9 Essential (And Free) Apps For Planning The Perfect Road Trip

June 12, 2020

We’ve compiled the best road trip apps so you can take on the open road without stressing over the details.

From feeling the wind in your hair as you cruise past rugged mountains to visiting quirky roadside stops in the middle of nowhere, road trips give you the freedom to choose your own adventure. Planning them however can cause a headache. It takes time and effort to put together an awesome itinerary and the process can be daunting if you don’t know where to begin. Fortunately, there are many apps out there that can speed up the planning phase and help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest. Grab your smartphone and start creating the ultimate journey with these nine essential road trip apps that don’t cost a dime.

1. Roadtrippers

Touted as the best road trip planner, Roadtrippers is loaded with convenient features to help you put together the most epic driving adventure. Map out your route with up to seven waypoints and discover stops not listed on Google Maps ranging from scenic viewpoints and roadside attractions to local diners and trails off the beaten path. There are also plenty of pre-made travel guides to pull inspiration from. For longer trips, it may be worth upgrading to Roadtrippers Plus which allows you to plot up to 150 stops, build itineraries with friends, and access offline maps. 

Download now:

  

2. Google Maps 

You probably already have Google Maps, but there’s a good chance you’re not taking advantage of its lesser-known features.

Here are five Google Maps tricks to try:

  1. Download offline maps beforehand so you can view them without an internet connection while on the road.
  2. Save a route when you’re connected to Wi-Fi and access driving directions offline.
  3. Add multiple destinations to your itinerary.
  4. Save your parking spot so you won’t forget where you left your car.
  5. Use voice commands for hands-free driving.

Download now:

3. Gasbuddy 

GasBuddy helps you fill up for less by locating the cheapest gas stations along your route. You can search for pitstops by price, location, brand, and amenities such as restaurants, car washes, and ATMs. Other money-saving features include a gas price map, trip cost calculator, and fuel logbook. 

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4. Flush

There’s nothing worse than having to go really bad and not knowing where a bathroom is. Luckily, the Flush app can help you instantly find the nearest public bathroom when nature calls. The app works offline so you can search from a database of over 200,000 toilets from anywhere in the world. Each bathroom listing will tell you if it provides disabled access and whether or not it requires a fee or key. You can also get directions to the nearest loo if you have an internet connection.

Download now:

5. Waze

Waze gets you from point A to B faster by notifying you of traffic jams, accidents, construction, police stops, and more. Real-time alerts are powered by its community of users, while the slick interface minimizes phone fiddling by letting you listen to music and podcasts right in the app.

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6. PackPoint

How many times have you gone on holiday and realized you forgot to pack a bathing suit? With PackPoint, you never have to worry about forgetting anything again. Just plug in your destination, departure date, trip length, and activities you’re planning on doing and the handy app will create a personalized packing list for you. You can even share your checklist with your travel buddies if they need help packing too.

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7. Spotify

It isn’t a road trip without your favourite tunes blasting from your car speakers. Before you hit the road, make sure you put together an awesome playlist on Spotify. The app has millions of songs and podcasts to choose from. If you’re short on time, feel free to use pre-curated playlists like Classic Road Trip Songs or take advantage of the Soundtrack Your Ride feature which generates a custom playlist based on your preferences, Spotify history, and length of your trip. Spotify is free. However, you may want to get the premium version which comes with ad-free music and offline listening.

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8. AllTrails

Park the car and explore the great outdoors with AllTrails. Packed with 100,000 hiking paths and mountain bike routes, this app makes it easy to discover new trails in parks across Canada. Locate pet and kid-friendly trails in a snap and sift through hikes by rating, length, and difficulty level. The app offers detailed driving directions to bring you straight to the trailhead and turns your phone into a GPS tracker so you won’t get lost.

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9. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

When you’ve exhausted your road trip playlist, why not challenge your friends and family to a game of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Test your trivia knowledge by answering questions in categories such as sports, geography, science, and movies. When you get stumped, get help by using your 50:50, ask an expert, or ask the audience lifelines. The game is great for kids of all ages and includes an offline mode so you can play as much as you want while cruising down the highway.

Download now:

These nine free apps are guaranteed to streamline your planning process and help you get the most out of your open road adventure. Download them on your smartphone or tablet before you leave and bring a charger to keep your devices powered throughout the trip.

Kick-off your road trip with a new car

Getting approved for a new car is as easy as downloading an app! Canada Drives provides pre-approvals for car loans and matches you with local certified dealers who offer thousands of vehicles and special financing programs. By doing all the hard work for you, Canada Drives saves you valuable time and presents the best options for your financial situation so you can get behind the wheel of a new ride just in time for your great Canadian road trip

Apply online in just three minutes and get approved in as little as 48 hours.

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