Taking road trips is practically a worldwide pastime. Traveling in a car with some friends (or animals) and seeing the sites can be a great time. As you might have guessed, smartphones can make the experience a little easier and better. There are a lot of different ways to take a road trip. However, we’re confident that these apps can be helpful to almost everyone. Here are the best road trip apps for Android!
Airbnb (or similar apps)
Price: Free / Room costs vary
Airbnb lets you find a place to stay. It boasts over four million places to stay across 91 countries. It’s not a typical hotel/motel app. It includes people who will rent out a room at various rates directly from their house or apartment. There are other hotel/motel apps like Booking.com, HomeAway, Kayak, Agoda, Priceline, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, and many, many others. They all make great road trips apps. They all help you find a place to sleep during your road trip. Airbnb just has the best worldwide support so we chose that one for the list.
Android Auto turns your device into a dashboard. It offers quick access to things like navigation, messages, music, and other stuff. It works well while driving. That way you spend less time looking at your phone and more time on the road. It supports a variety of apps, including Google Maps, Waze, most popular music apps, most popular chat apps, and more. You need a phone with Android 5.0 or higher, but most people do these days. Some cars even come with this as their center console OS. It’s one of the better road trip apps. Drivemode and AutoMate are excellent substitutes as well.
GasBuddy is one of the most excellent road trip apps out there. It allows you to compare gas prices at nearby and upcoming gas stations. It features a community of over 70 million people. The app crowd-sources gas prices from them and from you if you want. Thus, the prices you see are ones that people posted and have actually seen instead of sourced from some random database. You can also help out and change a price if one is wrong. Finding good gas prices is going to be a valuable road trip skill until electric cars become the norm. GasBuddy does that really well. It’s a free app with some advertising.
GPS Speedometer and Odometer
Price: Free / $1.10
GPS Speedometer and Odometer is what the name says. It uses your phone’s GPS to calculate your speed and distance traveled. This is great for a number of reasons. You can see total distance traveled, your average speed, and all kinds of other stats. It also works offline for those areas with no mobile signal. It doesn’t do anything that your car doesn’t do. However, it’s sometimes nice to have that information in the palm of your hand for easy reference, especially if you travel for work and need data for tax purposes. The free version of the app contains ads. The pro version for $1.10 does not. Otherwise, they both work the same way.
Lonely Planet apps
Price: Free / Up to $5.99
Lonely Planet has a couple of decent travel apps. The first is a guides app. It features offline maps, curated city guides, recommendations, a phrasebook for the local dialect, and support for over 100 cities worldwide. The UI is clean and simple. It’s a handy little app for tourists or travelers passing through a big city. The second app is called Trips and it’s relatively new. That one lets you log your experiences to share with friends. Trips is an entirely free app. The guides app may cost a few bucks, but it’s not expensive. Either one would make excellent road trip apps.
Google Maps is probably the best navigation app out there. It features support for most countries around the world. The app also gives you information about local businesses, traffic updates, and even transit schedules. That is on top of the usual stuff like turn-by-turn navigation. Google Maps also lets you download maps for temporary offline use. That can be helpful for those parts of your trip with no web connection. It’s the best of the best for a reason and that’s because it does basically everything. HERE WeGo Maps and Waze are other excellent options for road trips apps as well.
RV Parks and Campgrounds
Price: Free / $7.99
Traveling to unfamiliar territory is difficult sometimes. Especially during road trips. Those looking for a place to park or camp for the night have a good option with this app. It supports North America (Canada, U.S., and Mexico). The app includes privately owned and public parks, U.S. military campgrounds, and RV-friendly parking lots. The CampWiki family of apps performs a similar function, but with a few extra countries supported. There may also be apps for individual countries as well. These are musts for road trip apps.
Price: Free / $0.99
Splitwise is an app for expenditure tracking. Going on road trips with friends is great. However, money is evil and can ruin a good time. An app like Splitwise can keep everyone honest. You can use it to split pretty much any expenditure so that everyone is pitching in what they’re supposed to. No need for arguments or a paper or pencil, or someone forgetting about the $15 in gas you totally paid for during the last pit stop. This one looks nice, it’s easy to use, and it’s relatively inexpensive.
Waze is another navigation app. It crowd-sources traffic data in real-time. Thus, travelers can see where the road blocks, cops, traffic accidents, and other obstacles might be. This may not be so great out on the country side where traffic is generally relaxed. However, going into a new city during your road trip can definitely be challenging. Google Maps and Here WeGo may be better overall for pure navigation and maps. However, Waze simply does a better job at things like traffic patterns. We’d use Google Maps out in the country, but we’d use Waze when drifting into Chicago at 5PM during rush hour.
Your favorite music streaming apps
Price: Free / Around $9.99 usually
Entertainment during road trips is tough. You can play Punch Buggy, I Spy, or listen to music. Since the two former options get old really fast, listening to music is probably going to be the bulk of your road tripping entertainment. Some good options include Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, Apple Music, Tidal, and others. You have plenty of options to choose from. It’s also very likely that you’re already using one. They provide a virtually limitless supply of music. You don’t have to carry around CDs or fill up your phone storage with local files. Most include offline playlist downloads for those times when data isn’t available. Usually they go for around $9.99 per month.
If we missed any great road trip apps, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!