual assistance community!
We hope you’ve found this app list to be helpful for your epic road trip or overlanding adventure. If there are apps you love to use and we didn’t include them, feel free to shoot us an email or message us on social with your thoughts. We love hearing from you and sharing tips and information with each other.
Next Week: Towing Trucks