Planning your next cross-country excursion before hitting the open road for your next road trip can help ensure that you enjoy your travels to the fullest extent possible. In modern times, smartphones have revolutionized how we plan road trips by providing directions on-demand to ensure absolute safety.

A road trip is simply a travel adventure that involves time spent in the car on the road. Although we typically associate road trips with the freedom of cross-country travel, weekend vacations down the highway can also benefit from advanced planning, regardless of how many miles you have ahead of you.

While any road trip will be subject to unpredictable variables like weather, planning your route ahead of time and appropriate packing of essentials can help prepare you for anything. Today, there are several road trip planner apps available to help you make the best preparations.

These apps can help you plan potential sightseeing stops, change routes in case of traffic, and find critical resources along the way. 

Keep reading this review of road trip planner apps to learn more about the best apps available to help you get ready for your next adventure out on the open road.

1. Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers is a top pick among road trip planner apps thanks to its impressive features beyond simply providing directions to a location. Many avid road trippers may consider that traveling on the road is more about the journey than the destination, and this app helps make that journey as enjoyable as possible.

Roadtrippers lets you add stops along the way to plan every step of your road trip and share your itinerary with friends. Long-time users can save their favorite places to quickly access in the future on the go, ensuring that you never forget where to find local hidden treasures.

If you plan on driving to a new location, you can search for points of interest along your route based on various categories such as historic sites, scenic areas, hotels, or breweries. You can also layer multiple types to plan the most efficient itinerary.

Although the app is free, some of its advanced features require Roadtrippers Plus to be purchased. For instance, users of the premium app can add up to 150 stops to trips and check live travel conditions while driving.

 Pros:

  • Offline maps allow you to venture off the grid.
  • Save and search for stops along your drive.
  • Check live traffic conditions while driving.
  • Users can take advantage of special discounts from travel partners.

 Cons:

  • Distracting ads on the free version
  • You have to pay to use advanced features in Roadtrippers Plus.

Download or Explore the RoadTrippers App here: Roadtrippers

2. Waze

Waze is a popular road trip app specializing in helping drivers find the best routes to avoid traffic based on social interaction. The Waze community of users can report hazards, police cars, or accidents to help fellow drivers avoid setbacks during their travels.

This collaborative approach has created a responsive app that continually updates surrounding road conditions to find the best route between any two locations. Although this app is an excellent option for drivers going on long trips to unknown areas, it is also a favorite of commuters looking for the fastest way home.

The Waze app is handy when traveling through cities with congested traffic and complicated layouts. Users can benefit from routes based on residents’ driving habits so that anyone can drive like a local.

Another advantage of using a collaborative approach to road trips is finding the best gas prices based on the Waze community’s information. However, some residents have complained that the app increases car traffic in local back roads that Waze recommends as detours around jams.

 Pros:

  • Live data on traffic conditions and alternate routes
  • Information on where to find the cheapest gas nearby
  • Ability to report road hazards and police cars to other users
  • Best app for finding the fastest route to a destination

 Cons:

  • Users can falsely report hazards and confuse others.
  • May send cars down more minor roads not designed for heavy traffic.

You can check out the Waze app here: Waze Website

3. Google Maps

Most people are familiar with this widespread app. Google Maps is a reliable and straightforward navigation app available on all major mobile devices. It offers a holistic approach to road trip planning by making information gathered from Google available at your fingertips in the car.

Google Maps offer quick and reliable directions with accurate transit estimates, allowing you to plan and coordinate with others efficiently. It is also effortless to find places to stop along the way based on data available from other Google apps and services.

Although some drivers prefer Apple Maps for navigation in small cities, Google’s app offers a more well-rounded experience and better travel time estimates. 

 Pros:

  • Simple to use and operate
  • Accurate transit and arrival time estimates
  • Quick search options that access data from Google to find stops
  • No advertisements

 Cons:

  • Limited ability to plan multiple stops along the way
  • Data collection may be a privacy concern.

Check out Google Maps here: Google Maps

4. GasBuddy

GasBuddy is another community-based platform that uses other drivers’ information to locate the most affordable gas prices in any location. Long road trips often come with a hefty fee paid at the pump, so any app that can save you gas money is a valuable addition to your travel plans.

This app promises that users will save a certain amount of money. In addition to collecting data about cheap gas prices available in the area, GasBuddy offers a special card accepted by most gas stations and allows users to enjoy additional savings on every gallon.

It is free to sign up for the service from the app. The company will send you a card that will automatically save you five cents on every gallon of gas. A paid premium version of the app comes with more benefits and discounts.

 Pros:

  • Locate the cheapest gas along your road trip route
  • A complimentary membership card saves you more money on every gallon.
  • Extra discounts available with premium service
  • Benefit from other users finding the best prices

 Pros:

  • Premium features may not be worth the cost.
  • Limited usefulness beyond finding cheap gas

You can link to GasBuddy here: GasBuddy

5. Roadside America

Roadside America is the best road trip app for travelers who are looking for unique and unexpected experiences during their adventure. This app specializes in finding exciting stops along any route that other apps may overlook.

The maps have a user-friendly design and thousands of in-depth reviews of local tourist spots all over the United States and Canada. When you reach your destination, you can also use the app to find nearby attractions in your vicinity.

It should be noted that this app is not free, and some features require additional in-app purchases. It is also only available for users with an iOS device. Nevertheless, many travelers appreciate the social sharing features that make it easy to coordinate with friends.

 Pros:

  • Roadmap displays nearby attractions along your route
  • Thousands of reviews and photos of tourist spots
  • Extra features include a sunset alarm.
  • Social sharing capabilities

 Cons:

  • Extra fees for unlocking regions
  • Only available on iOS devices

Check out Roadside America here: Roadside America

Time to Choose?

Although all of these road trip apps can help make it easier to prepare for your next great adventure, Roadtrippers is our choice for being the best overall road trip planner app. 

 Smartphones have revolutionized car travel by allowing drivers to access in-depth information about any place the road may lead. Consider downloading one of these apps before hitting the open road to make your next journey the best one yet.

We certainly wish you the best on your next adventure!!

**(First time subscribers to Roadtrippers + can get a $5 off coupon using this code BTR5QTP)**