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Top 10 Must-Have Road Trip Apps for Travelers

Road trip apps for travelers can help them with a lot of their traveling tasks like locating a good hotel, finding great restaurants or places to see and even in finding a cab. Here are some great road trip apps that can help you find your way in an unknown place.
Vacayholics Staff
Taking a road trip with your kids...Download the My Little Suitcase app. It lets the kids choose their own vacation and pack their clothes and toys accordingly. Keeps your kids engaged and you do not have to hear "Are we there yet?" after every five minutes.

You have mapped out the route, your car is stuffed with all the essentials, including loads of junk food and snacks, and you are ready to finally hit the road. We all have those days when we want to travel the world, visiting different places and meeting new people. Now, when you have finally planned the perfect road trip to realize your dreams, you are suddenly faced with a few lurches on the road. You are left stranded because you have no idea where the next hotel is, or where you can get the cheapest and best food? Not to worry, because there are a number of technological aids to help you keep your trip worry-free and the best part is they are right there on your smartphones or tablets.

Road trip apps can help you with just about everything, from locating the cheapest gas station, finding the best restaurants and hotels, to even hailing a cab when you are left stranded in a god-forsaken place. There are a number of road trip apps out there that are available for paid and free download. Here is our list of top 10 must-have road trip apps that travelers should definitely take a look at.

Ten Best Apps for a Road Trip

Best Travel Guide: Yelp
A good and well-designed app that is perfect for travel planning, Yelp helps travelers in finding nearby restaurants, bars, pharmacies, shopping destinations or a roadside cafe. There is an impressive user-submitted information for even the most obscure places. The range of search filters allow you to search exactly what you want, making it a great app. The only glitch is that it does not allow users to post mobile reviews.
Key Features
  • Monocle, an augmented reality mode which is somewhat similar to Nokia City Lens, helps you check ratings and other data of a place by pointing the camera down the street.
  • Sync the app with your Facebook account and check the "The Check-Ins" tab to find all your friend's recently tagged places.
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Best Travel Organizer: TripIt
How many times have you failed to organize all your travel-related documents properly? A person who travels frequently, has to keep track of a lot of stuff, from boarding passes, to car rental documents. Thankfully, with apps like TripIt, you no longer need to worry about mapping your trips. All you need to do is forward purchase confirmation emails and the app does the rest, which includes creating master itineraries with travel plans and other critical information.

Key Features
  • Along with generating the itinerary for the trip, the app has a host of additional features like weather information, travel notes, calendar, photos and maps.
  • Access the itinerary anytime via calendar feeds and social sites.
  • There are online check-in links and even collaboration with fellow travelers.
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Best Travel Navigation: Google Maps
There are a number of navigation apps out there that help you get around an unfamiliar place or city but nothing beats Google Maps, especially with the recent update. This free, easy-to-use application provides smooth, vector-based map animation. It helps in both car and pedestrian navigation, and also helps in finding public transit navigation in many places around the world. The beautiful interface is quick to load and makes very few mistakes. The recent update provides some great features including more details and easier public transit service directions.

Key Features
  • The Street View allows people to explore places by providing panoramic views of some of the major streets. All you have to do is drag and drop the golden pegman to the street you want to go to. The recent update has done away with the pegman and instead you have cards at the bottom which can be clicked to get the Street View.
  • There is also an inclusion of 3D buildings and imagery.
  • With the recent update, you will be able to search relevant restaurants, hotels and attractions around the world.
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Best Transportation App: Taxi Magic
Stranded at some strange place, and need to find a taxi to take you home? Now using Taxi Magic, hail a taxi at the push of a button. This app allows you to connect directly to the taxi routing system and schedule a cab when you want it, even if it is a few hours from now. It asks you for the street address and then takes you to the screen that alerts you when the ride is to be dispatched.

Key Features
  • It has GPS functionality that allows you to see that the cab is on its way to pick you up. The map is updated quickly, to check when the cab makes its way to your location and movement along the map.
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Best App for Hotels: Hotel Tonight
You may be out on an adventure of your lifetime but you would still need a place to stay and spend the night, especially on a long trip. Hotel Tonight is the perfect answer to all your hotel search woes. Whether you want a dirt-cheap hotel or a posh place to stay, the app for last-minute, day-of bookings helps you do just that. It offers hotel information and reservations in 12 countries and around 100 cities.

Key Features
  • You can book a hotel on the same day.
  • Offers the best pricing in categories like hip, basic, solid, charming and luxe.
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Best Food Apps: Kitchen Stories
If you are a food lover, you must visit Kitchen Stories. The app is colloquially called 'the video and photo cookbook'. It has plenty of 'how-to-cook' videos with step-by-step instructions. It also provides information about the the correct food to be served with wine, snacks, while on a road trip (or anytime, for that matter), etc.

Key Features
  • Free recipes every week.
  • Complete downloadable shopping lists.
Download from iTunes

Best App for Photos: Instagram
On a road trip you will definitely want to capture the best sights on the way. With a handy app like Instagram you can click a picture, apply a cool filter to a mundane looking shot, and share your adventures with all your friends on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Key Features
  • Photo Maps allows you to see all geotagged photos on the map. This allows you and your friends to see where the photo was taken.
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Best Travel Documentation App: Trip Journal
An award-winning travel app that lets you document your travels on the go. Instead of a dusty old notebook, which you are more likely to lose, try this online journal. It records waypoints, drops pictures into the journals, and geotags the photos.

Key Features
  • While documenting your travel, you can also share your videos or images with them on the Facebook wall. If your friend has the app, then you can send the journal across as well.
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Best Communication App: Skype
Even when you are traveling, you would like to stay in constant touch with family and friends. Calling up every time may not be a feasible option. Use the Skype app to text, call and IM your family and friends with Skype ids. You can also make calls to non-Skype users at reduced rates.

Key Features
  • Very easy to set up. Just install the mobile app, login and start making VOIP calls.
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Best Travel Utilities: GasBuddy
With gas prices constantly rising, a road trip cannot be planned without this utility that allows you to find the cheapest gas in town. You can find out the map of nearby gas stations and what they are charging per gallon. Obviously, for someone hoping to save a few bucks, the lowest price wins.

Key Features
  • You can select from gas options like regular, midgrade, premium and diesel.
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes
If you are traveling abroad then apps like Google Translate (translates local language), FlightTrack Pro (checks flight status) and XE currency exchange (currency conversion) helps in managing your travel needs. Even simple quirky apps like SitOrSquat which helps you find bathrooms around the globe can be really handy when you are on the road.